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On Wednesday, leading onshore shale gas exploration operator Cuadrilla successfully remobilised hydraulic fracturing equipment to its flagship Lancashire site in Preston New Road.

The company opted for an early morning convoy delivery in line with existing planning permission, designed to minimise disruption to everyone using Preston New Road.

Laura Hughes, Projects and Operations Director at Cuadrilla, said she was delighted with progress made since the business announced its latest work programme to hydraulically fracture a second well.

Laura added: “A range of specialist equipment has now been safely and effectively mobilised onto site. This was intensely managed by the operational team at Cuadrilla to ensure safety – not only for our own team but also other users of Preston New Road. I’m pleased to say the remobilisation was carried out without incident or inconvenience to our neighbours.”

Cuadrilla confirmed earlier this month that it will return to hydraulic fracturing and flow testing of natural gas at Preston New Road in the third quarter of 2019 and, subject to all required regulatory approvals, complete the work programme by the end of November.

The upcoming work programme at Preston New Road is the latest step in demonstrating the huge commercial opportunity of natural gas from UK shale, including the potential for natural gas from shale to act as a domestic feedstock for hydrogen production.

The work programme builds on Cuadrilla’s unique experience and expertise as the leading onshore shale exploration operator in the UK. The new hydraulic fracture plan will operate in line with the existing traffic light system but one of the key differences will be a more viscous fracturing fluid which is expected to improve operational performance.

In February, Cuadrilla announced results from flow-testing of the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gas exploration well which confirmed a reservoir of recoverable high quality natural gas estimated at around 1.3tcf by the British Geological Survey.

The initial exploration programme also confirmed that the Bowland Shale formation fractures in a way that is typical of an excellent shale gas reservoir. A complex fracture network was generated in the shale and sand injected into the fractures stayed in place during flow back.

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