Boost for UK shale as Cuadrilla and Egdon get plans underway

Suzie Neuwirth

UK’S nascent shale gas industry was given a boost yesterday, as energy firms Cuadrilla and Egdon Resources reported progress with their plans to exploit the resource.

Lancashire council has validated Cuadrilla’s proposal to frack up to four exploration wells at a site in the county, which means the planning application will be open to a public consultation period for the next two to three months.

If the application is approved after that, Cuadrilla could start drilling later this year and begin hydraulic fracturing – known as fracking – for shale gas next year.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has approved Egdon’s acquisition of Alkane energy’s onshore shale gas assets in exchange for 40m shares.

Egdon will have access to Alkane’s shale interests in 10 licence areas, which are estimated to hold up to 28 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The deal will make Egdon the UK’s second-largest publicly listed shale gas firm, behind the soon-to-be-merged IGas and Dart Energy.