Cuadrilla in talks over shale gas drilling on United Utilities’ land

Marion Dakers
ENERGY firm Cuadrilla has been talking to United Utilities as it plans its next attempt to extract shale gas in the north west of England.

Cuadrilla, which suspended fracking in 2011 after causing small tremors in Blackpool, has spoken to the water company about six possible sites for fresh drilling.

As well as getting a mains water supply to its projects, Cuadrilla is also weighing up the possibility of a drilling site on United Utilities’ land.

The company owns more than 56,000 hectares, which is chiefly used to gather water for its reservoirs.

Both firms confirmed they are in general talks about the resumption of fracking in the area next year.

Privately-owned Cuadrilla has lined up funding for its new drilling, having last month signed a deal with Centrica. The gas company has paid £60m to take a 25 per cent stake in the Bowland exploration licence.

The government last week pledged to slash the tax bills of companies trying to extract shale gas, in the hope that firms working to unlock the estimated 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Bowland shale formation can help shore up the country’s energy supply.