The owners of Britain’s only active fracking company are reportedly looking to exit the business after a series of setbacks to the struggling industry.
Riverstone and Kerogen, two of the investors in Cuadrilla, have hired bankers at the Royal Bank of Canada to help facilitate the exit, Bloomberg reported.
Cuadrilla declined to comment when contacted by City A.M.
It comes as work at the UK’s only fracking site near Blackpool in Lancashire was forced to cease after a major tremor shook the site.
Locals reported feeling the 2.9 magnitude quake two weeks ago. Cuadrilla has since said it is assessing damage to properties in the area, and will compensate residents if they deem the damage was caused by their work.
The practice of using hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas from the ground has caused anger among protesters, who claim it will lead to dangerous quakes.
Current regulations force fracking to stop if tremors reach above 0.5 on the Richter scale – a limit the industry says is stifling.
Environmental campaigners Greenpeace said: “Cuadrilla is a window onto the future of fossil fuel companies. Eventually, the music will stop and someone will be left holding worthless stranded assets. Make sure it isn’t your pension fund. In the meantime, we wish Cuadrilla luck finding investors who already have enough gas but need more earthquakes.”
Riverstone Holding has a 45 per cent stake in the company, while Kerogen has an indirect stake which it holds through Australian company AJ Lucas.
Bloomberg reported that the bank has been working with the two investors for months. They have not made any decisions and there is no guarantee a sale will take place, the news site reported.