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Cuadrilla Update on Bowland Exploration Programme

Source: 10/7/2013, Location: Europe

Cuadrilla is continuing to assess site options for shale gas exploration wells as part of its work programme to unlock the potential of Lancashire’s Bowland shale.

At this stage of the assessment, Cuadrilla has decided not to progress the Anna’s Road site near Westby into planning and will now be working to restore the site to its former condition. The company expects to be in a position to talk to the local community about its proposed sites for the next phase of exploration later this year.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: “We’re looking at a number of possible locations and have decided to rule out Anna’s Road so we can focus on other sites, which we believe show greater potential at this time. The background to this decision includes technical constraints related to wintering birds. We are continuing our site selection assessment and will continue to keep local communities fully informed and engage with them on our plans as they develop. ”

Earlier this year, Cuadrilla appointed leading engineering and planning consultants Arup to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for any site that the company intends to apply for permission to hydraulically fracture. Alongside the EIA work, Arup is preparing an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) for each site. More than 200 people and organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, the National Farmers’ Union and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust have provided input into the ERA so far.

Des Correia, Arup’s Project Director, added: “This summer we held a couple of sessions to give local people and community leaders the chance to find out more about the environmental risk assessment that is currently being carried out. We’re in the process of analysing feedback from these sessions, which will be considered alongside the EIA process. We look forward to talking to the local community about our progress on both areas in the coming months.”

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