After an initial consultation, Britain’s Environment Agency (EA) said it is “minded to grant” privately-held energy firm Cuadrilla permits to frac during exploration for shale gas in Lancashire, England, reports the BBC.

The agency has issued a “draft decision” outlining the conditions under which they would allow fracing at the Roseacre Wood site in Lancashire. A second round of consultation begins on Monday and will run until January 6.

Cuadrilla Resources initially filed a planning application for the Roseacre Wood site back in June of this year, shortly after applying to frac at another site not far from Roseacre, at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton. According to the company’s website, they had hoped to begin operations around October, but were unable to because the Lancashire council said it needed more time to make its determination, reports the Telegraph.

Fracking in the UK

Source: BBC

The request for extra time pushed the decision for Roseacre back from November 18 to January 31, and the decision for Preston New Road from November 5 to December 31.

Following the news that the EA was likely to grant a permit to frac, Cuadrilla’s CEO, Francis Egan, said “we welcome the announcement by the Environment Agency that it is minded to approve our permits for our proposed exploration site at Roseacre Wood following the ‘minded to grant’ statement the Agency issued a few weeks ago for our other proposed site at Preston New Road.

“The decision, following a robust and rigorous review of our permit applications, demonstrates that, as we have committed, the local environment will be well protected throughout our proposed exploratory operations,” Egan said.

Shale Exploration and Production in England

Until recently, shale exploration and production had been suspended in England due to concerns around the effect fracing could have on the environment. On April 1 and May 27 of 2011, two small earthquakes were felt in the Blackpool area. The earthquakes were suspected to be linked to fracing at the Preese Hall well operated by Cuadrilla, according to the UK government. As a result, operations were suspended until a full technical study could be completed.

In light of recommendations of a panel of independent experts, of comments received in response to a public consultation, and of the recommendations of a review by the UK’s science and engineering academies, the Secretary of State for Energy announced the introduction of new regulatory requirements to ensure that seismic risks are effectively mitigated in December of 2012.

The rig count in the United Kingdom in October of 2014 was 0 for onshore and 15 offshore, according to data from Baker Hughes.

Important disclosures: The information provided herein is believed to be reliable; however, EnerCom, Inc. makes no representation or warranty as to its completeness or accuracy. EnerCom’s conclusions are based upon information gathered from sources deemed to be reliable. This note is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or financial instrument of any company mentioned in this note. This note was prepared for general circulation and does not provide investment recommendations specific to individual investors. All readers of the note must make their own investment decisions based upon their specific investment objectives and financial situation utilizing their own financial advisors as they deem necessary. Investors should consider a company’s entire financial and operational structure in making any investment decisions. Past performance of any company discussed in this note should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future results. EnerCom is a multi-disciplined management consulting services firm that regularly intends to seek business, or currently may be undertaking business, with companies covered on Oil & Gas 360®, and thereby seeks to receive compensation from these companies for its services. In addition, EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of these companies. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this note. The company or companies covered in this note did not review the note prior to publication. EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of the companies covered in this report or on Oil & Gas 360®. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s reports or Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report.

Legal Notice