Cuadrilla drills horizontal shale gas well

Posted on 26 Apr 2018 and read 1032 times
Cuadrilla drills horizontal shale gas well Cuadrilla has completed drilling the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gas well at its exploration site at Preston New Road in Lancashire (

This first horizontal well — drilled through the Lower Bowland shale about 2,700m below ground — extends laterally for some 800m through the shale gas reservoir.

Work will now begin on drilling the second horizontal well, through the Upper Bowland shale, with planning consent granted to drill up to four horizontal wells on the site.

Cuadrilla plans to apply to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for consent to fracture this first horizontal well.

It aims to be in a position to hydraulically fracture both of the first two horizontal wells in the autumn.

Earlier this year, analysis of data from Cuadrilla’s vertical pilot well drilled through the Upper and Lower Bowland shale rock — along with data from the company’s three previous Lancashire shale exploration wells — was used to locate the initial horizontal wells.

It also confirmed that both the Upper and Lower Bowland rock formations are well suited to hydraulic fracturing.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “Our completion of the UK’s first-ever horizontal shale gas well is a major milestone towards getting Lancashire gas flowing into Lancashire homes, as we lead the way on UK exploration.

"From the data we have amassed so far, we are optimistic that natural gas will flow into this horizontal well in commercially viable quantities, demonstrating that the UK’s huge shale gas resources can contribute to improving the UK’s energy security.”

Following hydraulic fracturing of the first two horizontal wells, Cuadrilla will run an initial flow test of both wells for about six months, before connecting them to the local gas grid in 2019.

The company’s other proposed shale gas exploration site in Lancashire — at Roseacre Wood — is the subject of a new planning inquiry, which will consider three new routes proposed after consultations with the local community.

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