Centrica to buy stake in shale gas area from Cuadrilla

Centrica PLC bought a 25% interest in a license for the Bowland basin shale project in Lancashire, UK, from Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. and AJ Lucas for $62.6 million. Centrica owns British Gas.

“With North Sea gas reserves declining and the UK becoming more dependent on imported gas supplies, it is important that we look for opportunities to develop domestic gas resources,” said Mark Hanafin, managing director of Centrica’s international upstream business.

Cuadrilla already drilled three exploration wells, but additional drilling is required to establish whether the discovery is commercial. No UK shale gas has been produced yet, and Cuadrilla estimates 200 tcf of gas in place at its exploration license area in northwest England (OGJ Online, Sept. 22, 2011).

Earlier this year, Cuadrilla announced plans to delay plans to start hydraulic fracturing in Bowland basin  until 2014 to give the company time to get an environmental impact assessment for some exploration wells (OGJ Online, Mar, 14, 2013).

At yearend 2012, the UK government lifted a moratorium on fracturing as part of the government’s effort to stimulate energy investments and reduce dependence on gas imports (OGJ Online, Dec. 24, 2012).

The fracing mortarium was imposed while the UK government looked into events around a Cuadrilla shale-gas well near Poulton-le-Fylde (OGJ Online, Nov. 3, 2011).

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