Cuadrilla submits planning application for southern England well

Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. said it decided to submit a new planning application to cover the flow testing of an oil exploration well at Lower Stumble, Balcombe, in southern England.

The new application will cover the same well testing as outlined in a 2010 permit, but the new application also will include revised planning boundary lines showing the extent of a horizontal well. The application will not include additional drilling or any hydraulic fracturing, Cuadrilla said.

An original planning application’s boundary delineation covers the surface drilling site area.

“Our decision to make a new application for the well testing activity, rather than an extension of previously approved activity, is to resolve any potential legal ambiguity around how the planning boundary should be drawn for a subsurface horizontal well,” Cuadrilla said in a Sept. 4 news release.

Cuadrilla temporarily halted drilling at Balcombe during August because of opposition from environmental activists.

Previously, Cuadrilla delayed plans for drilling and fracturing exploration wells at its licenses in the Bowland shale in northern England pending environmental impact assessments (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 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).

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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