How are we
Cuadrilla operates within a strict regulatory framework, which governs all onshore and offshore hydrocarbon exploration.
A report commissioned by the EU Commission and published on 8th November 2011 concluded that the exploration for natural gas in shale rock is currently well regulated in Europe and does not need more regulation.
Select Committee Review
Our operations are also deemed to be completely safe by the House of Commons Department of Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, following a wide-ranging inquiry into shale gas exploration and production.
The report focused heavily on Cuadrilla’s operations and found no evidence to suggest that health or environmental concerns would arise from shale gas exploration in the UK – provided that existing regulations are adhered to.
This extended to all aspects including water contamination and use of chemicals and represents the most through and wide ranging analysis of the industry in the UK to date – with evidence taken from all sides of the debate.
The Select Committee, the Government, the regulators themselves and recently the EU all believe that the regulatory framework and process is robust enough to control and monitor the shale gas industry in the UK.
The UK regulators are experienced in on-shore drilling operations due to the number of wells drilled over the last decade.
Before operations began, Cuadrilla applied to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for a licence to explore in the Bowland Basin as part of the Department’s four-yearly Onshore Licensing Round.
Local planning permission for the Bowland Shale project is granted by Lancashire County Council and comes with a number of project-specific requirements including ecology studies and transportation, lighting and noise surveys. The proposals are also subject to scrutiny from the Environment Agency (EA), who must confirm that environmental risk have been minimised.
EA & HSE
Both the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) work closely with Cuadrilla to ensure our operations are safe. With all of our wells, an independent well examiner assessed Cuadrilla’s design before submitting this for review to the HSE.
During operations, Cuadrilla is subject to visits from the EA and HSE both on an announced and unannounced basis. During March 2011 – August 2011, the EA visited the Preese Hall site 10 times, with seven of these being unannounced.
Cuadrilla is obliged to send the HSE a weekly report of its operations.