Plugging the gas exploration wells on Cuadrilla’s controversial Preston New Road site will commence this week.
This information has been shared in a letter from Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive Francis Egan which clearly sets out their current plans to plug the two gas exploration wells with cement.
The letter to local residents from Mr Egan states: ‘I am writing to let you know that Cuadrilla plans to begin moving equipment onto the Preston New Road site on Monday, March 7 to start work on plugging the two gas exploration wells with cement and removing the valves and surface pipework from the wells and from the site. This work, in industry terminology referred to as plugging and abandoning the wells, follows on from formal notification issued by the Oil and Gas Authority in relation to the plugging and abandoning of both wells.’
The work is expected to take five weeks.
However, given not only well-publicised current and future problems but also the high, and ever rising, costs of the UKs energy supplies, there are renewed calls for fracking to be started immediately to take advantage of the nation’s vast reserves of natural gas.
In response, the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has once again rejected these demands for the renewed exploration of onshore fracking for gas as the solution to swollen energy prices. Instead, he has outlined the government’s investment in “cheap, clean power” in order to protect the UK from global gas markets. Extra supply generated from untapped shale reserves in the UK “won’t materially affect the wholesale market price,” MP Kwarteng said. “This includes fracking – UK producers won’t sell shale gas to UK consumers below the market price. They’re not charities.” He added that the government would also invest in upgrading homes to be more energy efficient as this was “the best way to keep energy bills down.”