Fracking

  1. Cuadrilla statement on shale after shares transfer

    Bowland shale is found in the north of England....

    Quote Message: Cuadrilla's exploration work has shown that the Bowland shale is a world-class resource containing large volumes of high-quality indigenous gas that will flow to the surface. We continue to believe that indigenous gas production is preferable to importing increasing quantities of overseas gas with up to double the pre-combustion emissions and no economic benefit for UK workers, businesses or communities." from Cuadrilla spokesman
    Cuadrilla spokesman

    The statement comes after private equity firm Riverstone has sold its 45% stake in Cuadrilla, the UK's only fracking firm, to Australian mining firm AJ Lucas.

    The latter, which was already Cuadrilla's largest shareholder, now has a 93% stake. The size of the deal has not been disclosed.

  2. Major Cuadrilla investor backs out

    Riverstone sells its 45% stake to Cuadrilla's leading shareholder

    Fracking site in Lancashire

    Private equity firm Riverstone has sold its 45% stake in Cuadrilla, the UK's only fracking firm, to Australian mining firm AJ Lucas.

    The latter, which was already Cuadrilla's largest shareholder, now has a 93% stake. The size of the deal has not been disclosed.

    It comes after Cuadrilla saw its most recent extraction attempt in Lancashire suspended after causing an earthquake registering 2.9 on the Richter scale. Cuadrilla has struggled to produce and sell natural gas amid tight UK government regulation.

    The government launched a moratorium in November halting the production method and exploration with immediate effect, and also warned shale gas firms that they would not support future fracking projects.

    But AJ Lucas thinks the moratorium will eventually be lifted. It says it envisages "limited, if any, operational activities", at the suspended Preston New Road site in 2020.

    The remaining 7% stake in the company is primarily owned by current and former employees.

  3. Fracking shares slump after Government action

    Anti-fracking campaigners
    Image caption: Anti-fracking campaigners

    Shares in firms linked to fracking in Britain have slumped this morning after the UK government halted shale gas extraction over earthquake fears.

    The indefinite suspension cam after a report by the Oil and Gas Authority said it was not possible to predict the probability or size of tremors caused by the practice.

    Shares in AJ Lucas, the Australian energy services group that owns 48% of UK fracking company Cuadrilla, closed down 23% on the Australian Stock Exchange.

    IGas, which had been hoping to follow Cuadrilla into fracking, fell more than 25% in early trading before recovering slightly. It's currently down 14% on the day.

  4. Is the future of fracking now in doubt?

    Simon Jack

    BBC Business Editor

    Video content

    Video caption: Cudarilla boss: It's better to use our own gas

    The National Audit Office officially has no opinion on whether fracking should continue on these shores, but its findings resemble a collection of nails available to be driven into the coffin of a once trumpeted shale gas revolution.

    In 2013, there were heady promises that gas extracted from fracturing shale rock with water under high pressure could revolutionise the UK energy industry.

    A technology that had changed the US energy industry and geopolitics with it could provide a bonanza of benefits to the UK.

    As the gas from the North Sea dwindled, fracking would step in to make the UK less reliant on foreign imports that make up 60% of our gas supply.

    This home grown resource would see prices fall and security of supply rise. It would provide tens of billions of new investment and tens of thousand of jobs in areas that desperately needed it and all this could be done safely and environmentally responsibly.

    The NAO report is a hammer blow to those aspirations.

    Read more here

  5. A future for fracking?

    Protesters at a Cuadrilla site
    Image caption: Protesters at a Cuadrilla site

    Getting fracking up and running in England has been slower than expected, says a report by National Audit Office.

    Given the issues surrounding this method of extracting gas - including environmental concerns - does fracking have a future in the UK?

    Francis Egan, chief executive shale gas operator Cuadrilla, says: "The most critical assumption is, is the gas there? Is it good quality? Is it producible?

    "We will answer yes, yes and yes."

    He adds: "Now, after that is a question for the UK government and for UK policymakers as to how quickly they want to exploit and develop that resource. Whatever they do, we will be using gas for decades to come and our argument still consistently is we should develop our own gas rather than rely on imports."