Firm linked to quakes eyes Sussex drilling

Cuadrilla Resources, the fracking company which counts the former BP chief executive Lord Browne as a director, has been granted a licence to drill for shale gas on a new site in West Sussex.

In a press release slipped out quietly last week, Cuadrilla revealed it had received planning permission and regulatory approval to drill for hydrocarbons in Balcombe, near Haywards Heath.

Cuadrilla stressed that "there are no plans, or regulatory approval, for hydraulic fracturing to take place at this stage", adding that "exploratory drilling activity may take place at a future date, consistent with the terms of the licence".

Although Cuadrilla said it had no plans to use hydraulic fracturing on the site, it is understood that no other technique could be used to remove the hydrocarbons from the shale rocks if the company did decide to extract its reserves.

Furthermore, it did not rule out using the technique in future.

Locals were concerned to hear about Cuadrilla's licence after watching the US documentary, Gaslands, which purported to show residents close to fracking locations across the US lighting methane-heavy tap water.

Brian Hall, an independent councillor on West Sussex county and Haywards Heath town councils, said: "My biggest concern is about water contamination. I am especially concerned because I understand that the shale in this area is much shallower than in many other areas, meaning it is closer to water aquifers than it might otherwise be."

"The area is also densely populated, so hundreds of thousands of people could potentially be affected," Mr Hall added.

If Cuadrilla does take up its option to conduct initial drilling this would be done using traditional methods, rather than with the controversial hydraulic fracturing technique. The company would need government approval to frack on the site.

"In line with Cuadrilla's record of openness and transparency, any activity would be preceded by local engagement, briefing and explanation," the company said.

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said yesterday that the group would "never allow a situation that comprised health and safety to occur in the UK".

Cuadrilla resources: A Pioneer in the UK

Cuadrilla Resources, the fracking company that was linked to 50 earthquakes in the Blackpool area last month, is run by Mark Miller, its American chief executive, who is a veteran of the so-called unconventional gas industry.

Before joining Cuadrilla, he was president of Eastern Reservoir Service, a well-testing company based in the US. Cuadrilla, which was set up in 2007, specialises in fracking and is the first and so far only company to employ the technique in the UK. In addition to sites near Blackpool and in West Sussex, it has licences at Grange Hill, also near Blackpool, and at Hesketh Bank, near Preston. It has completed exploratory drilling at these latter two sites, but has not yet done any fracking there.

The privately run company is backed by Riverstone investment firm, where Lord Browne is a partner, and by AJ Lucas, an Australian engineering firm.

Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Test Lead - Financial Reporting - Banking - London

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Banking, Financial Reporting, ...

Business Analyst, Retail Bank, £375-400p/d

£375 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

PMO Analyst - London - Banking - £350 - £400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game