'Drilling at Preston New Road is last-ditch effort to convince regulators to relax safety rules'
'Cuadrilla plans to restart fracking at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire in a last-ditch effort to convince policymakers to relax safety rules.
The first company to frack for shale gas in the UK will drill a second well near Blackpool after it was forced to abandon the first, which caused multiple earth tremors.
It plans to remobilise its drilling and fracking equipment within the coming months to test gas flows from the site before its permission expires in November.
Francis Egan, the company’s chief executive, plans to use the data to convince the government and regulators to loosen the safety rules that have slowed the progress of the UK shale industry.
He said the work could help to make a case for the UK’s controversial shale ambitions by proving that the Bowland Shale region offers a “hugely exciting opportunity for the UK”.
Cuadrilla has struggled to convince the public among growing opposition to shale gas exploration, and protests by environmental campaigners.
Egan said it was no secret that Cuadrilla had asked for the “exceedingly low” tolerance for earth tremors to be lifted.
“It remains the case that we are the only UK operator currently able to move forward and provide more data to support an expert review of this threshold – and we intend to do so,” he said.
Egan warned last year that commercial shale gas fracking could not go ahead in the UK unless rules on minor earthquakes were relaxed.'
Read more: Cuadrilla to restart fracking at site in Lancashire