Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla Resources is an oil and gas exploration and production company founded in 2007. It is headquartered in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire,[2] and has operations in the United Kingdom. The company intend to develop shale gas in the UK by using hydraulic fracturing. Its chairman is Roy Franklin, OBE, who is also deputy chairman of Equinor. Its chief executive is Francis Egan.

Cuadrilla Resources
Industryoil and gas exploration
FounderDr Chris Cornelius
England, United Kingdom
Key people
Roy Franklin, OBE, Chairman (2015-present), Lord Browne, Chairman (2007-2015), Francis Egan, CEO[1]
Productsshale gas, oil
OwnerA.J. Lucas (47%), Riverstone Holdings (45%), Cuadrilla Employees (8%)

Corporate structureEdit

Cuadrilla is a privately owned company with headquarters in the United Kingdom.[3] The company was founded in 2007, financed with investment from the Australian engineering company A.J. Lucas and the Anglo-American equity firm Riverstone Holdings.[4] It is owned 47% by AJ Lucas, 45% by Riverstone Holdings, while Cuadrilla employees (including former employees) own the remaining 8%.[5]: 5  In 2009, Riverstone had settled corruption charges in New York through its partner The Carlyle Group.[6]

In April 2015, Roy Franklin, OBE, Deputy chair of the Board of Statoil ASA, and board member of Santos Ltd, Kerogen Capital Ltd and Amec Foster Wheeler,[7] replaced Lord Browne, who had been chairman since 2007.[8] The chief executive is Francis Egan.


As of 2013, the company held licences for ten sites in the UK and had drilled three wells, all in Lancashire,[9] one of which has been hydraulically fractured since 1993 by a previous owner; The company produces gas from that well, completed in sandstone.[citation needed]


  • Grange Hill, Singleton: Cuadrilla drilled in 2011,[10] and in September 2011 announced the discovery of 200 trillion cubic feet of gas in place under the Fylde Coast in Lancashire.[11] Cuadrilla hoped to recover 10–20% of the gas.[12] and that it could provide 5,600 jobs in the UK at the peak of production.[13] At the same time Lord Browne claimed that the Lancashire discovery could satisfy the UK's gas consumption "for 56 years".[13] The Grange Hill site was returned to green fields in 2018.[citation needed]
In 2012 media reported that the find was "so rich it could meet Britain's needs for decades",[14] that shale gas in Lancashire alone could deliver £6bn of gas a year for the next three decades,[15] and that it had "the potential to do more for Lancashire than the cotton industry."[16] The British Geological Survey, responsible for producing UK's mineral resource inventories, and far more cautious in its estimates, re-evaluated its projections in light of the find.[14]
As of February 2013 Cuadrilla estimated that Lancashire's shale gas could have a market value of £136 billion.[17] and in July 2013, Cuadrilla applied for a permit to hydraulic fracturing of the well it drilled at Grange Hill.[18]
In April 2014, Cuadrilla published news of their continuing consultation with residents shale gas exploration sites in the Fylde.[19] existing gas well at Elswick, near one of its sites in Lancashire, was fracked in 1993 by its then owners, Independent Energy.
  • Weeton, Lancashire: The company drilled a well and two small earthquakes were caused by its hydraulic fracturing in April 2011. One of the earthquakes was large enough to be felt by some people at the surface[9] and caused some property damage.[citation needed] The earthquakes led to a government-ordered moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, which has since been lifted.[citation needed]
  • Elswick: The gas well had been drilled and hydraulically fractured by British Gas in 1993.[12] The gas extracted from sandstone has been used to generate electricity for the national grid.[20] Bought by Cuadrilla in 2010. Cuadrilla has frequently used this as a showpiece site.[21] Cuadrilla's promotional use of Elswick brought it into conflict with the Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom).[22]
  • Little Plumpton: Planning permission was refused by Lancashire County Council.[23] However, this decision was appealed by Cuadrilla and the government accepted their appeal in 2016. An appeal against this reversed decision has lost in the Court of Appeal in January 2018.[24][25]
  • On 24 July 2018, the Energy Minister gave Cuadrilla a permit to begin fracking at a Lancashire well. Claire Perry said: "Our world-class regulations will ensure that shale exploration will maintain robust environmental standards and meet the expectations of local communities" in response to criticisms levied at the new license. Cuadrilla plans to submit an application for a second fracking license in the near future.[when?][26]

Other sites:

Elsewhere in the United KingdomEdit

A proposed test well, half a mile from Balcombe in West Sussex, scheduled for summer 2013, was the scene of protests.[28] Caudrilla had explained that the drilling would last no more than four months and would not involve fracking, however they were to use acid washing to open natural fractures. Their planning permission was to expire on 28 September 2013.[29] They were to take samples of rock at around 900m (3,000 feet).[30] Cuadrilla suspended its drilling plans in August 2013 after consulting with the Sussex police, citing "threats of direct action against the exploration site". The company said that the halt was done in the interests of safety of the drilling crew, the protesters, and the public.[31]

Other sites:


In 2012, Cuadrilla was awarded the Pionki hydrocarbon exploration licence in Poland, which covered an area of over 820 square-kilometres in the greater Lublin Trough/Radom-Krasnik High.[32] The northern half of the licence or "Lublin Trough" contained Devonian and Carboniferous shales, while the southern half of the licence or "Radom-Krasnik High" was mapped to contain both Silurian and Devonian shales.[33]


Cuadrilla has two subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Cuadrilla Hardenberg BV and Cuadrilla Brabant BV, for shale gas exploration[34]: 27. The company has previously held two licenses. The one in Noordoostpolder, which covers an area of over 200,000 acres, is composed of Namurian shales. The North Brabant licence, which covers more than 470,000 acres, is made up of Carboniferous, Triassic and Jurassic shales which are thought to contain tight gas, shale gas, and oil shale.[35]: 6 

In 2014, Cuadrilla requested an extension of its permits for the detection of shale gas in those areas.[36] The following year, the government did not agree to an extension of the exploration licenses and as a result these expired during 2015[37]:2.


Cuadrilla was previously part of a joint venture for shale gas exploration in Hungary.[33] The investment was sold in 2018 [38]:28. In Tompa 38,796 acres composed of recomplete Miocene were described to contain multi TCF Basin Centred TGS.[35]: 6 



In December 2018 fracking was halted by a 1.5 magnitude earthquake caused by the fracking operation.[39]

On 22 August 2019 fracking at Preston New Road was halted because of a 1.6 magnitude earthquake caused by the fracking operation.[40]

On 26 August 2019 fracking was halted again because of a 2.9 magnitude earthquake.[41]

Conflict of InterestEdit

Cuadrilla has also funded, in conjunction with Centrica the North West Energy Task Force[42] which on 8 January 2015 organised an Open Letter to Lancashire County Council in support of fracking. This letter was signed by Jane Watson,[43] sister of Robert Altham, the judge who sentenced three anti-fracking protesters to jail in September 2018.[44]

Claim of economic benefits of hydraulic fracturingEdit

Cuadrilla gave evidence to the British parliament in Westminster in 2011, based on an analysis by Pöyry consultancy, that using the shale gas reserves in Lancashire could lower British natural gas prices by as much as four percent, and indirectly lower electricity prices. However, at a 2013 meeting in Sussex Cuadrilla's public relations spokesman Mark Linder of Bell Pottinger said: "We've done an analysis and it's [the influence on prices] a very small…at the most it's a very small percentage…basically insignificant."[45]

Misleading advertisingEdit

In April 2013, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) compelled Cuadrilla to withdraw a brochure published the previous year following a complaint by anti-fracking group Refracktion concerning 18 statements it argued were misleading, of which the ASA upheld 6, plus one in part.[22][46][47][48] Cuadrilla reportedly hired Westbourne Communications to assist with its efforts to promote fracking.[49]


  1. ^ "Chief Executive Cuadrilla Resources - Francis Egan". BBC. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  2. ^ "About Us / Partners". Cuadrilla. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Cuadrilla. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Cuadrilla Resources overview". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  5. ^ "AJ Lucas Group Limited" (PDF). Presentation. AJ Lucas Group Limited. March 2016. p. 16. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Go-Between Tied Funds to Carlyle". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Roy Franklin". Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  8. ^ Editorial, Reuters (15 April 2015). "UK shale gas firm Cuadrilla appoints new chairman to replace Browne". Reuters UK. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  9. ^ a b Harvey, Fiona; Damian Carrington; Terry Macalister (13 March 2013). "Fracking Company Cuadrilla Halts Operations At Lancashire Drilling Site". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  10. ^ Cuadrilla website, Singleton, accessed 22 August 2013.
  11. ^ Terry Macalister (21 September 2011). "Vast reserves of shale gas revealed in UK". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  12. ^ a b Andrew Gilligan (26 November 2011). "Field of dreams, or an environment nightmare?". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  13. ^ a b Karl West (25 September 2011). "Enough gas in Lancashire 'to last Britain for 56 years'". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  14. ^ a b Jonathan Leake (12 February 2012). "Gas find is enough to last 70 years". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  15. ^ Robin McKie (25 February 2012). "Fracking: answer to our energy crisis, or could it be a disaster for the environment?". Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  16. ^ Charles Clover (25 November 2011). "Easing the energy crisis with a bit of Blackpool rock". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Lancashire's Shale Gas Estimated at 136bn by Cuadrilla". BBC News. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  18. ^ British company applies for shale gas fracking permit, New York Times, 5 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Cuadrilla update on Bowland exploration programme". 23 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  20. ^ Cuadrilla website, Elswick, accessed 22 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Why does Cuadrilla own an old gas well near Elswick in Lancashire?". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  22. ^ a b Practice, Advertising Standards Authority | Committee of Advertising. "Cuadrilla Resources Ltd".
  23. ^ "Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application". BBC News. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  24. ^ Dehon, Estelle (9 August 2017). "Legal landscape: The case against fracking". The Planner. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Preston New Road campaigners lose fracking appeal". BBC News. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  26. ^ Vaughan, Adam (24 July 2018). "Cuadrilla gets go-ahead to start fracking at Lancashire site". The Guardian.
  27. ^ Cuadrilla website, Banks, accessed 22 August 2013
  28. ^ Stanley Reed (24 May 2013). "British Villagers, Fearing Fracking, Protest Plan for Drilling". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Cuadrilla Application for Extension". Balcombe Parish Council. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  30. ^ Turn Key. "Cuadrilla commences local discussions concerning Balcombe test drilling plans - Cuadrilla Resources". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  31. ^ Shale gas company suspends drilling in Southern England, The New York Times, 17 August 2013.
  32. ^ "Cuadrilla expands European portfolio with important Poland exploration licence - Cuadrilla". Cuadrilla. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  33. ^ a b Cuadrilla Resources, Cuadrilla expands European portfolio with important Poland exploration licence, 21 November 2012.
  34. ^ "Annual Accounts and Reports 2017" (PDF).
  35. ^ a b Andy Lukas (17 July 2013). "Approaches to informed and balanced debate about shale gas in the UK – How we are working with the Communities" (PDF). Fracking and our Gas Future. AJ Lucas Group Ltd. p. 45. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Nieuwe besluiten nodig over opsporen schaliegas in Noord-Brabant en de Noordoostpolder | Raad van State". (in Dutch). Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  37. ^ "Annual accounts and consolidated financial statements".
  38. ^ "Group of companies' accounts".
  39. ^ "Cuadrilla forced to stop fracking as quake breaches threshold". The Guardian. 26 October 2018.
  40. ^ "Fracking halted by largest tremor yet". BBC News. 22 August 2019.
  41. ^ "Lancashire fracking: 2.9 magnitude tremor recorded". BBC. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  42. ^ "ABOUT US - North West Energy Task Force". North West Energy Task Force. North West Energy Task Force. 9 June 2016. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  43. ^ "Lancashire business leaders to local council: "Give shale a chance." - North West Energy Task Force". North West Energy Task Force. North West Energy Task Force. 16 June 2016. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  44. ^ Gibb, Frances; Ames, Jonathan; Webster, Ben (2018). "Robert Altham: Judge with oil links sent fracking protesters to jail". The Times (12 October 2018).
  45. ^ 'Cuadrilla PR man admits George Osborne's shale gas revolution won't cut energy bills' by Tom Bawden in the Independent, 12 June 2013
  46. ^ "Fracking leaflet banned over 'misleading' claims". BBC News. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  47. ^ Fiona Harvey (23 April 2013). "Cuadrilla censured by advertising watchdog over fracking safety claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  48. ^ "Press Reaction to the ASA ruling on Cuadrilla's newsletter -". 26 April 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  49. ^ Cave, Tamasin; Rowell, Andy (24 March 2014). "The Corporate PR Industry's Sneaky War on Internet Activism". Vice. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.

External linksEdit