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Cuadrilla applies for permission to drill first horizontal shale well

GAS firm Cuadrilla has applied to the government for consent to frack Britain’s first horizontal shale well, despite ongoing protests at the site.

Drilling for the well, 2,700 metres below ground at the firm’s Preston New Road site in west Lancashire, was completed last month.

Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan said yesterday that the company looks forward to receiving consent to progress with fracking from Business Secretary Greg Clark “at the earliest opportunity.”

A second horizontal shale gas exploration well through the Upper Bowland site is also being drilled, and the firm hopes to begin fracking later this year.

The firm is applying for a revision of an existing injunction to forbid trespass on the Preston New Road site to prohibit obstruction of the entrance and adjacent road.

A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire said the group was “wholly unsurprised” that Cuadrilla would resort to “desperate lengths that assault basic human rights of meaningful protest.

“The only surprise is that it’s taken them so long to attempt to buy the law.

“This industry and its inflictors are both toxic and unwanted. Protest will continue, regardless of the fracking industry trying to manipulate the law to benefit their own ailing operations.”

A High Court hearing is scheduled to take place at Manchester Civil Justice Centre on May 31.

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