Cuadrilla was granted planning permission by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to undertake exploration work at the Balcombe site in West Sussex in April 2010 (PEDL244). It was also granted the necessary permits required by the Environment Agency at that time.
The exploration well at Balcombe was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,700ft and horizontally to a length of some 1,714ft, with work commencing in August 2013 and completing in September 2013. Cuadrilla has confirmed that as the target rock – a limestone layer – is naturally fractured and the presence of these natural fractures means that it does not need to be hydraulically fractured.
The company submitted a planning application to WSCC in October 2017 to flow test and monitor the existing exploration oil well at the site in Lower Stumble. In January 2018, WSCC’s Planning Committee approved Cuadrilla’s planning application.
As announced to the ASX on 22 January 2018, Lucas and Cuadrilla agreed to a partial farm-out of the Balcombe Licence under which Angus Energy acquired a 25% interest and has become the operator of the licence.
Cuadrilla's licence holdings are outlined in red.