Under the existing planning permission conditions, the company’s operations must be completed by the end of November 2019.
It is now asking Lancashire County Council for an extension of 18 months – until at least the spring of 2021 – at Preston New Road (PNR), where it has drilled two wells and fracked one but was unable to complete the process after minor tremors meant it had to halt operations.
That leads to Cuadrilla undertaking only 21 months of work out of a total of 30 months as part of its licence.
Francis Egan, Chief Executive of Cuadrilla said: “Our proposed variation would seek to allow additional time for drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations but not to change either the existing approved work scope to drill and hydraulically fracture up to four wells at PNR or the requirement for the site to be decommissioned and restored by April 2023.”
The Preston New Road site has seen repeated protests from anti-fracking campaigners.