Gas giants looking to county

Francis Egan, chief executive at Cuadrilla Resources
Francis Egan, chief executive at Cuadrilla Resources
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The world’s biggest gas contractors are eyeing setting up in Lancashire, it has been claimed.

Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla Resources, the firm behind the county’s controversial hydraulic fracturing industry, said he had spoken with top bosses of a number of leading firms involved in the oil and gas industry about moving to the county.

He said the likes of drilling firm Halliburton, Weatherford and specialist shale gas services firm, Baker Hughes, were among those watching developments in the United Kingdom.

The industry received a boost last week when the Government gave the green light for process, known as fracking, to resume follow an 18-month delay after two earthquakes at Cuadrilla’s test rig near Blackpool.

It set out a new regulatory regime which Cuadrilla’s bosses have vowed to work within as they prepare to resume work at rigs at Banks, between Blackpool and Southport, and Anna’s Road at Westby, near Lytham.

Mr Egan said: “The real prize is bringing the companies which will make the industry work here.

“Companies like Halliburton, Weatherford and Baker Hughes do not have a real set-up in Europe, and Lancashire has the opportunity to be the first mover in that game.

“They will bring huge benefits with them, and we are getting positive noises from them all.”

It has been claimed the emergence of a fracking industry in the UK could create to 1,700 jobs, and see up to £6bn pumped into the economy over the next 30 years.

Find out more on ‘fracking’ here.