Cuadrilla seeks deal with energy major

The Financial Times reported yesterday that

Cuadrilla Resources, the only company drilling for shale gas in the UK, is in talks to sell a stake to a big energy group, underscoring the growing investor interest in the UK’s shale gas reserves.

Another person familiar with the matter said one of the companies involved in negotiations was Centrica, owner of British Gas. Cuadrilla, Centrica and Riverstone declined to comment.

“A person familiar with the matter said … the partners were not short of capital but wanted other entities to come in to “enhance the credibility of the venture”.

No, we’re sure you are not in the least financially extended guys, especially since your latest debacle at Annas Road.

I guess we always new that a company as small and inexperienced as Cuadrilla were unlikely to be able to be able to deal with the demands of producing what their CEO claims to be 25% of UK gas demand.

As we enter the next phase with possible involvement of Centrica on our doorstep it is interesting to look back at what Mark Hafin, Managing Director of the energy production division of U.K. utility Centrica PLC, told reporters on the sidelines of the Petrostrategies conference in Paris as recently as May 2012

The U.K.’s shale gas resources could prove to be important, but they won’t totally transform the energy landscape in the U.K. … U.K. shale production – I think it’s important and we should develop it, but I don’t think it’s going to be a game changer.

I don’t think it changes the British government’s desire, which is the right one, to have a very diversified energy mix. That means nuclear, it means gas, it means renewables

Centrica, and its partner Electricité de France SA, are still talking to the U.K. government about ways to support and minimize the risk of investment in a fleet of new nuclear power stations

There is a lot of work still to do before the final decision to build new plants can be taken at the end of this year, he said.

Of course now Centrica are imminently expected to bow out of the nuclear option mentioned above, licking their wounds as they go, we won’t be too surprised to hear that shale gas suddenly becomes a “game changer” again 😉

We note that just a couple of months back it was reported that Centrica

is planning to buy billions of pounds worth of cheap shale gas from the US over the next few years to give Britain greater energy independence. Centrica is thought to be planning a £2 billion order that will provide about 2.5 million tons a year of liquefied natural gas. This would meet the needs of about 2.5 million households.

There are many reasons why that isn’t necessarily the best solution to any short term energy squeeze, but if they can do that do they really need to wreck the Fylde as well?

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