At Wednesday’s meeting at the Victory Hall in Balcombe, Cuadrilla CEO Mark Miller repeatedly stressed Cuadrilla had no intention to frack at the company’s site in Balcombe.
Despite intense audience scepticism and the Alice in Wonderland thinking of a company renting a site then claiming to have no intention of doing anything with it, evidence remained anecdotal – the existence of the planning application. No indication of intention.
Recently unearthed documents, however, show Cuadrilla’s clear ambition to frack.
In 2010 parent company AJ Lucas issued a ‘drilling activity update‘ for the Australian Stock Exchange. The document states: “following the completion of the drilling at Grange Hill 1 hole (in Lancashire), it is CHRL’s (Cuadrilla Resource Holdings Limited) intention to drill and frac a well in the Bolney prospect located in south-east England’
‘Bolney’, south of Balcombe, refers in this context to the company’s PEDL 244 license block, and includes both villages.
So while the document is dated 13 Oct 2010, it reveals that at some point in the past Cuadrilla had a specific intention to frac the south east. Since then the company has spent nearly $1/2 million on preparing the site, according to documents filed at Companies House. Exactly why Miller is insistent that there are no plans to frack Balcombe remains unclear. But the evidence against him is mounting up.