The future of fracking in Britain was thrown further into doubt last night after it emerged that Cuadrilla Resources shareholders were looking to exit the business.
Cuadrilla’s backers hired the Royal Bank of Canada several months ago to explore strategic options, Bloomberg reported.
Any moves towards a sale are likely to be complicated by the fact that fracking has been suspended pending the outcome of an Oil & Gas Authority investigation after Cuadrilla caused a 2.9 magnitude tremor in Lancashire last month.
Cuadrilla Resources is 48 per cent owned by AJ Lucas, an Australian company controlled by Kerogen, the private equity group. A further 45 per cent is owned by Riverstone Holdings, another private equity group, with the remainder held by Cuadrilla employees. Kerogen and Riverstone had hired RBC, Bloomberg said.
Cuadrilla believes there could be significant gas reserves beneath Lancashire. Extracting it involves fracking: pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to fracture the rocks.
Kerogen declined to comment and Riverstone could not be reached.