STAFFORD, England, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Francis Egan, chief executive officer at British energy firm Cuadrilla Resources, said Tuesday his company is gearing up for a fracking campaign in Lancashire.
Cuadrilla was the target of summer protests over oil drilling in Balcombe, a small English village in West Sussex County. Advocacy groups said they worried the work was a prelude to hydraulic fracturing, a drilling practice viewed as a threat to the environment.
Egan said his company was "working hard" to determine the natural gas potential in Lancashire in northwest England
"As a result of this work, we have decided to focus on just two sites at this time," he said in a statement. "This will allow us to reduce the potential impact on the local area during exploration while still gathering the important information we need to determine how much gas could be recovered."
Cuadrilla said it plans to apply for a permit to conduct a fracking campaign in Lancashire but would engage local residents and prepare an environmental impact assessment for each site.
The British government enacted safety regulations for shale development in 2012 in response to minor tremors associated with Cuadrilla's operations.
Cuadrilla said in March it believes there are 200 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas in the Bowland basin in Lancashire.