LONDON, May 19 (UPI) -- British shale gas explorer Cuadrilla Resources announced its intention to submit a plan for exploration work to the county council in Lancashire.
"This application could be a really important milestone for Lancashire and the U.K. as we seek to unlock Lancashire's shale gas potential," Cuadrilla Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan said in a statement Sunday.
The company said it would submit its planning application for a hydraulic fracturing campaign for four exploration wells to the Lancashire County Council before the end of May.
In March, the company said it believes there are 200 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas in the Bowland basin in Lancashire.
Cuadrilla was the target of major demonstrations last summer when exploratory operations in the southern village of Balcombe were viewed as a prelude to fracking. In January, the company sent a letter to village residents, saying it was applying for an extension to a license for exploration in the area but found natural fractures in Balcombe's shale that may prohibit fracking.