LONDON, June 17 (UPI) -- British shale pioneer Cuadrilla Resources said it submitted an application to use hydraulic fracturing at up to four exploration sites in Lancashire County.
The company submitted its plans Monday for exploration work at the Roseacre Wood shale exploration site to county officials in Lancashire. The company plans to drill four exploration wells at the site and its planning application includes an environmental impact assessment.
CEO Francis Egan said the application would be an "important milestone" for British shale when the company announced its intent to submit plans to Lancashire officials in early May,
Cuadrilla said there may be as much as 200 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas in the Bowland basin in Lancashire.
The company said Lancashire County officials will open the application to a public vetting period.
"We anticipate that the application to [Lancashire officials] will be decided within a 16-week determination period," it said.
The company was the target of major demonstrations last summer when exploratory operations in the southern village of Balcombe were viewed as a prelude to fracking. The controversial drilling practice wasn't carried out at the site.