Cuadrilla to drill fifth Lancs borehole next month

Activists have named the drill rig ‘Lord Browne’ after the Cuadrilla director and government executive, John Browne

Cuadrilla drill rig the ‘Lord Browne’ is scheduled to drill the company’s fifth borehole in Lancashire next month.

The plan was revealed in a investor presentation by Cuadrilla parent AJ Lucas.

The drill rig, named by activists the ‘Lord Browne’ after Cuadrilla director and government executive John Browne, has been used on all Cuadrilla’s boreholes in Lancashire.

The company is not yet planning to frack the borehole, waiting instead for the government to give the controversial technique the go ahead, a decision expected in the next few weeks.

Naming rigs is commonplace amongst drilling companies. Iceland Drilling own a similar rig
naming it ‘Odin’
, the Norse god of wisdom, war, battle and death. Italian drilling company Hydro Drilling International own two identical rigs, naming them ‘Leonardo’ and ‘Archimedes’.

Turning at up to 200 rpm the ‘Lord Browne’ is produced by Italian company Drillmec. This type of rig – a Drillmec HH220 – bores deep into the earth powered by a motor perched on top of the rig tower. This then drives the drill which then buries into the ground at a weight of up to twenty tons.

Cuadrilla have spent the last few weeks conducting extensive seismic surveying of the area around its Preese Hall, Lancashire site. Thus far the company has been unable to identify the 2000ft underground fault that caused earthquakes in the region last year.

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