In 2013 the British Geological Survey (BGS) published its study on the geology and resource estimation of the Bowland Shale, part of which lies within Lancashire. The BGS estimated that there is between 822 trillion cubic feet and 2,281 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Bowland Shale. The UK currently uses approximately 3 trillion cubic feet a year for all its gas needs, with 80% of UK householders and businesses relying on gas to heat their homes

Over the past decade, with the demise in gas production from the North Sea, Britain has moved from a net exporter of gas to a position where imports now make up around half of our gas demand. If even a fraction of the identified Bowland Shale gas could be safely and economically extracted, this would have a transforming effect on the UK’s energy mix.

As an untapped energy resource, natural gas from shale has the potential to:

  • boost the UK’s gas production, generating tax revenue for the UK
  • reduce the UK’s dependency on vulnerable and expensive foreign energy sources
  • provide opportunities for people and businesses in Lancashire to work in a significant new industry

By unlocking the natural gas trapped in the shale rock deep underground we could have an energy source to fuel Lancastrian homes and businesses for many decades to come.

Cuadrilla is the Operator of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence 165 and, together with its partners Centrica Energy and A J Lucas, is evaluating the potential of the Bowland Shale. The forthcoming programme of exploration in Lancashire is a critical step towards demonstrating future production potential, and the way in which gas operations can be conducted in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

Key Facts

Britain currently imports around half our gas demand from Norway, continental Europe and the Middle East

The Bowland Shale has the potential to transform the UK’s energy mix

Local businesses are an important element of the Supply Chain

The Supplier Portal is the route to accessing Supply Chain opportunities with Cuadrilla and its primary contractors

Local supply chain perspective:

As part of its Shale Gas Lancashire Supply Chain strategy, Cuadrilla has partnered with two Lancashire Chambers of Commerce (North & Western Lancashire and East Lancashire) to identify and support local businesses that want to become part of the industry. The Chambers are the first points of contact for local business and agencies wishing to engage in the project. This portal forms the central resource for all businesses who wish to make the most of the opportunities arising.

This portal will enable your company to:

Understand the potential of the Shale Gas Lancashire Supply Chain opportunities.

Register your interest in supplying goods and/or services by completing a simple online form. Your details will then be made available to Cuadrilla and its main contractors.

Update your details as your company develops its capabilities and standards.

Access a library of reference material, including relevant Cuadrilla Policies and Procedures.

Following registration, your company will have access to a “Registered Suppliers” area where you will be able to:

  • Keep abreast of the latest developments including tender activities
  • Find information and contact details for business support partners that will help you meet the quality and safety standards required
  • Engage with others on technical and business training events and information days designed by the Chamber and its partners to help local businesses
  • Meet one-to-one with Cuadrilla and its primary contractors for the project through a series of “Meet the Buyer” events.


The Lancashire Chambers of Commerce have been appointed as the first point of contact for Lancashire businesses wishing to engage in the project. They are the hub of business influence for Lancashire and are leading on a number of high profile countywide initiatives for business.