Centrica holds off betting on fracking in hype warning.

Telegraph: “Centrica has said it is unlikely to bid for more UK fracking rights when they are offered in coming weeks, underlining the uncertainty over whether shale gas extraction will prove to be viable.”
“The British Gas owner last year became the first major company to back the search for UK shale when it bought a 25pc stake in licences owned by Cuadrilla in the Bowland basin in Lancs, in a deal worth up to £160m.
Ministers are expected to launch the “14th onshore licensing round” by July, offering up drilling rights across 37,000 square miles of Britain.
But Mark Hanafin, Centrica’s head of upstream, said it would “probably not” bid for more access, suggesting it did not want to “bet” more money on shale before fracking had taken place to prove whether the gas could actually be extracted.
“My main focus is not on grabbing land, it’s on the Bowland shale,” he said. “Finding out if the UK has got this amazing resource or not – it might not.”
Typically in a licensing round a company must commit itself to a certain level of spending on exploratory work in order to be granted drilling rights. Under the Cuadrilla deal, Centrica has already paid £40m for its stake and made the commitment to spend £60m on exploration and appraisal and a potential further £60m on any development.
Cuadrilla and Centrica are at present seeking permits to drill at two sites in Lancs where they hope to be fracking next year.
….“The only thing you can do is drill into it, hydraulically fracture it, and see what happens to the flow rate. If it doesn’t flow very well then we are all having a very interesting and very emotional discussion about nothing,” he said. “If it flows well, then the country is going to have to decide what it wants to do with those resources.”