Francis Egan

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Francis Egan, Cuadrilla CEO

Francis Egan is the chief executive of Cuadrilla Resources, a UK energy company based in Staffordshire. Set up in 2007 and backed by British Gas, Cuadrilla has been described as "the pioneer of fracking in the UK". Egan himself refers to his company as 'a British start-up'.

Fracking is safe - our children drink the water here

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

In 2013 Tessa Blackstone during a House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee hearing on shale gas in the UK asked Francis Egan and fellow fracking chief Andrew Austin of IGas Energy, '...can you put your hands on your hearts and say that fracking is completely safe? And in answering that question, could you indicate the main risks and how you will manage them?

To which Egan responded:

If you want me physically to do it, the answer is yes. We would not do it if we did not think it was safe to do it. We live in this country. Our children drink the water in this country. We are not living on a different planet. The risks have been well documented. Water is talked about a lot, and I talked a little about it today. We will use non-hazardous to groundwater fracturing fluid. As Andrew has said, we will construct our wells meeting all the requirements of the UK regulatory system. We will put in an exhaustive seismic monitoring array around each well site and, as we are currently doing, we will have a top-class engineering firm, Arup in this case, complete an environmental impact assessment, and it will tell us — it is not us doing it — if there is something unacceptable there. If there is, irrespective of Cuadrilla, Arup will not put its name to it as part of a planning application. The European Union has asked for environmental impact assessments, but we have already said that we will do it. It is not strictly a legislative requirement, but we are doing it for exploration wells that are being hydraulically fractured. If there are more requirements, we will meet those. [1]

Dinner and meetings with government ministers

On 9 May 2013 Egan joined a 'working dinner' hosted by Sir Jeremy Heywood and Stephen Lovegrove, Permanent Secretary of DECC at the Preston Marriott hotel in Broughton. Organised by the Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil the declared purpose of the dinner was 'to discuss the issues relating to the development of unconventional gas and oil in Lancashire and nationally'.



  1. [ SELECT COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AFFAIRS The Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil], Oral and Written Evidence, Question 86, published September 2013, acc 4 September 2014