Cuadrilla has suffered a series of setbacks, having invested £100m in the UK with no result so far. Its first fracking attempts in April and May 2011 caused two small earthquakes and a deformation of one of its wells. The company called off operations in May 2011 pending an investigation, and the moratorium was only lifted last December, with stringent new conditions placed on its operations.
Lord Browne, chairman of the company and a managing partner at its venture capital backer Riverstone Holdings, told the Guardian he would do "whatever it takes" to make fracking a success in the UK, comparing the opportunity to North Sea gas.
Cuts and safety record controversy
Browne is described by journalist and author Tom Bower as irresponsible for a "ruthless" programme of cost-cutting at BP that compromised safety, and thus the man most responsible for a string of major accidents including the Texas City Refinery explosion (2005) and the Deepwater Horizon explosion (2010). Bower also accuses Browne of tolerating only "sycophants" in his "corporate court", said to include Tony Hayward who succeeded him as BP Chief Executive. Browne has rejected Bower's account, saying that he (Browne) increased the number of engineers appointed to BP.
According to the Guardian newspaper, "Browne's reputation was tarnished by a string of accidents in the US which hastened his retirement", and Browne declined to appear in an hour-long BBC2 documentary on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in which Tony Hayward was extensively interviewed, broadcast in November 2010.
Fox wrote:In the UK budget today George Osborne is proposing tax incentives for fracking. Bastard.
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