Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. said July 17 it completed drilling the U.K.'s second horizontal shale gas well at its Lancashire shale gas license and will apply for consent to hydraulically fracture it "in due course."

The privately-owned U.K. company expects to hydraulically fracture first well in the latter end of the third quarter of this year, subject to government consent. The company applied for consent to fracture the first well in May.

Following hydraulic fracturing of the first two horizontal wells, Cuadrilla will run an initial flow test of both wells for roughly six months with plans to then eventually connect those wells to the local gas grid network in 2019, according to the company press release.

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“Our objective is to demonstrate that natural gas will flow from the shale in commercially viable quantities,” Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan said in a statement. “In the process, we look forward to demonstrating that the UK’s huge shale gas resources can be safely produced and make a major contribution to improving the UK’s energy security, whilst reducing our gas import needs and providing economic and environmental benefit.”

Caudrilla's second horizontal well was drilled through the Upper Bowland shale at a depth of about 2,100 m (6,890 ft) below the surface and extends laterally for some 750 m (2,461 ft) through the shale gas reservoir.

The first horizontal well was completed by Cuadrilla in April through the Lower Bowland shale rock at roughly 2,300 m (7,546 ft) below the surface and extends laterally for about 800 m (2,625 ft). 

Editor's note: Reuters contributed to this report.