UK's Cuadrilla completes second shale well, waits for fracking permit

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) -

* Cuadrilla says it completes drilling Britain’s second horizontal shale gas well at its Lancashire shale gas licence and will apply for consent to hydraulically fracture it “in due course”

* It says it expects to hydraulically fracture first well in the latter end of the third quarter of this year, subject to government consent

* The privately owned 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 approximately six months with plans to then eventually connect those wells to the local gas grid network in 2019.”

* Shale gas production is a contentious issue in Britain due to environmental groups’ concerns over potential water contamination, increased industrial activity and because it means investing in fossil fuels rather than renewable energy

* Cuadrilla has sought and gained injunctions to prevent trespass at its exploration site, fearing protestors would disturb work

* In Scotland, there has been an effective moratorium on shale drilling although a Scottish court recently ruled the devolved government’s policies did not amount to an outright ban (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Adrian Croft)