Regulation

Cuadrilla breached environmental controls at Lancs fracking site, official documents reveal

pnr 170623 flood Katrina Lawrie

Surface water at Preston New Road in June 2017. Photo: Katrina Laurie

The shale gas firm, Cuadrilla, breached its environmental permit twice in the early stages of the operation at its fracking site near Blackpool.

Documents released recently by the Environment Agency show that the company allowed surface water containing silt from its Preston New Road site to reach the tributary of a local brook twice in a week.

The site is supposed to be designed and operated to prevent any contaminated water from the well pad draining into surrounding fields and streams.

But despite guidance, the EA said the company’s surface water management scheme at the time was “found to be inadequate”.

An officer said the scheme “required improvement to prevent surface water containing silt from causing pollution”.

Frack Free Lancashire, which opposes Cuadrilla’s operations, said the incidents raised questions about trust in the company. A spokesperson said:

“If Cuadrilla can breach conditions twice, just a few weeks after starting work at the site, how can they be trusted not to do so again?”

In July 2017, the head of the EA’s onshore oil and gas team, told a meeting in London that permit compliance was crucial to community trust:

“For the industry, compliance with our environmental permits is probably the most single thing they need to do. … This is going to be key to regaining the trust and their social licence in the communities in which they operate.” (DrillOrDrop report)

Protesters, who have filmed the Preston New Road site since work began on 5 January, have reported several occasions when the wellpad appeared to have problems with surface water.

The issue was also raised at the June meeting of the community liaison group for the site. Minutes referred to the site being waterlogged. Cuadrilla’s geologist, Mark Lappin, said the company had addressed the issue of excessive rainwater.

Details of permit breaches

The permit breaches came to light following a site inspection by the Environment Agency (EA) on 2 March 2017, about two months after Cuadrilla started work at Preston New Road.

According to the EA, the first incident occurred on 27 February 2017 when surface water discharged into a tributary of the Carr Bridge Brook.

The EA said this was caused by a surface water management problem:

“A trial dewatering and treatment method for surface water from the well pad following heavy rainfall did not provide sufficient treatment to prevent silt entering this tributary.”

The EA said this method had ceased by the time of the March inspection.

A second discharge happened three days later on 2 March, when EA inspection staff were at the site. The EA said:

“[This] was caused by an escape of surface water from the well pad that contained silt. The silt overwhelmed a low bund around the well pad and escaped into a header drain that collects surface water. A bag filter and straw bales had been used to treat surface water containing silt before discharging to a field drain.”

The EA said there was no deterioration in water quality in samples collected on 27 February or 2 March. But inspectors spotted discolouration of the watercourse on 2 March.

The EA said:

“Despite notification to the operator on the 27th February of surface water containing silt entering a tributary of Carr bridge Brook a similar incident occurred on the 2nd March.”

For both incidents, the EA recorded a breach of the environmental permit condition 2.1.1, which prohibited the company from discharging surface water containing silt into a tributary of the Carr Bridge Brook.

The EA also recorded a breach under Regulation 12(1)(b) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations because Cuadrilla did not have a permit for discharging surface water.

Breaches are rated by how serious an impact they could have on the environment, with C1 being the most serious (major environmental effect) and C4 being the least serious (no potential environmental effect).

The Preston New Road breaches were ranked C3, where they could have a “minor environmental effect”.

The notes on the EA’s Compliance Assessment Report recorded:

“At the time of these incidents the surface water management system was found to be inadequate and required improvement to prevent surface water containing silt from causing pollution.”

The company was instructed to implement a well pad surface management system to protect local watercourses and prevent surface water containing silt from reaching them.

The EA’s Compliance Assessment Report also recorded:

 “Since these incidents surface water containing silt has been retained on the well pad and removed from site via tanker while a medium-term solution to treat surface water is developed and tested.

“This solution involves treatment using settlement and ph adjustment in a dedicated treatment system called a silt buster, the treated water is then discharged to ground.”

Guidance

Before the incidents, Cuadrilla had already received advice on silt pollution.

Another Compliance Assessment Report, for an inspection on 30 January 2017, at the end of the first month of operations, recorded:

“Pollution prevention advice was given in relation to the soil stripping prior to the construction of the site contractor’s compound.

“Advice and guidance was provided on good housekeeping around the contractor’s compound to prevent silt pollution”.

The EA instructed Cuadrilla:

“Land drains around the site should be highlighted on the site plan.

“Drainage and/or collection of surface water runoff from the contractor’s compound must be clearly marked on the site plan and included in the method statement. Actions will be reviewed on the next visit”.

Questions over trust

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“Fortunately these incidents only had a minor environmental effect but such incidents in future, especially now Cuadrilla have started drilling and fracking possible by the end of the year, could have far wider and more serious consequences.

“As we have seen from previous events in Lancashire such as the cryptosporidium outbreak, our water is precious and must be protected at all costs.

“Fracking undoubtedly poses risks to not only our water but also to our air. Rest assured we will be watching their activities closely. The good news is the EA are also watching closely too”.

DrillOrDrop invited Cuadrilla to comment on the breaches. This post will be updated with any response.

Links to documents

Cuadrilla Preston New Road Compliance with Permit Assessment Report 07.04.2017 (pdf)

Preston New Road Compliance with Permit Assessment Report 30.01.17 (pdf)

 

 

58 replies »

  1. It’s really disconcerting to hear of such breaches when so many eyes are on PNR and KM8. I honestly expected these two to be making every effort to be squeaky clean when they are setting a precedent. This is hardly encouraging with respect to public confidence and trust, particularly when added to Cuadrilla’s performance at Preese Hall.
    Worse still, this is such simple basic stuff. Since when did we not know how to control surface water and sediment? Particularly after receiving up front advice from the EA about how to do it! It may have been low impact this time, but what if this sort of shoddy approach is replicated at hundreds of well sites? What happens if water fails to be controlled when there are chemicals, hydrocarbons etc that should be successfully contained by the site bund and water containment protocols? If the site cannot successfully contain surface water in a moderate rainfall event, how will it cope with floods of the Dec 2015 proportions, particularly as they are likely to become more frequent and intense in the near future (yes AGW is very real and it’s already here). There are simple rules about flood risk, building in flood plains and attenuating runoff at or below accepted green field site run off rates, and yet we have the EA quote “At the time of these incidents the surface water management system was found to be inadequate and required improvement to prevent surface water containing silt from causing pollution.”
    Surely there are enough highly paid experts in the O&G world, many of whom will be employed by the likes of Cuadrilla, to use their highly paid expertise from existing fracking operations to not be making such schoolboy errors at this early stage in the UK.
    Come on you industry guys, do you really expect us to believe the Gold Standard Regulation rhetoric when there is such basic incompetence right from the off, when everyone is watching?

    • I recall pointing this drainage issue out several months ago, the submitted plans showed no attenuation, no subsequent system of drainage and soakaways or any form of interception and separation and no form of post treatment herringbone soaks. In fact all drainage proposals should be investigated in terms of the capacity for drainage rates into the sub grade.
      Looking at the submitted plans, i could see no details, no calculations, no soakage rate figures or justification for drainage at all? Many soils are not suitable for soakaways, it depends upon many factors, and the only way to establish that is with soakaway tests.
      I saw none of the and said so, as usual that was received with the usual stony silence, which is always the response to something they don’t want discussed.
      You could not submit any building site without these additional requirements, considering the potentially disastrous results of severe pollution from these sites, why were these details not only not supplied, but apparently not required to be supplied or even requested?
      This is not just bizarre, but this contravenes building regulations, let alone “gold standard” regulations that so far do not seem to exist?

      • Hi Mike / Phil,

        I haven’t drilled Onshore the UK since the early 1990’s (been working Overseas since then), but I don’t imagine the approval process has changed in great detail – in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s got more complex.

        Most of the drainage details you are looking for simply will not be there, because UK Onshore policy has been to operate with a totally sealed site since before I first became involved in the early 1980’s.

        Bear with me, I’ll come to what Cuadrilla are apparently doing in a minute. I don’t know what happened at the KM8 (Kirby Misperton?) site you refer to Mike – can you post a link please?

        Now, by sealed site, that means that by design, no fluid is supposed to get off location so there are no off-site soak-aways or drainage systems. The whole of the base of the site would be covered by an impermeable membrane or concrete depending upon site conditions and any particular regulatory requirements (especially the County Council).

        All liquids that fall onsite would be collected by a series of drainage ditches into a collection sump, from where any liquid would be taken away by vacuum truck for treatment and disposal. The specification and location of the drainage ditches will primarily depend on which Rig is being used, and the location of various ancillary equipment (e.g the cement unit) and will be agreed upon between the Operator and Service Companies before a final go-over with the site construction contractor.

        During Operations, this system effectively means it’s rainwater and small amounts of fresh water used to wash down the Rig & equipment (or wheel wash systems).

        Where there is a possibility of spills from onsite equipment (e.g. the Gensets, Cranes etc), these will have drip trays placed under them to catch any oil drips from the gearbox etc. Any contents of these are put into the waste oil collection tank (including any used oil from gearbox changes etc) for onwards transport to a processing and disposal facility (which is normally dictated by the local Council).

        The onsite diesel tank will have it’s own dedicated bund. Similarly, hydraulic oil, lubricating grease etc will be stored in a bund. If any liquid chemicals are being used, they are stored in a separate bund. For the last two, the bund is frequently a water proof half-height container. Sacked chemicals are provided on pallets in water proof packaging and stored on a slightly raised part of the location – normally under a temporary warehouse. Some inert materials, for example Barite (if used), Calcium Carbonate and Bentonite are delivered in water proof Bulk Bags and stored on location (under tarpaulins if they are likely to be there for some time).

        Not sure what they do about cement these days, when I left they were trialing a system where the dry cement was pre-blended to the desired chemical specification and delivered in banana trucks just before the cement job. Otherwise it’s delivered to site, stored in silos and blown over to the cement unit for mixing and pumping downhole when required.

        Black and Grey water is piped into a septic tank and a vacuum truck used to dispose of it at a location which is also normally dictated by the local Council.

        The entire waste management system has to be approved and signed off by the HSE, EA, local Council(s) and – in some cases – the local water authority (there are likely other groups as well these days).

        As part of the approval process, they will all be given the detailed site construction drawing for comments. That is normally where the negotiations between the Operator and Authorities take place, as it was not uncommon for the Council and HSE or EA to disagree and make mutually exclusive demands for changes. But essentially, if one of them dictates the Operator has to do something a particular way, then that’s how it is done. Full stop.

        Once they have ALL agreed and approved the final site design drawing, that is what is built and each of them has the right to come and inspect the site during any stage of the construction and after signoff by the building contractor to the Operator.

        From the above, you can work out that 99% of the liquid that needs to be disposed of is simply rainwater.

        This can lead to it’s own issues, as during heavy rain, the large area of location can mean that the amount of water builds up quickly. The majority of locations have restrictions on when HGV’s (i.e. including vacuum trucks) can be used, so in extreme events, the Operator is faced with a choice of letting untreated water go off site – for which they will get written up and possibly prosecuted for – or, breaking planning restrictions and using vacuum trucks out of hours – for which they will also get written up for. It’s happened to me and either way, the Operator is on a hiding to nothing.

        Now, if the location is built some time before Operations are expected to begin, the Operator can ask the Authorities (and again, they ALL have to approve) for temporary dispensation to install a rudimentary treatment system and discharge the rainwater off location. This dispensation is not always granted and even if it is, it’s rescinded shortly before the first chemicals or equipment for the operation arrive on location. I expect this is what Cuadrilla had asked for and clearly been granted.

        I don’t know where the ‘gold standard’ comment came from, but what I can say is that UK O&G regulations are widely regarded as being ‘Best in Class’. I normally use them on Overseas Operations because they exceed the local regulations. In several areas of the World, they have been adopted – or are in the process of being adopted – by other Governments.

        Finally, let me quickly address the US regulations. They are much, much looser than in the UK. They can still use operating practices and procedures that were banned in the UK before I started in the industry in the early 1980’s, and in general the US attitude to HSE is very poor – I resigned from the last US Company I worked for for just that reason.

        To give you an idea of how far behind the US is, they have only just adopted the Offshore Safety Case Regulations that the UK put in place in the early 1990’s as a result of the Cullen Report.

        I hope this has been of some help, and if you have any other questions, I’ll do my best to answer them.

          • Ummm, yes. Some Councils used to insist on them and some did not. Pain in the backside and (at least back then) were not much use. But I’m new to this site and clearly missing something, so perhaps you could enlighten me please?

            • Indeed – the traffic management plans have all (we are now on V11, yes really) stated:

              “During the construction stage, wheel-washing facilities will be provided at the Site access to be used as required. These will be regularly monitored and maintained by the Site Management Team as per the construction method statement.”

              The construction method statement specifies a particular type of wheelwash and even shows a representative model of dry wheel wash required and states where and when it had to be sited.

              Condition 10 of the CMS also states

              “Condition 10

              No part of the development hereby approved shall commence until details of the location (and which shall be within the planning application boundary), design and specification of wheel-cleaning facilities or other measures to prevent the tracking out of material or debris onto the public highway have been submitted to, and approved in writing by the County Planning Authority. The wheel cleaning facilities or other measures approved pursuant to this condition shall be installed and thereafter maintained in working order and be used by all Heavy Goods Vehicles leaving the site throughout the construction and restoration phases of the site to ensure that no debris from the site is deposited by vehicle wheels upon the public highway. Throughout the operational life of the site, the access road shall be maintained in a way to prevent the tracking out of material or debris onto the public highway.”

              This was totally ignored by the operator and no action whatsoever was taken by LCC despite being advised on numerous occasions of this breach.

              After numerous complaints from members of the public Cuadrilla did eventually institute a wet wheel wash (aka a pressure washer) which was used in a desultory fashion when they were being watched.

              Our “gold standard regulations” don’t seem to be worth much.

            • Hmmm. No ‘reply’ button by your post below.

              Read the first line of your post ‘used as required’.

              That’s the best you have got against Cuadrilla? It’s a heinous crime to leave some mud on the road?

              If that hurts your sensibilities so much, why not visit your nearest Farmer of Building Site and ask them to install wheel washing machines – let me know how you get on….

            • Read the second line of my post ‘wheel-washing facilities will be provided’.

              The issue is not whether the mess they left all over the road is better or worse than some farmers leave (and get prosecuted for), it is the fact that they routinely ignore conditions of their planning consents and nothing happens as a result.

              This is just a particularly clear cut example.

            • Since LCC declined to take any action, I can only presume they were comfortable that HSE Resources were being focused where they were needed, which is on a building site with lots of heavy machinery moving around.

              And since they were being watched all the time, that means they used the spray gun (in my experience far more effective than a ‘dry wheel’ wash) all the time, right? And if they were not being watched all the time, how do you know they weren’t using it during these periods?

  2. PhilipP-“chalk and cheese”??? You really are not very aware of oil “reservoirs” are you? I would suggest you do a little more research, as your comments on this subject are (politely) jumbled. I quite understand that, most of the antis posting on DOD either have the same sort of problems with underground actuals, or perhaps they don’t and just wish to spread confusion.

    In terms of the comments around rain water disposal, there is no problem here. Just EA doing it’s job. That’s what it is there for, and good to see the system works at PNR. If some want to develop that as another “comfort blanket”, like wheel washing, tyre wear and lids on skips, then it will be the case. However, it will not excite anyone who lives in the real world where building projects are routine and can see for themselves.

    Just check the calendar and realise what development stage the site was at.

  3. Having been in a similar situation elsewhere before, I can well imagine how the conversations went:-

    30th January EA Inspection
    EA: O.K., The water treatment system is fine, but you need to stop the possibility of silt going into the Brook as well.
    Cuadrilla: But it’s the same top soil that the Brook flows through..
    EA: I know, but you need to stop it because of XYZ.
    Cuadrilla: O.K., so how do we do that?
    EA: Easy, (pulls out notepad), you need to alter it in this way (draws sketch) and put this material here and Bob’s your Uncle!
    Cuadrilla: O.K., will do.

    28th February Cuadrilla phone call to the EA
    Cuadrilla: Hey, we had some heavy rain here yesterday, and you know that system you asked us to put in?
    EA: Yes?
    Cuadrilla: It didn’t work worth a ####!
    EA: Bugger. O.K., we’ll come up and have a look.
    Cuadrilla: We are expecting some heavy rain in a couple of days, so why not come up then?
    EA: O.K., see you then.

    2nd March EA Inspection in heavy rain.
    EA: You’re right, it doesn’t work.
    Cuadrilla: Told you, so what do we need to do?
    EA: (Pulls out notepad) O.K., do this and this, and it’ll be fine then.
    Cuadrilla: O.K.
    EA: In the meantime, I have to write you up for these two discharges.
    Cuadrilla: But we did what you told us to!
    EA: I know, but it’s still your responsibility, so here are your non-compliance notices….

    • More fantasy self justification from the anti anti’s?

      [Edited by moderator]

      Try looking at the real situation regarding drainage, martin might find his array of comfort blankets very wet indeed, must be getting a bit squishy by now?

      The simple truth is, that Cuadrilla appear to have no ability to adress engineering requirements or have any engineering capacity at all, such things as drainage are fundamental to a genuine engineering proposal, to have that entirely absent is just more proof that the well sites are technically invalid in engineering terms and must be halted forthwith until all the submitted and approved details are made publicly available for scrutiny.

      Now THAT would be gold standards in action.

  4. Yes Martin, ‘chalk and cheese’. Just because you can drill holes in both doesn’t mean the driller is an expert in both. Oil well experts don’t suddenly become experts in high volume horizontal fracking, especially in this country where there hasn’t been any yet (i.e. through shale), except one semi-disastrous one at Preese Hall. Now I gather Cuadrilla are coming unstuck (or trying to become unstuck) with their efforts at drilling down through a water meadow at PNR.

    Of course they’ll bring bring in experts from abroad, most probably the States but if we subscribe to your (or Ken Wilkinson’s) mantra that we shouldn’t assume that anything will be the same here as in the USA what would they know?

    • Hi Philip,

      In terms of drilling, a Well is pretty much a Well and really the only ‘specialisation’ is some may prefer to do Offshore and some may prefer to do Onshore. Personally I prefer the latter, as it’s much more of a challenge, but I do do both.

      When it comes to the planning and execution of a Well, we function as part of a team.

      To give a simple outline of the process, basically the G&G Group decide where and through what formations they want to drill. For Onshore Wells in particular, we work together to establish the best surface location that we can use, taking into account local conditions. (“No, we can’t drill there.” “Why Not?” “Because it’s Mile Castle 23 on Hadrian’s Wall.” “Oh…”)

      Drilling then work out the Well design, get all the required permits / equipment etc together and go and do it.

      For Appraisal & Development Wells, I also work in conjunction with Completions & Reservoir Engineers as they will have their own requirements in the well design.

      If a Well is to be frac’d, then it is the Completions Engineer who will directly liaise with the specialist Service Company to design and execute the Frac job, but I have some oversight as the team leader.

      There will be no need to bring in any experts from Abroad, as there are actually many Frac experts in the UK. In addition to the c. 200 Wells that have already been Frac’d Onshore (it appears that many are not aware of this?), there have been at least three Frac Vessels in the North Sea for many years.

      Also, several of the Service Companies use Aberdeen as a ‘center of excellence’ and they are used design and supervise Frac jobs in other Countries where there is no local expertise.

      I don’t know where Cuadrilla are getting the surface equipment for the Frac from (almost certainly Europe) and some of the equipment operators will come across with it – but the Frac set up and operation will be carried out using UK operating standards and be overseen by UK based engineers.

      • “There will be no need to bring in any experts from Abroad” – so shall we have a little bet whether driller Thorsten Strathmann is a UK national? And what about the big guy with the moustaches who was not allowed to speak to the BBC because he was too “busy” (or too American?).

        If they were all local they wouldn’t need to bring those big suitcases when they get escorted into the camp would they? Of course that may be how they smuggle Francis Egan in there I suppose?

        • Really? Because he doesn’t have a ‘British’ sounding name, he can’t live here? That’s the level you are sinking to? Who sounds more like a UK National, Sadiq Khan or Mark Carney? I take a suitcase everytime I go to a Rig – it contains my work gear, PPE, overnight kit and lap-top. Jeezzz…..

          • I didn’t say he can’t live here. I merely invited you to join me in assessing the likelihood that he is a UK national. He may be. He may not be.

            Don’t you stay in local B&B accommodation then? Lorraine and Claire will be soooo very disappointed to hear that.

            • Ahh, I see your modus operandii now.

              You like to imply or insinuate something (like you did here) and when challenged, try and direct the attention elsewhere (like you did here).

              O.K., you implied that Mr. Strathmann is not a UK National. Since it was you that made the implication, prove it. I bet you can’t.

              In the 80’s and 90’s, only 2 or 3 of the Sr. staff stayed on the rig location. Everyone else stayed in local B&B’s or Hotels which the locals (e,g Lorraine and Claire, whoever they are) greatly appreciated, especially outside tourist season.

              Nowadays, it looks like they are all living on location.

              Presumably because they have no wish for ‘fractivists’ to follow them back to said B&B or Hotel and have the ‘fractivists’ try and intimidate the owners – like they have already done with Aggregate, Crane, Trucking and Diesel supply Companies.

              Or vandalise their vehicles, like what happened to the BDF Drilling Rig.

            • Ahh, I see your modus operandii now.

              You want to take the opportunity to have a go at protesters and suggest that any threats made are one sided. Sorry mate. I’ve had a police marker on my house for some weeks now as a result of people who are backing fracking and threaten anyone who openly criticises it, and I’ve seen some quite disgusting suggestions on social media about running us down like skittles and worse.

              I don’t have to prove anything about Mr Strathmann. If you don’t want to take that bet I offered it’s fine – but I can see why. 😉

              Thanks for confirming about staff living on-site in the man camps though – when this was first raised a few years back your side said it was rubbish. Now it’s happening.

            • See? You resorted to insinuation and deflection again.

              Exactly proved my point, thanks.

              Soooo clever of you to repeat my first line.

              Where exactly do I suggest having a go at protesters?

              Are you denying that the intimidation of suppliers to PNR by ‘fractivists’ happened?

              Are you denying that vandalism of the BDF Rig by ‘fractivists’ happened?

              I don’t follow any social media, so cannot comment on whatever threats have been made by either side against the other.

              You didn’t read my post properly – “I bet you can’t” – so go on, prove he is not.

              It’s up to you, since you were the one to make the insinuation and offer the bet.

              As for living on location, again, you didn’t read my post properly. They didn’t a few years ago, but looks like they do now, for the reasons I outlined.

            • “See? You resorted to insinuation and deflection again.”

              No I responded to the points you raised in your post

              “Where exactly do I suggest having a go at protesters?”

              You didn’t suggest having a go. You had a go yourself when you launched into your accusations about ‘fractivists’ following people and intimidating them and vandalising rigs – have you forgotten already?

              And you have to admit that there is a very false ring about the alleged incident with that drilling rig. The site appears to have had no security worth speaking about, no CCTV, whoever damaged the rig appears to have been at liberty to trash it totally, it was not reported for 2 months and no arrests seem to have been made. Hmmm. Very convenient to have something else to blame protesters for whilst explaining away some of the huge delays they are suffering wasn’t it? And it’s not as if Cuadrilla don’t have a little bit of history in making public statements which they can’t or won’t back up with evidence – from death threats to their CEO to the size of their pads.

              I don’t think you really understand how this betting thing works do you? You don’t get to refuse my bet but then insist I take one of yours ;-). Never mind.

              If you really do want know where our friend Thorsten is from try emailing him at ThorstenStrathmann@cuadrillaresources.com – if he works for them as claimed that will be his email address and I’m sure he’ll help you out. Let us know what he says.

      • Hi Injuneer,

        Good to read your forensic details on site operations (based on direct experience). What I want to know is why you think the experts here seem to be so unaware of how shale fracking (or frac’ing) plays out over time – i.e. just as Vera Scroggins describes it…. that others describe as the ‘industrialisation of the landscape’. Do you think they just don’t know or that they don’t want others to know the reality? I’m intrigued that you seem to be claiming experience of working on shale gas fracking sites in the UK ? If not I’m hoping you might have some experience of that sort of operation abroad to respond to my further queries. Its tiresome getting know-it-all answers from those who clearly don’t have that experience

        When a fracking advocate on these pages described the likelihood of ‘super-laterals’ (over 9000feet horizontals) being used in the UK I reckoned that made some sense -make the horizontals longer to minimise of the sprawling number of pads you’d need on the surface. He was suggesting up to 4 mile laterals. Although possible, I doubt that will be the case. But even with 9000ft plus laterals leading to (roughly) 4×2 mile grid spacings for the pads, it means the number of wells per pad gets pretty high to gain the total level of gas recoverability that people like Nick Riley claim. It would need to be well over 20 per pad. The advocate (Fibonacci) said they could cluster up to 60 wells on a pad site and while none of our resident experts disputed that it did tally with consultant Mike Hill’s statement that Cuadrilla were planning some of the biggest pad sites possible.

        So Injuneer – I’m interested also in how many clustered-well shale gas pad site can you remember working on? what were the longest laterals you’ve dealt with, and how many frack stages did they use? If your experience comes from this kind of operation I have a load more questions to follow.

        Thanks

        [Missing text inserted at poster’s request]

  5. Oh dear PhilipP! Keep digging, or drilling and “gathering”. Just a gentle reminder that much OIL is produced via horizontal fracking, and more from vertical fracking-ask refracktion what his diesel price per litre is at his filling station when he fills up, before heading off on a protest. There is a connection.

    Apologies to Vera. It seems some want to deny testing production of gas at PNR, so we will just continue to import gas from fracking in USA, and your concerns will grow as a result. “Over the horizon” in this case will fall into your back yard. Your President is keen to expand exports of gas, we are (al)ready buyers for it. Unfortunate realities, and getting rid of your President and/or modifying the vast proportion of domestic heating/water heating in the UK are a long way off. I just hope your hospitals and schools are ready for the increase in birth rates.

  6. Bluffing again Martin? Name one onshore site in the UK that has experience of high volume hydraulic fracking (targeting oil or gas) in shale formations. I qualified both of these types in my debate. How long are their horizontals? How many wells in their clusters?

    Funny that it’s people like Vera and others across the pond warning us ‘don’t do it’. Perhaps it’s their fondness for the English countryside I don’t know. What I do believe is that , with Trump’s deregulation, America is heading for another glut which will join other surplus supplies on the world market to make gas cheaper for quite some time. There will be other countries competing to offload existing fossil fuel reserves while the world accelerates towards renewables. So, not only will it will be unprofitable to enter into knew drilling and fracking schemes it is healthier and more ethical in my view not to because you’d simply be multiplying emissions and subjecting new environments to degradation in the process. Why not take the gas or LNG from friendly nations if they have existing wells in place? – help them offload surpluses while discouraging any new drilling and co-operating with them to work towards next generation clean energy. Win win.

    Yes, there would be some more leakage and emissions from the extra handling and transport say, of LNG, but that wouldn’t be nearly as bad as developing a whole new drilling rush and extended gas dependency over here.

  7. Jeezo cry me a river. I’m starting to think some of the real world sights I’ve seen would result in antis checking into the Priory.

  8. Yes, GBK, I thought we were discussing bringing in experts from overseas, and “what would they know”!

    I did not work in the oil industry but often travelled to other parts of the world, with or without colleagues, and we were thought of as experts from overseas. Strangely, we had to know the local countries regulations and requirements and be able to achieve them, otherwise we would have been sent packing and our Financial Directors would supply a P45 for wasting other peoples money on wasted overseas adventures. Maybe some of the antis come from a public sector background and are not familiar with those sort of realities? (I suspect not, but that was the kindest explanation I could suggest.)

    Lots of comfort blankets needed-winter is approaching-actually and figuratively.

  9. The point my dear chap, whoever that is, is that any engineering company worth it’s weight, would have proposed and detailed engineering solutions in place at proposal level, the last thing any engineer, sorry “injuneer” of any sufficient capacity would do is ask anyone for advice or suggestions to deal with a fundamentally simple aspect as the efficacy, or otherwise of the ability for sub grade to drain run off.
    The requirement for interception, attenuation, treatment, sampling and subsequent drainage if suitable or carting off site, if at all, and where that drainage is proposed to be placed and the impact assessed, should have all been settled to everyone’s satisfaction before a spade was put in the ground.
    The fact that it has not, just means as I said before, that the site is invalid in engineering terms, work should be halted and all plans and proposals re examined in order to assess possible refusal until it can be proved that the engineering proposals are approved as would any engineering project.
    There is indeed a matter for humour here, and that is that cries of any regulations, let alone building control and the illusive gold standards appears to be one of nothing but amusement, as illustrated here, from government, local and central, the industry and any supposed oversight body that can nearly raise an objection unless someone else points it out?
    Hilarious is it not? Not!

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