Industry

Cuadrilla applies for government consent to frack second Lancs shale gas well

pnr 180727 Ros Willls2

Dismantling of Cuadrilla’s drilling rig at Preston New Road, 27 July 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, announced this afternoon it had applied to the government for consent to frack its second horizontal well at its Preston New Road site near Blackpool.

The application, which was expected, comes 10 days after the company was granted fracking consent for the first well by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. That consent was announced on 24 July 2018 on the final day before the parliamentary summer holiday. DrillOrDrop report

The second well, drilled through the Upper Bowland shale at an approximate depth of 2,100m below the surface, extends laterally for some 750 metres. It was completed in mid-July.

Cuadrilla said today it expected to start fracking at the site within the next two months.

Claire Stephenson, of Frack Free Lancashire, said:

“Unsurprisingly, Cuadrilla are seeking to frack the second well at Preston New Road. This comes a day after the shocking revelation that the UK government buried a critical report showing fracking will increase air pollution in our communities. The government is already in a legal battle, of which they have lost three court cases so far, on their failure to act on illegal levels of pollution. Today, new research shows air pollution – even low levels – correlates with early symptoms of heart failure.

“The UK and fracking industry have been entirely ignorant in the face of new research on fracking, preferring to carry on full-speed, regardless of democracy, climate change and local community wishes.

“Our resistance to their plans will be ongoing.”

Richard Marshall, an opponent of Cuadrilla’s proposals at Preston New Road, said:

“Hot on the heels of yesterday’s suppressed HGM report on known toxic air pollution, this announcement from Cuadrilla adds insult to injury.

“They are obviously willing to forge ahead with their plans fully aware of the serious detrimental health impacts on our community.

“Our local representatives, councillors and MP’s must insist that Cuadrilla’s operations cease until at least all the recommendations from the recent AQEG report have been met.”

35 replies »

  1. Good, hopefully and we can finally find out if there is gas, if it flows, and if it is commercial. Preese Hall indicates it will be.

    Most “experts” on this BB keep telling us it will not be commercial, as Statoil and others have advised aka JP. So nothing to worry about if it is not going to be economically viable? Perhaps there will be a traffic light earthquake and the whole thing will be shut down forever, perhaps not.

    Don’t forget Gulf Oil drilled right through the Morecambe Bay gas fields and declared the well none commercial, plugged and abandoned. British Gas came along, re-drilled it and hey presto they have been supplying us with 20% of our gas from Morecambe fields for many years (no H2S by the way).

    And of course there is no United Utilities hosepipe ban in the North West – it was lifted yesterday. Those conspiracy theorists among the antis may of course see this as a plot by Cuadrilla and the Government to facilitate PNR fracking ASAP. Not due to water usage cut backs and recent rain. I can think of at least two…..one of which is a regular poster on DOD….

    How did the DOD crowdfunding go for Spririt Energy?

    A cut and paste of the linked letter should be available fairly quickly?

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728724/hfc-decision-cuadrilla-letter.pdf

  2. That’s the thing with hosepipe bans. When they are announced it brings on the rain.

    I think in previous years a similar result as soon as Drought Tsars appointed.

    Wild bird watch about to be ramped up.

    Does this mean the local community are now due another payment, or was that on completion of the well?

    Meanwhile, a bigger pump required at HH!

    • Any anti antis managed to produce the long list of successfully safe fracking operations that Cuadrilla have carried out to date?

      Surley no right minded Government would allow any company to conduct larger fracking operations if their only operations to date ended in technical failure.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preese-hall-shale-gas-fracturing-review-and-recommendations-for-induced-seismic-mitigation

      This must have been just one big mistake from a company with a long list of successes yet we see no publicised evidence to support this.

      • What are you worried about JP – if they screw up the frack job it is the end of Cuadrilla; if the traffic lights kick in they have to stop and if the frack has not propogated very far the flow rates will be low and your none economic scenario kicks in. And the Government has already approved the first “frack”. Why won’t they approve the second? In case you missed it, here is the letter link again (as you love seeing the same links hundreds of times):

        https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728724/hfc-decision-cuadrilla-letter.pdf

        Even if it all goes well, you have told us 100 times it will not be commercial so they will pack up and go.

        As far as I know “Cuadrilla” as a company have only “fracked” one well, but you already know this. But how many wells have the Cuadrilla Staff and the service company they have contracted “fracked”. Is it Big Red or Big Blue or are they using their own equipment? Perhaps they are using personnel who have experience in the US?

        How many wells have you and your buddies drilled?

        “Hydraulic fracturing in the United States began in 1949. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), by 2013 at least two million oil and gas wells in the US had been hydraulically fractured, and that of new wells being drilled, up to 95% are hydraulically fractured. The output from these wells makes up 43% of the oil production and 67% of the natural gas production in the United States. ”

        “Hydraulic fracturing of shales goes back at least to 1965, when some operators in the Big Sandy gas field of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia started hydraulically fracturing the Ohio Shale and Cleveland Shale, using relatively small fracs. The frac jobs generally increased production, especially from lower-yielding wells.

        From 1976 to 1992 the United States government funded the Eastern Gas Shales Project, a set of dozens of public-private hydro-fracturing pilot demonstration projects. The program made a number of advances in hydraulic fracturing of shales.] During the same period, the Gas Research Institute, a gas industry research consortium, received approval for research and funding from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

        In 1997, Nick Steinsberger, an engineer of Mitchell Energy (now part of Devon Energy), applied the slickwater fracturing technique, using more water and higher pump pressure than previous fracturing techniques, which was used in East Texas by Union Pacific Resources (now part of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation), in the Barnett Shale of north Texas. In 1998, the new technique proved to be successful when the first 90 days gas production from the well called S.H. Griffin No. 3 exceeded production of any of the company’s previous wells. This new completion technique made gas extraction widely economical in the Barnett Shale, and was later applied to other shales.George P. Mitchell has been called the “father of fracking” because of his role in applying it in shales. The first horizontal well in the Barnett Shale was drilled in 1991, but was not widely done in the Barnett until it was demonstrated that gas could be economically extracted from vertical wells in the Barnett.

        Between 2005 and 2010 the shale-gas industry in the United States grew by 45% a year. As a proportion of the country’s overall gas production, shale gas increased from 4% in 2005 to 24% in 2012.

        According to oilfield services company Halliburton, as of 2013 more than 1.1 million hydraulic fracturing jobs have been done in the United States (some wells are hydraulically fractured more than once), and almost 90% of new US onshore oil and gas wells are hydraulically fractured.”

        • Paul. Bowland shale is black shale and not very porous and therefore gas may not flow as good as Cuadrilla is hoping. The only thing that is in their favour is Huw et al research paper showing Bowland shale has very similar quality and characters as Barnett shale which is productive and commercial viable after fraccing.

          • Preese Hall flowed well. But every location will be different. However these PNR wells have long horizontal sections along sweet spots in the shale with higher porosity and with a higher % sand. The best strata will have been selected from the vertical wells.

            We will see in a couple of months. If these don’t flow well then the antis can celebrate a geological failure and Cuadrilla will shut down.

            • True. Preese Hall initial flow rate at 450mcf per day (if I remember correctly) and it is only a vertical and partially fracced.
              Barnett shales average initial flow rate for a commercial horizontal is 1600 mcf per day (for first 1-2nd months). So if they hit that mark with PNR then they are probably happy given the similarities of characters of rock

        • JP worried? I think not Paul.
          Cuadrilla worried, of course; who wouldn’t be when they have been put up to take the fall; no prior expertise, all hype and no action? Makes you wonder…….

          • Well Sherwulfe – if he is not worried he has a funny way of showing it. If you are all so sure of Cuadrilla failing, why not call a truce, stop the protests, let Cuadrilla get on with their work and wait and see what the results are. The sooner they “fail” the sooner you can all revert to normality. Failure or success, who knows…..

            • Well Paul, you will have to speak to those currently protesting; it would be their decision to call them off; am not sure you will get far with the truce thingy 😉

              Failure or success, who knows indeed….. we will all sit and wait, some with rubber bushes on their chairs.

  3. Didn’t stop UK mass producing cars after US led the way. I wonder how little old UK managed to develop the N.Sea? Maybe, they utilised specialists and improved techniques from elsewhere?

    Maybe we should pop down to Edgbaston and let the Indians know they are behind the curve, so shouldn’t bother?

    I suspect even Shirley knows that if a problem has arisen previously it then depends what action is then taken. (Just listening to Bluebird news as I type this. What’s the water speed limit now?)

  4. So, who bought the barrel of HH oil tonight at the charity auction?

    Must be a bidding frenzy going on. My money is on DL.

  5. Horse Hill Portland short-term high rate tests achieve stable implied equivalent daily pumped rates of 401 and 414 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) of dry 36 API oil over two periods of 6 and 2 hours.
    There is a clear difference – what the RNS makes clear is that the two hour test actually produced just over 34 barrels of oil. The implied rate is 12 times that. But short spikes mean sweet FA , they have not tested more than a few hours. Nice move to coordinate a couple of tankers to coincide with the RNS , those tanks would have been full long ago if this was gushing . Just saying

    • Jono. It could be game plan by ukog to bamboozle new investors to suck in their money. But their target is Kimmeridge section. I am still puzzled why they are not pushing faster to prove it if the wells are as gushing as they claim.

  6. Well Jono this is a test exercise not production. Yes, I expect somewhere within the test phase they will seek to determine both maximising output from the Portland and for a determination of whether that rate will hold. Maybe that is why they need a bigger pump?

    They also need to be able to define reserves and likelihood of extracting same, to satisfy the market.

    Probably some while away from knowing about the gushing.

    Think you will find it takes a few more than 34 barrels to fill a tanker.

  7. Well Sherwulfe, isn’t that what exploration is all about? If you are not successful, you take the fall. If you are you take the plaudits.

    Yes, I expect even after all the delay Cuadrilla will be anxious/excited when they get going. However, they have had quite a bit of time to prepare for how to deal with whatever emerges!

    • Well Martin, clearly you care less for any option; just something to comment on with no real point.

      Yes I expect even after all the delay Cuadrilla will be very anxious; so too their investors, backers and backhander benefit-ers?

      I on the other hand am very excited that the prospect of this circus could be over in days after Cuadrilla’s last ‘expert’ frack went so well……..

  8. And your point Sherwulfe was-what? Where do you get any signal which option I “care for”? Let me help you out. I would like PNR to produce successful results with regard to indicating if fracking for gas within UK can show decent economic returns-simply because that would clear away much of the fog produced by the antis and I quite like clarity. I would also then be interested to see what the antis plan B is-because in that event you very obviously don’t have one.

    Falsely believing from yourself that anything will be over, based upon PNR is incorrect. PNR will be interesting. It will be a step within a process. It could be a start, at worst, it could be another false start. But hang on to your false hopes and excitement if that is what you need. Like a comfort blanket.

    • ‘But hang on to your false hopes and excitement’

      Eight years ago the industry got unopposed planning permission to frack in Lancashire. Well organised communities have pummelled the industry at every level.

      So where are we now.

      Indefinite moratorium in Scotland, banned in Wales, banned in Ireland. Nearly all planning applications refused by the County Councillors.

      Having to hide reports on health risks and property price devaluation. Stock prices trending downwards. Public polls showing the majority who express an opinion don’t want it. Now we find that 80% of the Conservative councillors don’t support it. Major divestment from fossil fuels and renewable energy and storage dropping in price.Climate change advancing rapidly.

      Commercial viability takes many wells and many months of flow testing.

      Hang on in there with your ‘experienced’ gold standard drilling, freezing pensioners, Russian gas, and house price boom , but if you look at the big picture you won’t see a UK shale gas industry.

  9. Come on Sherwulfe, don’t give up. You still need to compensate for the “missing”. A few more Green bottles to accidentally fall yet. Yes, we can see the writing on the wall but still a little way before the wall is completely bereft of those bottles.

    • Martin, I thought you’d packed that bad habit in? I know the news is grim, but chin up, no need to resort to the bottle.
      I think graffiti is a great expression of your creative talents, but mind you don’t get caught.

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