Second amber tremor at Cuadrilla’s fracking site

181024 fence art Pip Hockey

Fence art outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site, 24 October 2018. Photo: Pip Hockey

Cuadrilla confirmed this evening there was a 0.3ML earth tremor during fracking this afternoon at its Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool.

It was classed as an amber event under the seismic monitoring regulations, known as the traffic light system.

Cuadrilla said it expected that fracking would continue as planned tomorrow.

This is the second amber event detected during fracking in the past three days (more details). It is the third consecutive day of seismic activity near the site and the 12th tremor recorded since fracking began on 15 October 2018.

181025 BGS chart

Extract from British Geological Survey record of seismic activity in the British Isles since 18 October when the Blackpool tremors began.

Following an amber event, Cuadrilla is allowed to complete the fracking operation with caution. Pressure in the well has to be reduced by flowing back liquid. The integrity of the well has to be checked and operations continue, possibly with reduced pressure.

181025 location map

Graphic showing progression of tremors over time. A is the first tremor (18 October) and L the most recent (25 October). Tremors C and E are in almost the same location. Source: Robin Grayson

Cuadrilla said this evening:

“People should remember and be reassured that anything registering between 0 and 2.0 on the Richter Scale is generally categorised as a micro seismic event, far below anything that could be felt at surface or cause damage or harm.

“On average around 8,000 micro seismic events are detected in the world every day and very rarely reported in the news. These are truly tiny movements and without the sophisticated monitoring in place at PNR, they would in all likelihood not be detected.

“We’re comfortable that the traffic light system is working as it should. Everything so far has been within our operational expectations, in line with the work we’re carrying out and reported appropriately as part of the Oil and Gas Authority’s traffic light system. All the relevant regulators have been informed.”

The tremor was recorded on the British Geological Survey online list. Initially it was registered as a 0.6ML.

181025 BGS chart2

The site went temporarily offline and when it came back the tremor had different location coordinates and a 0.3ML magnitude. The BGS said:

“No events have been removed from our web pages. However our web pages are linked to a database that contains information about all the seismic events that we detect and locate. If the database is changed the web pages will reflect this change.

“In this case, the event at 14:59 UTC on 25 October was still being analysed and the location and magnitude had not been finalised when the web pages were updated. This resulted in incorrect information appearing on the web pages for a short period of time. The correct location and magnitude for this event are now as listed here.”

BGS webpage on seismic activity at Preston New Road

What does a red light mean for fracking?



37 replies »

    • Perhaps mischievousness on the part of BGS after the big C thought they could do the BGS’s job better.

      So was it 0.5ml or was it 0.48ml?

        • There are many different types of graffiti. Some are beautiful quality and meaningful arts I agree. Other are just rubbish.

          • Eye of the beholder and all that. Perhaps you need to understand the message to see the beauty in a piece of work?

      • Plastic strips tied outside PNR is like a vegan activist group making bows out of bacon strips outside a butcher’s shop…

        Spray paint would be exactly the same thing TW only using more oil and gas…

          • Driven past enough rubbish on PNR near the protesters to make an educated guess caravans, tyres and rubbish isn’t eco friendly…

            • Cool you can do drive by materials analysis now Kishney. Is there no end to your imaginary talents?

              Keep up this level of posting and you will be challenging Martin for the position of DoDs Walter Mitty

    • Crikey someone got out of bed the wrong side this morning Martin, feeling a bit tetchy?

      Of course you will have checked out that biodegradable and compostable ribbon wasn’t used before making such a judgemental and snarky comment, wouldn’t you?

  1. Out of interest I wonder what form of peaceful protest and banners the Constabulary would use were they permitted to demonstrate against their pay, deployment and working conditions (health and safety concerns)?
    They are definitely not happy at the moment and will surely become even more unhappy when Cuadrilla ramp up the pressure, the ground actually starts shaking and the toxic emissions start to be flared or cold vented!

  2. I’m not as deep as that crembrule, but a happy bunny all the same.

    But interesting that some seem to want to mask what others observe-even when it is clear for all to see.

    If you live within fog bit more difficult to observe what others do. Another reason why the majority outside of the fog are yet to be impressed?

    I think we are of similar ages Peter. I have yet to recall a time when the police were happy, so I’m not surprised they are not at the moment. They always seem to become particularly unhappy just before a budget! (As do the rest of the public sectors.)

    • Usual waste of 0s and 1s there Martin.

      No proof, no facts [edited by moderator] trying to pin this as the consensus of an imagined majority.

      Standard MC form, truly an empty vessel.

    • Probably repurposed by now into an earthquake shelter!
      Quite possibly Martin, I’ve got a bus pass, a pension and 2 lovely grandchildren.
      I’m not really bothered about the police officers happiness but I don’t recall then using violence on vulnerable Environment Protectors before Cuadrilla turned up! Equally so I wouldn’t want them harned by deployment into this increasingly dangerous location without proper personal protection equipment and clothing. I mean Taser’s and stab vests are no use against toxic fumes.

    • Lacking imagination and forward thinking there Kish but that’s to be expected for drones like you when Government do not drive change through their policy decisions.

  3. Cheer up crembrule. I know the temperature is dropping but just put on a thicker jumper. That will cure all issues regarding energy policy. For those that it doesn’t, they will simply be removed from giving their opinion. Harsh, but effective.

    Well I can, Peter. I can also remember them sleeping with them. But perhaps more protected in either case than being put on motorway patrol.

    • Unfortunately Martin. Those thick jumper has a blend of polyester which is make of an oil product. And probably made by a machine that run on electricity that are generated by coal power plant in China or other countries. So it is still a product of fossil fuel.

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