Regulation

First red-level tremor at Cuadrilla’s fracking site

181026 location map

Location of earth tremors linked to fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site to 26 October 2018. The most recent events are marked in red. Source: Google Imagery (c) 2018

A 0.8 magnitude earth tremor was recorded today near Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road on the edge of Blackpool.

The event, at 12.30pm (bst), happened while fracking was taking place, the company has confirmed.

It qualifies as the first red event near the site under the government’s traffic light system regulations for induced seismicity.

It is also the largest seismic event near the site since fracking began on 15 October 2018.

181026 BGS chart

Extract from British Geological Survey list of seismic events around the British Isles since the Blackpool activity began.

A red event is where seismic activity during fracking measures 0.5ML or more.

Under the traffic light system, Cuadrilla must stop fracking the current stage, flush the well, reduce pressure and pause fracking for 18 hours. The integrity of the well must be checked and ground motion recorded. A report is sent to the regulators before operations can restart.

There have also been two amber events so far at Preston New Road were on 19 October and 25 October 2018. Amber events are where seismic activity measures 0.0-0.5ML. Fracking can be completed with caution, pressure reduced in the well and the integrity checked.

Cuadrilla said work would pause today for at least 18 hours and was expected to recommence tomorrow morning (Saturday 27 October 2018).

The company said in a statement:

“Micro seismic events such as these result in tiny movements that are way below anything that would be felt at surface, much less cause any harm or damage.

“It is reassuring that the monitoring and traffic light system is working as it should.

“All the relevant regulators were informed without delay and we have verified the well integrity is intact.

Today’s seismic event is the 17th earth tremor in a series that started on 18 October. There were two other events today, measuring 0.2 and -0.2ML.

There have been four consecutive days of seismic activity this week, comprising a total of 12 tremors.

Cuadrilla recorded today’s event as 0.78ML but the British Geological Survey, which records to one decimal place, listed it as a 0.8ML.

A spokesperson for Lancashire for Shale said:

“Like the others that have preceded it in recent weeks, this is still a microseismic event that we only know about because of the intensive monitoring being performed by both Cuadrilla and the British Geological Survey, using highly sensitive instrumentation.

“It is many thousands of times smaller than the 4.4 ML earthquake that struck South Wales earlier in the year, but which caused no damage to property or injury to people despite being felt over 100 miles away, including in Lancashire.

“People need to accept that these imperceptible microseismic events are just a feature of the fracking process. Provided that Cuadrilla continues to observe the requirements of the Traffic Light System and adheres to its government-approved Hydraulic Fracture Plan, there is no reason to suspect they are a precursor to more significant ‘felt seismicity’.”

What does a red light mean for fracking?

 

136 replies »

  1. “Serious delays”?

    Maybe those that can not be accommodated either through current authorised working shifts, plus the extensions Cuadrilla are able to apply for? Or Mad Cow Disease in the neighbouring fields, spread by “visitors” from Scotland? Or delays from sorting out the recycling of the plastic draped over the fencing?

    Take your pick Sherwulfe. But my expectation/speculation is that this horizontal will be completed by this time next week, as my logic suggests as they get further into the job productivity will pick up. Seems the case with most repetitive operations. (no smut, please.)

    • Don’t we remember a time when we were told that fracking does not cause earthquakes and they were just a weird coincidence?
      Oh Yes We Did!

      Well, since it seems that fracking has eaten itself, for the present, this is a little song you all know, altered just a bit, roughly a 0.8 on the Richter scale, or is that 0.78?

      Billy Ocean

      “Red Light Spells Danger”

      Red light
      Spells danger
      Can’t hold out
      Much longer

      ‘Cos red light
      Means warning
      Can’t hold out
      We’re calling

      No, no, no
      (Red light)
      You took the lights and turned them on
      (Spells danger)
      And now the danger sign is on
      (Can’t hold out)
      Never thought the day would come
      (Much longer)
      When truth would crack the stone in you

      (‘Cos red light)
      An’ now you protect your child again
      (Means warning)
      Calling out your mama’s name
      (We will hold out)
      You’re hangin’ on your ball and chain
      (You’re burning)
      Doing things we don’t wantya to
      (Shakey shakey)

      You won’t stop ‘till ya fractya
      Feel quakes are coming through ya
      You know the quakes are gonna shake ya
      Shake the stone cos’ traffic lights won’t help ya

      (Red light)
      ‘Til the red light
      (Spells danger)
      Oh-a-oh danger warning
      (Can’t hold out)
      Can’t hold out
      Much longer
      (Much longer)
      Hey its crazy

      (‘Cos red light)
      ‘Til the red light
      (Means warning)
      Oh-a-oh that’s a danger warning
      (Can’t hold out)
      Can’t hold out
      You’re spinning
      (You’re spinning)

      (Red light)
      Red light
      (Spells Danger)
      The frack is crazy
      (Can’t hold out)
      Can’t hold out
      (Much longer)
      Oh, crazy baby

      (‘Cos red light)
      (Means warning)
      Means a warning, yeah
      (Can’t hold out)
      And we tell you
      (You’re spinning)
      Oh no no no no

      (Red light)
      You had your fun, you played around
      (Spells danger)
      Without a Gove to tie you down
      (Can’t hold out)
      You always used to drill and run
      (Much longer)
      You’ll never change the lights for fun

      (‘Cos red light)
      The quakes will crack your heart of stone
      (Means warning)
      But now you’re in the danger zone
      (Can’t hold out)
      You can feel the heat is on
      (You’re burning)
      Now the quakes are in the sun
      (Crazy baby)

      You can’t stop frackin’ can ya
      Feel shakes are comin’ at ya
      You know the quakes are gonna shake ya
      You’re shakin’ cos’ traffic lights will stop ya

      (Red light)
      Feel the red light
      (Spells danger)
      Oh-a-oh that’s a danger warning
      (Can’t hold out)
      And you can’t hold out
      (Much longer)
      Oh no no

      (‘Cos red light)
      ‘Til the red light
      (Means warning)
      Oh-a-oh that’s a danger warning
      (Can’t hold out)
      Can’t hold out
      (We ain’t turning)
      Oh no no no

      (Red light)
      Oh, it’s a red light baby
      (Spells danger)
      Oh, you gotcha danger warning
      (Can’t hold out)
      And you can’t hold out
      (Much longer)
      You ain’t gonna frack us baby

      (‘Cos red light)
      Oh, feel the red light
      (Means warning)
      Oh, it’s a danger warning
      (Can’t hold out)
      Oh, you can’t hold out
      (We ain’t turning)
      Oh no no no no

        • Still got it Phil C – will probably be laughing tomorrow if Cuadrilla continue fracking as planned as the TLS allows this (subject to no additional red light tremor tonight and the okay from Claire and Toni / and possibly Tony HSE if required).

          I have never read your Sunday stuff – but today is Friday?

          • Hence forth know as F^(ked up Friday!
            do ray me; la, la la, me, me, me, farce, so lah tea {anyone}; Cue Homer…..doh 😉

          • Apparently not?

            But be careful, laughter has to be practised, its quite different from the industry sneer, it uses different, probably unused muscles, be careful, otherwise the rigid inflexible industry blinkers facade will fracture and let in the sunlight and the truth? Remember truth? A rare commodity and not usually found amongst those who think they know better?

            And that would never do would it?

            Far too dangerous for shale dwellers to actually look the source of all energy on the planet fully in the face?

            I suggest a darkened room at first (or a deep hole) with just a crack in the total black out blinkers before you can actually look at the real thing up there in its full glory, though not directly, such things are too powerful for that, all that free energy.

            Quite different from the ancient residue of past organic sun powered millennia that so dazzles and fascinates the downwards looking industry to date?

            Don’t be too surprised, it was always there, you haven’t noticed it before?

        • Ooops! Awww! Always the depressed critic BTW? Another one suffering from a sense-of-humour-ectomy then? Dear me, it must be a compulsory pre-requirement of joining the PR hot desk lack of glee club?

          [Edited by moderator]

          The typical song and dance i see from you lot is more like a midnight zombie company dirge and a wake for democracy and the earths failing climate?

          Also, i dont support an industry which endangers lives and hearth and home and has damaged the climate and still persists in pouring out more and more of the same either?

          Take a chill pill and calm down! I am sure your colleagues will have some to spare tonight?

          Have a great, if quiet weekend both…..

          • Lol. So you’d like to see me fill the pages with joy of laughters. Too easy and happy to oblige. Here we go.

            Hahahahahahaha…..hahahahahahaha……hahahahahahaha……hahahahhaha……hahahahahaha……hahahahahaha…..hahahahaha.

            (Is that enough laughter for today. I can go on forever to feel these pages with joy of laughter if you’d like)

            • That’s better, far superior to the usual depressed BTW output, and makes more sense. but not too loud or too long, or the industry PR hot desk slaves might think you have had a spontaneous remission from the sense-of-humour-ectomy and go for the pre fractal Proctotomy……

  2. Before people keep bleating on about where our gas comes from lets have a look at the following statistics from BEIS (updated as at 26 July 2018). The following figures should be read as ‘Million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE)’.

    UK EXPORTS of natural gas (yes exports); 2017 = 10.8 MTOE, 2016 = 10.0 MTOE and 2015 = 13.7 MTOE. It goes back many years.

    The first stage to look at for so-called energy security would surely be to cease exports. We export approx 25% of the figure that we import. Our ‘home’ gas supply is not government owned and we are unable to dictate where it is sold.

    Have a look at the figures yourself. I have only had a quick glance whilst having a cuppa so there is a possibility that I have not interpreted the figures correctly, but they look okay to me.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/dukes-foreign-trade-statistics
    Excel doc: DUKES G.1

    • In 2016 total imports were 48.5 Billion cubic meters (Bcm) which fell by 1.6% to 47.7 Bcm in 2017.

      
In 2016 exports were 10.3 Bcm and rose by 10.8% to 11.4 Bcm in 2017.
      
Therefore, the UK’s net imports (imports minus exports) were 38.2 Bcm and 36.3 Bcm in 2016 and 
2017 respectively.

      
The total gas consumption in the UK (excluding exports, producers own consumption, and losses) were 76.9Bcm in 2016 and 74.5Bcm in 2017.

      In 2017 Russia exported 164 Bcm of gas to Europe (not including Turkey). 164 Bcm is 38% of Europe’s own production plus imports.
      The UK imported 4.5 Bcm of gas from continental Europe via the interconnectors. If you pro-rate 4.5 Bcm using 38%, then it is possible that 1.71Bcm of natural gas the UK imported originated in Russia.

  3. Phil C. From Billy Ocean #1 hit.

    Billy Ocean
    “When the going gey tough. The tough get going.”.

    That sounds like Cuadrilla at the moment.

    • Should they gey? going BTW?? What are you suggesting???

      I do hope they do get going, though not in the way you mean i suspect…….whatever that is? I really dont want to know?

      Have they got their passports ready?

      • Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahha…..hahaha.

        I filled these pages with joy of laughter just for Phil C.

        • Nice try, but i am afraid that just looks like a Grimaldi painted clown face doesn’t it? Lots of fake laughter on the outside, but all despair and depression on the inside?

          I think you will find that just pressing two keys repeatedly is somewhat less than is required for anything other than COD? (Not the fish, the condition)

          If that is all you have to offer though, just two will do the job, like this:-

          Ha! Ha!

          The rest is desperate overkill, so congratulations, you have just overkilled this page, and like so many others, with such an inadequate stiff and awkward song and dance born of bitterness and bile…..

          Nah, that does not illustrate joy and laughter at all, you still don’t get it do you? Joy and laughter requires wit, creativity and a sense of humour, not just a frantic desire for sneer smear fear and empty knee jerk bitterness.

          But of course true humour is still sadly lacking from the recidivist PR hot desk incumbents, no adequate role models i suppose? But keep trying, you never know?

          Stranger things have happened?

          Some say you can’t get blood out of a stone? But the reality is, that all you can get out of shale stone bore, is gas and methane and a bad temper and a bad reputation? Sort of a hundreds of million years old unwelcome bottom burp? And just about as popular?

          Which pretty much takes us back to the contents of your original comment doesn’t it?

          There, see how humour works?

          Ha! Ha!

          • Hahahahahahahaha…..hahahahahaha.
            Phil C. Just when I started to enjoy the laughter you have to bring psychology and philosophy into it.
            You just kill it.

            • Awww? Poor BTW. Still killing the joke i see? Its coughing up blood now, better leave it alone, but i guess you simply cannot leave it alone can you? Just more COD.

              Ha! Ha!

              Oh yes, this is for you BTW:-

              Billy Ocean Lyrics

              “Pressure”

              You have to learn to pace yourself
              Pressure

              You’re just like everybody else
              Pressure

              You’ve only had to run so far
              So good
              But you will come to a place
              Where the only thing you feel
              Are loaded guns in your face
              And you’ll have to deal with
              Pressure

              They used to call it paranoid
              Pressure

              But even you can not avoid
              Pressure

              You turned the tap dance into your crusade
              Now here you are with your faith
              And your Peter Pan advice
              You have no scars on your face
              And you cannot handle pressure
              All grown up and no place to go
              Psych 1, Psych 2
              What do you know?
              All your life is Channel 13
              Sesame Street
              What does it mean?
              Pressure
              Pressure

              Don’t ask for help
              You’re all alone
              Pressure

              You’ll have to answer
              To your own
              Pressure

              I’m sure you’ll have some cosmic rationale
              But here you are in the ninth
              Two men out and three men on
              Nowhere to look but inside
              Where we all respond to
              Pressure
              Pressure

              All your life is Time Magazine
              I read it too
              What does it mean?
              Pressure

              I’m sure you’ll have some cosmic rationale
              But here you are with your faith
              And your Peter Pan advice
              You have no scars on your face
              And you cannot handle pressure
              Pressure, pressure

              One, two, three, four
              Pressure

              Have a nice day…..

  4. Nice one Paul but Ireland is not part of the UK. So exporting gas to Ireland is the same as exporting to any other part of Europe. It is not available for domestic or industrial use in UK. On DoD we are constantly being told that imported gas has ‘travel miles’ attached to it. So, exporting north sea gas and then ‘over importing’ gas to make up for the exports is a double whammy in climate terms. Miles exporting and increased miles importing the same quantity as was exported. I was just pointing out the ludicrous situation. More so, if there is ever a commercial supply of UK shale gas it might easily be exported to somewhere like Ireland. Any gas brought to the surface belongs to the company that extracted it. It can do whatever it wants with it in a commercial sense.

  5. oops sorry Paul I misread your comment. I thought you had said that some of our ‘exported’ gas goes to Ireland. I will therefore have to eat humble pie and re-tract my post of 8.40pm. Please accept my apologies.

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