Regulation

The shadow of Preese Hall over UK fracking regulations

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Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road, 24 October 2018. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Cuadrilla’s current fracking site in Lancashire passed a milestone on Friday.

A small earth tremor in the series that began 10 days ago near Blackpool exceeded the 0.5 magnitude threshold while fracking was underway. This triggered the first ever red light in the government’s regulations on induced seismicity.

The tremor, measured by British Geological Survey at 0.8, was too small to be felt at the surface. But under the traffic light system regulations it was enough to require Cuadrilla to stop work at its Preston New Road shale gas site for 18 hours and to report to the regulators on the integrity of the well.

Within hours of the tremor, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, was telling the media that the red-light level in some other countries was 10,000 times higher than he was having to work to.

From a studio in Westminster on Friday evening, he said the 0.5 limit was “very challenging”. The limit in Canada was 4ML and companies in Europe were operating to red light levels of 2, he said.

In another BBC interview yesterday, he said:

“We are able to limit it to these tiny levels, but it’s very difficult to work within it.”

So how did the UK end up with a red light limit of 0.5ML for tremors induced by fracking?

For the origins of the 0.5ML limit, you have to go back seven years to the last time Cuadrilla tried fracking in the Blackpool area.

In the early hours of the morning of 1 April 2011, there was a small earthquake, measuring 2.3ML, felt across the  Fylde.

There were reports of toppled traffic lights and a cracked railway bridge. Residents waking in the night thought their homes were being burgled. Staff at Blackpool’s Bonny Street police station said they felt the building shake. It made the national news.

Cuadrilla fracking site

Preese Hall. Picture by Cuadrilla Resources

The earthquake was later linked to Cuadrilla’s fracking operations at the Preese Hall shale gas well. A Cuadrilla-commissioned report later in the year revealed there were 50 seismic events, including one measuring 1.5ML

The report described the seismic activity as “quite exceptional”. It said the 2.3ML earthquake was:

“2 orders of magnitude stronger than normally observed from hydraulic fracturing induced seismicity”.

The authors, Pater and Baisch, proposed a traffic light system and concluded that a threshold of 2.6ML during fracking at 3km deep would be a maximum acceptable magnitude.

But there was a complication in setting 2.6ML as the threshold at which fracking should pause.

The largest magnitude seismic events tend to occur after fracking has finished and the highest increase in magnitude after fracking was estimated at 0.9ML. So if your red light threshold was set 2.6ML during fracking, you could see a 3.5ML event after the injection operation had finished. And this would be beyond the 3ML worst-case.

The Cuadrilla report therefore recommended a red light figure of 1.7ML. This was based on the 2.6ML threshold minus the 0.9 maximum post-fracking increase in magnitude.

In 2012, a review of the Cuadrilla report for the then Department of Energy and Climate change (DECC), agreed that 3ML was a realistic upper limit for earthquakes induced by fracking. It also agreed that an earthquake of 2.6ML was unlikely to cause structural damage.

But this level of earthquake was larger than Preese Hall which, Pater and Baisch concluded, had led to deformation of the well. The DECC report authors, Green, Styles and Baptie, said of 2.6ML activity:

“Such an event would be strongly felt by people within a few kilometres from the epicenter and could cause some alarm.”

The review also rejected Cuadrilla’s proposed red light limit of 1.7ML. The authors said:

“We consider that the maximum magnitude threshold of 1.7 ML, initially proposed for the traffic light system, is undesirably high from the viewpoint of prudent conduct of future operations.”

They had looked at the pattern of activity preceding the Preese Hall earthquake on 1 April 2011 and all the seismic events had magnitudes below 1.7ML. So, if the threshold had been set at 1.7ML, the red light would not have been triggered at Preese Hall. There would not have been a pause in fracking before the 2.3ML earthquake happened.

The authors said:

“Based on this limit, no action would have been taken before the magnitude 2.3 ML event on 1 April 2011. Instead, we recommend a lower limit of 0.5 ML.”

In December 2012, the then energy secretary, Ed Davey, confirmed that the red level in the traffic light system would be set at 0.5ML. He described this level as:

“larger than the expected level generated by the fracturing of the rock”.

A document published online in 2017 by the Oil and Gas Authority described the 0.5ML level in very similar terms as

“greater than the level expected to be generated by the fracturing of the rock itself.

But this limit has already been passed in the first 12 days of operations at Preston New Road by one 0.8 tremor during fracking and one 0.8ML after fracking had finished yesterday. See DrillOrDrop tremor tracker

On the day fracking started at Preston New Road began, Francis Egan said he could “absolutely guarantee” there would not be another earthquake as a result of fracking for natural gas.

Yesterday, he said:

“You can’t create fractures in the ground without generating a seismic signature.”

Asked what level of tremor would worry him, he said:

“You have to get to a 2 at least before you can feel it.  You have to get to a 4 or a 5 before you get to any possibility of causing damage, not serious damage, so I’ll refer you back to the levels in other countries.”

But even before the 0.8ML tremor, critics of fracking were describing the rising magnitude of seismic events as “unacceptable”.

A spokesperson for the campaign network, Frack Free United, said the industry was in a ‘lose-lose’ situation:

“To continue risks a larger ‘industry wrecking event’, like Preese Hall 2.0. To stop just admits that they couldn’t see the fault before they started fracking.”

The local campaign group, Frack Free Lancashire, said:

“The issue is not whether these events can be felt, but whether they could be precursors to similar events that occurred at Preese Hall in 2011, which led to Cuadrilla’s performance as a licensee being questioned by the then Energy Minister, Charles Hendry.”

Stuart Haszeldine, a professor of sedimentary geology at the University of Edinburgh, told the Guardian:

“The practical significance is not whether these tremors are felt at the surface or not, but in the potential to damage the borehole, and the potential to create gas pathways from the shale towards larger faults, towards shallower aquifers, and to the surface.”

So would the government raise the red light limit above 0.5ML? The OGA document from 2017 hinted that the limit could change:

“This level may be adjusted upward if actual experience shows this can be done without compromising the effectiveness of the controls.”

The energy minister, Claire Perry, used very similar words earlier this year in correspondence with the MP, Kevin Hollinrake (see DrillOrDrop report).

“The TLS [traffic light system] is set at an explicitly cautious level but, as we gain experience in applying these measures, the trigger levels can be adjusted upwards without compromising the effectiveness of the controls.”

But more recently, Ms Perry and another energy minister, Lord Henley, have said the government has no intention of changing the 0.5ML limit.

  • Cuadrilla said yesterday it planned to resume fracking tomorrow (Monday 29 October) despite the 0.8ML seismic events on Friday 26 October and yesterday (Saturday 27 October 2018)

72 replies »

  1. In other words, as per the US “Armageddon” no evidence, but more scaremongering.

    Whereas, elsewhere in the country many people could produce plenty of “evidence” of “damage” caused by farming and construction. But they don’t because they accept reality.

  2. So Egan wants to be like Canada? Set the limits at 4.0? He fails to add that the population of Canada is under 4 people per square mile when England has approximately 1200 per square mile. Of course they don’t notice them in Canada.

  3. Except he didn’t say that, did he!

    And, of course, there are areas of Canada that are densely populated, and areas of the UK that are not.

    Fake news supported by irrelevant statistics. Well done, most apt for budget day.

  4. Oh dear Francis, these words may come back to haunt you: “On the day fracking started at Preston New Road began, Francis Egan said he could “absolutely guarantee” there would not be another earthquake as a result of fracking for natural gas.”

    • “The idea the water/fluid will magically rise against the force of gravity is similarly contrary to the laws of science. They can in many circumstances, depending on the pressures, but have to be induced. Good idea to understand a bit about well production issues to comment on this.”

      “migration of fluids and gases through existing faults” how exactly? If the fault isn’t reopened, no gas or fluid is getting through it. That’s why after almost 2 million fracked wells in North America we don’t have one single instance of frack fluid migration into an aquifer. Not a single one.”

      Dear me, such ignorance?

      Lets clarify the reality of the anti anti gravity myth of fluids flowing against gravity shall we?

      You lot clearly either are ignorant of the physics involved or you are deliberately misrepresenting the actual facts because you like to appear as “experts” and hope to pull the true physical effects of fluid dynamics and really rather simple Capillary action of hydraulics and fluid dynamics, to pull the ever present fracking pseudo wool over readers eyes.

      And before the usual anti anti attack poodles get all worked up I studied and qualified in fluid dynamics here and abroad. This is the simplified version, since the maths is complex but fascinating.

      OK simple physics 101.

      The claim that fluids cannot travel upwards against gravity is simply not true, try applying the physics of fluid dynamics relating to surface tension, adhesion and capillary action effects to the real world, regardless of the pumping and high pressure effects of high pressure unconventional hydraulic fracking.
      The actual effects of high pressure at greater depths and the successive pumping effects that accompanies high pressure unconventional hydraulic fracking are far more interesting and it is revealing to examine the actual physics involved.

      Fluids are pumped or compressed under high pressure during fracking, and are pumped up to the surface, and the successive positive and negative pumping effect of successive fracks easily overcomes such gravity that exists in the fissures and cracks that are opened up by the deliberate fracturing effect of the pumping of high pressure fluids including sand and chemicals.

      The surfactant chemicals are there to reduce surface tension and make the fluids more “slippery” and to enable greater slip between the surfaces and the fluids themselves by the use of such surface tension surfactants. Much like washing up liquid in the kitchen sink, that enables water to be more slippery and overcomes the surface tension effects of grease and allows water to get to the surface beneath the grease. However these fracking chemicals are more persistent and pernicious and dangerous to health if consumed and will easily pollute natural water for the same surface tension reduction capabilities. That is another myth out of the window. Gas is less of a problem and will naturally flow to the reduced pressure at the surface, but not fast enough, which is why it is deliberately pressurised at a high rate, and therein, as they say, lies the rub.

      https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/surfactant

      Due to those effects the fluids and water and chemicals and sand will flow upwards towards the reduced pressure above at the well head, again, simple physics, look at water in a narrow vertical crack, it flows upwards due to electrostatic attraction to the narrow surfaces and the water and that easily overcomes gravity, with reduced surface tension, that becomes even more powerful and allows fluids so chemically treated to travel much easier to the surface due to the pumping effect and the reduced pressure at the surface. I don’t think any of us deliberately drink washing up liquid, the long term effect of that may well be fatal, since the bodies organ and veinous fluids will pass through all the internal membranes which are there to retain fluids and you will quickly die of dehydration regardless of how much water you drink, similar to effects of being long term in salt water, the salt leaches out fluids and only an intravenous drip will prevent catastrophic dehydration.

      See the video above.

      If you did science at school, there was a popular experiment which demonstrated precisely that.

      Where two ocean going vessels sailing closely together, they are drawn together due to the reduced pressure in the space between them overcoming the vessels wake and the mass will draw them together against the wake and any resistance in the intervening gap is overcome by the greater pressure on the outer hulls.
      The vessels hulls are then drawn together unless a minimum gap is maintained and accidents occur, that is why vessels do not sail close together and passengers in high seas are transported by breeches buoy so that ships did not collide by being too close together.

      Ask any yachtsman or shipping company, never sail too close to another vessel trying to steal the others wind, competition prises have been lost because of that and damages incurred, in larger shipping vessels have been sunk, sometimes both vessels.

      Imagine that in a very narrow gap such as an underground fissure and that shows how powerful the effect is, water is drawn upwards easily overcoming gravity, which is a very weak force, one of the weakest in the universe.

      At extreme naturally produced pressures the subsurface pressurised fluids and gas, if capped with an impermeable layer such as is the case with shale, are naturally attracted upwards, that is called the artesian effect, and fluids are pushed upwards towards the lesser pressure at the surface.

      Regardless of the additional effects of fracking and pumping, fluids can and do travel against gravity. The higher pressure at depth will eventually close up such gaps which is why sand is introduced to keep the fractures open, but that of course will also allow fluids to travel long after that pressure would have naturally closed up the majority of the fractures. So fracking exacerbates the situation.

      That produces the well known artesian effect and water or oil will if under high pressure, fountain up out of the bore and destroy the rig and the casings, often seen in old oil prospecting movies, which is why they install blow-back valves and pressure regulators in the well head to prevent that occurring.

      So, fluids and gas can and do flow upwards overcoming the tiny effect of gravity at a rate of 9.81 metres per second.

      So, can we dispense with this unscientific anti anti gravity myth now please?

      Perhaps some pseudo science anti anti gravity myth “surface tension” will result from that?

      • [Edited by moderator] A lot of errors / misconceptions in the above. Pointless going through it but I’m sure many others on this BB will reach the same conclusion as myself. I see TW has already spotted some of these….

  5. Phil C. You are wrong as usual. You main premise is capillary action. Capillary action dont have enough force and cannot suck thousands of liters of fluid upward thousands of feet against gravity. Fractures in shale rock are too big for capillary action anyway and fracturing cracks only reach 300 m above the well and cant reach the aquifers which is 2 km above.

    • No TW you are quite wrong, as usual, the main premise is that fracking is carried out under high pressure and pumps fluids to the lesser pressure at the surface. Do try to keep up.

      The Cartesian effect demonstrates that fluids flow upwards naturally, without natural or artificial pressures being applied, which was laughably termed as “magic” by your “colleague”.

      I simply demonstrated that is not true, and that is why i demonstrated that so easily. clearly you are just trying to misrepresent anything that doesn’t fit within the anti anti PR hot desk agenda.

      Fluids will travel to the surface under naturally existing pressure conditions, let alone artificial pumping conditions as utilised in high pressure unconventional hydraulic fracking.

      How do you think naturally occurring artesian spring water wells occur at the top of mountains? I have seen that myself. Look at the oil fields in Texas and Saudi Arabia, the same situations persist there.

      Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about, or are you just trying to “kill” the page?

      Try asking any fluid dynamics engineer, if you want to learn about the physics involved, but oh, just a minute, you just did didnt you?

    • Well, well, there is no show without punch is there?

      From someone who hasnt the foggiest, it is always amusing to see how every word is shrouded in the densest of false fossil fuel pee super smogs?

      We all know where the dense smog comes from dont we boys and girls? The deep south…..

  6. Not sure why the anti frackers keep focusing on these minute tremors. That is not what will fail Cuadrilla. It is the gas flow that is a problem for them. It is certainly a worry on Francis Egan mind in the interview and a problem for Cuadrilla team atm? I am sure that is the pressure on their mind not these microseismic events which stop once fracking is completed.

    • [Edited by moderator]
      This whole sorry tirade, ladies and gentlemen, is a desperate attempt try to close down any discussion and divert from any of this becoming actually talked about in any scientific detail, since that must never be allowed to happen on these pages, and that is far too dangerous for the industry, that is why these anti anti failures immediately resort [edited by moderator] personal attacks.
      That is so transparent isnt it? and have they come up with anything to counter it? No, just attempts at intimidation, pathetic really. i expect they will drag in one of their industry damage limitation team to personally insult and attempt to deny deny deny at some stage, standard procedure on these pages isnt it?
      So, all this is in itself is very revealing isnt it, because if that is all they have to cover this up, the question still remains, and i will keep on repeating it as often as necessary, that fluid does indeed travel upwards against gravity, that is not “magic” that is physics and is very well established.
      It does not require a pressure differential to do that, fractures attract fluid to travel in any direction up down sideways, it does not matter, as regards how far that will travel rather depends upon subsurface geology and natural fractures and pressures.
      But, and this is like some of the anti antis, a Big But, just put that situation down a couple of kilometres below ground and the pressure there is much greater than at the surface, add to that high volume high pressure hydraulic fracking and that will push fluids to the surface which is why high pressure pumping is employed, and what have you got? Fluids will migrate to the surface and into the underground aquifers, it cannot help but to do so. and that is mainly because of the high pressures used deeper down to fracture the shale and extract the gas in the first place, the pumping effects of which will find out any existing or manufactured fracture or fissure and that will provide a route for fluids to travel.
      So all this hilarious personal abuse is just to stop you thinking about this and drawing your own conclusions, something which i suggest you do, dont worry about these attack puppies, they had their scientific teeth drawn ages ago, or they would not be permitted to post here.
      This is fun!
      Always a pleasure!
      Have a nice day, everyone…..

  7. Why they focus on minute tremors?

    Simples.

    Having spent so long scaremongering the simple reality starts to emerge, so the reality has to become something frightening and unexpected-although expected by most for a long time. That will fade.

    Yes, gas flow is the real quarry and I would be surprised if it was huge first time, but anyone with any experience will realise that is not the expectation-although it would be welcome. It would be nice if future budgets could not only have a tax boost from record numbers employed but also taxation from UK industry rather than gifting tax to other countries, as a weird sort of overseas aid to some of the wealthiest countries.

    • The OGA will know if they were pumping at 1130am or not. The timing is close to the two 0.8’s. So assuming they are repeating the same operational sequence each day then if like Saturday they were not pumping, if like Friday I think they were? But this doesn’t stop the daily fracking operation it seems…

      • In fairness to them and it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth to say it they have said it was during fracking operations.

      • Not sure where the 18 hours down time comes from but in reality if they hit a red in the morning, they will be fracking the next day anyway, unless they find there have been issues with well integrity.

        • Yes, but it does limit them to one “frack” a day. In the US they go much quicker but perhaps the TLS has been built into their program hence the prognosed length of time – plus no night time and no Sundays….

          Well integrity is a quick check. I still think the Preese Hall well casing issue was not a result of seismicity but that seems to be the general consensus. John Powney will now post something we have seen a 100 times before…..

      • No Paul, apologise now for your totally unfounded accusations, and then give your scientific reply to the question, dont try to change the subject [edited by moderator]

        • “Fluids are pumped or compressed under high pressure during fracking, and are pumped up to the surface, and the successive positive and negative pumping effect of successive fracks easily overcomes such gravity that exists in the fissures and cracks that are opened up by the deliberate fracturing effect of the pumping of high pressure fluids including sand and chemicals.”

          Not true. Fluids are not “pumped up to the surface”, gravity is not relevant during fracking. What is relevant are the mechanical properties of the rock, the geology above and below and the depth. Look at how the fractures propogate:

          https://petrowiki.org/Fracture_propagation_models

          If the fluids were pumped to surface there would be no flow back, no fracture, no anything….to make a fracture you need back pressure sufficient to overcome the strength of the rock.

          “Due to those effects the fluids and water and chemicals and sand will flow upwards towards the reduced pressure above at the well head, again, simple physics, look at water in a narrow vertical crack, it flows upwards due to electrostatic attraction to the narrow surfaces and the water and that easily overcomes gravity, with reduced surface tension, that becomes even more powerful and allows fluids so chemically treated to travel much easier to the surface due to the pumping effect and the reduced pressure at the surface.”

          Not true. Look at how the fracture propogates, the fluid takes the sand into the propagated fracture, above and below and beyond the point of entry from the casing. Again, if the fluids were pumped to surface there would be no flow back, no fracture, no anything….

          “Gas is less of a problem and will naturally flow to the reduced pressure at the surface, but not fast enough, which is why it is deliberately pressurised at a high rate, and therein, as they say, lies the rub.”

          Gas is not “deliberately pressurised”. The frack fluid opens artificial fractures in the shale which are prevented from closing by the sand, the pressure is bled off, the fluid hydrostatic is removed and the gas flows to surface via the well in a contolled manner by managing the back pressure.

          I could go on. Just out of interest how do you think conventional oil and gas wells are produced – how is “gravity” overcome?

          • [Edited by moderator] I hope this will not descend into a word definition reduction excercise, i may not have the industry terminology at hand, but i have several qualifications in physics and i have told you that several times whether you deny it or not i do not need to demonstrate that to you or anyone else, do you think you would be having this “conversation” such as it is, otherwise?

            What you say is Interesting but still not accurate in the circumstances of fracking,

            High pressure high volume hydraulic fracturing causes “near fracture” or “positive fracture” along the horizontal and at the end of the bore and that is far in excess of the natural pressure at that depth otherwise there would be no fracturing of the shale.

            That pressure does not just stay there, it must find a release to lesser pressure somewhere, it will migrate under pressure in all directions, upwards is less pressure, therefore the pressure will tend to migrate upwards and sideways, and it will carry whatever fluids and gas with it.

            Gravity is the second weakest force in the universe, and pressure at that depth easily overcomes that, it is not “magic”, as your colleague claimed, it is physics.

            That has the effect of increasing the pressure differential between well bore and surface well head and it is the application of pressure that is a deliberate part of the process or it would not be required.

            Successive fracks cause a further pumping effect, just like the heart pulses in the arteries, blood is pumped by successive positive and negative pressure from the heart, and that pumps blood all the way down to the feet and all the way up from the feet on the return journey, and that return journey is against gravity, its not magic, the blood flows, under pressure, back up to the heart again in pulses. simple physics.

            I did not say gas and fluids were pumped to the surface. but that is the effect of high pressure pumping differentials between the well bore and the well head, the same as the heart, except in the natural and artificial fractures, there are no arteries but one back up to the well head,
            But all those fractures are not connected to the well head artery and so gas and fluids find their own way to a less pressurised zone, wherever that may be, probably upwards against gravity but under pressure.

            So fluids and gas are under pressure at the end bore and fracture locations, and that will migrate to a less pressurised place by finding their way along natural fractures not related to the bore, it cannot fail to do so and gravity, such as it is, is overcome in that way.

            “the pressure is bled off, the fluid hydrostatic is removed and the gas flows to surface via the well in a controlled manner by managing the back pressure.” You say the same thing here, “controlled manner by managing the back pressure” but you just say it in different terminology, in other words, we are talking about the same process.

            The back pressure you speak of is a result of the pressurised fracking of high volume, high pressure unconventional hydraulic fracking.

            So we agree then, pressure overcomes gravity, that is all i was saying, it is not magic after all, it took a long time to get here and far too many diversions, though.

            • We are not talking the same thing – and what I said is accurate.

              “The back pressure you speak of is a result of the pressurised fracking of high volume, high pressure unconventional hydraulic fracking.”

              The “back pressure” at the wellhead / choke is nothing to do with the fracking process. This is purely a function of gas being less dense than fluid/water and therfore a well bore full of gas to surface exerts significantly less hydrostatic pressure than a well bore full of water (depends on the gas but typically <0.1psi/ft; fresh water 0.433psi/ft, seawater North Sea around 0.465psi/ft). At the shale the gas will be at a pressure equivalent to the pore pressure at that depth which generally will be normal which is equivalent to a water gradient. So if you subtract the hydrostatic head of gas from the equivalent hydrostatic head of water (at shale depth) you will be left with a closed in pressure at the wellhead. If you open the choke / valve at the wellhead the well will flow gas. The bigger the opening the less back pressure, the greater the flow. If the wellhead valves all fail you have a blow out up the well bore – uncontrolled flow of gas.

              Also bear in mind that the frack fluid (mostly water) has a very low compressibility; you flow back fluid, you very quickly lose the applied pressure. "The low compressibility of non-gases, and of water in particular, leads to their often being assumed as incompressible."

              "So fluids and gas are under pressure at the end bore and fracture locations, and that will migrate to a less pressurised place by finding their way along natural fractures not related to the bore, it cannot fail to do so and gravity, such as it is, is overcome in that way."

              If frack fluid gets into natural fractures the well bore is in communication with them, it has to be otherwise how do they physically get there? When the well is flowed back via the well bore to surface this is where the fluids and gas flow – path of least resistance etc. The fluids will not "migrate" anywhere post fracking.

            • We are talking the same thing Paul, you just dont want to admit it, but hey, it took long enough to get here, so dont spoil it now.

              Water is indeed largely incompressible and that is why high pressure high volume hydraulic fracking will push fluids into the interstices of natural and unnatural fractures and fissures, it has no where else to go.

              Once there such fluids will migrate from the increased pressure at the well bore fracture points to a lesser pressure location, probably upwards, it is not a closed system post fracking. Fracturing opens the previously relatively closed system that persisted prior to fracking, and the sand particles keep the interstices of the resulting fractures, natural or unnatural and hence fluids and gas will flow and migrate, it cannot fail to do so. Anything “communicating” to the well head will travel there, there is indeed increased pressure at the well bore, that is what fractures the shale and the fine sand particles keep the fractures open in order to allow fluids and gas to flow and extracted by whatever method you insist upon.

              I love the word, “communicating” to the well head btw, such a sweet little word, i am always fascinated by the language used in the industry, all safe a cosy comforting word, somewhat belying the patently brute force and ignorance process itself. If that is communicating, then the epithets and “compliments” thrown around here by the anti antis are indeed “communication” in that way.

              it is a reality that only a fraction of fluids and gas are drawn off and that diminishes over time in spite of successive fracks, and what gas and fluids are drawn off, by whatever method you insist upon, but all the other fluids and gas remain, and the strata, having been destabilised and fractured and expanded and contracted by the process, the interstices kept open with sand, fluids and gas will indeed migrate.

              The earth and by extension, the entire universe (Hi kish!) is a dynamic system in constant movement and complex flux, it is not fixed in any way, it can be called chaotic in mathematical terms, which only means highly complex order, nothing happens by accident in actuality.

              To further destabilise an already fluid situation, therefore exacerbates a relatively stable chaotic system of folded and fractured and fissured geology and the results of that are equally chaotic and not fixed or final in any way whatsoever.

              Humans like to think they understand a good deal of such chaotic complexity, so much so that we have developed a god like set of rules we call science and physics. We call such things that work most of the time “laws”. Nature laughs at such egoic certainty.
              The truth is that all of natures complexity is almost beyond us in ways we cannot yet comprehend, and yet we like to say, this is so, that is so, that is the law, this is not so, that is not the law.
              Hubris is one of humanities most revealing failures, the truth is that nothing is fixed, nothing is law, they are nearest approximations, in quantum physics, nothing is assured and inflexible, all is flow and uncertainty, all is potential, no form, no location even until acted upon by another force, most notably consciousness itself.
              Everything is fluid and to hear from those who need such things, that only this or that is true, and nothing must be allowed to contravene that, is simply one of those comfort blankets and scientific teddy bears we like to hang on to in a highly volatile fluid “real world” situation, because that gives the impression we can actually predict the future and understand the past and the present.

              We have seen is these last two weeks, that complexity baffles brains, a process which was proposed as being so assured of success, so fixed in place and obeying those comfort blankets and teddy bear laws of science and physics, when confronted with highly complex chaotic order, we are then surprised, or some of are, that all those assurances, that this is scientifically true, fracking does not cause earthquakes, that is scientifically true, all is safe and fixed, is in fact all hubris and bluster. The reality of complex order will always show these “fixed” ideas to be less than fixed at all.

              You say it yourself, gas will rise naturally and under “back pressure”, or they would not require blowback cut off valves and pressure regulation valves, We are still talking about the same thing, whether you like to admit it or not. you just use industry terminology and i use fluid dynamics terminology. So fluids do migrate upwards against gravity, you say so yourself, they cannot fail to do so.

              That’s it, end of discussion.

      • Just for you Paul, your hero Ian R Crane, now don’t go all dewy eyed, get a hold on yourself…..

        Enjoy!

        Enjoy!

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