guest post

Guest post: The changing picture of geology beneath Cuadrilla’s fracking site

Cuadrilla drilling graphic

Graphic of drilling through an idealised shale rock layer. Source: Cuadrilla Resource

In the past few years, the locations of geological faults and even whole rock strata have moved as we learn more about the geology below Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking site.

In this guest post, Fylde geologist Trina Froud reports on why this matters and warns that regulators could have been “working blind” because of a reluctance to share data.


There are a number of knowns and unknowns surrounding the exploration of a shale gas pad.

The knowns include change of use of land, noise, light, trucks, concerned residents. The  unknowns include questions about long-term well integrity and the geology – what does the subsurface look like and how will it behave?

To explore for shale gas, a company needs to have a picture of the subsurface to find out where the shale is, and how best to access it. In a new area the company would normally conduct a 3D seismic survey to find out.

A number of professional geologists consider that survey data should be openly available but, under the licence system in the UK, it has been commercially-confidential in Cuadrilla’s Fylde licence area for more than five years. So:

  • What do we know of the survey results?
  • What confidence can we place in Cuadrilla’s interpretation?
  • Why does it matter?
  • What can be done about it?

Shale, surveys and a slipping fault

Cuadrilla is searching for shale gas in the Bowland Shale. The rock formation has had quite a complex geological history in the area. This explains why the rocks are 2km underground in the Fylde, but 17 miles away in the Bowland Fells they are found at the surface.

Shale rocks Muriel

Shale rocks (from left to right): Lower Bowland Shale from dense tough bed of black cherty/siliceous limestone; Lower Bowland Shale showing layers of mud; Upper Bowland Shale, very flaky, weathering to a lighter colour on the surface. Photo: T Froud

Before Cuadrilla drilled and fracked at Preese Hall in April/May 2011, Professor Peter Styles, then at Keele University, advised the company to do a new seismic survey and install local seismic monitoring. The company didn’t.

Cuadrilla relied on an older 2D seismic survey that was offset to the planned well. This meant that it had an incomplete picture of the subsurface. During operations, fluid migrated into a fault which then slipped, caused more than 50 tremors (including one months later in Aug 2011) and deformed the well over a significant interval.

The consequences, apart from loss of the well, were a moratorium, a series of reports, reviews and studies, a growing public awareness of fracking ….. and a pause of 7 years.

The lesson learned could be summed up:

“A survey is expensive but drilling in the wrong place is a jolly sight more expensive”.

What surveys show …

A seismic survey indicates the type, thickness and depths of rock layers below the surface. It also shows the structure, such as the folds and faults resulting from geological upheavals.

Subsequently, during drilling, core samples can be taken and instrumentation used in the well to gather information about the rocks, and all this data is used to correlate with the survey results.

The ideal geology would be like a neat layer cake or the banner produced by Cuadrilla:

Cuadrilla banner T Froud

But when Cuadrilla carried out a seismic survey in 2012, the picture was rather different. The Environmental Statement for the proposed Roseacre Wood site depicted the subsurface like this:

cuadrilla-roseacre-wood-environment-statement-geology-e1542390381221.jpg

Graphic included with Cuadrilla’s environmental statement for its Roseacre Wood site. Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla’s 3D seismic survey was due to be released in January 2018, but was not authorised for release until September 2018. This was too late to be reviewed by the wider scientific community, because all the permissions had been given to frack the first well at Preston New Road by that time.

So the only access that academics and independent geoscientists have had, is to tiny seismic slices and equally limited coloured interpretations of the geology, shown in the planning applications, and more recently, in the Hydraulic Fracture Plans (HFP) submitted by site operators to the regulators.

… and how the picture changed

An HFP ought to contain data that can be obtained only from drilling, and that point is made in the HFP for Kirby Misperton. However, Cuadrilla issued its HFPs before or just as it started drilling.

Cuadrilla’s HFP for its first well – PNR1/1z – went through several iterations before it was finally accepted and now includes data gained during drilling.

You can compare the graphic (immediately below) in the original HFP for well 1, pre-drilling and based only on the 3D survey, with the second graphic produced after drilling in the revised and longer HFP:

Cuadrilla geology in pnr hfp for well 1

Graphic in the Preston New Road HFP pre-drilling and based only the 3D seismic survey. Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla geology in pnr hfp after drilling

Graphic in the Preston New Road HFP produced after drilling. Source: Cuadrilla Resources

There are several differences between the two graphics:

  • the vertical pilot hole does not go below the Lower Bowland Shale as had been proposed
  • the lateral was drilled into the Lower Bowland Shale rather than the Upper Bowland Shale

And the geological interpretation has changed:

  • the band of Millstone Grit Icoloured light brown) that Cuadrilla predicted from their 3D seismic survey, was simply not present at the location of the pilot well
  • Fault-1 extends much higher and is now portrayed with a splay of smaller faults towards the top in the Upper Bowland Shale
  • Crucially the well is drilled through the fault

Now compare this to the graphic in the HFP for well 2, issued after drilling that well.

Cuadrilla geology in pnr after drilling well 2

Graphic produced for the Preston New Road second well (PNR2). Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Further changes have been made. The geological interpretation close to the Moor Hey fault has changed, even though neither well was drilled nearby and no further survey has been carried out in that area.

The whole picture is very different from the graphic in the planning application made to Lancashire County Council  in 2014:

Cuadrilla geology in pnr in LCC planning application 2014

Graphic in Cuadrilla’s planning application to Lancashire County Council in 2014. Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Should we trust the graphics?

Both the way the survey is carried out (the data acquisition), and the way the data is processed, can affect the results of the subsequent interpretation.

In Cuadrilla’s licence area, PEDL165, the seismic survey and the data processing were carried out by CGG Veritas, and the subsequent interpretation was by Cuadrilla.

Emeritus Professor David Smythe, formerly of Glasgow University, has had concerns for several years about the interpretation of the seismic survey, particularly the faults. He raised these issues with Lancashire County Council’s planning officers in 2014 and 2015. He discusses the issue further in this recent article.

The changes to the graphics over the last four years, show that the Cuadrilla has not found it easy to interpret the results of this 3D seismic survey.

Millstone Grit and Shale are very different rocks, and have different characteristics. Therefore, it is rather surprising to me that they expected to find 1,000ft of Millstone Grit at the location of the pilot hole, which actually turned out to be shale.

The latest HFP states:

“At the Preston New Road Site, the Millstone Grit overlies the Upper Bowland Shale. Observations in section t “Well Observation” identify the Millstone Grit to be absent at the PNR1 well pilot hole location, however 3D seismic data shows the Millstone Grit present vertically above the lateral well (PNR 1z).”

Given that this same survey data was misinterpreted at the pilot hole location, what level of confidence can the regulators have that it has now been correctly interpreted elsewhere?

And does it matter?

A full understanding of the structure of the subsurface is important. It is a necessary precursor to, and underpins the ‘safety’ of, any unconventional hydrocarbon development, because the behaviour of that structure is even less well understood.

  • Faults can slip causing tremors and/or damaging well
  • Faults can transmit fluids in the horizontal direction
  • Faults can transmit fluids upwards

We know that a fault slipped at Preese Hall and caused deformation to the well. Professor Richard Davies, of Newcastle University and the Research in Fracking in Europe project, has raised concerns that these PNR wells are drilled through a fault, and that “if it slipped there will be a well integrity issue”.

We know that the EA analysis of the flowback fluid from the Preese Hall well showed that it contained a wide range of salts, heavy metals, low level radiation, all of which came from the shale. Some of these substances were at many times the concentrations found in the drinking quality water that was used to frack. We also know that Cuadrilla’s former Technical Director Andrew Quarles said in 2015:

“We have been estimating we will get back 40% of flowback. There are lots of theories. No-one knows exactly what is going on or where the water goes or where the final resting place is.The water could go into the fractures created by fracking or it could be absorbed into the shale formation”

We know from Cuadrilla’s geologist, Huw Clarke that the Morecambe Bay gas fields were formed when Bowland Shale gas migrated up through faults in the Manchester Marl, collecting in the Sherwood Sandstone Group.

The mechanism of induced seismicity is not fully understood and is the subject of current research. The effect of faults on the compartmentalisation of groundwater is also a current research paper.

A group of geoscientists from Durham and Newcastle Universities have said:

“The shale formations that are currently targeted by fracking in England are highly (naturally) faulted. … The new challenge, however, is working out how stressed these faults are.”

Commenting on the recent tremors, Professor Stuart Haszeldine, at the University of Edinburgh, said:

“The practical significance is … 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”.

There are a lot of unknowns and yet academic recommendations to minimise the risks – for example by maintaining a respect distance from faults proposed by Professor Styles – have not been heeded.

The risks of delayed data release

I have no doubt that interpreting the results of a 3D seismic survey is a specialist skill, and clearly Cuadrilla experienced difficulties.

I observe that the company had five years to study the data. If the results were not sufficient to assess properly the subsurface at Preston New Road, the company had the option to re-run a limited survey for these wells or reprocess the data in that area. This is particularly important when drilling proved that the Millstone Grit was not present.

Cuadrilla’s 3D seismic survey was due to be released under the terms of their licences (for PEDL 165, EXL 269), in January 2018, but Cuadrilla asked the industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority to withhold it.

If the data had been released in January 2018, independent scientists would have had time to assess these interpretations and raise any concerns about, for example, the position of faults relative to the wells or the location of British Geological Survey (BGS) groundwater monitoring stations relative to the faults.

To the best of my knowledge, neither Liverpool University, which has been working on triggers of induced seismicity, nor the Durham/Newcastle and ReFINE geoscientists working with Professor Davies, have seen the data. When last I asked, the BGS had not seen the data either, and of the three regulators, only the OGA has had access.

The issues that concern Fylde residents near the well sites are not about seismicity that can be felt on the surface. They are all about what is happening subsurface and which could have long-term consequences.

Exploration for hydrocarbons should be conducted with the stewardship of the environment in mind. The subsurface and its behaviour are unknowns, and fracking is such a controversial topic, that the survey data needs to be viewed by the other regulators and examined by independent experienced scientists before any further exploration is carried out.

In particular, it is of deep concern to me as a resident, that regulators who are making crucial decisions about fracking, are doing this ‘blind’.

163 replies »

  1. This article is about the geology, the competence of a fracking operator and the background political environment of a government that agrees to undermine public confidence by limiting relevant information to the industry and those invested in it. Now we have at least some people in the UK (but not our government) finally seeing the evidence and realising that fossil fuels are causing climate change while onshore wind and solar are not getting anything like the government backing that fossil fuels are.

    This industry has arrived in the UK at a very ill timed moment. Most people don’t want it because it will industrialise our small and over populated country and damage existing jobs, quite apart from potential health impacts. Local people dont trust the operators, given that they have “special relationships’ with pro-fossil fuel lobbies. No amount of new “tzars” all make a difference. Local people are well informed and not inclined to change their views.

  2. Well, the sport was better elsewhere than DoD this weekend!

    Perhaps the antis “expert” has a reason to try and create another platform after his Weald one started to collapse??

    That’s the problem with speculation. When you connect your expertise with speculation, then the clock ticks on and has a habit of showing the “mights” are just as inaccurate as if they came from an unqualified person.

    Obviously, if you do it enough times, you may be lucky once and end up as the leader of the Lib Dems!

  3. The local people who voted, in the majority, for a party that supports fracking in the UK, and largely rejected candidates who were standing on an anti fracking ticket! Pretty underwhelming.

    Just part of the overall majority in the country who are not against fracking in the UK.

    Queue the usual candidates to attempt to change reality. Meanwhile, the general public will not be budged and will watch with interest to see the fantasy needed to keep a bit of excitement going within the decreasing minority. Or, they may be more diverted to watch the increase in on shore activity by the companies and wonder if the squealing of a few is inversely related to lack of progress by the antis.

    • Ooh dear Martin is that really the best you can muster today? Not only is it bog standard collyerwibble aimed at inflaming the debate, it is also non sequitur to the OP and the subsequent discussion.

        • That sounds a little patronizing Judith; you didn’t say if you actually finished your PhD?

          It is inspiring that this generation are taking an active role in their future.

          • Very inspiring – getting opinions of people who aren’t qualified to have those opinions. Maybe he should also ask them what they think of the latest design of the nuclear fusion experiment

            • Sorry did you just state that the general public are not qualified to hold an opinion? That’s a little bit on the totalitarian dictatorship side of political beliefs isn’t it Judith?

            • crembrule – no I simply pointed out the general public aren’t qualified to have an opinion. The example that I gave should have made it pretty clear what point I wa making.

            • AD – so are you saying that you should be allowed to have a say in the design of the latest nuclear fusion reactor?

            • ah oK so unless you hold a qualification in a subject you shouldn’t comment on it then? So very much like the public health post those making disparaging remarks about the research do not hold valid views unless they also hold a qualification. Thanks

            • The value of any opinion should be weighted according to the persons knowledge of the subject. The point is that people like you and AD accuse me of arrogance but it isn’t me who holds such strong belief in my own abilities that I feel qualified to comment on every subject. Unlike many who contribute here who watch Gaslands and suddenly think they’re an expert on fracking

            • But you clearly do like to comment on all and sundry Judith and [edited by moderator] you also have no or lesser training than the Proffs. Middleton and Saunders, thus reducing the strength of your arguments accordingly.

              I shall now afford those particular commentators views with the appropriate weighting with regard to that particular topic. Thanks

            • crembrule – of course I respect what other experts in the disciplines have to say but overall I think you’ll find that. It must however be said that Proffs. Middleton and Saunders are simply talking to the public are relaying their opinions. In addition, if Middleton and Saunders base their work on statistical analysis, data-mining or machine learning I would feel qualified to question their conclusions given that they are techniques that I use on a day-to-day basis as part of my job.

            • You could question their techniques of data collection and analysis but surely not the interpretation of the data from a medical stand point, so the situation is exactly the same. You in actual fact know as much as the next lay person and your opinion therefore holds as much or as little worth as any other run of the mill the poster.

            • Hmmmm, “Judith Green”…Your belligerent attitude suggests that you’re rather out of your depth on here and would be well advised to leave these discussions to qualified experts such as Professor Smythe …

  4. Ahh, must be Christmas approaching!

    The three wise(?) men approach from the East.

    “What gifts do you bring?”

    “None. We just wanted to say we were here and chat amongst ourselves”

    A new, internet version, of the oldest story. I think I prefer the original. Those wise men actually made a contribution.

  5. Well, old thing, how much of a “majority” is that, against the numbers who voted in the constituency during the general election?

    You really should avoid going anywhere near maths. and statistics, and just stick to following what others tell you about facts and figures.

    Oops-then you end up with a diesel BMW! Yep, I can see the temptation to avoid such after that. (Hope you didn’t get caught with the London congestion charge on Saturday.)

    But, for the rest of us who do our own research, pretty underwhelming.

    • How much of a majority? Well between eight or nine out of every ten of those who voted Martin. It’s easy enough to work out, however much you may not want to believe your own eyes.

      We’ve done the modern diesel versus petrol thing Martin – I know you never listen or learn but you are getting a little tedious now. It almost seems as though you have nothing intelligent to say so you feel the need to wibble about things you don’t understand.

      Why on earth would I have got caught up in the London Congestion charge on Saturday? I was 300 miles away. Maybe get nurse to reduce the dose as you seem to be hallucinating again!

  6. “Of those who voted”-tried to slip that one by, but no cigar. Very obvious, but brownie points for honestly identifying the weakness in your “data”.

    And then, you had to spoil it! YOU wanted to compare diesel to petrol, it was myself who pointed out that identified a fossil fuel fixation, and that was not the only choice. Goodness, the commitment to alternative energy sources seems somewhat limited. What happened to hybrids and electric? Not intelligent to attempt to ignore real alternatives and the advice of the UN report (or Sherwulfe) that individual choices can make a difference.

    • “Of those who voted” Doh – silly me – I’ve had so many Brexiteers telling that’s what counts that I forgot you’d want to compare a poll of Lytham residents to the entire population of Fylde to try to score a silly point! You really don’t seem to understand data at all do you Martin?

      Funny how your lot never make these daft comparisons when we point out the laughable turnouts achieved at demos and on petitions by Backing Fracking though, isn’t it?

      What happened to hybrids or electric cars? Well this for a start https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/12/scrapping-uk-grants-for-hybrid-cars-astounding-says-industry

      You seem to be encouraging unnecessary waste Martin but I’m not changing my car until it needs to be changed. When I do get to do that I hope that the government is taking directive steps to encouraging greener alternatives again, because while individual choices and actions obviously do count, government action and incentivisation counts rather more. In the meantime I’m sure we will enjoy years of Collywibble about your obsession with diesel cars. Yawn.

  7. Oh, I see reaction, saving the planet is dependant upon the government paying you to do it with some other tax payers money! A true believer. LOL. Keep on digging. Really seismic! Trouble is, much of that tax has been exported to places like Norway as we pay for their oil and gas, to help them boost their Sovereign Wealth Fund above the $1 trillion mark, so individual responsibility and true conviction may be required instead, and it may need a little personal financial sacrifice.

    “I’m not changing my car until it needs to be changed”. Will that be within the 12 years? If not, then, of course, no need to bother as it will all be too late. Oh dear. Never mind. Leave it to others. I shall find another corner for another tree.
    .
    I love the idea that those who want to see fracking tested in the UK should protest because that is what is happening! Maybe I should stand outside the bank tomorrow and protest it is open if I want to deposit some cash? Erm-you protest to change what is happening. Not much call for it when it already is!

    Some of us understand that “overwhelming” is usually underwhelming when you actually check the data. The clue is in the quotation marks. But thanks for supplying the information to demonstrate it. And at least we now have some content, rather than emojis instead of content.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening, I shall leave you in peace as I have a fridge/freezer to select for Mrs, Christmas gift-with improved energy rating, of course. The fridge/freezer, that is.

    • Oh dear Martin – you seem to be getting overexcited again – I see you have admitted defeat on your inability to understand basic polling and are now intent on showing that you don’t understand how government policy works (or in this case doesn’t) to encourage desired behaviours either.

      I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say in the latter half of that load of Collywibble, so I can only assume that Mrs C has asked the nurse to up your meds again, and is happy to put up with receiving some dull white goods for Christmas in exchange for a peaceful evening in mid November. I feel for her.

  8. From the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Energy and Environmental Security Program website:

    “Q. How does an earthquake affect oil and gas production wells and injection wells?
    A. Modern wells are designed to withstand seismic deformations. They are constructed from
    flexible steel casing designed to deform but not rupture from distortions much larger than those
    caused by the passage of seismic waves from earthquakes except very close to the earthquake
    source. Several oil and gas fields throughout Southern California and the San Joaquin basin
    have experienced major nearby earthquakes with relatively few problems. For example, only 14
    of 1,725 active wells within the oilfields close to the 1983 magnitude 6.8 Coalinga earthquake
    suffered collapsed or parted well casings. ”

    Most fracked geologies are faulted. Sometimes small earthquakes result from fracking. Rarely are these earthquakes felt at surface by people. Wells are designed to deform in the case of stress – bend but don’t break is a good thing. NOT ONE SINGLE CASE OF MICROSEISMICITY HAS CAUSED A WELL FAILURE. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT FRACK FLUID HAS EVER MIGRATED THROUGH FAULTS UPWARD INTO THE WATER TABLE. We have fracked over 2 million wells and there is simply no evidence that frack fluid migration has occurred as this author suggests. So, we can theorize and speculate all we want, but the evidence is the evidence and what it says is very clear.

    • Bob -you need to watch yourself – people on here don’t like data that shows their silly theories wrong.

      However. I’m pleased that you brought up California because I just reviewed a report which compared the incidents of leaked traps in California with those in a tectonically relaxed subsiding basin – guess what? There is statistically no difference. This doesn’t really fit in with “Prof” Smythes ideas about faults forming conduits for fluid flow every time they move. However, I’m sure he’ll be able to find some irrelavent argument as to why that’s not he case.

  9. Ms Green

    You wrote:

    “I must however say that I’m particularly skeptical of your interpretation as my experience tends to show that the staff of oil companies are far better at interpretations than even academics who specialize in this area let alone someone who has specialized on [sic] the deep earth and has very little experience in the petroleum industry.”

    I also moved into high resolution, small scale 3D, and then after retirement into ultrasound 3D using geophysical philosophy which is diametrically opposed to conventional ultrasound 3D imaging. So my experience is far broader than you imagine.

    “my experience tends to show …” says it all really. You are someone on the outer fringes of exploration, doing routine EIAs for the industry. I suppose you are ‘resting’ at the moment, which would explain your lengthy posts on the article above.

    Your skills are on the same level, generally speaking, as a number of other prolific pro-fracking commentators, always anonymous, who pop up regularly in DoD, or in the comment columns of the Guardian and the like. They all seem to have had, like you, some sort of hydrocarbon-based ‘career’ – but on the fringes. Aside from yourself (a PhD in chemistry I gather), we have, for example: a Bristol aeronautical engineering graduate who worked as a wireline logger for a few years, pre-1980; a geology graduate who worked in South Africa for 3 years in the early 70s before taking the cloth; another retired Halliburton North Sea wireline logger based in Aberdeen; a chap (commenting now) whose only qualification seems to be that he claims to be based in the Poole region (so he is evidently an expert on Wytch Farm!), and so on and so on. What you all have in common is that you have picked up enough geological and geophysical jargon, but without a true in-depth knowledge. Another facet in common is your quasi-religious belief that fracking will be good for the UK.

    “… let alone someone who has specialized on the deep earth” – wrong again Ms Green. After retiral 20 years ago I spent about 9 years, off and on, consulting for the (conventional) petroleum exploration industry. I worked in tandem with a structural geologist (PhD, Cambridge) who had worked for the majors like BP, then founded his own software company (which is still running and is highly successful in its niche market). We made an excellent team. But I left that area in about 2011 when I realised that promoting fossil fuel exploration was incompatible with anthropogenic global warming – which is why I am opposed to the development in the UK of the new dirty and polluting industry that is fracking.

    You prefer the experience of industry personnel to academic ‘experts’. I have to say I have some sympathy with this view. But my experience of even highly qualified exploration personnel, people that I used to meet at conferences, is that they don’t have a rounded enough experience – they may be brilliant experts at processing, wireline logging, modelling, field acquisition, interpretation, or whatever, but there are always lacunae in their knowledge. And the best of them generally leave the ‘coal face’ by age 40 or so and get promoted into middle or higher management.

    • Prof Smythe – your career path and publication record is so impressive that I’m sure lots of universities have tried to head hunt you since your early retirement. It seems a sensible thing moving to ultrasonic – after all when one gets out of touch is better to move to easier problems. So nice working on acoustics rather than those troublesome elastic problems.

      It’s also very good that you can mind read and can tell perfectly well that I’m on the outer reaches of exploration. Well I guess you’ve got me there slightly as I’d much prefer to work on appraisal and development, as well as decommissioning issues.
      Your industry experience is truly magnificent – I bet industry is just so annoyed that you turned your back on them in 2011 after belated learning that fossil fuels were bad for the environment. At which point you decided to turn you attention to fracking in the UK, which of course is going to make such a massive impact on global warming. I should have done the same instead of wasting a load of my time on CCS, radioactive waste disposal, geothermal energy etc.

      [Edited by moderator]

      I’m pleased that you acknowledge that industry experts can be better than academics. However, you did write “that I used to meet at conferences”, which was a considerable time ago. The current people involved in the petroleum industry tend to have a very multi-disciplinary training and are quite comfortable doing wire-line log analysis, seismic interpretation, reservoir modelling etc etc.; they have evolved. This is unlike academics who seem to mix with around 200-300 of their peers who study the same subject, cite each other in their papers and agree that each others grants are worth funding. The latter get lots of pats on the back from their Vice Chancellors but don’t contribute much to science.

      Now getting back to science. You still haven’t presented any reasonable argument as to how fluids are likely to migrate several kms up a fault in an unconventional gas setting. It seems to me that your criticism of staff in the oil industry that they “don’t have a rounded enough experience” – is actually a reflection of your comments on this subject. The fact that you keep harping on about people in “exploration” also shows how out of touch you are with the industry. The vast majority of staff aren’t involved with exploration, they are involved with appraisal, development, and decommissioning. Most companies are also employing lots of people in geothermal, CCS, etc etc.
      The bottom line is that there really aren’t significant dangers in fracking for shale; it’s one of the safest way to take hydrocarbons out of the ground (I would have thought that as a scientist you would realize that the low permeability and low pore volume compressibility mean that wells in shale are easier to control than in any other rock). The way that we reduce carbon emissions isn’t using fake science to attack their production – it’s reducing their consumption by fiscal policy and finding alternatives. So instead of spending your time inventing bogus reasons as to why shale gas production is likely to harm the environment wouldn’t it be more productive to spend your time looking at better ways of energy storage so that we can actually rely on renewables 24/7?

      • Oh Judith, typical traits of the industry coming to the fore here. Anyone formerly of the industry who sees their misgivings and speaks out against them is rounded and seized upon by the lapdogs who blindly defend the industry in pursuit of a fat pay cheque.[edited by moderator]

        • AD – on one had the anyifrackers are saying that there is no money in shale gas and then on the other the companies have enough money to pay off a large number of people. Which is it AD? It can’t be both

        • AD

          As a pro fracker I am often accused ( in conversation ) of working for ‘them’, …’I hope they are paying you enough’, or, ‘how much do they pay you to say that’ ( when I disagree with a point or two ).

          My stock reply is, ‘same as you luv’, ( as they are clearly paid to blindly defend the anti fracking industry in pursuit of a fat bank transfer ).

          As clearly both I and those I speak to are great mind readers and judges of character such that we immediately know that the other person is a running dog or lap dog, blindly following something for a fat payment.

          Not that everyone says that, so I could not say that to think that those who disagree with you are paid to do so, is a typical trait of the anti fracking community. More a common thread.

          So who knows if Judith and Prof Smythe are hoping for a fat deposit into a bank account for writing on DOD, or perhaps they both write for free ( no matter how they earn a crust from the day job ).

  10. Bit like there will be no wells because it is totally uneconomic, but at the same time there will be 1000s of wells industrializing the country!

    Or, a small poll of a sub section of the locals is more valid than a poll of them all (old enough to vote.) Or one third is bigger than two thirds.

    And then they get surprised, and upset, when others point out the total confusion within their ranks.

    But, it is beneficial for a few, who wish to maintain that confusion. Shame for those who have a real local concern and are feeling the stress of it all. Living within constant “fog” must be quite depressing.

    Perhaps AD is paid to sell alternative energy systems and is concerned about being able to compete after the revelation from one of his leaders that he is only interested if someone else will subsidise him?

    • spot on. As I posted on another page recently, I don’t actually think people like Refraction, AD and Sherwulke are as stupid as they/he makes out. However, they seem to follow the Trump way of acting – appeal to the gullible will fake stories and alternative facts to create an idiocracy

      • Who the hell is Sherwulke?

        If you are referring to me, then perhaps I could finally take that higher degree with your permission of course?

        I used to think that most pro-frackers originated in the same call centre; but now I believe they have their very own training school with courses like:
        A5432 Bullshit for beginners
        B2845 Improve your bullshit

        There is an immanent conference call for papers: ‘How pro-fracking posters think they have created an illusion of knowledge and failed miserably, on Drill or Drop’ – qualifications for submissions; A5432, B2845; delusional thinking pro-fracking individuals only by publication, please.

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