Cuadrilla resumes fracking – first seismic activity recorded at site for five weeks

181210 earth tremors bgs

Extract from the British Geological Survey record of seismic activity.

Cuadrilla confirmed this morning it had resumed fracking after a tiny tremor was recorded near its Preston New Road fracking site.

The British Geological Survey reported a micro-seismic event, measuring -0.3 on the local magnitude (ML) scale at 10.30am today. This is the first since the most recent tremor on 4 November 2018.

Cuadrilla said in a statement:

“A micro-seismic event measuring -0.3ML (local magnitude) was detected today at our exploration site in Preston New Road.

Cuadrilla had completed its daily hydraulic fracturing operations at the time. The micro seismic event, registering a minus on the Richter Scale, was detected by our sophisticated monitoring system and verified by the British Geological Survey (BGS).

“According to recent studies by the University of Liverpool, the ground motion experienced from a -0.3ML event is similar to a bus passing on the opposite side of the road or a mobile phone on vibrate. This level is clearly way, way below anything that can be felt at surface and is a very long way indeed from anything which could cause harm or damage.

“Cuadrilla will continue with operational activity in line with its hydraulic fracture plan.”

181210 bubble chart Refraktion

Relative magnitude of seismic events at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool. Chart:

Today’s activity brings to 37 the number of seismic events near Preston New Road since the first on 18 October 2018. That followed three days of fracking at the site.

Like today’s, the first seismic events were small – measuring -0.2, -0.8 and -0.3.

But they increased in size during October and on three occasions Cuadrilla said it had stopped fracking operations.

The largest event, at 1.1ML on 29 October 2018, happened during fracking. This counted as a red event because it measured more than 0.5ML. Under the regulations, fracking must pause for 18 hours. Another red event, measuring 0.8ML, was recorded on 26 October 2018.

The BGS also reported four tremors, which are defined under the regulations as trailing events. These measured 0.5ML or above but happened when Cuadrilla was not fracking.

One of Cuadrilla’s partners, said last month Cuadrilla would seek to raise the threshold at which fracking must pause.

The Australian mining group, A J Lucas, also told shareholders Cuadrilla would allow more fluid to come back to the surface after fracking in an attempt to tackle the problem of earth tremors.

DrillOrDrop tremor tracker

45 replies »

  1. The definition of insanity (particularly suffered by neo-liberal elites and economists it seems), is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    • Little frack….little crack…..little back.

      The completion report from Preese Hall shows relatively low flow rates and they had to cause a 2.3 magnitude quake to get even that.

    • Martin, you know that it isn’t a kettle. Not “if” but WHEN the integrity of the well is fractured. That will be when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan. As you and your pro fracking buddies know, that the seismic activity isn’t something that will always effect what’s going on at surface level.
      It’s what’s happening in the depths.
      Pretty much common sense really.

      • Seems One does not recognise how fracking is supposed to release gas from the shale.

        DOH. The shale is expected to be fractured which will cause small seismic effects that can be picked up on surface with sensitive equipment. Put the same equipment above a salt mine or coal mine and the same will be recorded.

        How many wells have been fracked world wide and how many have suffered any issue with well integrity? So, the when is speculation, if would be more accurate, but not so exciting.

  2. Gold panning in my local stream produced nothing, so that means I am therefore unable to buy wifey anything golden this Christmas.

    Thanks for the excuse John, but I don’t think I would get away with that! You may find more fertile ground on this site, but I doubt it. Was Preese Hall horizontal???? (Just a starter for at least ten.)

    • Ps did you find a link to that article Martin, you did say the story was all over the national press if you cannot find the Gazette link to post. Thanks in advance.

        • No Paul it wasn’t strangely enough as that’s not an article from a local or national news outlet but is an editorial piece from a utilities switching website.

          If Martin had the good grace to post the particular article he repeatedly mentions I will gladly stop asking for a link

          • This is a local newspaper

            A COUNCIL leader was accused of being dictatorial, undemocratic and ‘despicable’ as a debate on a £77million package of cuts ended in chaos.


            I find it interesting that Lancashire County Council are making £77 Million pound cuts to services but are trying this week to stop a major new very well regulated industry in Lancashire, shale Gas losing out on tens of £Millions of pounds to Lancashire but are quite happy to invest £186,958,925.94 in foreign Fracking operations…

            • Nope that’s not it either, you pro guys could post every article ever written and it will not be it, only Martin knows which one as it’s from his over active imagination.

              Post the article MC!

  3. “Cuadrilla had completed its daily hydraulic fracturing operations at the time.: Hardly the truth in this quote, how long has it been, they just cannot help themselves.

          • Someone who goes by the name crembrule and suggests names are vital! Oh dear. Not really cut out for the attack dog role, old chap, are you? But keep at it. Certainly easier than DYOR.

            • I would suggest your error suggests you know sweet F(ootball) A(ssociation) about the area and as the majority on DoD are fully aware you are least qualified to pass comment on the activity on the Fylde.

              Suggest you DYOR or keep your powder dry for items you actually know something about.

              Oh and have you got that link? As I think this may also show you do not know your @rse from your elbow.

            • Ahh! Shout a bit loader when nothing to say. Thanks for reminding me of when my kids were toddlers. Good memories.

              Can we see the full, independent market research to verify your statement? Or, might it be that you have not done that research either?

          • You seem to be the only one making mistakes working with an oil and Gas product crem…

            You can’t even manage a sentence without multiple mistakes…

            Where is your gold standard crem???

            • So says the clown who cannot find Blackpool on a map. Pot meet Kettle!

              My text based mistakes caused by posting hasty replies do not have an impact on others Kish. Those committed by O&G operatives carrying out their duties do. Glad to help.

              Two more seismic events this AM I see. The big C must have thought the rest of the U.K. land mass was catching up on the BGS Earthquake hit parade.

  4. Looks from recent seismic figures that all oil/gas in N.Sea should be suspended then John! Oops-that precautionary principle is a little inconvenient when not used selectively ehh?!

  5. The BGS report 17 seismic events in the last week, 7 in Scotland. Could it be the bagpipes? Let’s ban them until we can be sure the bagpipes are not doing irreparable damage to the environment. Adopt the precautionary principle.

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