“Fracking earth tremor felt like a car hitting building” – council told

181213 tremor tracker

Recorded tremors at Preston New Road from 10/12/18 to 13:25 on 13/12/18 Data:BGS, Background photo: Google Earth; Graphic: DrillOrDrop

The largest earth tremor linked to fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site in Lancashire felt like a “car hitting a building at speed”, Lancashire councillors were told today.

Cllr Paul Hayhurst, who represents the area of the Preston New Road site, told a meeting of the county council that people had contacted the British Geological Survey within minutes of the 1.5ML (local magnitude) tremor at about 11.30am on Tuesday 11 December.

But their complaints about feeling the seismic event came an hour and a half before the seismic event was confirmed and published online, he said.

Cllr Hayhurst said:

“One person said they were in an office building on the Whitehills Industrial Estate, which is just down the road from the site, and they said it was the equivalent of a car hitting the door at speed. That’s what they felt.”

The council was debating a Labour motion to call on the government to suspend fracking in Lancashire until there had been an independent investigation into the earth tremors.

There have now been 48 tremors linked to fracking at Preston New Road. Almost all were too small to feel at the surface. But the BGS has confirmed that Tuesday’s 1.5ML tremor and a 1.1ML event 29 October 2018 were both felt.

A statement from Cuadrilla said the 1.5ML event would have the equivalent impact at the surface of a melon falling on the floor. Cllr Hayhurst told the council:

“Tell that to the people in the office blocks who felt the car that they thought had hit the building.

“We are trying to protect the people we represent. We have a responsibility for these people. They are very worried at the moment. They are feeling these tremors.”

He warned fellow councillors:

“This is what is coming to you. We may have it in Fylde West division at the moment but you are all going to get it one day in Lancashire.”

Cllr Hayhurst added:

“People in my area can’t get insurance for subsidence and mortgage offers are being withdrawn. Get real now”.

Green Party councillor, Gina Dowding, said people were concerned about what was going on underground, around the well, not just at the surface.

The author of the motion, deputy Labour leader, John Fillis, said a two-month pause for an inquiry should not be a problem in a project that could last 70 years.

“Without that independent report, who is to stop them if the earthquakes go on? What happens when there are a hundred or a thousand melons dropping? That is what we have to be concerned about.

“The government should step forward and have a look. They should tell us exactly what is going on.”

The Conservative-controlled council did not vote on the Labour motion. Instead it approved an amendment by a Conservative councillor, Michael Green.

This “expressed appreciation” for monitoring by the regulators at Preston New Road. It also asked the Secretary of State to ask Cuadrilla and the agencies to

“continue all efforts to ensure the safety of everyone and to close down operations immediately should any part of the operation become unsafe.”

The council also agreed to ask the government to pay for the cost of policing anti-fracking protests in Lancashire. DrillOrDrop report

61 replies »

  1. Hmmm. There’s a problem with language here – “car hitting a building at speed” looks like an exact quote. Elsewhere (eg – headline) it says “.. felt like car hitting building”. It’s impossible to gain a sense of measure from ‘felt like’ similes unless clarified. ‘A’ building means any building at any proximity. Is it the building you’re in? A building in the same block, or further away? Or, more dramatically, was it a feeling you’d get if you were in the car? or even between the car and the building?!! If the quote (I’m tempted to put ‘quote’ in quote-marks) said ‘sounded like’ I’d get a better idea of it all. Elsewhere again “it was the equivalent of a car hitting the door at speed” gives another impression – of it being about the building you’re in, but that’s an odd one. Why door?

    Same with all the Brexit stuff. When people make a statement that sounds like a certainty, but without any clarity, reporters just need to ask ‘what do you mean?’ or ‘can you put it another way?’.

    • Usual sloppy reporting and waffle that DoD has become so renowned for. That’s the problem when the “story” doesn’t have much substance to begin with and the failing propaganda machine is desperate to make something of it.

      • Perhaps you should take the time to watch the actual meeting number plate and then come back and eat humble pie……

      • “It felt like a car hitting a building” was a quote from the council meeting. Sloppy reporting would have been to add our own interpretation to a statement made by an elected representative at a public meeting.

    • I wouldn’t get too tied up with this analysis; Councillor Hayhurst was just reporting what had been said to him…..

      The more important quote from this meeting is this:
      ‘People in my area can’t get insurance for subsidence and mortgage offers are being withdrawn’

      Predicted, now a reality….

  2. Please contrast the statement regarding property insurance and withdrawn mortgage offers, which I must accept as true because of the character of the declarer, with previous statements from those promoting fracking of claims that property values in some fracking zones have not only fallen by only 7% but can also actually rise due to the influx of new well-paid workers!
    Strange business this.
    By the way, a property facing PNR fracking site bought for £240k in 2005 sold for just £170k in 2017 just months after site and pad preparation commenced! That’s a drop in true value of about 40%! Nightmare!

    • Strange business, Peter!

      Were you not posting a few days ago about housing being constructed close to PNR? Must be daft builders up your way, building houses without a market, or maybe someone is not too careful with the way they select information. Perhaps the drop in value of that individual property was connected to the activities of the protestors and they should therefore cough up?

      • Your comment regarding the Housing developments on PNR is indicative of you not knowing the area. A quick look on giggle maps would indicate that those particular developments are on the outskirts of Kirkham, a good 2.5 Miles away from the Caudrilla site and in the opposite direction to the drilling. Therefore unlikely to be directly affected by current activity on that that particular site. Ill informed contrarian clap trap from McFly yet again!

        Whilst we are discussing ill informed nonsense unrelated to the area in question I wonder if you are able to provide a link to that article you repeatedly mention?

        • Not me who posted about the building companies and the connection with PNR, pavlova.

          If your anti colleagues are posting such ill informed contrarian clap trap, then take it up with them. Better not to bother though. There would be little left.

          By the way, do you know how far, and in which direction other future horizontals will go from PNR? Please supply the link. (Probably not on giggle, so you may have a problem.)

          • Yes it was you t00l, Peter Roberts mentioned a pre existing property directly opposite the site that recently sold for a significant reduction in value, YOU make reference to the the Storey development originally raised in another post. Ergo YOU brought it into this discussion. Your grip on reality is loosening by the day.

            Do you have the link to the article yet?

        • Hello Crembrule
          You are correct to say that there are lots of new houses going up on the edge of Kirkham. However, the nearest housing development is on Whitehill Road, between the car salesroom and the boarding kennels. It is a small road off Preston New Road and the new houses are very close to the fracking site.

          • pmcl I am aware there is significant amount development to the rear of B&Q along School Road/Whitehills Road but this particular development you mention is news to me. Every credit to any small builder trying to develop close to the development blight that is PNR but I fear that may be a very risky speculative step to far unless they are building for off plan buyers. Will be interesting to see how these sell.

  3. Peter Roberts.
    I’d like you to volunteer having a pad 500m from your home.

    As for property values, we can look to the usa to see how homes are devalued by pad presence/blow-offs, truck congestion and subsidence. There is little to be skeptical about. When property wealth drops just so oil firms can become temporarily rich… It is a huge economic problem.

    Sarcasm aside.. oil company investors need to pay for subsidence insurance – forever- for home which can no longer obtain it.

    • Oh dear Pavlova. Stamping your foot and becoming abusive is fine when you are correct. Not a good look when you are not.

      How far and in which direction will horizontals travel from PNR? We know that is the reality that is of significance regarding housing. Perhaps you are keen on more pads rather than long horizontals?

      Would you also like a list of properties bought in 2005 and sold at a loss in 2017-it would be quite a long one!

    • Cindy – Subsidence as a result of shale gas development is a fantasy of yours – it simply doesn’t happen. The compressibility is shales from which gas is extracted is far too low for subsidence to be an issue

    • Cindy

      I agree with you that any damage incurred by fracking ( say ) is to the account of the company doing it.
      Just as the NCB paid for subsidence damage.

      However, interesting to see in this report that councillors say subsidence insurance has been refused.

      And damage is likely to be related to seismic events rather than subsidence ( as per comments below), so maybe insurance companies are hopping onto a bandwagon to refuse insurance for something that is not likely to happen.

      Who was refused and by whom, and if this is common to all house owners within a stated radius of the frack Site would be interesting.

      • The point is hewes that they are purported to have refused insurance therefore ultimately a mortgage; what category they have used is their underwriters choice. The effect is what is important; lives ruined as the biggest asset owned is now worthless, no posh nursing home for them…..

        And this scenario will roll out across the UK, not just the Fylde; imagine the cost to the government aka the taxpayer for claims, lack of funds for social care etc etc? And projected revenue to refill the pot? Zero….great business strategy; what a crock of shit!

        • Sherwulfe

          Yes, though on here one comment says it is a lie and you say purported, but still worth following up.

          Hence more information would be good to take the issue forwards. It has been aired on here before.

          However, so far I have only heard of it as an issue on here close to PNR.

          Let’s hope we can get some concrete evidence tabled on here, as insurance and mortgage issues are quite vexing.

  4. Shame that the largest European on shore oil field (Wytch Farm) is slap bang surrounded by some of the most expensive housing within the UK (outside of London), Cindy. (Plus a number of nature reserves.)

    The reality in UK is a little different to the fog on the Internet.

      • “When property wealth drops just so oil firms can become temporarily rich”.

        Totally different?

        No, exactly the same. Except they haven’t.

        So, existing experience in the UK is somewhat different to what Cindy suggests. We have yet to see what will happen regarding fracking sites in UK, and we have yet to see what financial benefits may be provided to local communities, which may be very different to US experience, so that one is simply speculation.

  5. The usual woolly vague stipulations in the variation.
    ‘Any part of the operation become unsafe’
    To what subject matter and how identified.
    Crass and we’re paying for this pathetic charade of concern.

    We know it’s unsafe. A 1.1 and 1.5 at the same location, ie the same fault has been identified, recognise and declare it’s unsafe to the environment due to critically stressed faults with potential to let fluids migrate and cause tremors that break frack piping.

    Get on with it and get it banned.

  6. Treacherous Tory controlled Lancashire County Council bowing to the fracking industry rather than protecting the Citizens of Lancashire and beyond as is their duty.

    Lancashire County Council voted against fracking and now won’t stick to it’s guns despite swarms of earthquakes and no viable Evacuation and Emergency strategy being in place and made known and practiced by Residents of the Fylde!

    Why anyone with a brain and a heart would vote for the Conservative Party with it’s present values is beyond me? They are a shape-shifting rabble of public school deceivers.

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