Cuadrilla brings in pre-dawn convoy to prepare wells for fracking

pnr 190311 convoy Katrina Lawrie2

Pre-dawn convoy delivery to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site, 11 March 2019. Photo: Still from video by Katrina Lawrie

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, confirmed it had resumed deliveries to its fracking site near Blackpool at 5.30am this morning.

The company said a convoy brought in specialist equipment designed to prepare the two wells at Preston New Road for hydraulic fracturing later in the year.

Equipment was demobilised before Christmas, including the coiled tubing unit used during fracking.

Cuadrilla’s projects and operations director, Laura Hughes, said in a letter to members of the community liaison group (clg):

We said then that we would remobilise in 2019 as required. We have taken delivery of a range of specialist equipment today.”

The company said in a press release:

At this stage the equipment being mobilised does not including hydraulic fracturing pumps.”

But the clg letter, Cuadrilla gave additional details:

Hydraulic fracturing is not being carried out at Preston New Road presently and there is no current agreed schedule to hydraulically fracture either well in place.

Last year, Cuadrilla began fracking on 15 October and announced it was removing equipment on 18 December. It later confirmed that only two of the 42 stages (5%) of the well were fracked as planned with the designed volume of sand.

The company complained that the traffic light system to regulate fracking-induced earth tremors had restricted the fracking and flow test operations. It was required to stop fracking at least five times because of tremors, which totalled 56 over the two months.

pnr 190311 convoy Katrina Lawrie1

Flatbed lorry leaving Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool on the afternoon of 11 March 2019. Photo: Still from video by Katrina Lawrie

Protesters who have kept up a 24-hour vigil outside the gate, reported this morning’s convoy numbered about 10 vehicles.

The deliveries included equipment from the well services company, Schlumberger, they said.

Cuadrilla was granted permission in December 2017 for convoy deliveries, outside the specified hours in the traffic management plan.

Under a changed planning condition, the number of single convoy deliveries for the entire project was limited to nine, with no more than 30 lorries per night.

In September 2018, the company brought in equipment for the first fracks in convoys of 23 and five vehicles from 4.20am-4.30am.

Cuadrilla’s Laura Hughes said:

“Vehicle movements in and out of Preston New Road are usually carried out between 7.30am and 6.30pm on weekdays, in line with our approved transport management plan. We are able to make a number of deliveries outside of those hours when we feel it is appropriate.

“We utilised that today to try and ensure the safety of both our staff and suppliers, as well as any protestors at the roadside who might have taken direct action to prevent the equipment being delivered and potentially put themselves and others in danger in doing so.”


16 replies »

  1. So only two of the 42 stages (5%) of the well were fracked I guess that’s about another 40 x 50 earthquakes to go to complete one well, That’s 2000 more earthquakes for one well x 2 for the other well , Hmmmm stinks of a change in regulations to me . Where have the secret meetings and the nods and winks been had ?

  2. So, one guy stands on top of a lorry last week and creates an excuse for early morning convoy this week!

    You have to hand it to the antis. They are working hard to make life easy for Cuadrilla.

    • I imagine this convoy was planned long before last week. More likely it’s been organised to coincide with the PR onslaught designed to twist the arm of the government and regulators to relax the Gold Standard Regulations and of course to bolster up AJ Lucas’ share price which is at a record 11.5cents low.

    • In that case the surfer is to blame for Lancashire Constabulary having to pay another large sum of overtime to enable the unlawfully permitted fracking industry to progress!
      I hope he wasn’t a policeman in disguise!

  3. Did someone on this BB not say earlier in the year that a review of the TLS was underway? And got laughed at? New TLS coming soon… and lots more chemicals.

  4. Paul Tresto. It’s wonderful how gleefully pro frackers relish the prospect of the local population being used as guinea pigs. What a caring business it is.

  5. But guinea pigs in the UK get all sorts of privileges and protections. They do a lot worse overseas, but some don’t care about what happens over the horizon yet they pontificate about global issues.

    Funny old world, rather than a gleeful one.

    • Martin. It’s difficult to imagine what kind of privileges and protections could compensate someone who expected to live in a peaceful, rural area to suddenly be forced to bring up their young family 300m away from a super pad containing 40 to 60 wells. With the prospect of constant earthquakes and use of multiple chemicals, HGV traffic with noise and lighting 24 hours per day for years on end. This is precisely the future friends of mine would face. I can assure you they in no way feel privileged.

    • Martin, [edited by moderator]

      As local to PNR my family and I think you are an industry plant!

      [edited by moderator]

      • So, that is your opinion Peter. Fine.

        However, you-as always- then wander off into Wonderland and fiction. A widely used technique to add something to your opinion, but it actually does the opposite.

        • Nice try Martin but having the enablement of fracking by the Tory Government described by a High Court Judge in Judgement as UNLAWFUL seems to say all that needs saying before it is closed down.
          Now that’s an opinion that should be respected.

  6. So, Pauline, they are NIMBYS. I can understand that because it happens all the time across this country on all sorts of projects and industries.

    However, on shore gas and oil, fracking or conventional, is authorised and can appear anywhere in the UK, subject to the controls applied.

    Of course the real solution is to cover all the country in housing estates. There are a number of oil deposits close by my house where that has been done and they will be left in the ground. Around 15 miles away that has not happened and a small oil site has pumped away in the countryside for years on end and is forgotten about by most of the neighbours.

    I know which I prefer.

    • A conventional site does exactly that, produces quietly for decades, the opposite of an unconventional site. Numerous wells being drilled and fracked, hundreds of HGVs transporting materials on site and waste off. No sensible person would want a fracking site close to their home. No decent person could wish it near the home of anyone else. That is not NIMBYism. Then of course there is the issue of potential health impacts, climate change and long term liability. Long term liability will ultimately revert to the landowner sooner or later.

    • If caring about your home and your family’s welfare is being a NIMBY, I’m sure many people would qualify for that rather derogatory title. However, I know first hand that the family I mentioned have worked tirelessly for many years to prevent fracking being established, not only in their own “back yard” but everywhere.
      On the subject of giving people labels, maybe “I’m alright Jack” could be one attributed to one of Farmer Wensley’s daughters. When asked if she cared that water could be contaminated she replied she wasn’t bothered because she could afford bottled water.”

  7. Well said KatT.
    Wondering if the Wensley family, owners of PNR have worked this out yet?
    Probably not!

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