Politics

Fracking earthquake rules should be extended to other onshore oil and gas operations, MPs told

180705 BGSNewdigate

The risk of earthquakes from well operations such as acidisation, water reinjection and pressure release should be controlled in the same way as fracking, a parliamentary meeting heard today.

MPs and peers were hearing evidence on whether the rules on fracking-induced seismic activity should be changed. The industry has been calling for a relaxation of the traffic light system after Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking operation induced more than 50 earth tremors last autumn.

The traffic light system currently requires operators to pause fracking for 18 hours if there is a 0.5ML (local magnitude) earth tremor. But it applies only to the shale gas industry.

Three witnesses giving evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on shale gas impacts said the 0.5ML threshold should also be applied to seismicity caused by other oil and gas operations.

They referred to 28 earth tremors Surrey in the past year, measuring up to 3.1ML on the local magnitude scale.

180718 earthquake chart Stephen Hicks

Chart of the 18 July 2018 Newdigate earthquake. Source: Stephen Hicks

The tremors were centred on Newdigate, 3km from one oil exploration site and 8km from another. The two companies that operate the sites have repeatedly said they did not cause the earthquakes. And all but one of a group of geologists, at a meeting organised by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), concluded that the earthquakes were natural.

But Jonathan Essex, a member of Surrey County Council, told this afternoon’s meeting that the oil industry in southern England was less well-regulated than other hydrocarbon exploration and extraction operations.

“Whereas the traffic light system stops activities when an earthquake above 0.5 is felt in the proximity of fracking, here in Surrey the effects of earthquakes even over 3 on the Richter scale (which means over 1000 times more powerful, as this is a logarithmic scale) cause no changes in drill site activities.

“There is no regulatory requirement to disclose what chemicals are being used, in what quantities, and what activities are taking place on site, and when.

“We are asking for the traffic light system to be extended to not just cover hydraulic fracturing but other operations including acidisation, water reinjection and pressure release.”

Cllr Essex presented 20 statements about damage from the Surrey earthquakes. The first event, on 1 April 2018, reportedly caused a 50m long landslip, 10km from the epicentre. It removed half the garden area of three properties. Many trees had to be taken out because roots had been undermined. The cost of the remedial work has been estimated at £600,000.

He said four houses had suffered vertical cracks to walls and 10 properties had cracks to more than one wall. He said:

“Residents are concerned and angry. They feel powerless. They feel let down by inadequate regulation.”

James Knapp, of the Weald Action Group, which opposes oil drilling in the region, called for a mandatory setback or respect distance for drilling near faults.

“Our view is that if earthquakes can be stopped they should be, therefore the protection of the Traffic Light System should be applied nationally so its protection is available when unexplained earthquakes occur.”

The Weald Action Group has supported calls by the Conservative MP for Reigate, Crispin Blunt, for an independent inquiry into links between the Surrey earth tremors and the local oil and gas industry.

Professor Stuart Haszledine, of Edinburgh University, the one dissenting voice at the OGA meeting, said seismicity could not be regulated adequately in the UK because there was a lack of evidence.

He and two Edinburgh colleagues had also called for an independent investigation into the seismic swarm in Surrey earth tremors. He said:

“One of the roles of government is to safeguard the interests of the public. The government cannot take a view on that when the information is held by the operators who refuse to release data for scientific debate.”

He criticised Cuadrilla and UK Oil and Gas or not releasing information from their Preston New Road and Horse Hill sites.

“For a company [Cuadrilla] to be sitting on 40,000 data point and not release them is not helpful

“For a company [UKOG] to sit on a history of pressure measures is not helpful.

“I do not think we have understood the process. I do not think we are having a proper scientific debate.”

181214 bubble chart refracktion

Seismic events at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site up to 14 December 2018. Source: Refracktion

Susan Holliday, chair of Preston New Road Action Group, which opposes fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool, also made the case against relaxing the regulations.

New information from the Preston New Road, analysed by DrillOrDrop, shows that Cuadrilla carried out only 15 main fracks on just a third of the planned stages of the well. Fracking used a fraction of the proposed fluid and proppant and paused for a month because of mechanical problems.

Mrs Holliday described the biggest tremor caused by fracking on 11 December 2018:

“At about 11.20 I heard a bang. I assumed there had been a bump on the road outside, so I went to look out of the window, but there was nothing to see.”

The British Geological Survey later confirmed there had been a 1.5ML tremor at 11.21. It was the ninth in a series of tremors that morning.

Mrs Holliday said:

“We strongly believe that the Traffic Light System should be kept to the current agreed levels. It is there to protect people and the environment.

“Much research went into setting these limits and around four weeks of experience of one partially fracked well cannot provide enough data to cause the limits to be changed.”

Cuadrilla agreed to the traffic light system after causing the earthquakes by fracking the Preese Hall well in 2011, she said.

“We find their demands to relax the controls a dangerous precedent and one that would cause great concern for our community.

“We believe that if Cuadrilla is unable to operate under the regulations that they initially agreed to, then they should not continue. People’s safety must come before commercial interests.”

Her case was supported by Tony Bosworth, energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth. He said:

“Government should not give in to pressure from the industry to change the traffic light system. It was put in place to protect people and the environment. Industry accepted the regulations right up to the point that they came to frack. Moving the goal posts at this point will only weaen confidence in the regulatory system.”

“Limit can be relaxed safely”

But two geologists argued that the traffic light system could and should be relaxed.

Dr Brian Baptie, of the British Geological Survey, repeated his argument that there would be little risk to people if the 0.5ML threshold was raised.

“It was intended as an interim measure. It was always said it could be relaxed or made stronger when there was more data available.”

He contributed to a government-commissioned report which proposed the 0.5ML threshold. He said there was now extra data on fracking-induced seismicity.

The 0.5ML threshold was conservative and lower than the limits used in parts of north America, he said. It did not reflect risk of damage or public concern.

Asked by the group’s chair, Lee Rowley, whether there would be more or stronger earth tremors when Cuadrilla carried out full fracks along the entire length of the well at Preston New Road, he said:

“The more you inject, the more earthquakes you will get and it will increase the probability of risk.”

Dr Baptie said a pause to fracking would not necessarily stop seismic activity. But he added that earthquakes with a magnitude of less than 4ML did not usually cause damage.

He said a revised traffic light system should be risk-based and could incorporate ground velocity and motion, as well as magnitude.

Dr Nick Riley, of the geological consultancy Carboniferous, called for an incremental increase in the threshold for the traffic light system.

“0.5 was advisory subject to more data being acquired. We will not learn any more unless we raise the threshold.”

He said the threshold could be lower in more densely populated areas or to reflect ground conditions. He said wells could be deformed by seismic activity – as happened at the UK’s first high volume hydraulic fracture at Preese Hall. But he said that does not mean that a well has lost its integrity. He said a 7ML natural earthquake in Japan did not a damage a well.

“You learn this by doing”, he said.

  • The APPG said it invited the Environment Agency,  Health & Safety Executive and Oil & Gas Authority and shale gas companies, including Cuadrilla, to the meeting but they did not attend.

Reporting from this meeting was made possible by donations from individual DrillOrDrop readers

54 replies »

  1. All I can say is Preesall 2011! ….It took six months before Caudrilla admitted that the seismicity was caused by the fracking. Do we not learn from the first time? Furthermore, seismicity can potentially cause damage to the integrity of the well casing.

    • Candor – the reason it took six months was nothing to do with Cuadrilla not wanting to admit it – the reason was that the array that detected the events was very sparse and so it took time to tune to velocity model and locate the events accurately.

      • ….velocity model blah blah…

        Meanwhile “Separately, the Guardian can reveal Cuadrilla has been warned by ministers over its “performance as a licensee” at one of its Lancashire sites. It “failed to recognise the significance” of damage to a gas fracking well in 2011 and did not report it to government officials for six months, leading to a stern reprimand by the energy minister, papers released under the Freedom of Information Act show.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/13/fracking-cuadrilla-halts-operations-lancashire

        • Refraktion – so are you denying that it took a long time to accurately locate the events due to the sparse nature of the array that detected them?

          • I am simply pointing out that the government who no doubt have access to better scientists than you, were clearly not impressed and clearly believed that Cuadrilla had failed to recognise the significance” of damage (not just taken a bit of time to do so).

            Your defence of this industry gets more unconvincing the more desperate you become.

            • Refraktion – and you accuse me of not having a eye for detail – the discussion is about the time take to acknowledge the cause of the earth tremors – we weren’t discussing the well bore damage. It seems you’re purposefully trying to change the subject so at to try and make Cuadrilla look bad.

              • For somebody so sharp you are rather dim Judth.

                The government clearly believed Cuadrilla were so unaware of the significance of the earthquakes (as described by the BGS) that they reprimanded them reportedly saying that the “failure” had exposed “weaknesses in Cuadrilla’s performance as a licensee”.

                Believe me I don’t need to try to make Cuadrilla look bad. They need no help from me.

                • Refraktion – if you try and read the first part of the thread you will see that I was simply commenting on the time it took to calculate accurate locations for the tremors – that’s not so difficult for you to understand is it?

                • Jdth – if you try and read the first part of the thread you will see that Candor was raising the issues of the time it took and the damage that was caused – that’s not so difficult for you to understand is it? 😂

    • Thanks for your report Ruth.

      Well, it seems that the efforts by Cuadrilla and Ineos to interfere with the TLS Limit to above 0.5ML and beyond, and to introduce yet more potentially dangerous unresearched chemicals into the fracking mix and also for the other “non fracking” (!) operations, seem to have backfired on them and now the move is to make the “gold” standard regulations even tighter and to spread tighter regulations to all the other operations.
      Perhaps now we know that Cuadrilla sought to obfuscate and conceal the results of their fracking operations, which, now released have proved that earthquakes are indeed attributable to fracking.

  2. The headline should be that the only two people at the meeting who know anything about seismicity said the TLS should be reviewed. Nick and Brian were the only people present qualified to speak about this subject

  3. “He said a 7ML natural earthquake in Japan did not a damage a well.” but Cuadrilla’s 2.3ML at Preese Hall did, precisely because it was drilled through a fault that moved. That’s why a smaller induced earthquake is more likely to damage a well.

    And from memory, the reason it was originally set at 0.5ML not 1.7ML as proposed, was that a red light at 1.7ML would not have prevented the 2.3ML that caused the well to be abandoned.

    Not seeing much evidence that Cuadrilla have improved their understood the geology either are we?

    • It doesn’t matter in any way whether or not the well was damaged. The fact of the matter is that there has never been a case of leakage as a result of well damage created by induced seismicity. I’ve worked on a massive number of reservoirs where wells last little more than a year due to shear failure and non have resulted in leakage. The only people who bang on about this issue are those who know nothing about it or are purposefully trying to scare the public – which one are you Dorkinian?

  4. The article doesn’t seem to mention the question asked by one MP to Tony Bosworth – ” What is your qualification to speak on these matters” – a degree on sociology was his reply.

    • And what qualification does the MP asking Tony Bosworth have to take a decision on this? Not all decisions in a democracy are taken by those only with qualifications in the subject, thank goodness. Take for instance trial by jury. There has to be balance and if the public is not satisfied or accepting after the arguments have been put forward, then that is important and must have weight in any decision. And even one dissenting voice means there is a difference of opinion between experts. History proves that experts are not always right.
      What is the evidence that is now available that relates to fracking induced earthquakes that has made Dr Baptie change his mind since he approved the existing TLS? I would be genuinely interested to hear because what I have read from countries like Canada is that there are earthquakes caused by fracking (not just caused by the re injection of waste water) which are getting larger and they are still researching this and don’t fully understand the problem. And can people like Dr Baptie predict with certainty that future problems will not occur as a result of seismic activity caused by and from fracking in these areas? Because if not the public will never accept the relaxation of regulations and the public already has great concern with the current TLS in place.

      • Oh, I have already accepted, KatT, so some of the public, is what is left. You see, I have also heard from other countries that they have operated outside UK traffic light levels and have had no problems whatsoever, and that local and wider communities are pretty happy with the rewards they have as a result.

        However, that is all just froth, as we have been repeatedly told by a number of antis that UK geology is unique, so in UK we have set our own levels initially and then started testing. Based upon results from those tests then how we do it in UK needs to be refined. I think that was outlined recently in Westminster. All looks quite normal and what would be expected with any new venture.

      • KatT – there is 8 years more of microseismic data from the USA as well as data from the PNR. However, the main point is that much of the decision to go for 0.5 Ml was based on the notion that this separated mode 1 from mode II and III fractures, which has now been pointed out to the authors is completely wrong.

    • Judith, I made it clear to the meeting that I wasn’t a geologist and so I wouldn’t comment on technical aspects of the issue. That is why my evidence was on non-technical issues.

        • Judih – who on earth do you think attends APPGs? Are you suggesting that the MPs in the group have the technical background you say is required? You get funnier by the minute! You didn’t answer whether you were there or not btw.

          • The MPs should be gathering evidence from informed individuals so that they can make decisions. It’s the fact that people are there giving evidence who haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. In fact most people I’ve talked to refused to attend due to the fact that the chair is totally impartial. I didn’t attend as I’m back in the USA due to my partners new job. I did, however, have friends their who relayed back the key points. They were quite different to those made in this article but that’s no surprise.

    • Judith.
      “Councillor Essex presented 20 statements about damage from the Surrey earthquakes. The first, on April 1st 2018, reportedly caused a 50m long land slip 10km from the epicentre. It removed half the garden area of 3 properties. Many trees had to be taken out because their roots had been undermined. The cost of remedial work has been estimated at £600,000
      4 houses suffered vertical cracks to walls and 20 properties had cracks to more than one wall.”
      “Residents are concerned and angry. They feel powerless. They feel let down by inadequate regulations.”
      Whilst you and your industry friends argue about the relevance and quality of people’s qualifications to comment, just remember these are real residents’ lives and homes that are being impacted by this industry. What right has any business to make innocent people feel concerned, angry and powerless?
      I imagine Tony Bosworth, with his degree in Sociology, could have some very useful contributions to make on the stark human cost and stress caused by this arrogant and uncaring business.

      [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

      • No, they are not Pauline. Firstly, statements require verification. Secondly, the issue of connection between seismic activity and oil exploration in the Weald has been examined and no connection found. So, again, no verification.

        There are plenty of people in the Weald who have no issue with oil exploration, and see daily increasing traffic of those flying out of Gatwick-including themselves and families. Flights courtesy of oil processed at Fawley Refinery and turned into aviation fuel-which is the destination for Weald oil, maybe to replace some of the 372k BOE imported DAILY into the UK from USA. And guess what? Those closest to the sites, will get rewarded financially, and will get a nice glow of satisfaction they have done their bit to mitigate against climate change by reducing transportation emissions, and the risk of maritime disasters. They may also feel they have delayed Donald building his wall, and have a glow about that, if so minded. They may also trust the income to SCC will stop any more local cuts to services. Even anti frackers should be happy to replace oil from fracking in USA with oil without fracking in UK.

        That should all reduce some stress, and compensate for those stirring excitement to produce the stress. Can I have my degree in Sociology now?

      • Pauline – the tremors in Surrey have nothing to do with the operations. The tremors started before the operations and there has been no case in the world where such small changes in fluid volumes have created tremors at such a distance. Even a simple back of the envelope calculation shows that they are not connected.

  5. Dr. Nick seems to have it about right.

    “You learn this by doing” -as practised by Formula One for example. But, judging by numbers of antis around during the working week, not by a minority.

    However, to suggest this to MPs may also encounter fallow ground.

      • Well, reaction, that’s how modern 3 litre BMW diesels achieve development. Engineering is tested in certain conditions and then rolled out into others. That’s why research and development go together.

        But, “alternatively”, returning to using horses-take a look at the mortality for that model!

          • Oh really reaction? So, maybe pass that on to Jonathan Greggain (DYOR) and thank him for his support of your alternatives. Collateral damage acceptable there, as well as the school yard? Very caring sort of people making up the anti brigade-and that’s even without entering the realm of mortality rates from fuel poverty.

            So, pass it off with a yawn. Hmm.

            • You’ve lost me with your Collywibble again Martian. What is the connection you are trying to draw between the unfortunate Mr G and anti-fracking.

              Best not to try the fuel poverty one or we’ll have to remind you (again, yawn) of the reality as expressed by various people like Lord Browne, Cuadrila’s PR wonk etc etc.

              • Remind me? Yes, I’m sure some on DoD need reminding about paying UK tax, and what that can achieve, but not me reaction. You seem to want it to generously subsidise scrapping of diesel cars. I would prefer individuals accept that responsibility and that business tax could be used to assist those in fuel poverty a bit more-perhaps by a selective expansion of the winter fuel allowance.

                Lost you? Yes. Blinkers are a problem. Try removing them and you will find a wider landscape. (I had problems with the BMW sat.nav. as well, so there could be a good reason. But then, it may be that I am not middle aged.)

                Lord Browne in 2013! Oh goody. And what happened subsequently? USA modified fracking technology, reducing costs dramatically, OPEC tried to pump them into oblivion but lost. As a result USA becoming largest exporter of oil in the world, and Saudi may have compromised major reservoirs in their desperation to follow the same mantra. Is that what you wanted to remind me of? Or, to bring a bit more up to date that UK is NOW importing US crude oil and NGL products at the rate of 372k boe per DAY.

                All very good to quote 2013, but some might actually look to see what has happened since to see whether that speculation still looks valid.

  6. Two renown experts in the field say it is safe to increase the current TLS limit. Experts oversea say the same thing. Other industries in UK are allowed higher limit. And yet the minister are given into non technical activists and public opinion. Are we missing something here?

  7. Let us be clear about (a) the expertise of those presenting/ submitting and (b) their possible conflicts of interest.

    1. Dr Brian Baptie; expertise in seismology. But in working for the BGS he may be under pressure to encourage or apply government policy. I know this fact from personal experience, having worked for the BGS myself 1973-87. The BGS is NOT independent of government pressure, even though the individual scientists may be honorable people.

    2. Dr Nick Riley; expert on Bowland and other shales. Since retiring from the BGS about 6 years ago he now runs a consultancy funded by fracking companies. He admitted as much at a public debate in Chichester, but refused to divulge which companies pay him.

    3. Prof Stuart Haszeldine; expert in petroleum geology. Amply well qualified to discuss temporal correlations between well activity and earthquake timing (you do not need to be a seismologist to do that). Stuart is no longer funded by any fossil fuel interests – his main field is now carbon capture and storage.

    4. Myself, Prof David Smythe. I was invited to speak, but could not attend since coming to London from the south of France for one hour is beyond my unfunded budget (travel expenses were not offered). I submitted a written report instead:
    http://www.davidsmythe.org/fracking/Smythe%20Submission%20to%20the%20APPG%20on%20the%20Impact%20of%20Shale%20Gas%20v1.1.pdf
    My qualifications and current expertise in exploration geophysics and applied seismology are not in question. I was formerly a consultant, but have not been funded by the fossil fuel industry since 2011, pre-UK fracking days. Contrary to false speculation, neither am I funded by the anti-fracking protectors.

    So of the four earth science experts listed above, two have potential or actual conflicts of interests and two do not. Whom should the public trust more?

    On the general question of conflict of interest of experts, it is inadequate to declare one’s interests and then expect to be given the same credibility as an unconflicted expert. To refer back to an earlier comment above, if the experts who historically had pronounced on the safety of smoking, thalidomide, diesel emissions, neonicotinoids, or whatever, had openly declared their interests, would such ‘whitewashing’ have automatically cleared them of conflict of interest? Obviously not.

    • It seems highly offensive if not slanderous of “Prof” Smythe to question the integrity of Nick Riley and Brian Baptie; I know them both and they are without a doubt two of the most incorruptible people I have ever met.

      It seems even more bizarre that he suggests that himself and Prof Haszeldine are experts in this area. Haszeldine has no expertise in seismology or geomechanics – let alone coupled flow geomechanics. He also has a propensity for being wrong – his work on quartz cementation of sandstones due to fault-related fluid flow as well as arrested diagenesis due to oil emplacement is widely regarded as nonsense. The latest blog that “Prof” Smythe recently wrote on PNR highlights perfectly how he is completely out of touch with this subject area.

      It’s about time people like Smythe and Haszeldine concentrated on doing things in their area of competence and left the fracking debate to those who have worked on the subject enough to understand it.

      • I tend to go by individuals track record, Judith.

        “Prof” not doing very well with his far distant prognosis regarding the Weald. The prognosis was questioned at the time for the degree of speculation, and that speculation is beginning to look just like that. Maybe that’s why he has switched to fracking?

        So, taking such on board I am inclined to currently give more weight to those who are independent, are currently involved in the subject on a daily, current, basis across the country ie, the BGS. Evidence based might be old fashioned, but has stood the test of time.

    • Prof Smythe. Thanks for the comment.
      However, if your exertion is applied then one could also argue that your submission and those from FoE and Labour MPs are conflict od interests as you and the activists are supporters of anti fracking agenda in the push for renewables and other interests.

  8. Permit me to amplify my comments in an evidence-based way about the impartiality or otherwise of the BGS.

    Some 35 years ago I was the national expert on oil prospects west of the UK. On the general geological structure I subscribed to view A, but the Dept of Energy thought that the opposing view B was more ‘helpful’ (lovely weasel word, common in the world of apparatchiki) to the UK claim to the Rockall region. So I was required to write a report supporting view B. Unusually, the request was put in writing – the implication being that I would be sanctioned if I did not do what I was told. My boss was very apologetic about it – but simultaneously covering his own backside of course. So I had to write the required review supporting view B. It amounted to one page plus one map!

    In 2012 Dr Richard Shaw (BGS) and Prof Stuart Haszeldine spoke on a BBC Radio Cumbria programme about UK high-level nuclear waste disposal. As Stuart pointed out, West Cumbria was one of the few places where the geology had been studied intensively for that purpose and found wanting. But Richard Shaw stated (following government policy, trying once again to open up West Cumbria for nuke waste): “I think the geology in West Cumbria offers potential to find a good site”. A clear case of promoting a political view, contrary to the science. I complained to the BGS director about it.

    Bringing us up to date: tomorrow Prof Mike Stephenson is speaking at a meeting of the Westminster Forum, is a business lobby (slogan: ‘Keeping business and Westminster talking’). The meeting is “Next steps for the unconventional oil and gas market in the UK – planning changes, environmental regulation and tackling the scale-up challenges”. The agenda for the meeting concerns:

    • “whether unconventional energy resources (“shale”) should be included in the national significant infrastructure project regime
    • changes to environmental regulation
    • compulsory community pre-application consultation
    • implications of increasing the current traffic light system 0.5 ML threshold”

    No actual science there. Prof Stephenson is speaking in the session entitled ‘Overcoming the barriers to up-scaling UK-based onshore oil and gas: geology, economics, commercialisation and investment’. His ten-minute slot is called ‘Geological factors affecting expansion in the UK – assessment of significant opportunities, proximity to conurbations and monitoring impact’.

    In short, this is a business forum, with the aim of *promoting UK unconventionals*. It is not a science forum. Stephenson will be talking about “overcoming the barriers”. Here again the BGS is advocating or promoting a political business-oriented agenda, without evidence led science.

    No science gets published by the BGS without authorisation from the highest levels. In practice this means if the government doesn’t (or might not) like it, you can’t publish. However, if anyone can supply some counter-examples I shall be delighted to hear of them.

    • davidksmythe – Scientists are supposed to have an ability to critically appraise evidence; it seems that you have considered or are to arrogant to consider the possibilities that in case 1) the BGS thought your work was crap and preferred the first interpretation; in case 2) like everyone else who reviewed the work conducted by the BGS thought that the argument presented by Haszeldine was wrong.

      I see no problems with BGS presenting what they know to a forum – it is part of their job to spread knowledge.

      It is totally false accusation that the government has a significant input into what is published by the BGS; the buck stops with Ludden.

      It seems your obsession with trying to rubbish the petroleum industry is severely clouding your judgement.

  9. Jdth seems to think it’s quite OK for “scientists” to pontificate outside of their own fields but not anybody else. It’s almost as if she wants to persuade herself that only scientists can do critical thinking. That’s hilarious as it demonstrates clearly her own failure in .. er … critical thinking.

    • Refraktion – where did I say that it’s write or wrong for people to pontificate outside of their own fields? In fact, I don’t mind people pontificating about anything – I just object when people who provide advice do so within their competency bounds.

      • Why Jdth, only today you were ranting that Mr Bosworth had no place addressing the APPG and yet an hour or so later you are all for Prof Stephenson holding forth about the business world. Surely you remember?

        Why would you have a problem with people offering advice within their competency bounds. You really are a very peculiar person!

        PS it’s “right” not “write”

        • I doubt if Mike will be talking about business – he’ll be talking about geology and how the geology might impact business – that’s not too difficult for you to understand is it.

          • b b b but wouldn’t talking about “how the geology might impact business” involve talking about business Judth? (or is that too difficult for you to understand?)

            • Refracktion – Mike will have been invited by the organizers – that’s what a key note speech is – they will have chosen him specifically because they believe that he has information that the audience would benefit from hearing. Maybe you should write to the organizers and suggest an alternative.

  10. Dr. Baptie says that earthquakes less than 4ml don’t cause damage, yet the recent swarm around Newdigate are stated earlier in the report to have caused over £600,000 worth of damage and the failed attempts to frack by Cuadrilla at Preese Hall deformed the well and halted fracking for several years!

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