Cuadrilla’s fracking data released

181029 Cuadrilla Resources

Fracking image of pumping at Preston New Road on 29 October 2019. Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Data from fracking at Cuadrilla’s fracking site in Lancashire last year has been published by the industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority.

Cuadrilla had previously disclosed that it fully fracked only two of the proposed 41 stages during the operation – the first to work under the traffic light system for fracking-induced earth tremors.

The new material confirmed that fracking at the Preston New Road site stopped prematurely four times because of seismicity which exceeded the limit in the regulations of 0.5 local magnitude (ML).

Regulators were informed about these and another five seismic events.

The disclosures include previously unreleased “key learnings” on the fracking operation, carried out between October and December 2018.

The hydraulic fracturing report said:

“the microseismic data collected demonstrates a relationship between injection activities and induced micro-seismicity”.

pnr fracking flow and seismicity

Comparison of pumped volume and seismic events reported by Cuadrilla to regulators. Red Ps represent red events under the traffic light system. The amber P is an amber event. The red T is a trailing event which happened after pumping. There were also two more smaller amber events on 11/12/2018. Source of information: Cuadrilla Resources

The report said there were a total of 38,383 microseismic events.

Of the nine events reported to regulators under the traffic light system, six happened during fracking:

  • 3 amber events during pumping where seismicity exceeded 0.0ML
  • 3 red events during pumping where seismicity was 0.5ML or above
  • 3 trailing events after pumping where seismicity was 0.5 or above

The report said only 17 of the planned 41 injection sleeves were hydraulically stimulated with either a mini and/or a main fracking. The volume of fluid used at each fracking stage was well below the 765m3 maximum proposed by the company.

Interpretation of microseismic data had identified two additional faults, the company also reported.

Reservoir and gas composition

The report said data from drilling and fracking revealed that the Bowland shale had “good reservoir and completion properties”.

It said 96% of the gas analysed from the well was methane. 1.6% was ethane, 0.2% propane and 0.02% isobutane. Hydrogen sulphide was 0%, according to the report.

Other information disclosed includes daily records, pumping data, records of seismic events, hydraulic fracturing images and details on sleeve depths.

Some of this information was already in the public domain following freedom of information requests. (See earlier DrillOrDrop article)

Regulator’s analysis

The Oil & Gas Authority said its analysis of Cuadrilla’s data was now underway. This was not, the OGA said, a review of the traffic light system, which has been requested by the shale gas industry.

The OGA said it had appointed lead scientists for four different areas of analysis:

  • British Geological Survey – forecasting distribution and magnitude of seismicity
  • Dr Ben Edwards – impacts of ground motion from seismicity
  • Nanometrics Inc – real time forecasting to mitigate effects of seismicity
  • Outer Limits Geophysics – induced seismicity and potential subsurface mechanisms

Next stage

Cuadrilla has submitted a hydraulic fracturing plan for its second well at Preston New Road, PNR-2. This has to be approved by the Environment Agency and Oil & Gas Authority.

The company said it would be publishing an operational update in the next month.

87 replies »

    • I wonder how long it is before the antis start saying that it generated nearly 40,000 earthquakes 😉

    • Taking them long enough!

      Probably too late for Cuadrilla now, Climate Destruction putting paid to fossil fuel extraction projects. As required by Mrs. May to reach her 2050 zero emissions promise!

      • Peter – are you ever going to give us a rational argument as to why fracking at PNR is going to increase the UKs carbon emissions or are you just going to continue spouting the same rhetoric without presenting any justification for your logic-free statements.

        • Judith,
          Opening up a new source of gas to burn for whatever purpose from anywhere will obviously increase amounts of gaseous byoriduct emissions both from flaring during extraction and from customers usage.
          Bringing renewable energy projects online as rapidly as possible instead is obviously the way to reduce future emissions.
          Disagree with the true experts at your peril Judith. Plenty to choose from in recent months.

      • Climate Destruction where?,
        Climate Destruction How? Gas will transition the UK to a 2050 emissions targets.

        Last month the UK celebrated the first coal-free electricity fortnight since the 1800s.

        However, the country used coal-generated electricity from Germany and the Netherlands during that time due to reliance on Interconnectors, the sub-sea cables which import and export electricity.

        • Eli-G – if you want to find climate destruction just get into Peter’s uninformed NIMBY mind

  1. The gas composition is interesting, 0% Hydrogen sulphide and not much plastic for Sir Jim if Ineos find similar at their sites.

    • Only a few antis think Sir Jim is looking for plastic feedstock. Very little if any CO2 / N2 which is also good news. Calorific value may be okay to go straight in the grid…and straight to Peter k Roberts house…..

      • Paul – but will Peters house still be there? According to him and his like there are loads of very scientifically justified reasons why it wouldn’t as a t could:

        1) collapse due to earthquakes
        2) sink due to subsidence
        3) melt due to radiation.
        4) burn due to climate devastation

        But I guess in the real world, he’ll just keep shouting the words “climate devastation”, continue to use fossil fuels like the rest of us and then stay awake at night worrying his house price will go down.

        • Doing the best we can! Gas and electricity from Ecotricity, public transport and walking/cycling for transport whenever possible. What toxic city do you live and work in Judith, it’s certainly not around the Fylde?

          • Gas and Electricity from
            Ecotricity, then when there is a higher demand in Warton? Where would the this electricity demand come from, you believe Ecotricity has the cabability, please do the calculations again.
            Ecotricity has 200,000 customers by 2019, how much manure, etc do you think you need to power the UK’s 25 million homes…?

        • Oh Judith,
          Here we go again.
          My house won’t collapse due to earthquakes because Cuadrilla won’t be able to frack within the TLS currently in place, Egan has already said so. And no increase will be considered because fracking is an industry going only one way and that’s down the pan.
          It won’t sink due to subsidence because it was built on decent ground many years ago and no mining has taken place anywhere near.
          The radiation option is possible but only if the war mongering Tory lunatics remain in power but we’ll be in good company.
          To be honest we’re more likely to suffer from flooding than burning as we live reasonably close to the Fylde coastline but there will be plenty of others flooded out before us. Maps of likely flooding hotspots are freely available, sadly they include many New Towns full of ridiculously expensive Help to Buy funded newbuild homes.
          Gotta go now.

          • Peter, with such eloquent arguments, can’t you just educate us further by telling us how producing our own gas from shale will make a significant difference to climate change.

  2. The Oil and Gas Authority are a private company whose prime task is to maximise the economic recovery ie profit and taxes from the UK’s fossil fuel reserves!
    Nothing about looking after the Environment, Communities or Climate Change!

    • Peter are you against all industries using fossil fuels on The Fylde Coast???

      Are you against BAE for example in Warton???

      • Kisheny,

        I am most definitely against the manufacture and sale of armaments of any kind apart from self-defence on a proportionate scale to proven threat.

        Bae have many businesses only some of which are military attack for sale to the highest bidder.

        I am also against any company continuing to recover fossil fuels now that their association with Climate Destruction has been proved and well publicised by the likes of Sir David Attenborough and Sir James Bevan, Chairman of the Environment Agency.

        How about you?

        • I am not talking Global…

          The question being with relation to The Fylde Coast…

          Are you against all industries using fossil fuels on the Fylde Coast?

          I picked BAE Warton as it uses huge amounts of energy by means of fossil fuel and would benefit greatly from a local source of Natural Gas in its manufacturing process.

          So are you against BAE on the Fylde Coast?

          • As the Fylde us blessed with regular tides, wind and sunshine companies and residents around here are fed a large amount of Green Energy without them even realising it!

            Bae are welcome on the Fylde Coast and anywhere else although personally I would prefer them to move away from arms to other fields, where the already are very successful. The problem is that they are under the influence of war mongering politicans!

            Again no more discussion with you and yours until you stay on topic, that is the ecocidal obsession of the fossil fuel industry to make money despite their proven link to Climate Destruction.

        • Give Peter a chance to answer Eli…

          His answer was far too evasive, we’ll get to Yemen later in the conversation…

          Maybe Peter has some kind of connection to BAE???

          Who knows?

          Let’s see what he comes back with…

          • Hey Kisheny,

            No evasion.

            I worked for BAE in the mid 970s for a couple of years when it was still a defence company and a RAF retirement home. As a computer data input operative.

            My other replies are all your getting until you get back to the topic of Oil and Gas destroying our World!

            • Thank you for your honesty Peter…

              So during your working life you worked for an aircraft Company, which is quite a big air polluter wouldn’t you say. That is back on topic…

              I will say one last thing, you say Bae are welcome on the Fylde Coast and anywhere else. Even Yemen? Maybe not…
              You say an arms dealer selling fossil fuel burning warplanes sold to the highest bidder is welcome.

              But a UK energy Company on the Fylde which would supply heat and electricity by means of Gas to Lancashire homes whilst reducing imports,lowering CO2 levels is most definitely NOT welcome…

        • One of the consequences of Donald Trump ripping the US apart to produce ‘cheap’ gas.

          Dream on if you think the Government will reduce LNG imports, risk trade deals with Qatar, and replace any cheap LNG with expensive, unreliable and politically disastrous UK shale gas.

          In fact US shale gas it is not ‘cheap’ at all,

      • John – they are and they are answerable directly to the minister – the lily livered Greg Clarke – hence why there hasn’t yet been a review of the TLS. The will probably change in a few months time

      • So did I until I checked them out!

        Just as United Utilities are a private company required by the UK government to supply any who asks with drinking water supplies, even Cuadrilla who misuse it, so the OGA are a private company required to maximise Government income directly and indirectly from the oil and gas extraction industries.

          • Paul – that’s a good point but I don’t think Peter works with facts – why should he when he thinks say two words “climate destruction” can win any argument.

        • Peter you checked the OGA out, what you used a search engine and found their website and read some facts!
          Suits you, i hope you found that most companies in the UK which are taxed have income going directly to the government! The economic regime of UK tax is quite unique, including when you buy your litre of fuel from the filling station! Of which 57p tax to a litre of fuel is the governments.
          Do you use private / Public transport?

          • Eli-Goth, I’m sure that Peter often uses Google. However, his mind is an amazing filter so only sees “facts” that agree with his NIMBY instincts that fracking should be banned.

          • Eli-Goth, money is not the only be all anymore of any concept , environmental and community issues are becoming more important. What’s the point of Investors getting dividends if their families only have poisonous air to breathe, dirty water to drink and limited open spaces to live in due to coastal erosion and rising sea levels?
            Disagree with Sir David Attenborough do you Eli-Goth, you must be a true genius but somehow I doubt it.
            Oh by the way the Fylde is quite flat so I mostly travel by public transport and by cycle nowadays as I’m retired. The exercise is appreciated and the air round here is quite pleasant.

            • Peter – are you suggesting that David Attenborough is a genius? For what I’ve read, he’s written no original research and has a job as a TV presenter – a bit like Donald Trump in that respect

    • Again peter your arguments are without merit! What nonsense are you spouting now! The OGA is a government organisation to regulate the oil and gas industry, yes snd the economics to ensure the government gets the most out of the industry, tax to the treasury to pay the UK, NHS, infrastructure. They are transition too, but see no evil, hear no evil you believe the anti memorandum! Proof that You cannot educate Mince!

      • Eli-Goth – love the phrase about educating mince. I just hope that I don’t think of Peter every time I eat steak tartare.

  3. What happened to the Community Fund, the sponsoring of science in local schools, and the opportunity to develop nice clean, locally produced, environmentally supporting hydrogen?

    Oh yes, and UK tax income instead of overseas tax income. Plus the removal of creative carbon accounting, removal of maritime disaster risk and taking responsibility for effective Gold Standard regulations rather than sponsoring less rigorous standards and more environmental damage over the horizon.

    Can’t have Donald doing all the heavy lifting to stop the world energy price running out of control.

    And, of course, all that police overtime, and work for the lawyers!

  4. As the Chairman of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan has just delivered a major speech based on his realisation that the main threat faced by Humanity is Climate Change, I very much doubt if Cuadrilla will be getting the OK to frack further at Preston New Road or anywhere else!

    • I very much doubt if the majority will not consider this is another appeal to be let to board the gravy train, Peter.

      Meanwhile somewhat significant earthquake in Southern California. Must be connected with fracking! (Not.) Lightening strike destroys a Bourbon storage facility in the USA! This “climate change” is going too far.

      UK now pinching Iranian oil! I think I might fill my car up tomorrow as that UK energy security is starting to look less secure.

    • Peter again you are discussing climate change and oil and gas! Shale gas fracking in england is the worlds least biggest threat, the UK is a needle in the hay stack for climate change reduction. While we are beating targets of reduction in the UK and, ahem by consuming coal fired electricity pipelines from the EU we are hypocritically enjoying the trappings of this energy but with preaching about reducing emissions and enhancing a 2050 target! Complete Lunacy Peter,
      P.S. what is powering your D&D communicating device, Unicorn dust?

      • The North West of England and the Fylde coast in particular is very well supplied with electricity from an array of renewable energy projects, most visibly parade grounds of offshore wind turbines in the Irish Sea between the Isle of Anglesey and the Lake District. Helped out by several large onshore solar energy farms dotted around the Fylde for those odd occasions when the wind doesn’t blow.
        Don’t come from these parts do you Eli-Goth or you wouldn’t have asked such a leading question!

        • Peter – what energy storage systems does the North West of England and the Fylde coast have in place for when wind and solar don’t supply sufficient energy?

          • No Idea, don’t care, I leave it to those whose job it is to deal with these things!

            Tell me please if you know?

            • Peter – you can check where your electricity comes from at any particular moment in time from the link copied below (it is nearly 50% gas generated; 27% renewables at present – 8pm). It doesn’t matter if you use Ecotricity or BG or anyone else – this is where our electricity is coming from. Unless you are 100% off grid.


  5. Unfortunately for you Peter K Roberts it is expected that Cuadrilla will be receiving the required permits to undertake hydraulic fracturing of the second well at PNR in the near future. How they will deal with the TLS is yet to be seen….

    • Paul – I’m not sure that Cuadrilla need to deal with the TLS – there are a lot of scientists working on renewable energy who are doing a lot of lobbying to get the threshold increased so that it doesn’t hold back deep geothermal, hydrogen storage and CCS. Also, although I’m not a great fan, the team behind Boris’s campaign are sending out very encouraging messages. The CEOs of the companies appraising shale gas in the UK are the most optimistic they’ve been for a long time. The increase in the number of onshore wells being drilled seems to have thinned out the swampies. Happy Days

    • Only Cuadrilla expect to receive the permits to move to frack well 2 shortly after failing miserably and publicly with their attempts at well 1 and that’s only so they can try to pull in more gullible greedy Investor cash!
      Most normal people, having followed the statements from Sir David Attenborough and Sir James Bevan among many other notables recently about the urgency of the Climate Change/Destruction pathway to disaster, will be extremely unhappy should any fracking operations be allowed to continue never mind expand.
      It’s all about Humanity nowadays, not simply cash. Plus of course a little bit of political expediency.

      • Peter – could you forward peer reviewed papers to us all that are written by David Attenborough that show his credentials as a climate scientist? I thought he was just a TV presenter.

        • I think you will find Judith he is a TV presenter with a huge carbon footprint. No wonder Heathrow needs an extra runway.

          Peter, you are factually incorrect again. “Most normal people” ermm no. The latest survey showed a MAJORITY were NOT against fracking in UK. You need to separate out from your own company into the wider world, and you will find the reality looks quite different.

          • Martin, latest survey from this March showed a massive 12% of those who responded support fracking, God knows why! Just over 40% actively objected to fracking so that’ll do for me.

            • So, 40% objected (many not understanding why according to the Survey), so that leaves around 60% who didn’t object.

              “Humanity really does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics”.

              The late Professor Sir David McKay-government chief scientific adviser.

              Looks as if the chief of the EA is up with that, Peter. “£1 trillion on the table, where is our seat?”

              It may do the antis more good if you actually stuck with the facts rather than keep deviating into fantasy. What do you think the Survey will show if/when commercial gas is produced and there is also a track record of fantasy for the public to refer back to? A dangerous combination, that.

      • Sir David Attenborough although a national treasure, is a broadcaster and a natural historian. He is Not a scientist and his qualifications are quite clear, he studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in natural sciences.

        Sir James has a BA Honours in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex.

        These do not lead to being an expert on climate change, although diversities in animals and human evolution… try again pete k roberts

  6. Ok getting to the article – Cuadrilla must be pretty pleased to have a pressure gradient of 0.57 psi/ft. Seems to suggest that Prof Underhills theory that everything was lost 60 million years ago wasn’t correct.

    • Back to the article,

      The well is located within a 100km2 3D seismic survey in the same structural fairway as the shale gas discovery well Preese Hall-1.

      The completion report from PH1 doesn’t show very promising gas return figures.

      ‘Same structural fairway’

      • John – maybe you could show me a vertical well in a shale play with two incomplete fractures that does produce at promising rates. You seem so obsessed with finding negative things about the industry that it is interfering with your ability to critically appraise evidence. Your lack of knowledge about geology also stands out by your assumption that wells drilled on the same structural fairway should produce at similar rates. The productivity of shale gas wells is very variable in the early stages of appraisal when companies are finding the best ways to drill and complete their discoveries.

      • On the money Judith,
        John it seem to me you have been spending too much time with your friend Gayzer [Edited by moderator] maybe with your extensive experience with little information on a public forum you could educate Cuadrilla with their seismic, geology and shale drilling?, as you are obviously an expert! I wondered what we have been doing wrong in the UK North Sea for over 40 years, we should have asked couch experts and asked their opinion on how we drill through the strata in to a shale play!

  7. Remaining totally unbiased and looking at this transcript, Peter, top marks for remaining dignified through this debate. Some of you should be ashamed of your comments which are borderline bullying, mob mentality comes to mind. Peter has his own opinions (as you all do). The basis of this blog is to discredit him rather than have a healthy discussion…..shameful!

    • JS: the fact of the matter is, if you don’t understand the science behind what you are talking about, you have already lost the debate! Fact.
      And if you are not willing to educate yourself on said facts, you are being ignorant of these facts! Oil and Gas experience and Academia goes along way, of which i have both! Thanks

    • JS

      Some on this forum do try and BULLY and talk down to others……. But please be aware that some of them, may well be nothing more than HOTDOG sellers, trading from butty vans, somewhere down the A6.

      I could talk about my time as a NASA Astronaut , or the time I played golf with Bing Crosby try and bolster the credibility of what I say on here , but unless I can back up what I say with evidence, what I say will mean SWEET NOTHING .

      YOU ALSO need to be aware that some may be very bitter shale investors who have already lost the shirt of their backs . Their motivation is the money , not the health or safety of you, your family or the environment.

      • No jackthelad: guess again i am not an investor in shale gas, but i am partial to a chip butty! Credibility, there you go that is something i have earned with over 35 years oil and gas experience, a degree in oil and gas engineering and environmental studies. So i know my industry well. I am not that interested in NASA but i would like to know how much fuel you burned on your expedition, it is assumed 11,000 tons, of emissions, soot and alumina particles our deposited into the atmosphere each year. But that number could be going up. Elon Musks SpaceX has vowed to increase the number of launches it does each year, and numerous other companies are going to start launching their own vehicles soon. What kind of impact that will have on the atmosphere is unclear. Elon the climate change saviour!, NOT!

      • So Jack, why is it taboo for those who are not anti to have a financial motive, but the Nimbys who worry about their property values are perfect anti angels?! And, how many individuals who have money motivation might be antis who have connections/income from wind turbines, solar panels or double glazing? (Always used to be competitors around on certain sites in my last industry, masquerading as genuine potential clients. Even the girls in the sales office were instructed to be wary. They could spot them a mile off.)

        Yes, what you say does mean SWEET NOTHING, because you are too intent on appealing to one small group of antis you ignore the motivation of other large groupings of antis. But, that has always been a weakness where in excitement to create a demon via speculation the antis simply expose their own failings.

        Just think of all the butty vans if there was loads of gas to cook the chips. Careful though, vegetable oil not red diesel-very easily confused by some!

        (How’s the Tesla share price doing Jack? Very bitter investors are all over the place. Perhaps better to rely upon good old Shell, or Primark.)

      • WELL ladies and gentlemen read carefully the above two comments from ELI-GOTH and MARTIN.

        Now if we are to believe that ELI-GOTH has as he/she says, quote, ” 35 years oil and gas experience, a degree in oil and gas engineering and environmental studies. ” then it’s extremely worrying that you so blindly are ignoring the strong evidence from world leading economists, professors and doctors of medicine, science and engineering that all say, that FRACKING is nothing more than one great, plunp, debt ridden ponzi scheme that is dangerous to both human and animal health. That also poses a great risk to the environment and rapid acceleration of destructive climate change .

        Why would you ELI-GOTH , not adopt the ” precautionary principle ” on the matter ????????

        The only reason that can possibly come to mind is MONEY.

        Well MARTIN , your opinion is duly noted , but that’s all it is an opinion . Your words as usual are backed up with SWEET NOTHING ….

        NOW that I have the attention of you both , if there’s anything I have said concerning FRACKING that is wrong PLEASE say now , as it will give me the opportunity to present you with my long list of reputable world leading , economists, professors and doctors of medicine, science and engineering who are willing put their NAMES and that of their organisation’s in the public domain to warn ALL about the dangers of FRACKING .

        • Speculation is usually wrong Jack, and you use it repeatedly. So, yes, use your long list of fellow speculators, and you can all be wrong.

          You must have terrible problems moving around Jack. There are plenty of “experts” who warn against the dangers of crossing the road. Now, you seem to think the precautionary principle means not to do it. That just gets you nowhere. Follow the Green Cross Code Jack-just like Gold Standard regulations-and you might make some progress rather than be stationary! Traffic lights, if set correctly, and working well, offer great help!

          Must go and dig some Vivaldi now Jack. You can speculate around what that means. (Several different solutions.)

        • then it’s extremely worrying that you so blindly are ignoring the strong evidence from world leading economists, professors and doctors of medicine, science and engineering that all say, that FRACKING is nothing more than one great, plunp, debt ridden ponzi scheme?, why would economists, professors and doctors care if the are not investing in Fracked Gas? Surely it would be Environmental experts?, Economists care about the contribution of energy in to the cycle? Professors all have differing opinions and Doctors have to be involved in medical occurrences.
          Also why would any be concerned regarding it to be a ponzi scheme if it wasn’t their money? Jackthelad did you invest in Bernie Madoff?

  8. Mrs May has done her best to remove solar subsidies and apply VAT to renewables ….. meanwhile for some reason using taxpayers money to subsidise the vrfemainung hard to exploit fossil fuels. There is a revolving door there and we have seen a picture of it too. The UK itself has a huge carbon footprint as it was the country that started the industrial revolution. we need to move on now, away from this debate on oil and plastic. This is the past not the future. Our childrens future.

    • Caroline: plastic is not the problem, its the fault of us humans and the way we use, reuse, reduce and recycle! It is not the plastics industry and oil industry’s fault we demand todays requirements!

    • Caroline – I thought it was the EU which made us normalise VAT on solar panels?

      VAT on energy / gas however generated is the same at 5%

  9. But Caroline, there are other countries who host volcanoes, so do they have to be subject to special treatment also? I know you are using an argument that is out there, but it is nonsense and the repeating of it doesn’t make it valid. I have yet to see the rest of the world rewarding UK for starting the industrial revolution from the benefits they obtained.

    We certainly do need to move on-and away from pat phrases which when examined with even a small amount of common sense are evidently unfounded. Just like the lead and others will follow phraseology, that shows absolutely no basis in fact.

    Dieter Helm: “The story for the past 20 years is that in Europe we have been de-industrialising, and we’ve been swapping home production for imports, so even though it looks to the contrary, (our policies) have been increasing global warming”.

    China and India are growing by 6-8% a year, so by 2035 there will be an extra China plus an extra India equivalent. UK currently is responsible for a little over 1% of CO2 emissions. It is GLOBAL climate change and until the focus is there, what UK do is irrelevant. But, a quick and easy input is to stop exporting our industry to other countries where their environmental standards are lower. That is what is happening currently and we can stop that very quickly. Shifting away from fossil fuels is a much longer task, but alternatives could actually be accelerated by tax income from that industry-see the example of Norway. Maybe even more tax breaks for solar, but I suspect that would not be a priority as the UK is not that well suited climatically.

    [Typo corrected]

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