PNR tremor tracker 2019

191006 pnr bubble chart Refracktion

Chart showing relative size of earth tremors caused by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool since August 2019. Chart: Refracktion

This post tracks earth tremors induced by the second phase of fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site in Lancashire.

Fracking of the site’s second horizontal well, PNR2, began on 15 August 2019 and was suspended on 26 August 2019 following the UK’s largest fracking-induced tremor, measuring 2.9ML

On the 22 days of tremors, there have been 134 events reported by the British Geological Survey. This has prompted calls for a permanent ban on fracking in the Fylde and further afield.

Cuadrilla originally said the operation would be finished by November 2019 but the company confirmed on 30 September 2019 that it was removing fracking equipment. There would no more fracking before the planning deadline of the end of November, it said.

DrillOrDrop compiled a daily-updated spreadsheet on seismicity at Preston New Road. The latest version is here: 191008-1040-pnr-tremors-plus-map (Excel)

This has data on timing, strength and location of seismic events using data from the British Geological Survey online list of induced earthquakes around the British Isles. We’ll also add any information provided by the Environment Agency or Cuadrilla.

Preston New Road tremor tracker for 2018 fracking

Key facts

Last updated 30 September 2019 at 1pm

Total events: 134

Days of tremors: 22

Start of main fracks: 15 August 2019

Last date of fracking: 23 August 2019

Date fracking was suspended: 26 August 2019

Date of last tremor: 6 October 2019

Number of times Cuadrilla has paused fracking: 4

Red events: 0

Red events under the traffic light system are seismic activity above 0.5ML when fracking is taking place

Trailing events above 0.5ML: 12

Trailing events are seismic activity above 0.5ML when fracking is not taking place

Amber events: 3

Amber events under the traffic light system are seismic activity from 0.0-0.5ML when fracking is taking place

Number of events with an EPS Intensity level: 6


For full details of tremors see DrillOrDrop’s spreadsheet of seismic activity induced by fracking at Preston New Road. Latest version: 191008-1040-pnr-tremors-plus-map (Excel). BGS online list of induced earth tremors

Times are in coordinated universal time (utc), the same as Greenwich Mean Time

Sunday 6 October 2019

1 event
-0.6 magnitude
00.26 GMT
No fracking

Saturday 28 September 2019

1 event
-1.3 magnitude
18.28 GMT
No fracking

Saturday 14 September 2019

1 event
-0.7 magnitude
19.50 GMT
No fracking

Thursday 12 September 2019

1 event
0.0 magnitude
05.31.23 GMT
No fracking

Tuesday 10 September 2019

1 event
-1.0 magnitude
02:52 GMT
No fracking

Sunday 8 September 2019

1 events
-1.3 magnitude
16.12 GMT
No fracking 

Monday 2 September 2019

3 events
-1.0 to 0.2 magnitude

03.12-05.33 GMT
No fracking

Sunday 1 September 2019

1 event
-0.9 magnitude
18.42 GMT
No fracking

Saturday 31 August 2019

No events
No fracking

Friday 30 August 2019

No events
No fracking

Thursday 29 August 2019

2 events
-1.5 to -1.6 magnitude
01.23-07.00 GMT
No fracking

Wednesday 28 August 2019

1 event
-1.2 magnitude
No fracking

Tuesday 27 August 2019

6 events
-0.8 to 0.5 magnitude
04.06-14.54 GMT
No fracking

Monday 26 August 2019

9 events
-1.4 to 2.9 magnitude
01.33-21.18 GMT
No fracking
Fracking operation suspended by the OGA

190826 bubble chart Refracktion

Relative size of tremors induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool since 15 August 2019. Chart: Refracktion

190826 pnr map

Seismic events induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site since 15 August 2019. Map by DrillOrDrop using BGS data

Sunday 25 August 2019

No seismic events
No fracking

Saturday 24 August 2019

2 events
0.5-2.1 magnitude
4.01-22.01 GMT
No fracking

190825 pnr bubble chart Refracktion

Relative size of tremors induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas since 15-24 August 2019. Chart: Refracktion

Friday 23 August 2019

9 events
(1 additional event, 0.12ML, recorded by Cuadrilla)

-1.4 to 1.1 magnitude
01:22-13:22 GMT
Cuadrilla confirms fracking took place on this date

190823 bubble chart Refracktion

Relative size of seismic events induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road 15-23 August 2019. Chart: Refracktion

190823 2133 pnr tremor tracker map

Thursday 22 August 2019

190822b bubble chart Refracktion

Relative size of seismic events induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, 15-22 August. Chart: Refracktion

7 events
-0.5 to 1.0 magnitude
02.52-15.23 GMT
One trailing event of 1.0ML at 15.23 GMT, Mercalli Intensity level 2 

1.0ML event was felt in local homes.

190822 1755 pnr2 tremor map

Location of earth tremors induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 15-22 August 2019. Source: BGS

Wednesday 21 August 2019

190822 bubble chart Refracktion

Relative size of earth tremors caused by fracking at Preston New Road 15-21 August 2019. Refracktion

27 events
-1.1 to 1.6 magnitude
09.45-23.15 GMT
2 trailing event of 1.6ML at 19.46 GMT, Mercalli Intensity level 3, and 0.9 at 21.42 GMT

Cuadrilla confirmed that the 1.6ML and 0.9ML events happened after fracking had finished for the day. There have been reports that people felt and heard the 1.6ML tremor in Westby, Weeton, Wrea Green, Blackpool and Lytham St Annes. Fracking paused for 18 hours following 1.6ML.

190821a tremor tracker

Centre of earth tremors from fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. Source: BGS

Tuesday 20 August 2019

24 events
-1.4 to 0.0 magnitude
09.06-23.46 GMT
1 amber event 0.0 at 09.13 GMT

Cuadrilla confirmed that the 0.0 event happened when fracking was taking place but would not say whether the company measured it as an amber event.

190820 pnr earth tremor map updated

Monday 19 August 2019

7 events
-0.7 to 0.0 magnitude
09.35-10.20 GMT
2 amber events, both 0.0, at 9.35 and 10.06 GMT

Cuadrilla confirmed that the 0.0 events happened when fracking was taking place but would not say whether it considered them to be amber events.

190819 map of Pnr earth tremors 2

Eyewitness reports

“Frack pumps going since 9.10am, they are currently doing a frack 10.21am”

Sunday 18 August 2019

No events
No fracking.

Saturday 17 August 2019

4 events
-1.1 to -0.5 magnitude
10.36-11.25 GMT

Friday 16 August 2019

11 events
-0.8 to -0.4 magnitude
09.03-11.08 GMT

190816 earthquake chart Refracktion

Source: Refracktion

Thursday 15 August 2019

1 event
-0.2 magnitude
12.15 GMT

31 replies »

  1. Shale Oil and Gas to be produced in large quantities!

    Not at the official 0.5 magnitude threshold limit that’s for sure.

    If they want to try and raise the threshold to more than the 2.3 magnitude as experienced at Preese Hall then they are going to have a serious problem.
    Insurance companies may pay out for damage caused by natural earthquakes. They will not pay out for damage caused by regular man made earthquakes. If they do have a legal responsibility to pay the insured then you can bet your life they will put a claim in against the company that caused the earthquake damage. Banks and money lenders will not stand by and let property devalue especially if they have a substantial investment in those properties.The housing and insurance market is a giant industry which will not let a hyped up fracking industry threaten it’s future.
    You may get away with causing earthquakes in the vast openness of the US. You won’t get away with it in densely populated areas of the UK

    Oh dear – no smoke without fire and all that. So the rumours coming out of OGA may well be true?
    Peter K – any thoughts?
    Refracktion – some of us who have experience of down hole operations believe the casing ovalation was caused by hydraulic pressure differential across the casing wall during operations – not seismicity. Whilst uncommon this does occur when the external pressure exceeds the internal pressure and the collapse rating is exceeded. As API casing wall tolerance is +/- 12-1/2″ % it is possible to have a “weak” joint in the casing string. I have seen this happen a few times – where the casing has ovalated resulting in a reduced internal diameter and difficulty in passing concentric tools of large OD through the ovulated part of the casing. The casing does not usually fail and integrity is maintained. Stimulation using high pressures in a low permeability environment and ratty / channeled cement behind the casing provide the perfect environment for the type of problem seen at Preese Hall. Not sure how they proved seismicity as the cause of the ovulation. Seismicity would be more likely to shear the casing.
    What happened to the court case / injunction / Prof Smythe vs everyone else re PNR geology etc?
    “Cuadrilla does not yet have permission to proceed with fracking at PNR2 as their interpretation of the geology is currently under legal challenge by Preston New Road Action Group against the Environment Agency.”
    Not sure why Ruth hasn’t updated us on this (unless I missed it)?

    [Typos corrected at poster’s request]

      • Thanks for pointing the error out Refracktion. Ruth / Paul please change to ovulation to ovalation. Ovulation of wells one day perhaps.

        What about the court case / injunction / Prof Smythe vs everyone else re PNR geology etc Refracktion? This is of interest to everyone.

        Feedback from the EA / OGA on the Prof Smythe Geology?

    • Hi Paul,

      Our capricious Conservative Government have been desperate to increase the TLS Limits for some time.
      They’re likely to be removed from power sonn and replaced by an anti-fracking coalition.
      Going all in on this push to frack now will give the rnewly redundant Tory Ministers a better chance of gainful employment within the Oil and Gas Industry!

      • Not sure about the change of Government. Boris (plus the Brexit party if needed) may well get an overall majority with a GE. Unfortunately there is no credible opposition. What we need is some sort of middle of the road Government – right of Labour / left of Conservatives. But not looking likely. Fracking is way down the list for all the parties concerns except perhaps the Green(s). Your constituency is a good example. You all don’t want fracking but you keep electing a Conservative? And no doubt will again in the next GE.

        Labour / Green / LibDems / SNP and right wing Eton Conservatives should have voted for Mrs May’s Brexit deal, they had three chances and blew it. So now we are left with a no deal Brexit and they are all running around like headless chickens trying to come up with a way to stop the 31st October Brexit with no deal. The exception being the right wing Eton Conservatives who never wanted a deal in the first place. I don’t see fracking being mentioned by any party these day.

        If Mrs. May’s Government wanted to increase the TLS they would have done so. Boris will be a different story and you may be wishing Claire Perry was back – she refused to change the TLS.

        • Paul. Maybe Ms Perry was a bit more concerned with her future career in politics. She is well aware that once residents start experiencing actual noticeable earthquakes she would be blamed for allowing the TLS to be raised.
          Mrs Leadsom appears to be totally wedded to oil and gas, literally, given her husband and brother in law’s connections to the industry. She has previously worked for Barclays, her brother in law, Peter de Putron’s Jersey based financial company and Invesco, all of which have big financial,connections to oil and gas. This means she can hardly be said to be an unbiased and could well have a vested interest in seeing fracking established in this country. Peter de Putron has donated at least £816,000 to the Tory Party. He’ll be wanting some payback. Could it be that she won’t be so concerned about her political future once she has achieved what her family have set out to do.

            • Good point. Corbyn Labour and Lib Dem claim they dont want no deal Brexit and yet they voted down Mrs May’s deal 3 times. They just want no Brexit which is fair enough but the people voted for Brexit.

              • Well, 37% of the electorate. A long way short of being the will of the people. A similar percentage to those opposed to fracking, but let’s ignore the will of the people when it suits us.

  3. Latest report published yesterday says massive reduction in likely amounts of recoverable shale gas available in the UK!

    Seems likely that the oil and gas propaganda machine was slightly optimistic when selling the project to the gullible and greedy UK government!

    A true Ponzi scheme in the making, like the life controlling Student Loans Scheme and the Help to Buy new homes scheme!

    All designed to fleece the gullible and greedy whilst enabling otherwise unsustainable expansion of unnecessary businesses!

    Trouble is the attempted expansion of the fossil fuel industry isn’tt just costing greedy and gullible investors cash it is also putting local residents wellbeing in harm’s way.

  4. Didn’t I read that someone was recently arrested at a UK airport related to an “alternative” green scheme selling investment into the Brazilian rain forest?

    Seems there are greedy and gullible amongst all groups Peter.

    I know you continue to repeat how your “tribe” is more honourable, intelligent and virtuous, but that is not supported by the reality.

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