Industry

More equipment leaves fracking site as Cuadrilla announces end of gas flow test

pnr 191111 PNR Gate Camp

Testing equipment leaving Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 11 November 2019. Photo: PNR Gate Camp

Cuadrilla has confirmed that it has finished the flow test on its second horizontal shale gas well at Preston New Road, near Blackpool.

The announcement coincided with reports that nitrogen pumps and storage tanks were being removed from the site today.

The industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, suspended fracking at Preston New Road in August after a 2.9ML earth tremor caused by operations at the site.

Fracking equipment was removed last month and earlier this month, the government announced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in England because of concerns about seismic activity.

Despite this, Cuadrilla can continue to test the PNR2 well.

In a statement today, the company said operations would focus next on checking the pressure response of the shale gas reservoir.

Cuadrilla said an extended pressure build up test would measure the rate at which the pressure of gas and fluids in the shale rock increased over time. This would help to assess shale productivity, the company said.

The flow test, which began last month, confirmed that gas from PNR2 was the highest quality sampled so far in the Lancashire Bowland shale, Cuadrilla said. Gas contained 89% methane, 6% ethane and 2% propane, with virtually no impurities, the company added.

Only six of the proposed 45 stages of PNR2 were fracked before operations were suspended and only 13% of the planned volume of proppant was injected into the shale.

But Cuadrilla said it has still recovered 1.3 million cubic feet of gas, at a peak rate of 275,000 cubic feet per day. The company said stable flow rates varied between 60,000 and 100,000 cubic feet per day.

The company’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said:

“The UK government has now introduced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing operations pending the resolution of concerns raised about seismicity induced by fracturing.

“We will continue to work with the regulator to address the issues raised.  As and when the concerns can be alleviated the UK is sitting on very large, high quality, gas resource that can, once developed, play a significant part in meeting the country’s energy requirements for decades to come.”

7 replies »

  1. The ‘issues raised’ is that Cuadrilla have proven that they cannot control agreed levels of seismicity. Gas volumes are irrelevant if you have to cause incalculable sized earthquakes to gain access. The scientific evidence is clear. Hydraulic fracturing of the Bowland shale causes earthquakes. The size of the earthquakes are not directly related to the volumes injected. There is no mechanism to alleviate this situation.
    I doubt there will be any ‘as and whens’ other than relating to the demise of the industry.

  2. Even worse, 1.3million cubic feet of Methane gas and who knows what else have been released needlessly over the residents of the Fylde!

    The geological makeup of the Fylde means swarms of earthquakes will prevent production level fracking taking place as will drinking water supply shortages!

    A true Sacrifice Zone has now been created.

    • “Boris Johnson accused of fracking U-turn as firms ‘could be allowed to drill for shale gas’ just days after Tories announced ban.”

      https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-fracking-ban-u-turn-shale-gas-general-election-921414

      So the Fracking Moratorium is just electioneering fake news. Boris Johnson still considers Permitted Development could apply to new fracking applications contrary to the Fracking Moratorium declaration. That would take future applications out of local planning inquiry and planning departments hands entirely.
      Playing both sides against the middle. Blowing hot and cold at the same time.
      Is this really surprising?

      • The article in the I tells us that no PD will be made for shale wells and the planning system is not being changed. It also says a planning application may be approved under planning law but no hydraulic fracture permits will be issued due to the moratorium. You have to get through the Labour and Green and John Hobson waffle to see that even the I understands the situation. The same as in Scotland. Why antis are happy with Scotland’s moratorium and not with England’s where actual science and real operational data were used seems odd? But then……,.

        • Aurora planning application LCC/2019/0037 due to be determined by committee on 27th of this month. It would have been interesting to see what happened however when you look at the long list of objections from the councils and environmental groups and the letter from LCC to the Zetland group telling them of their many material planning omissions (see page 5 attachments) it would seem unlikely that date will stand.

          http://planningregister.lancashire.gov.uk/PlanAppDisp.aspx?recno=7359

        • The article said that a civil service spokesman said, ” each application will be considered on it’s own merits.” Make of that what you will. The civil service spokesman also said, ” There is considerable merit in loosening the plannings laws,” which leads one to believe that despite around 97% of respondents to the public consultation objecting to any relaxation of planning regulations on fracking the government may still be considering pandering to the industry and doing just that.

  3. Don’t forget that the surviving members of the Cuadrilla empire will continue to be paid while there’s any possibility of fracking surviving as a possible UK business opportunity.

    Now that the staff toilet facilities and security huts at PNR have been removed this isn’t likely to be very long!

    Shame!

    Don’t forget to clean up after yourselves!

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