Dear Oil and Gas Authority,
Please treat this email as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, alternatively the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
A report in ‘DrillorDrop’ online journal dated 26th August highlights warnings given by Grant Hocking, (President of the US energy and environmental company GeoSierra LLC) prior to the recent seismic events related to Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire. The link to the article is here https://drillordrop.com/2019/08/26/tremo...
The essence of the report is that GeoSierra’s understanding of the available data points to a poor interpretation of the geology and failure of the operator to control BHP (bottom hole pressure) or manage the issue of slicken-sided bedding planes. The advice was that attempting to stimulate PNR-2 well in the manner proposed carried a heightened risk of induced seismicity.
GeoSierra’s website confirms the above, referencing discussions held with Cuadrilla and noting that it gave advice to UK Regulatory Agencies after similar experiences at PNR in 2018. It also makes claims that ‘GeoSierra notified the relevant UK agencies, (Environment Agency, Oil & Gas Authority, and the British Geological Survey) and Cuadrilla of the above issues and the significant risks of induced seismicity in early August 2019, prior to the start of hydraulic fracturing of the PNR-2 well.’
Would you please provide the following information:-
1. What communications were received by the OGA from GeoSierra during the early part of August 2019, prior to the commencement of fracking of the PNR-2 well on August 15th?
2. What actions were taken to review and respond to comments and advice given therein?
3. Specifically, what (if any) communication with Cuadrilla took place in response to these communications and what conclusions were drawn?
4. Were the comments received from GeoSierra subsequently notified by the OGA to any other Regulatory Authority or Government Agency and what discussions took place?
5. At what point was it concluded that the GeoSierra comments should not prevent commencement of fracking at PNR-2 and at what level of the organisation was that decision taken?
6. What reply was given to GeoSierra and when?
Please provide copies of all relevant correspondence.
Dear Mr Bales,
Please find attached the OGA’s response to your request of 28 August.
OGA FoI Requests
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