Hydraulic Fracture Plans

John Wilkinson made this Freedom of Information request to Oil and Gas Authority

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

John Wilkinson

Dear Oil and Gas Authority,

Why does the information required by the OGA in an operator’s Hydraulic Fracture Plan (as part of Extended Well Tests) specify a range of detail needed in relation to induced seismicity, but fails to cover the prospect of the migration to the surface of fugitive toxic gases and fluids which are released but not captured during the fracking process?

Does the OGA intend to amend its guidance to operators to seek information regarding this prospect of migration through conduits and pathways presented by:
(a) vertical and inter-connecting fault lines in the rock strata,
(b) capped fracking wells, when over time steel casings will corrode and concrete linings shrink and crack, and
(c) around the head of disused conventional oil and gas wells located near to a fracking well?

Yours faithfully,

John Wilkinson

OGA FOI requests,

Dear Mr Wilkinson,
 
Thank you for your email of 3 May, in which you ask about “information
required by the OGA in an operator’s Hydraulic Fracture Plan (as part of
Extended Well Tests)” and “OGAs guidance to operators to seek information
regarding this prospect of migration through conduits and pathways…”
 
Where a “request for information” does not contain a specific request for
copies of information held by the OGA, we deal with such requests as a
'normal course of business' enquiry rather than a formal request for
information under the FOIA or the EIR’s. This is in accordance with
guidance given by the Information Commissioner’s  Office’ which advises
that "Requests which are not for recorded information, but instead ask
questions, such as "please explain your policy on x" or, "please explain
your decision to do y" are not requests for recorded information and
therefore should be treated as routine correspondence."
 
The OGA does not hold this information but we suggest you contact the
Environment Agency who may be able to help you with your first question
and bullet point a) of your second question.
 
They can be contacted at the addresses below:
FOI requests
Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations
(EIR) requests
PO Box 544
Rotherham
S60 1BY
 
Email
[1][email address]
 
You may also find it helpful to contact the Health and Safety Executive
(HSE), who may have more information for the other queries that you
addressed to us at bullet points b) and c), at:
 
HSE head office
Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L20 7HS
 
[2]http://www.hse.gov.uk/
 
[3]http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...
 
I hope that this is helpful.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Strategy Directorate.
 
Oil and Gas Authority is a limited company registered in England and Wales
with registered number 09666504 and VAT registered number 249433979. Our
registered office is at 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1B
3HF.
 
For information about how we process data and monitor communications
please see our Data Protection Statement and for terms of use please see
our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website.
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear OGA FOI requests,

Thank you for your response dated 19th May 2017. My delayed reaction is simply due to being away on holiday.

Frankly I do not understand why you do not hold the information requested. Your Authority is responsible for seeking and approving operator's Hydraulic Fracture Plans and, by inference, minimising the risks involved. Can you therefore please explain why you feel that the information is held by other bodies?

Yours faithfully,

John Wilkinson

OGA FOI requests,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilkinson,

Please find attached a response to your recent FOI request.

Yours sincerely,

Strategy Directorate.

Oil and Gas Authority is a limited company registered in England and Wales with registered number 09666504 and VAT registered number 249433979. Our registered office is at 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1B 3HF.

For information about how we process data and monitor communications please see our Data Protection Statement and for terms of use please see our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website.

show quoted sections

OGA FOI requests,

Dear Mr Wilkinson,
 
I have just noticed that we have sent two responses to your request and I
apologise for any confusion caused.
 
As you will see, the position is the same, that the OGA do not hold this
information, and I note that your last communication requested an
explanation of why this was the case?
 
This is because, while the OGA monitor the risks of associated seismicity
with hydraulic fracturing (i.e. earth tremors), other aspects are dealt
with by the Environment Agency and your request was focussed on emissions
- which lies within their remit. Secondly, the other part of your question
related to well integrity and that is primarily a safety matter and
therefore dealt with by the Health and Safety Executive.
 
This was also mentioned in our FOI response of Friday 2 June.
 
I hope that this and our response of 2 June have provided some clarity?
 
For the avoidance of confusion, although this is a response to a request
that was answered under the ordinary course of business, as it was
substantially the same as your FOI request, you would still be entitled to
an internal review should you remain dissatisfied with the way the OGA has
handled your actual FOI request (i.e. that dated 2 June 2017). A request
for an internal review should be made within 40 working days of the date
of receipt of the response to your request and should be addressed to:
 
Strategy Directorate
Oil and Gas Authority
21 Bloomsbury Street
London
WC1B 3HF
Email:  [1][email address]
 
Please quote the reference number above in any future communications with
regard to this request.
 
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the internal review, you may
complain  to the Information Commissioner at [2]www.ico.org.uk or at
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Strategy Directorate.
 
 
Oil and Gas Authority is a limited company registered in England and Wales
with registered number 09666504 and VAT registered number 249433979. Our
registered office is at 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1B
3HF.
 
For information about how we process data and monitor communications
please see our Data Protection Statement and for terms of use please see
our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website.
 

show quoted sections