Traffic light schema for seismic monitoring at fracking development wells at Preston New Road

richard parker made this Freedom of Information request to Oil and Gas Authority

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Oil and Gas Authority,

I am disturbed that the schema for traffic light monitoring of seismic events at Preston New Road for the two development wells does not appear to have any contingency for fracking to be completely suspended if seismic levels reach a certain level.

Please could you advise what seismic levels and frequency are needed for fracking to be halted rather than simply paused?

Is there no schema in place to ensure that Cuadrilla cannot frack after significant trailing events are detected without your authority? It would appear that Cuadrilla are permitted to continue fracking if any number of trailing events are detected at any amplitude. They appear to have to only wait for a fixed duration of 14 hours after any event that occurs during fracking before fracking recommences.

On Sunday 4th November a trailing event of 0.7 occurred. This appears there seems to a potential latency of the micro earthquakes to the fracking process that is not deterministic. Please advise as to what the safe limits are for stopping the fracking whilst regulators review the events before fracking can recommences.

Please advise what procedures the OGA and BGS are following to ascertain these scenarios.

Yours faithfully,

richard parker

Dear Oil and Gas Authority,

Please could you advise on what levels of seismic activity are necessitated for fracking to be halted rather than merely suspended for 18 hours. Please review internal procedures as to why this information is not made available as earlier requested.

Yours faithfully,

richard parker

OGA FOI requests, Oil and Gas Authority

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Parker,

Please find attached a response from the OGA to your FOI request.

Yours sincerely

FOI Requests

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 Privacy Statement and for terms of use please see our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website.

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OGA FOI requests, Oil and Gas Authority

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    RE Freedom of Information request Seismic activity at PNR OCTOBER 18th TO 22nd 2018.txt

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Dear Mr Parker,

Thank you for your follow up emails of 23 November (attached) and 5 December 2018 (below), following our response to your FOI request FOI-2018-0062 and your views expressed therein.

The OGA has strict controls in place so that even this low level seismic activity results in a pause in operations to allow us to review the event and ensure that the operator’s approved plan is still valid.

The OGA is aware of a number of minor seismic events recorded in the Preston New Road area which were likely to be connected to Cuadrilla’s operations.

Further details of these minor seismic events can be found on the BGS website: https://earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/earthquake... .

Furthermore I can inform you that, to date, the OGA has been satisfied that these seismic events have all been in line with the geological understanding set out in the Hydraulic Fracture Plan (HFP) and that the risk of induced seismicity is being appropriately managed.

The OGA was aware that low level seismic events deep underground were entirely possible during hydraulic fracturing operations and this is what happened at Preston New Road. There are several thousand minor seismic events like these occurring naturally in the UK every year and most of these can only be detected at the surface with specialist equipment.

It may also interest you to know that, if an event is not in line with what is anticipated in the HFP, the OGA will require further analysis of the cause of the seismic activity before injection operations can continue. If that further analysis were to conclude that operations could not be conducted in a way that minimises disturbance, then a prolonged pause may be needed.

The consent that the OGA has given Cuadrilla provides the OGA with a broad discretion to extend the pause in operations, if it is not satisfied that events accord with the HFP.

Your email is entitled “Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Traffic light schema for seismic monitoring at fracking development wells at Preston New Road”, yet the text of your email states “Please review internal procedures as to why this information is not made available as earlier requested” – which would seem to apply more generally to the OGAs policy of the company having 30 days from the end of hydraulic fracturing operations to submit the hydraulic fracturing operations report to the OGA, after which the OGA is able to release them after a period of six [6] further months?

The OGA has no plans to review this procedure. If, however, you meant by your email that you believe the OGAs application of Section 22 of the FOIA 2000 was applied incorrectly, please let us know this by return of email.

Should you have any further questions about operations at the Preston New Road site, you will need to contact Cuadrilla at:

https://cuadrillaresources.com/contact-us/

Address: Cuadrilla Resources Ltd, Cuadrilla House, Unit 6 Sceptre Court, Sceptre Way, Bamber Bridge, Preston, PR5 6AW, UK

Telephone: 01772 585 450.

I hope that this is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

OGA FOI Officer.

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 privacy statement and for terms of use please see our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website.

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Dear OGA FOI requests,

Following the suspension of fracking at Preston New Road could you please advise on the decision control of permitting fracturing to continue after the 1.6 seismic event on 21st August. Were any extra conditions needed to be met by the operator other than an 18 hour pause after this event? I understand that the operator performed a number of fracks after this event. Could you please advise on the frack times, pressures and volumes after this event and what response was taken to each amber and red event after the bespoke event.

Yours sincerely,

richard parker

Dear OGA FOI requests,

Thank you for your earlier responses, I will raise my latest concerns following the recent seismic activity as a new request.

Yours sincerely,

richard parker

OGA FOI requests, Oil and Gas Authority

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Parker,

Please find attached the OGA’s response to your requests of 6 and 7 September.

Yours sincerely

OGA FoI Requests

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 Privacy Statement and for terms of use please see our Terms and Conditions, both available on our website.

show quoted sections