Earthquakes

Cuadrilla Caused Earthquakes in the Only UK Fracking

Preese Hall well schematic casing deformedThe only High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the UK has been by Cuadrilla near Blackpool, at Preese Hall well in 2011, and at Preston New Road in late 2018.  Both caused earthquakes.

At Preese Hall it caused 50 earthquakes up to 2.3 in magnitude (ML) that damaged the well casing, which was deformed for 160 feet.1

As a result, the government introduced a traffic light system, so if earthquakes above 0.5ML are detected, fracking must pause for a few hours before continuing.

When Cuadrilla tried fracking again in 2018, over 30 earthquakes occurred, up to 1.1ML.  Cuadrilla are now asking for the 0.5ML limit to be raised.2

 

Dutch Earthquake Traffic Light System Didn’t Work

Europe’s Biggest Gas Field Shut Down as Untenable, No Longer Socially Acceptable

“The dutch were told that extraction was safe and well regulated until their houses started cracking and falling apart. …
Over a thousand mostly small earthquakes … caused by gas extraction. Around 80,000 homes damaged … more than 20,000 too dangerous to live in, €8,000,000,000 of damage, which the government and gas companies once insisted could never happen.
The [UK] Oil & Gas Authority … states, “it is very rare for damages, even cosmetic ones, to occur at magnitudes less than 4″, yet every single one of the thousand or so dutch earthquakes was less than 4.”

– Channel 4 News, 12th Nov 2018

In the Dutch situation they were not even fracking in many cases, although extraction was from less deep formations than our shale. It is interesting to note that in the Netherlands citizens have successfully taken their government court to force them to cut climate emissions3, and they have just closed Europe’s biggest gas field, while the UK government is attempting create a whole new gas field across the north of England.

 

Sharp Surge in Oklahoma Earthquakes Linked to Fracking

Many more and much bigger earthquakes have been connected with fracking in the US, where tens of thousands of wells have been drilled and fracked in the last few years.

earthquake Oklahoma_

Sparks, Oklahoma, 2011. The state has seen a boom in two things in recent years: oil and gas production and earthquakes. (LA Times)

Fracking produces huge quantities of toxic waste fluid to be disposed of.  The favoured disposal method is to inject it into old wells.

A recent study in the highly respected journal Science suggests massive wastewater injection into disposal wells induced a sharp increase in earthquakes in central Oklahoma.

Still, they’d never be allowed to do that near East Yorkshire… would they?

Read on for more on Waste Fluid disposal…

 

 



1.  Scientific report for the government into the Preese Hall fracking earthqukes.

preese-hall-shale-gas-fracturing-review-and-recomm

 

PREESE HALL SHALE GAS FRACTURING – REVIEW & RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INDUCED SEISMIC MITIGATION – Report for DECC by British Geological Survey et al.


2.

“Britain may never have a viable fracking industry and risks missing out on new supplies of domestic gas unless the government relaxes rules on earthquakes caused by the technique, an energy company has warned.”
Strict earthquake rules may make fracking impossible, says Cuadrilla boss – The Times, 31st Oct 2018


3.

THE URGENDA CLIMATE CASE AGAINST THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT
Together with 900 citizens the Urgenda Foundation filed the Climate Case against the Dutch Government. On 24 June 2015 Urgenda won a lawsuit against the Dutch State, forcing it to take more measures against climate change.

Urgenda Climate Case

 


4.
science earthquakes

Sharp increase in central Oklahoma seismicity since 2008 induced by massive wastewater injection – Science, 25 July 2014