Welcome to our February/March Newsletter
Preston New Road
Variation of PNR Permit Application
Coffee Morning Saturday 9th March
Ribby Hall Event
Green Monday Speakers at PNR
Traffic Light System Review
Change of Technical Director for Cuadrilla
End Fracking for Good
News from Other Sites
Mistrust and earthquakes: why Lancashire communities are so shaken by fracking tremors.
Anna Szolucha December 14, 2018
On high alert
Local residents are concerned the earthquakes may cause cracks in the fracking well’s casing, which could potentially lead to contamination issues. Some scientists claim the impact of these seismic events at surface is equivalent to dropping a melon onto the floor. But government officials and those in the fracking industry have dismissed the tremors suggesting they are inconsequential.
As a social scientist living in Lancashire, I have been researching the social impacts of shale gas developments since 2015. From what I have seen, there is much more to the tremors than just ground movements. The impact of the quakes that occurred far below ground reverberated strongly throughout the community living on the surface. To understand why this is the case it is important to understand local people’s experiences of shale gas exploration in the UK.
Fracking on shaky ground
The same operator, Cuadrilla, was fracking for shale gas in the area seven years ago. Two bigger and around 50 smaller earthquakes occurred over an eight-month period as a result of injecting fluid into a geological fault zone.In 2018 and under new seismicity controls Cuadrilla was required to halt its fracking operations twice when the monitoring equipment detected tremors bigger than 0.5 local magnitude. The system was introduced to set “gold standard” regulations for this new industry. After the quakes, Cuadrilla’s CEO warned that making fracking commercially viable would be extremely challenging under the existing seismic monitoring system in the UK. He wanted the government to reconsider its position on seismic monitoring within weeks.
Weeks passed by, the activity at the site was subdued for a month and no further seismic events were recorded until December 10 2018. Cuadrilla did not publicly confirm it had suspended hydraulic fracturing between early November and December. But it did say it was planning to engage with the regulators to change the upper limit on seismic monitoring.
Continue reading Mistrust and earthquakes: why Lancashire communities are so shaken by fracking tremors – Anna Szolucha