So just got another 0.8 at 10:55 today (Sat 27th Oct) just on re-starting is appears. It will build up and up. A standard 2nd order differential model. A first year engineering student would be able to solve. This is utter nonsense engineering being applied here by Cuadrilla and the incredibly (engineering/science) ignorant BEIS. BBC Today R4 let Egan on to spout undiluted drivel yet refuse to let me challenge him or state the truth. Funny that. Instead John (utterly clueless/I couldn’t give a dam) Humphreys lets him make a case to be able to carry on his business by raising the TLS limit – regardless of the risks/dangers to the rest of us. It is not rocket science. It is science though and to let Egan off the hook is just so outrageous.
Whilst the quakes are still “small” there is a risk of potential damage to the well at this stage. By this I mean the energy released (shaking) will create a larger annulus between the cement and the casing and create a larger gap between the cement and borehole wall (the rocks). Both act as vertical conduits allowing highly toxic radioactive fracking waste to migrate rapidly (minutes) to the aquifer (where any washouts/weak formation points are present) and potentially to water boreholes where local dairy cows are drinking from. What is Wensley thinking right now I wonder? He had the chance before it all started to back out based on advice and he refused it. I gave the same advice to all in many public meetings – what fracking is and how it will behave. I know many helped get the message out there. Unfortunately the most obvious bit (earthquakes) is now coming to pass (obvious because we know from PH1 with 48 quakes just what happens as do the Govt. and the industry). The non obvious stuff is what worries me – the leakage routes to the aquifer. The flare. Cold venting etc.
I need more info as to the pressure gradient and the peak pressure per stage applied and the drop off pressure (when Cuad forced to stop for a delay) and all of this Cuad will hold but I can say that I feel the potential risk is now of a level that necessitates the FSA to begin immediate milk testing for all Fylde farmers for fracking contamination. (as in the full list of contaminants found in samples in 2011 pub 6th Dec 2011 – see attached – all need checking). And with the genie out of the bottle then this should continue for a min period to be defined but I would suggest 12 months absolute min on a daily basis and potentially for years ahead.
I do not know what stage Cuad are at but it should be around 15 by now so some 11.4million litres of toxic waste is now available and free to migrate. The toxic genie is getting bigger.
It is not the damage to buildings it is the damage to the well that matters with this level of induced seismicity. It is not so much about geologists and geology here though – it is about engineering and well integrity. Vertical migration (not horizontal – geological) is the immediate threat here. Engineering. You shake the cement and it will degrade and crack the more you do it. The annulus changes. The casing can ovalise (deform). The formation can develop effective washouts. You CANNOT check for this in a fully constructed well that you are fracking. I see this a lot – Cuad have checked the well integrity – just how please have they done that then? A log (e.g a USIT) is needed and time. The costs are prohibitive. I have not seen a delay long enough for wireline or indeed a tool string going down. They should be delaying to 5x the time constant. I strongly suspect Cuad are relying on the AP at the surface only to verify integrity. This is nonsense. It is not enough. See Deep Water Horizon. (the film whilst dramatic of course is technically fairly accurate) it is being shown tomorrow night on TV. DWH also only relied on the AP as they sent the wireline crew off the rig – time factors. Cuad already got 352 on PH1 as an AP. DWH blew out at 1300 and that turned into a serious disaster. 11 poor guys dead and the worst oil spill in the world ever. Anything over 50 is considered significant. We have had 352 psi on PH1 on the Fylde !!! This is not small beer. Watch the film and imagine a disaster here and how you would respond and your family. Then remember the Evac Plan is a disaster in itself IMO based on my research with the Police, HSE, Fire Service and LCC which I did between Jan and June. I would think it wise to plan your own emergency response bearing in mind the Police and LFRS and LCC did not bother to consult the HSE on what is needed and when I tried to explain then LCC came back to me with the most serious nonsense that I felt a bit like Richard Dreyfuss’ character in Jaws when they all laugh at him when he tells them the risks. IMO LCC clearly do not understand the risks and their Risk Assessment would appear to me based on their correspondence with me – to be significantly flawed.
This is an insane situation. I am sure Egan will now insist to May and Clark that the level is raised to much higher – approx. 3. That, will I am certain, damage the well integrity and for sure allow him to continue fracking without this pain of stopping every time . I saw it on PH1 with my own eyes on the rig. The risks are now getting very high. If you continue to push step inputs into the system without first having delayed at least 5xTC (so in steady state) or at least one anyway – 1 xTC would be better than the crazy engineering being practiced right now – then you are risking significant seismicity. I should know and more than Egan does as I was present the first time (he was not) and reviewed Pater and Baisch for FBC and with Miller. Egan didn’t.
Michael Hill C.Eng. MIET “
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