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Seismic Events at Preston New Road

Latest updates - SEISMICITY

**See here for statements on the seismic activity at 8.30am Monday, August 26, 2019**

Cuadrilla has all the permits and permissions in place to hydraulically fracture up to 45 stages of the second horizontal well at its shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road (PNR).

The work will be completed by the end of November and followed by flow testing of the well, with gas flow results expected early in 2020.

You can read comprehensive guidance and information from the Government on ‘fracking’ for shale gas here.

This will cause low level  induced micro seismicity as fracturing fluid including sand is pumped into the well at high pressures to create tiny fractures in the shale rock.

Local people should be reassured that any resulting ground motion will be far below anything that could cause harm or damage and is likely to be much less than caused daily by other industries such as quarrying or construction or even heavy goods vehicles travelling on our roads.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for a wide variety of further information on how seismicity is created and regulated, as well as many other topics including the process of fracturing and environmental regulation and responsibility. You can also watch a short video we produced with the assistance of Liverpool University, this video shows what micro-seismicity looks like.

Very small movements will be detected due to the highly sophisticated monitoring system in place at PNR. The British Geological Survey (BGS), which monitors seismicity at PNR, has published comprehensive information here. In particular the BGS says:

A high number of temporary seismic stations around Blackpool allows us to detect much smaller seismic events than we are typically able to do in other parts of the UK. The BGS permanent network of sensors across the UK is usually able to detect most earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 ML or above anywhere in the UK, although this may vary from place to place and at different times. All of the events detected near Preston New Road in 2018 had magnitudes far below our normal detection threshold and were only detected because of the increased number of seismic stations.

Seismicity is regulated at PNR by the Oil and Gas Authority using a ‘traffic light system’. You can read more about this here.

The table below shows micro seismic events detected at PNR in 2019 that are above 0.0ML. If you wish to see minus 0.0ML events please click here.

Date Time Magnitude Ground movement (PPV) Comparative example
21/08/2019 20:46 1.55ml 0.489 (mm/s) View this document for context
21/08/2019 22:42 0.87ml 0.119 (mm/s) View this document for context
22/08/2019 07:46 0.28ml 0.034 (mm/s) View this document for context
22/08/2019 16:23 1.03ml 0.164 (mm/s) View this document for context
23/08/2019 05:33 0.39ml 0.039 (mm/s) View this document for context
23/08/2019 22:41 0.12ml 0.022 (mm/s) View this document for context
23/08/2019 23:22 1.05ml 0.176 (mm/s) View this document for context
24/08/2019 05:01 0.53ml 0.055 (mm/s)  View this document for context
24/08/2019 23:01 2.1ml 1.460 (mm/s)  View this document for context
26/08/2019 08:30 2.9ml 5.40 (8.1 max) (mm/s)  View this document for context
26/08/2019 22:18 1.0ml 0.123 (mm/s) View this document for context
27/08/2019 07:55 0.6ml 0.055 (mm/s) View this document for context
02/09/2019 04:12 0.2ml 0.019(mm/s) View this document for context

Further information on the table above

  • Local Magnitude (ML) is the official measurement of seismicity using the Richter Scale.
  • Peak Particle Velocity (PPV) provides an equivalent ground motion calculation about the impact felt at surface.
  • The comparative examples were created by Liverpool University to demonstrate the impact of the micro seismicity with every day events and items.