Latest News: 12th July, 2012
Cuadrilla Resources, the company exploring for natural gas in shale rock deep beneath the surface in Lancashire, has commenced work to install sensitive monitoring technology so that it can undertake comprehensive seismic monitoring.
In line with the company’s commitment to best practice, Cuadrilla will adopt a number of early detection systems to prevent a level of seismic activity that could give cause for any concern.
The monitoring technology was recommended in an independent scientific report into the minor tremors last year and by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in their expert’s own review.
Traffic Light system
Based on the proven “traffic light” system used in the Netherlands and Germany, Cuadrilla will use a seismometer network around every one of its well sites.
The passive technology uses sound sources deep underground to map the rock, feeding back information in real-time. This stream of data means that the hydraulic fracturing process can be closely controlled and managed to prevent noticeable seismic activity.
Plotting fracture development
In addition to these recommended systems, Cuadrilla is installing an additional monitoring system at its Banks site in West Lancashire, which will demonstrate that fracturing does not lead to water contamination.
Mark Miller, who has recently taken up a new Lancashire-focussed role as Cuadrilla’s Director of Bowland Operations, said:
“With this system in place at the Banks site, we can demonstrate that fractures are thousands of feet away from the aquifer – and that they stay there long after the fracturing process has been carried out.
Should hydraulic fracturing be allowed to resume, we think that this will be an effective way of demonstrating to the public that the process is indeed safe.”
The additional monitoring system being installed around the Banks site goes well beyond recommendations made by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The equipment will be fitted in 104 specially prepared holes around the Banks site – both to the north and south of the river estuary, in Fylde and West Lancashire. Preparing the small holes takes between 2 to 4 days per hole, using small mobile drilling equipment, the same kind used to drill water wells.
There should be no surface impact from this buried technology.
As part of Cuadrilla’s commitment to transparency, the company will make the results of the fracture monitoring available to the public on their website. This technology will offer unparalleled levels of information, therefore providing even greater transparency for the community.
In addition, Cuadrilla continues to operate its long-established community contact points, including the Freephone Information Line, operated on weekdays between 9.00am and 5.30pm, on 0800 170 1115. Alternatively, for more information about the company and its operations, visit www.cuadrillaresources.com