Analytical Instrumentation

  • Plans Approved for Second Cuadrilla Site

Plans Approved for Second Cuadrilla Site

Sep 13 2019 Read 294 Times

Following a request from one of the largest oil and gas exploration companies in the United Kingdom, the Environment Agency (EA) has approved plans for a second fracking site operated by Cuadrilla. The shale gas well is located at the Preston New Road site, known as PNR 2, in Lancashire.

Francis Egan, chief executive officer at Cuadrilla, said: "We are very pleased that after detailed technical reviews the Environment Agency has approved the hydraulic fracture plan (HFP) for our second shale gas exploration well at Preston New Road.

New fracking site jeopardises carbon emissions targets

Guidelines set between Cuadrilla and the EA outline the measures that will be taken to protect groundwater, contain fracking operations and monitor seismic activity. While Cuadrilla has pledged to comply with EA regulations and minimise environmental impact, the approval of the hydraulic fracture plan has attracted criticism from protestors, including British politician and current leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. He is calling for a total ban on fracking in the UK, warning that the activity will prevent Britain from meeting carbon emissions targets and present a serious risk of seismic activity.

“We need urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, and that means the prime minister immediately banning fracking once and for all,” urges Corbyn.

The EA was quick to assure concerned residents the project is both safe and compliant, with a statement released by the agency reading, "we consider that the proposals for micro-seismic monitoring are proportionate to the planned operations and adequate measures are in place for the protection of groundwater." The agency also asserts, "we have checked that the operator will have the appropriate monitoring equipment in place and the procedures for installing."

Cuadrilla under strict monitoring from EA

To ensure Cuadrilla complies with environmental regulations, the company will submit daily reports to the EA outlining fracture locations and well integrity status. The agency will also enforce a stringent program of inspections and audits, which will take place before, during and after the injection stages.

"Cuadrilla will inform the Environment Agency without delay if there are any issues of well integrity, any indication of fracture growth outside the permitted boundary, if pumping is changed due to possible fracture growth approaching the permit boundary or if there are significant seismic events which trigger the Traffic Light System (TLS)," reads the report.

Environmental concerns are front of mind for energy companies and were a focal point at the recent PEFTEC 2019 conference held in the Netherlands. For an in depth look at the event don't miss 'Oil Gas & Petrochem industries converge on Rotterdam.

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