In accordance with the OGA’s strict controls, hydraulic fracturing operations at the Preston New Road site are suspended following the recent seismic activity in the area, including a 2.9ML event at 08:30am on 26 August, which was felt by people in the area.
Operations will remain suspended while the OGA gathers data from this and other recent seismic events and then considers carefully whether or not the hydraulic fracturing operations, mitigations and assumptions set out in the operator’s Hydraulic Fracture Plan continue to be appropriate to manage the risk of induced seismicity at the Preston New Road site.
- A graphic/image describing the traffic light system can be found here.
- For more information on HFPs and the OGA’s traffic light system for monitoring operations, click here.
- A Hydraulic Fracture Plan (HFP) sets out the steps that the operator will take to minimise seismic risks and the ways in which the operator will monitor and control the hydraulic fracturing process. The HFP must be approved independently both by the OGA and by the Environment Agency (EA), with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) having had the opportunity to comment.
- The OGA requires detailed geological studies to be undertaken by an operator to assess the risk of seismic activity, and to prevent any hydraulic fracturing operations taking place near identified geological faults. The OGA must also be satisfied that controls are in place to minimise the risk of a seismic event or any disturbance to those living and working nearby.
- To date, nine seismic events (as of 28/08/19) have exceeded the magnitude 0.5ML threshold during Preston New Road Well 2 operations.
- In total six seismic events exceeded the magnitude 0.5ML threshold during Preston New Road well 1Z operations in late 2018.