Cuadrilla Wants Guidelines Softened So it Can Restart Fracking

By Gary Cutlack on at

Cuadrilla has come up with a genius method of reducing the problem of seismic activity triggered by its fracking operations: change the levels at which it has to stop and investigate tremors.

That's the idea of executive Francis Egan, who says there's masses of gas still down there in the Lancashire rocks, but all those pesky regulations and safeguards and ground tremor limits are stopping it from being displaced and brought to the surface. He'd like the government to alter the limits, because the current notification/emergency stop level is "intentionally conservative" and could be relaxed, to make everything better and easier for Cuadrilla.

Egan again complained that he's stuck working within stricter ground movement limits than the construction industry -- even though pumping water into the ground is quite a different proposition than driving lorries over it -- and said: "All we ask now is that we are treated fairly, with comparable seismic and ground vibration levels to similar industries in Lancashire and elsewhere in the UK who are able to work safely but more effectively with significantly higher thresholds for seismicity and ground vibration."

The company has therefore asked the Oil and Gas Authority to review its micro-seismic activity operating limit, hopefully upwards. [Independent]