After winning its High Court battle to be allowed to conduct fracking activities at a shale gas site at Preston New Road, Lancashire, earlier this month, Cuadrilla has set up a website designed to share the environmental monitoring of the site.
On 12 April, the Hon. Mr Justice Dove upheld the planning inspector’s recommendation, and the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission for the exploratory shale gas well.
Now, Cuadrilla has launched an eportal detailing everything from traffic movements to and from the site, to air quality and ground and surface water monitoring.
CEO of the company Francis Egan said that the firm had decided to develop this online resource after listening to local people’s views about the site.
He added that this will “assure the local community that our operations at Preston New Road are being conducted in an environmentally responsible manner”.
However, campaign group Frack Free Lancashire said the data provided by Cuadrilla should be approached with caution. The group welcomed the fact that the company understood it needed to monitor the impact of their drilling on the local community, but said this website amounted to the company being allowed to “mark their own homework”.
At the moment, Cuadrilla’s portal features data about traffic at the site; air quality measuring methane, PM2.5 and PM10 levels; surface water measuring to check the concentration of diesel in small bodies of water near the site; and groundwater sampling to check methane levels.
In addition, noise and seismicity will be added once drilling actually starts at the well, the company added.
Lancashire isn’t the only part of the UK where shale gas drilling is expected to begin in 2017. Drill Or Drop reported that IGas expects to begin drilling at its Nottinghamshire sites in the second half of this year.
The firm has been granted planning permission for three wells – two at Springs Road, Mission and one in Tinker Lane.
In addition, the company revealed it is looking at sites in the north-west of England to expand its operations.
Fracking in the UK has attracted a lot of controversy, despite the government backing the development of shale gas wells in the country. However, the process may not be as lucrative as operators and the government are hoping.
Earlier this month, experts from the Research Fracking in Europe (ReFINE) group revealed that just one quarter of the shale gas in one of the UK’s biggest reserves may be recoverable.
Unmovable infrastructure and features, such as buildings, roads and rivers are likely to severely curtail access to the Bowland Shale reserve, the consortium explained.
According to their analysis, in a typical 10km by 10km square, just a quarter of the space would be able to accommodate a well once these things were factored in. As a result, the researchers have estimated that only one quarter of the total gas reserve would be accessible.
If you need precision engineering for a project within the oil and gas sector, contact us at Pentag Gears today to find out how our expertise could help you.