Fracking presentation well-received by Blackpool business leaders

By Lancashire For Shale

03 Jun 2019

Lancashire For Shale chair Lee Petts delivered an informative and entertaining presentation to delegates at the latest gathering of the Blackpool Business Leader's Group (BBLG) which took place at the Grand Hotel in the seaside resort on Friday 31st May 2019.

Lee patiently explained how the controls on induced seismicity (micro earthquakes caused by the fracking process) risked stifling the shale gas industry, and could deny Lancashire the the economic opportunities it offers. The Traffic Light System, as it is known, means operators have to stop working for 18 hours at a time if earth tremors of just 0.5 ML (local magnitude) are detected, and that this very low trigger threshold is proving unworkable and scientifically unsound.

He pointed out how the rules were first introduced by the then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey MP, who, in 2012, said that the levels were set intentionally low but that they were temporary and would be reviewed in light of emerging evidence - something the govement has since failed to do, despite the evidence now being available as a result of Cuadrilla's fracking activity on the Fylde in the last quarter of 2018.

Using an industrial tape measure, and with the aid of five audience volunteers, Lee set about putting the 0.5 ML threshold into perspective by highlighting how the wells at Preston New Road are so deep that they could accomodate the Blackpool Tower and London's Shard stacked atop each other vertically, with three of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, stacked on top of those.

He explained how fracking takes place at depths of around 2.5 km and that, by the time the energy from a 0.5 ML tremor at that depth has dissipated upwards, through over a mile of rock, the surface impact is negligible.

Lee then illustrated the surface impacts of a 1.5 ML tremor at 2.5 km using comparisons developed by the University of Liverpool. As four of his volunteers watched closely, a fifth dropped a honey dew melon on the floor from a height of about 1 metre to see what effect it would have on a bowl of standing water; it was clear that all observers were underwhelmed.

Lee used the demonstrations to clearly make the case that a review of the Traffic Light System is greatly needed, given that it appears to be providing protection from risks that are immaterial whilst set at such a low level.

Delegates were shocked to learn that, whilst seismicity linked to shale gas extraction is being tightly controlled, a deep geothermal project in Cornwall - that involves materially similar drilling and fracking processes - is permitted to operate with no government-mandated earthquake controls despite the developer warning that it would likely be responsible for tremors of 4.0 ML and above (thousands of times more powerful than a 0.5 ML tremor because the Richter Scale is logarithmic) and that these would be felt by local residents.

Lee pointed out that this difference in regulatory stance is very problematic, particularly given that the Regulator's Code says regulation must be consistent, risk-based and proportionate. 

He concluded by outlining how further delays to UK shale gas extraction risked locking the country into higher emission imports for longer, and left delegates to think about how, if it can renege on its promises to the shale gas industry, the government could do just the same to any other sector, potentially impacting any and all businesses in the room.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Lancashire For Shale

Latest news

1

Access to Finance, under new management, appoints new advisers Access To Finance With LCC

Access to Finance, under new management, appoints new advisers

23 Feb 2024

2

County council backs 'blueprint for growth' with senior appointments Lancashire County Council Tom Whiley And Claire Lambert

County council backs 'blueprint for growth' with senior appointments

23 Feb 2024

3

Clitheroe development sells out of final homes Montague Place-005.jpg.jpg

Clitheroe development sells out of final homes

23 Feb 2024

4

NLTG teams up with Prospects Foundation for community project The NLTG team had a great day working on the PROSPECTS Foundation TreeACTION project.jpg.jpg

NLTG teams up with Prospects Foundation for community project

23 Feb 2024

5

seoBusiness named among top 10% of global B2B service providers Seobusiness Happy Customers

seoBusiness named among top 10% of global B2B service providers

23 Feb 2024

Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Reach 50,000 members of the Lancashire business community

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Company profile
Social reach
Magazine coverage
Sign-up
Events
Monthly Freelancer Meet-Up and Coworking Day
Freelancer Meet-Up Feb.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
27 Feb 2024

Monthly Freelancer Meet-Up and Coworking Day

Society1 Coworking Space , Preston , PR1 3LT

10:00 - 16:00

Getting involved with the Accrington Town Square Projects
Hyndburn
LBV Hub Seminars
27 Feb 2024

Getting involved with the Accrington Town Square Projects

Online

12:15 - 13:00

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
27 Feb 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
27 Feb 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network
EVENT LISTING Eden Business Network.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
28 Feb 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network

The Borough, 3 Dalton Square, Lancaster, LA1 1PP

18:30 - 20:30

Chamber Breakfast Networking
LBV Hub Networking
28 Feb 2024

Chamber Breakfast Networking

3-1-5 Health Club, Lancaster, LA1 3PE

08:00 - 10:00

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond
EVENT LISTING BNI Diamond.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
28 Feb 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond

The Marriot Hotel, Garstang Road, Broughton, PR3 5JB

07:15 - 09:00

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus
EVENT LISTING SIZING Zeus.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
28 Feb 2024

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus

The Mill House, Corn Mill Yard, Accrington, BB5 5HX

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle
EVENT LISTING BNI Castle.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
29 Feb 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle

Vale of Lune RUFC, Powder House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 2TT

06:45 - 08:30

The Great Sub36 Bake Off
Networking
29 Feb 2024

The Great Sub36 Bake Off

Mytton Fold Hotel, Blackburn, BB6 8AB

09:30 - 11:30

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos
EVENT LISTING BNI Kudos.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
29 Feb 2024

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos

Prairie Sports Village, Windemere Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2FU

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch
EVENT LISTING SIZING Brunch .png.png
LBV Hub Networking
01 Mar 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch

Samlesbury Preston Hotel, Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0UL

09:30 - 11:00

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more Lbv114 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin