A micro seismic event of 0.76ML (local magnitude) was detected just after 11.30am this morning at Cuadrilla’s shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire. Cuadrilla was hydraulically fracturing the shale rock adjacent to a horizontal well at the time and the seismicity is classed as a red event in line with the traffic light monitoring system regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). Operations have now paused for the next 18 hours during which seismicity levels will continue to be measured. The British Geological Survey (BGS) records seismicity to one decimal place and therefore have recorded the event as 0.8ML (local magnitude).
Micro seismic events such as these result in tiny movements that are way below anything that would be felt at surface, much less cause any harm or damage. Without the sophisticated monitoring in place at Cuadrilla, they would not be detected. It is reassuring that the monitoring and traffic light system is working as it should. All the relevant regulators were informed without delay and we have verified that the well integrity is intact. As per the hydraulic fracture plan in place at Preston New Road, work will now pause for at least 18 hours and is expected to recommence in the morning (Saturday, October 27, 2018).