Start of the Geophysical Survey

March 29, 2012

This week will see the start of our Geophysical Survey in the Fylde.

The survey, which builds on a similar study carried out about 30 years ago in the area, will map the subsurface geology (the rock) greatly improving our knowledge of the area’s geology – and the knowledge of the British Geological Survey, who will received our scientific findings .

The survey is set to take three months, moving across the Fylde using survey vehicles and small charges detonated in specially prepared holes. You can find out more about the process here.

If you live in the Fylde, activities in your area will go on for considerably less than three months – surveying moves from location to location, lasting just days at most in a specific place.

The main thing people will notice is the network of geophones (similar to sensitive microphones), which have been laid out to capture the energy signals used to map the rock. The geophones will be joined by cables which can be safely driven over or stepped on.

There will also be metal pegs (or poles) put into the ground. The network of geophones, cables and pegs (poles) are temporary and will be removed after a maximum of three months.

If you do happen to come across our surveying operations – perhaps our vehicles using the roads – please be assured we’re working hard to make sure there’s as little impact on local people as possible.

A few people in the Fylde have asked whether the survey involves drilling or hydraulic fracturing; which it doesn’t. We’ve got plenty of helpful information about the survey on this website, on the Geophysical Survey page.

The improved geological knowledge should mean that any future move to a production process can be better targeted, with fewer well pads effectively draining more gas. The survey could help reduce the surface impact of future operations which would be an important benefit.

It has also employed around 40 people and will contribute over £1.5 million to the local economy during the course of the three months of work.

Keeping you informed

For all the land we are accessing, each landowner has already been contacted and access has been agreed in advance. Permission has also been agreed with Lancashire County Council and we are working closely with the Highways Authority and the police to make sure the survey runs smoothly.

In February 2012 we sent a leaflet to over 30,000 people living in the survey area to let them know about the plans. We also held three public information events which over 600 local people were able to attend to discuss the survey in more detail.

As the survey moves across the Fylde we will write again to people living in the ‘active’ survey area, to let them know that work is taking place nearby.

Our community contact points – including the online contact form and our Freephone telephone line – are another way of finding out more. The Freephone line is staffed weekdays between 9.00am and 5.30pm on 0800 170 1115, and there’s a voicemail service for out of hours calls.

During the course of the survey, I’ll update you again on the progress we’re making on this blog.

Once again, thank you for reading.

Best wishes,

Mark Miller

The vehicles travel both on & off-road, regularly lowering vibrating plates to the ground in order to send energy signals down in to the rock layers

In areas with soft ground conditions, small charges will be lowered into specially prepared holes and detonated in order to generate energy signals

A network of geophones, cables and pegs (poles) are temporary and will be removed after surveying