30 June 2019

Last week Cuadrilla released a statement which says they are planning to frack Well 2 at Preston New Road (PNR) near Blackpool, and have applied to the Environment Agency to do so.

According to data analysed by Drill Or Drop, Well 1 was fracked on 39 days over nine weeks in autumn 2018, but operations were suspended due to seismic activity, mechanical failures and equipment getting stuck in the well and having to be abandoned. Much of the equipment (including the sound-proofing fence) was removed from the site between December and April 2019, and some protectors dared to hope that the UK fracking industry was on its last legs. However, it looks like those hopes may have been premature.

Cuadrilla are lobbying the Government to change the Traffic Light System, which regulates the level of seismic activity that they are allowed to induce by fracking. The current legal level stands at ML=0.5 which they now want to change to ML=3.1. The logarithmic magnitude scale means that an earthquake of local magnitude (ML) 3.1 is around 8000 times more powerful than a 0.5! The biggest tremor at PNR last autumn registered at ML=1.5. 

Over the last few days, with the aid of Lancashire Police, Cuadrilla have been bringing bags of aggregate and sand onto the site. They are using aggregate to repair their entry road, which is leading people to speculate that they may be mobilizing heavy equipment onto the site in the near future.

Aggressive policing and manhandling of peaceful protectors is still happening on a daily basis.

On Wednesday 10th July will be the 100th 'Call for Calm' at PNR - please join this big event if you can, starting at Maple Farm Community Hub PR4 3PH at around 10am. Wear white if possible.

Green Mondays are also continuing at the gates of the PNR fracking site, with forthcoming speakers including Marina Prentoulis (24 June), John Ashton (8 July) and Green Party Leader Sian Berry (15 July).


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