A couple of things came out of a letter sent from Energy Minister Claire Perry to MP Kevin Hollinrake dated 30th July 2018.
Although it might be considered stale news it has only just been brought to our attention by a resident and Drill or Drop. The Energy Minister suggests that there might be scope to adjust the earthquake trigger levels to higher levels over time as experience is gained. The current rules, known as the traffic light system, require fracking to stop if the operation causes seismic activity at a level of 0.5ML. This relaxation can according to Perry be achieved without compromising the effectiveness of controls.
Perry also mentions a report commissioned by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in the aftermath of the concerns raised by Professor Peter Styles (whose own report concluded that fracking near geological faults in former coal mining areas could trigger earthquakes). The (OGA) report written by the British Geological Survey (BGS) was completed by 30th July 2018 and rests currently with the OGA.
The OGA’s remit to BGA, so described by Perry in her letter to Hollinrake, “to review the depth and location of historic coal mines, with a focus on the region in and around the two proposed Gas shale gas sites at Springs Road and Tinker Lane”. Clearly this is an issue of great concern and importance to the communities within the area of interest around Tinker lane wellsite and their representatives on the Tinker lane CLG.
It has to be said that the CLG have been as surprised as the residents (along with MP John Mann also in the dark) who first spotted that a report had been commissioned and indeed completed. If the BGS report is made public without redaction or tampering it can only be to the good. However the fact that nothing has yet been admitted/published by OGA since 30th July 2018 is not a good sign. The CLG will ensure that the report is considered at the CLG meeting on 18th October and we will post again on the issue.