Aurora continues bid to frack near Formby but the tremor risk is ruled out of date?
The company that wants to frack for shale gas near Formby in Lancashire is pressing ahead with its planning application, despite the government’s recent moratorium. But Aurora Resources has been advised to update its estimate of the risk of fracking-induced earth tremors.
The company said in its application that the geology of its proposed site at Great Altcar was “very similar” to Preston New Road, where in August Cuadrilla caused the UK’s largest fracking-induced tremor, measuring 2.9ML. Aurora said the size of tremors caused by its operation would be limited to 1.5ML. But this statement was made before the August tremors at Preston New Road and the moratorium.
On 2 November, the government said it was withdrawing its support for shale gas because it was not possible to predict accurately whether fracking would cause tremors and what size they would be. Now Lancashire County Council has formally asked the company for new data. A letter from the council’s development plan leader, Jonathan Haine, published online, said fracking at Altcar Moss might be expected to induce similar seismic activity to Preston New Road.
“The risk assessment within the ES [Environmental Statement] should therefore be updated as they are based upon an assumption that the embedded mitigation will limit the size of seismic events to 1.5Ml. Events at PNR appear to demonstrate that seismic events well above this level are possible”. Mr Haine said the county council had been advised that Aurora’s geological setting was “too generic” and a “more site-specific study” would help to justify the 1.5ML conclusion.
Aurora had said none of the faults within the carboniferous rock formation reached the surface. But Mr Haine said“The County Council’s advice is that this is unlikely to be the case and that more detail should be presented within the ES to justify the conclusions”.
DrillOrDrop understands that the campaign network, The Moss Alliance, has been advised that because of the geology of Altcar Moss, fracking would be likely to result in worse induced seismic events than those caused by Cuadrilla at Preston New Road. In fact Halsall Against Fracking Chair Maureen Mills
says “It’s business as usual for us at the Moss Alliance. Unfortunately a lot of folk think we’ve won and it’s going to go away, but it’s not”.
Aurora Energy Resources Limited is involved in the “Extraction of crude petroleum and Extraction of natural gas” and was previously Pacific Shelf 1485 Limited, EDP Onshore Limited, And Aurora Exploration (UK) Limited. Its Registered office address is 28 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB10 1YL. Its current annual report shows £4,123,171 of assets including £4,087,381 cash, and its Total Equity is £2,129,041. Its shareholders include Aurora Holdings Ltd, Bergenoil AG, Dubhor Energy Ltd, and a host of individuals.
Not to be too blunt about it, we wouldn’t shed a tear if they lost the lot!