Throughout Cuadrilla’s operations, robust safety measures are in place to protect the environment.
Cuadrilla’s wells are all designed with at least three layers of steel casing – the surface casing, the intermediate casing and the production casing. The intermediate casing ensures that there can be no leakage path from the shale reservoir up to the aquifer – see diagram below. These are inspected by an independent well examiner before being sent to the HSE for review.
Hydraulic fracturing stimulation was first used in Kansas, US in 1947. Since then, over 2.5 million fracture treatments have taken place globally. Significantly, 60% of onshore natural-gas production comes from hydraulically fractured wells.
In the US, only a handful of operations have led to the subsurface environment being contaminated with natural gas, with bad well design the cause – not hydraulic fracturing. Cuadrilla always uses an intermediate casing as part of its well design. In the US, this was recently made a requirement by New York as part of the state’s recommendation to allow fracturing to resume.
In this section you can find out more about:
- how we manage the water we use
- how our wells are designed
- how we are regulated
- what seismicity is and how we work with it
As well as these important areas of environmental protection, we undertake a number of other activities to ensure we do as much as possible to meet our responsibilities.
During site preparations, a thick impermeable membrane is placed across the entire site which prevents any potential spills leaching into the groundwater. The membrane holds all site surface water which is also tested prior to disposal.
Ground gas monitoring
To ensure the ground surrounding Cuadrilla’s sites do not exceed normal levels of naturally occurring biogenic gas, monitoring devices are placed around the site before and throughout Cuadrilla’s operations to monitor and record methane levels. This provides real time information, which would allow for any issue to be swiftly addressed.
Our ground gas monitoring partner is Ground-Gas Solutions.
You can read our Environmental Policy here - Cuadrilla’s Environment Policy