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« Poor old Baroness Verma | Main | Craven Kramer »
Thursday
Feb062014

Cuadrilla's fancy new toy

Via James Verdon comes a link to Cuadrilla's fancy new toy to demonstrate the landscape effect of their proposed new exploration sites in Lancashire. This enables web users to see what the site will look like before, during and after the drilling work, panning and zooming to see what it looks like from different directions and at different distances.

There's one for the Roseacre site and one for Preston New Road/Little Plumpton.

This is rather swanky and should kill off any idea that there is a significant landscape impact from shale gas drilling.

 

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Reader Comments (27)

It is a pity that a comparison with a wind turbine farm could not be made to show the countryside blighting by wind farms.

Feb 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

No comment.

Feb 6, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

I hate these 'Where's Wally' puzzles. I can never spot the little bugger no matter how long I stare.
Has anyone found the drlll yet?

Feb 6, 2014 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Cuadrilla should indicate the height above the road level from which the views are taken.

The camera appears to be relatively low - guessed at about 1m.

Feb 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Sorry, but I do have comments. Firstly, it must be understood that these sites are for TEST drilling, not production. Cuadrilla obviously intends to eat this elephant one bite at a time. Secondly, and a propos earlier comments, I had a lot of experience working with the so-called "environmental impact" consultants (pertaining to a proposed petrochemicals project at Nigg Bay in Scotland) and they use every trick in the book (like the low level camera) to give the answer they are being paid to produce.

Feb 6, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

I couldn't spot the camp site full of crusties in any of the shots.

Feb 6, 2014 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Notice that windmill promoters do not use such before and after techniques so much anymore.
If the fracking visual impact was bad, the anti-fracking extremists would not have to fabricate their claims as much as they do.

Feb 6, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

they use every trick in the book (like the low level camera) to give the answer they are being paid to produce.

The camera appears to be the same height as a Google "streetview" camera which is a fair comparison.

A drilling rig is like a petrochemical plant in the way that a washing line is like a windfarm.

As for the permanent impact - there are wellheads from producing wells all over Britain. Go and have a look at one (if you can find one - they're a bit harder to see than wind generators and rubbish-strewn anti-fracking camps) and then tell us about the terrible environmental impact.

Feb 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

The camera looks to be at a normal height to me, you can see in a couple of the angle in the first example that is above the height of the fence post and gate posts.

Feb 6, 2014 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBK

The Roseacre one looks good. From the default viewpoint turn around and gaze upon several large radio broadcasting masts? And in both you have the virtually ubiquitous giant National Grid pylons silently and steadfastly guarding us against trolls. And activists want us to be upset about a temporary drilling rig?

Feb 6, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Kedllydown: give me a clue where these producing well-heads are, all over Britain and I'll go and have a look (not Wytch Farm again please).

Feb 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

My maternal grandparents (now six foot under) lived out their lives close by in Kirkham/Wesham. With all due respect to my mother, and relatives still living nearby, the Fylde is kinda flat and dull round there. That's probably why they built Blackpool down the road.

Feb 6, 2014 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered Commentermichaelhart

I think that arguing about the camera height is fatuous nit-picking; you could probably raise the camera several metres before the Preston New Road site becomes significantly more visible than it is. Doing the same with Roseacre site will probably make it look even less of a problem.

As others have pointed out, why can we not look at the same scenes with wind-farms added? That comparison should give us a clearer view of the “visual impact” on these areas.

Feb 6, 2014 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR: If you lived near a windfarm you wouldn't think that the fudging that goes on about "background noise levels" was nit-picking I can assure you.

Feb 6, 2014 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

Vernon E; still banging that drum?
This must be the 4th or 5th time.
For one example of a producing well-head, go to Cuadrilla's website and click on the photos of Elswick - as I suggested the last time you trotted out your pet scare story.
For another take a look at the previous BH post about shale in Fort Worth. I gave you the link.
Even better, instead of irrelevant references to major petrochem installations - you've tried Gronigen, now it's Nigg Bay - go and find some actual evidence from the huge shale developments in the US.
In case that is not clear enough, it is time to put up or shut up.

Feb 6, 2014 at 4:57 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

Mikeh: zzzzzzzz..........

Feb 6, 2014 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

Vernon E - East Midlands is a good place to have a wander around Britain's rich onshore oilfield heritage. A lot of the technology is old-fashioned now, but still going.

I'll go and have a look (not Wytch Farm again please).

What have you got against Wytch Farm? This was a worldwide centre of drilling excellence in the 1990s. Anyway, The site is protected for security and safety so you probably wouldn't get very close to see the wellheads. The types of wells the shale gas people are planning are much smaller and will be easier to get close to, once they are done that is.

Feb 6, 2014 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Vernon E (Feb 6, 2014 at 3:36 PM):

RR: If you lived near a windfarm you wouldn't think that the fudging that goes on about "background noise levels" was nit-picking I can assure you.
What on God’s good Earth does that have in connection with camera heights? Please engage brain before hitting keyboard!

BTW – if you are looking for fracking well-heads, I believe that there is one on an RSPB reserve in Notts, having been there about 20 years. Look it up.

Feb 6, 2014 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

I actually know the New Preston Road site quite well. The view from the SE including "pylons" also includes Blackpool Tower - it's the darker one, just to the right of the rig. That is of course some 158m tall (or 518 ft 9 in) and permanent, compared with just 34m, or just over 100ft and temporary for the rig.

For Vernon E, who plainly ignored by previous posts on wellsites, here is Doe Green, near Warrington - a producing site for gas:

http://goo.gl/maps/VwIiJ

Feb 6, 2014 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

The lower the camera, the higher any drilling equipment is likely to appear, assuming it is actually in sight.

A more immediate concern is that after the first minute or two the website crashed Firefox and Windows 8. I couldn't even get Task Manager. My virus checker (Webroot) warned there is a problem with the site!

Feb 6, 2014 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Churchill

Yes--mine crashed then the crash report crashed then it all resurrected itself and worked. What a clunking bit of work it is.

Feb 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered Commentermatt

Tim Churchill:

I think that's a problem with Firefox:

See UNRESOLVED issue at the foot of this link:

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/27.0/releasenotes/

Feb 6, 2014 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Vernon E:

51°11'51.91" N 0°59'00.04" W

Star Energy, Humbly Grove Oilfield near Alton in Hampshire. View in Google Earth and Street View. Not very high impact visually, nothing visible from the road 50 metres away.

Feb 6, 2014 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

The Frack-land site provided a link to an excellent site showing views of numerous oil installations in Los Angeles. It is remarkable to see how so much oil is being extracted right in the middle of a massive city and it is so unobtrusive.
Here's the link: http://www.nileguide.com/destination/blog/los-angeles/2010/06/26/urban-oil-wells-in-los-angeles/

Another link shows a shale pad in DFW, Texas with 9 wells - just the wellheads themselves and a few small tanks: http://www.frackland.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/spot-well-pads-in-dallas-fort-worth.html

Frack-land also has a map of oil and gas wells in the UK and gives links to location data: http://www.frackland.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/update-map-of-existing-uk-oil-and-gas.html
Google StreetView experts/addicts can spend endless hours "visiting"!

It is an excellent site - the best I have yet found for info on shale.
Maybe the Bishop could add it to the side-screen list?

Feb 7, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

Some Lancashire windfarms:

http://binged.it/1c9ZhzL

http://goo.gl/maps/rzPBG

http://binged.it/1ca1Emj

Each one of these:

http://binged.it/1ca2pM1

needs a concrete foundation the size of a tennis court.

Feb 7, 2014 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

It seems that oil and gas activity is just as unobtrusive in Germany...
"While shale gas development through hydraulic fracturing is new to Germany, the technique has been used in the country since 1961 to allow gas production from low permeability, or "tight" sandstone reservoirs," said Ritva Westendorf Lahouse, spokeswoman for ExxonMobil's German operations.
Complementing fracking, horizontal drilling that makes it more efficient, advanced later, but has been in wider use to unleash local tight gas in Germany since the 1990s, unnoticed by the public. "
However agitation about possible shale exploration has cut into this activity in recent years, reducing Germany's domestic output by about 40%. As that was worth €4 to €5bn a year, that's quite a hit.

Feb 7, 2014 at 1:36 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

Complementing fracking, horizontal drilling that makes it more efficient, advanced later, but has been in wider use to unleash local tight gas in Germany since the 1990s, unnoticed by the public. "
However agitation about possible shale exploration has cut into this activity in recent years, reducing Germany's domestic output by about 40%. As that was worth €4 to €5bn a year, that's quite a hit.

That's it in a nutshell. A scary film from America seen on YouTube and Facebook, a bunch of activist websites, have more influence than real life. It's ironic that so many of the protesters blocking development affect a "back to nature" style and aspiration when they are living in virtual reality fed by technology.

Feb 7, 2014 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

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