Scientists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have published new research that will reduce the risk of earthquakes and borehole damage caused by fracking.
The UK government ordered an expert panel from the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering to investigate the safety of fracking in the UK.
A key recommendation from the panel was to undertake a complete review of stress data for the UK, and the BGS was best placed to undertake this review.
BGS has totally overhauled the available data for the UK, and is recommending that all new boreholes drilled for shale gas are logged by borehole imaging tools to better understand in-situ stress.
BGS now has access to data from over 90 of these boreholes from the coal and oil industry and has identified features in 37 of these which stretch from the Peak District to the Scottish Border.
The BGS hopes this will allow the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) better information to properly assess the risks of any fracking proposed in new boreholes.
Professor Mike Stephenson, director of science and technology at the BGS, said: “This research is crucial to the regulators and the oil and gas industry as it is an easily applicable technique that can highlight parts of boreholes that may contain evidence of stress that is already present in rocks before fracking.”