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NEIMME Lectures: Fracked or Fiction: what does the science tell us about th...

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The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers

Westgate Road

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 1SE

United Kingdom

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Fracking has been an issue of public concern since the first attempted fracking operation in Lancashire in 2011. In this talk titled “Fracked or Fiction: what does the science tell us about the environmental impact?” Richard will introduce the subject of hydraulic fracturing: How is fracking conducted? What is the current state of the UK fracking industry? Why is fracking a controversial issue?

About Professor Richard Davies

Professor Richard Davies is Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University, having previously been Director of the Durham Energy Institute at Durham University. He has been working on hydraulic fracturing for the last ten years. He leads the international and interdisciplinary, ReFINE research project, which has had research activity in UK, USA and India since 2012. The research covers a range of potential environmental impacts of fracking, from fracking-triggered earthquakes to traffic and health, prioritising questions raised by members of the public.

Richard has been prominent in influencing policy and practice with the aim of mitigating potential hazards and risks associated with fracking, in particular through his publication of ‘Hydraulic fractures: how far can they go’, which led to the Labour party successfully agreeing an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill (2015), specifically that fracking needed to be at least 1000 m below the land surface to ensure the 600 m margin between UK aquifers is maintained.

In 2017 Richard was nominated and received a special commendation for the John Maddox Prize, which is a joint initiative of the science journal Nature, the Kohn Foundation, and the charity Sense about Science. It is awarded to those who contest poor scientific thinking and face a diverse range of challenges in professional, public and political realms.

In his talk, Richard will summarise some of the research being conducted by the ReFINE consortium, addressing concerns such as:

- Well integrity and the issue of abandoned wells

- The extent of hydraulic fractures and the potential for aquifer contamination

- The potential for fracking to trigger earthquakes, and the history of induced seismicity in the UK

- Fugitive emissions of gas from oil and gas infrastructure


FREE EVENT - ALL WELCOME

Tea and coffee served from 5.30pm, cash bar to follow.

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The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers

Westgate Road

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 1SE

United Kingdom

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