Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Cuadrilla Pauses Lancashire Fracking After 17th Earthquake In 9 Days

Cuadrilla Pauses Lancashire Fracking After 17th Earthquake In 9 Days

British shale gas company Cuadrilla said it has paused fracking at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire, northwest England, after a small tremor was detected.

The quake, which took place 2km underground, was classed as a red event under the UK's fracking regulation traffic-light scheme and is the largest tremor at the Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, site since fracking began this month.

Another natural disaster has hit Blackpool near the Preston New Road fracking site - and it's the biggest one so far.

Cuadrilla said on Friday the micro seismic event it detected early on October 26 had a magnitude of 0.76, so it would temporarily pause activities under the traffic light system.

"All the relevant regulators were informed without delay and we have verified that the well integrity is intact", he said.

"The BGS records seismicity to one decimal place and therefore have recorded the event at 0.8ML". Mr Egansaid the 0.5 level was "far below anything that can be felt or cause damage or harm".

Environmental activists failed in early October in Britain's High Court to keep Cuadrilla's fracking from proceeding.

The exploration is the first fracking in the United Kingdom for seven years, after work by Cuadrilla was halted in 2011 following two tremors near Blackpool. The previous days event happened at around 11.30am.

Earlier this week, more than 300,000 people have signed a petition opposing the government's proposal to accelerate new fracking developments. In that time there have been 17 earthquakes, including one today that has reached a red warning level, ' she said.

Just days before minister Perry's meeting with the oil and gas companies, the UK government announced plans to facilitate timely decisions on shale gas exploration planning applications in England as part of a plan to reduce dependence on gas imports amid an ongoing decline in the UK North Sea's conventional gas production.

Hydraulically fracturing, or fracking, involves extracting gas from rocks by breaking them up with water and chemicals at high pressure.

Any tremor measuring 0.5 or above means fracking must be temporarily stopped while tests are carried out.

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