Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Science | By

Second tremor at Cuadrilla site

Second tremor at Cuadrilla site

"A micro seismic event of 0.3 local magnitude was detected at Cuadrilla's shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire, which will be classed as an amber event in line with the traffic light monitoring system regulated by the [UK regulator] Oil & Gas Authority", Cuadrilla said in a statement.

The quake, which measured 0.8 on the Richter Scale, is the thirteenth recorded by the British Geological Survey, and is the biggest one recorded in the area since fracking began last Monday.

Activity at the Preston New Road site, which lies just a few miles from the Lancashire seaside resort, has prompted 17 earthquakes since 15th October, according to the British Geological Survey.

The British Geological Survey recorded a 0.8 magnitude natural disaster in the region of the site at about 11.30am on Friday.

The Guardian revealed earlier this month that the energy minister, Claire Perry, had proposed raising the regulatory threshold for tremors caused by fracking as the industry begins to mature.

"This is not a "red incident" under the traffic light system operated by the Oil and Gas Authority as we were not pumping fracturing fluid as part of our hydraulic fracking operations at the time".

"However we will, as always, continue to monitor the seismic activity closely and plan to resume hydraulic fracturing on Monday 29 October".

The firm has informed regulators and is confident that the integrity of the well is in tact.

On Friday, a Cuadrilla spokesman said: "Micro seismic events such as these result in tiny movements that are way below anything that would be felt at surface, much less cause any harm or damage".

Anti-fracking campaigner Bob Dennett said: "It's a concern for a number of different reasons".

"Fracking only started 11 days ago".

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a way of extracting natural gas from shale rock formations that are often deep underground.

Protesters chained themselves to equipment at the site last week and others took to Twitter to to speak-out against fracking.

A spokesman for BGS said Friday's quake was recorded "right on top" of the Cuaudrilla site and was the largest of 17 tremors there this month.

Critics claim fracking poses a serious risk to people and the planet through effects such as toxic air pollution, contamination of water and seismic events.

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