English fracking pause after earthquake

Fracking protesters outside energy firm Cuadrilla's site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool, England in October 2018

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cuadrilla halts fracking in Blackpool after another series of tremors

Friends Of The Earth criticised the firm for urging for a relaxation of the regulations ‘instead of acknowledging that fracking needs to end’

ENERGY firm Cuadrilla has paused fracking in Lancashire again after more underground tremors were detected.

A series of “micro-seismic events” in Blackpool were recorded on the British Geological Survey website following hydraulic fracturing at the site at Preston New Road, Cuadrilla said.

The biggest of the tremors, which was felt in Blackpool, was 1.5 local magnitude, and is the largest recorded since drilling for shale gas began in Lancashire on October 15.

It occurred at about 11.20am, after fracking had finished for the day, according to Cuadrilla, which said in a statement that fracking will not continue for 18 hours as a result.

This is a red event under the traffic light system in place for monitoring seismic events during fracking.

A series of smaller events occurred earlier while fracking was taking place.

A number of tremors have been detected at the Preston New Road site since fracking began on October 15, with work stopping whenever a quake of magnitude 0.5 or more is detected.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “It appears that they cannot frack without triggering tremors. And instead of acknowledging that fracking needs to end, Cuadrilla are instead urging for regulations around earthquakes to be relaxed.”

Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said: “It is disturbing but not surprising that fracking in Lancashire appears to have triggered a 1.5 magnitude earthquake, reportedly felt at the surface, and on a par with tremors that shut down operations in 2011.

“The government cannot block their ears any longer to community voices and climate scientists. They must act in the public interest and follow Labour’s call to ban fracking immediately.”

Two moderate-sized earthquakes that struck the southern Sichuan Province of China last December and January were probably caused by nearby fracking operations, according to a new study published in Seismological Research Letters: here.

7 thoughts on “English fracking pause after earthquake

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