Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Fracking in Lancashire suspended following natural disaster

Fracking in Lancashire suspended following natural disaster

The company said the activity did not reach the "red" level on the Oil and Gas Authority's warning system.

It is the third such event in as many days at the site and operations have been paused for 18 hours in order to measure seismic levels.

The British Geological Survey recorded the quake at around 11.30am on Friday.

Under U.K. rules, any tremor over 0.5 is classed as a "red event" and sparks a temporary shutdown while monitoring continues.

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

A spokesman said: "Cuadrilla can confirm, following hydraulic fracking this morning, a micro seismic event of 0.8, which can't be felt at surface, was recorded through the detailed seismic monitoring Cuadrilla and the British Geological Survey are carrying out".

A government-appointed panel recommended greater monitoring and said operators should observe a "traffic light" regime, with tremors of 0.5 or above triggering a "red light" and an immediate halt.

They added: "All the relevant regulators were informed without delay and we have verified that the well integrity is intact".

Energy minister Claire Perry met with fracking companies Cuadrilla, Ineos, iGas and Third Energy to discuss plans to export the UK's fracking industry "around the world", reported The Guardian.

The northwest England site can only manage one frack a day at this stage.

Where the recent natural disaster took place.

The Preston New Road site in Lancashire is Cuadrilla's first exploration site on United Kingdom soil.

The work was stalled when an emergency injunction was filed at the 11th hour by a local campaigner.

'When is the Government going to realise that fracking is the wrong choice for Lancashire, the United Kingdom and our global climate?'

Work finally began on 15 October after campaigners failed with a last-minute legal intervention over safety risks.

Friends of the Earth has helped to organise a petition, signed by some 300,000 people, to stop the fracking through the planning system.

Soil scientist Simon Blevins, teacher Richard Roberts and piano restorer Rich Loizou were the first environmental protesters to be imprisoned since 1932.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said the sentences were "manifestly excessive" and replaced them with conditional discharges.

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