Cuadrilla Pauses Lancashire Fracking After 17th Earthquake In 9 Days

Katie Ramirez
October 29, 2018

In a statement, a Cuadrilla spokesman said: "A micro seismic event of 0.76ML was detected just after 11.30am at Cuadrilla's shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road".

It comes just days after the company had to temporarily halt its operations following a minor tremor.

Drilling for shale gas at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, started on 15 October after a legal challenge failed.

Cuadrilla was hydraulically fracturing the shale rock adjacent to a well when the seismic activity was recorded.

The campaign to stop fracking could be boosted by the continued seismic activity. "However, we will continue to monitor seismic activityclosely and plan to resume hydraulic fracturing on Monday".

"It is anticipated that hydraulic fracturing operations will continue as planned tomorrow", it said. Mr Egansaid the 0.5 level was "far below anything that can be felt or cause damage or harm".

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The UK's Energy Minister Claire Perry had a private meeting with oil and gas firms in May, months before fracking resumed in the UK earlier this month for the first time in seven years, but she failed to record that meeting in a transparency register, The Guardian reported on Friday. Mr Egan said he expected more incidents to be recorded because of the sensitivity of the recording equipment the company was using at the site in Lancashire.

Fracking resumed in Britain on October 15 for the first time since 2011.

Cuadrilla was forced to abandon fracking at the site in 2011 after two tremors measuring 2.3 and 1.5 on the Richter scale, respectively.

The technology has transformed the U.S. energy landscape in the last decade, owing to the combination of high-volume fracking - 1.5m gallons of water per well, on average - and the relatively modern ability to drill horizontally into shale after a vertical well has been drilled.

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.

Cuadrilla said earlier this month it would spend at least three months fracking two horizontal wells and then test to see if the gas flow was commercially viable.

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