Cuadrilla halts fracking in Lancashire again after earthquake

Operations have been paused for 18 hours, during which seismicity levels will continue to be measured

Fracking has been suspended at Cuadrilla’s site in Lancashire again after an earthquake this morning.

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

Cuadrilla said a micro seismic event of 0.76ML was detected just after 11.30am this morning at the Preston New Road site.

Operations have been paused for 18 hours, during which seismicity levels will continue to be measured.

The fracking project is the first to be taking place in the UK in seven years after being granted approval by the government.

It said in a statement: “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. Without the sophisticated monitoring in place at Cuadrilla, they would not be detected. It is reassuring that the monitoring and traffic light system is working as it should.

“All the relevant regulators were informed without delay and we have verified that the well integrity is intact. As per the hydraulic fracture plan in place at Preston New Road, work will now pause for at least 18 hours and is expected to recommence in the morning.”

Claire Stephenson from Frack Free Lancashire said: “The fact that these earth tremors are increasing in intensity, is most concerning.

“The integrity of any pipe infrastructure underground is at risk following seismicity events. We’ve now had 16, with the latest one resulting in Cuadrilla being shut down for 18 hours after a 0.8 quake entered the red zone on the traffic light system.”

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