Cuadrilla has pledged to repair any damage that is assessed to have been caused by the tremor that hit its fracking site in Lancashire last week.
A 2.9 magnitude tremor – the largest yet – was recorded at 8.30am on 26th August, following which operations were suspended at its Preston New Road (PNR) site near Blackpool.
In a statement over the weekend, Cuadrilla said it is in the process of visiting local people who have raised concerns about “minor damage” to their property.
It apologised to residents, adding fracking remains suspended as it continues to work with the regulator to address a number of questions raised following the recent seismic events – two tremors were recorded as the largest at the time prior to the one last week.
The company said: “We are sorry for any concern this has caused.
“We don’t have a date for operations to restart but it won’t be until both the regulator and ourselves are confident that the technical questions have been satisfactorily answered and the risk of a repeat occurrence has been properly mitigated.”
Cuadrilla added it wants to continue to frack and explore for shale gas at the site “with the aim to establish a domestic energy supply that the UK really needs”.
It said: “The Bowland Shale as a whole could be a very important resource for Lancashire and the UK and we would like to continue with our work to prove this.
“To reach net zero by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change is clear that the UK will need about 70% of the natural gas that we are using today, in conjunction with carbon capture and storage for electricity and as a feedstock for the manufacture of hydrogen. Natural gas is recognised by the experts to be an important part of the solution. We intend to be a part of that solution in providing lower emission UK shale gas to replace higher emission imported gas whilst also generating local jobs and economic benefit.”
The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has written to Cuadrilla, seeking extensive data and analysis of the seismic events.
It said in a statement: “Once provided, this data and analysis will assist the OGA’s full consideration of whether the assumptions and mitigations in Cuadrilla’s PNR 2 Hydraulic Fracture Plan continue to be appropriate to manage the risk of induced seismicity at the Preston New Road site.
“Hydraulic fracturing operations will remain suspended until the OGA’s considerations are complete.”