Report Finds Linkage Between Cuadrilla Fracking and Earthquakes
A report undertaken to investigate the possible connection between shale gas exploration activity and earthquakes in Lancashire has found that it was "highly probable" that two earthquakes were linked to hydraulic fracturing operations ("fracking") conducted by Cuadrilla Resources.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) reported that an earthquake on May 27 was recorded at a magnitude of 1.5, following one in the same area on April 1 at 2.3. The epicenter for both had been identified as being within hundreds of meters of Cuadrilla's Preese Hall drilling site at depths of 2.0 and 3.6 kilometers respectively.
The BGS said that correlations between the earthquakes and the time of hydraulic fracturing operations used to extract shale gas and the proximity of the quakes to the site, all pointed towards the earthquakes being a result of the fracking process.
Cuadrilla suspended fracking operations in June and commissioned a review from independent experts. The findings of the report, The Geo-mechanical Study of Bowland Shale Seismicity, were made public by Cuadrilla today.
In a news release, Cuadrilla said the report confirms that there is little risk of future seismic events reoccurring in the Bowland Basin but that the company will propose a series of mitigation measures in case of any future seismic activity.
The report, which Cuadrilla has made available on its website, will be reviewed by Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) with input from BGS and other experts and regulators, before any decision is made on resuming hydraulic fracturing operations for shale gas.
Earlier today, anti-fracking demonstrators climbed a drilling rig, halting work at Cuadrilla’s Hesketh Bank site near Southport, Merseyside.
The protestors are part of the group, called Frack Off, which have maintained a protest camp outside of the Hesketh Bank site.