Fresh calls for moratorium on fracking follow latest tremor

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New calls for a halt to fracking have been made after the 36th tremor since Cuadrilla starting hydraulic fracturing last month.

A tremor of 0.7 ML (local magnitude) was recorded by the British Geological Survey on Sunday.

The tower at the Preston New Road fracking site

The tower at the Preston New Road fracking site

A group of five Lancashire MPs, including Blackpool’s Gordon Marsden, have written to the energy secretary to call for a halt in the light of the tremors.

Mr Marsden’s letter states: “The Government must accept in light of recent seismic activity, that at the very least it would be just and right to halt fracking at this site and place a moratorium on fracking ... until people can be fully assured there will be no more man-made earthquakes.”

The other MPs who signed the letter, all from the Labour Party, are Rosie Cooper of West Lancashire, Mark Hendrick of Preston, Cat Smith from Lancaster and Fleetwood, Kate Hollern from Blackburn, Julie Cooper from Burnley, plus Labour's Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey

Today Claire Stephenson, from Frack Free Lancashire, said: “Cuadrilla commissioned their own report in 2011 which stated: ‘Stronger events occur when some of the fluid penetrates into faults and in rare cases, events with magnitude up to 0.8 ML have been detected.’

“So there we have it: these events are considered “rare”, yet Cuadrilla have been recorded across national press, urging the government to change the seismic trigger regulations further.

Cuadrilla has also previously stated: ‘Very little of the fracture fluid actually ever returns to the surface. So when we inject the water in there most of it does not come back’.

“It is clear that Preston New Road is a complete experiment, and one which we are having to live with the consequences – both known and unknown. There have been 36-and-counting seismic events in only two weeks. This is unacceptable and we have called on central government to implement an immediate fracking moratorium.”

Cuadrilla has stated the tremors are so small and deep underground that they pose no potential threat.

A spokesman has said: “These are tiny seismic events that are detected by our monitors as we fracture the shale rock 2km underground and are many hundreds of orders of magnitude below what is capable of being felt.”