Second ‘0.8 quake recorded at fracking site

The Preston New Road fracking site
The Preston New Road fracking site
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Scientists have listed another tremor near the Preston New Road fracking site - equal to yesterday’s quake which registered 0.8 on the Richter Scale.

The earthquake is the 14th recorded by the British Geological Survey and the joint biggest since fracking began last Monday.

Following yesterday’s tremor, work was halted for 18 hours. However, today, at 10.55am another 0.8 tremor was recorded by seismic experts. The previous days event happened at around 11.30am.

After Friday’s quake 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.

“Cuadrilla was hydraulicaly fracturing the shale rock adjacent to the horizontal well at the time and the seismicity is classed as a red event in line with the traffic light monitoring system regulated by the oil and gas authority.Operations hav now paused for the next 18 hours during which seismicity levels will continue to be measured.

“The BGS records seismicity to one decimal place and therefore have recorded the event at 0.8ML.”

However, the firm says today’s incident does not quote as a ‘red event’ because the firm was not pumping fracturing liquid at the time.

A spokesman said: “Cuadrilla can confirm, following hydraulic fracking this morning, a micro seismic event of 0.8, which can’t be felt at surface, was recorded through the detailed seismic monitoring Cuadrilla and the British Geological Survey are carrying out.

“This is not a ‘red incident’ under the traffic light system operated by the Oil and Gas Authority as we were not pumping fracturing fluid as part of our hydraulic fracking operations at the time. However, we will continue to monitor seismic activityclosely and plan to resume hydraulic fracturing on Monday.”

Anti-fracking campaigner Bob Dennett said: “It’s a concern for a number of different reasons. They are pumping this water, containing chemicals, into the ground. They know it goes into the fissures they created, but once they pump it into the ground they have no control over it. I think there is a potential chance we could reach a category 3, and if that happens we will definitely feel it on the surface.