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Fracking suspended at Lancashire site after largest tremor recorded



The largest-recorded earth tremor at Cuadrilla’s fracking site near Blackpool has been recorded, forcing the company to pause operations.

The tremor of 1.5 magnitude was recorded on Tuesday morning following a “series of smaller micro seismic events”.

Cuadrilla insisted the impact of the largest tremor “would be like dropping a melon” and it happened after hydraulic fracturing had finished for the day.

One of the shale exploration wells at the Preston New Road site saw natural gas flow come to the surface
Operations have been suspended for at least 18 hours

“A series of smaller micro seismic events occurred during hydraulic fracturing, beginning at about 9.40am,” the firm said.

“Cuadrilla will pause and continue to monitor micro seismicity for at least the next 18 hours, in line with the traffic light system regulations.”

In October recurring tremors meant fracking at the site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton in Lancashire, had to be repeatedly stopped.

An explanation of the fracking process


Fracking: How it works

Readings above 0.5 magnitude mean fracking should be suspended immediately.

Anything measuring zero or below is classified as “green”, while recordings up to 0.5 are “amber”, meaning fracking should proceed with caution.

Environmental groups and other campaigners have tried to stop fracking at the site but in October a judge ruled there was “no evidence” to show fracking posed more than a “medium risk”.

The site in Lancashire has sparked protests


October: Fracking can go ahead in Lancashire after High Court appeal fails

Anti-fracking campaigner Bob Dennett, who applied for the interim injunction, claimed emergency response planning and procedures at the Preston New Road site were inadequate.

But Mr Justice Supperstone ruled at the High Court there was not a “serious issue” to be tried which would justify an interim order.

Responding to the latest tremor, Friends of the Earth said on Twitter: “After today’s quake, and with the effects of climate breakdown already being felt, isn’t it time to down tools on fracking once and for all?”

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