Fracking stopped at Preston New Road after 'red event' quake


"A micro seismic event of 0.3 local magnitude was detected at Cuadrilla's shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire, which will be classed as an amber event in line with the traffic light monitoring system regulated by the [UK regulator] Oil & Gas Authority", Cuadrilla said in a statement.

Its the thirteenth tremor since fracking began last Monday and the biggest so far.

The latest quake, near the fracking site in Preston New Road, Lancs, measured 0.76 on the Richter Scale.

Under the "traffic light" system, the company must stop fracking for 18 hours after a tremor with a magnitude of more than 0.5, although those below 1.5 can not be felt at the surface.

A spokesperson said: "Work will now pause for at least 18 hours and is expected to recommence in the morning".

Cuadrilla said the tiny tremor was "way below anything that would be felt at surface, much less cause any harm or damage".

A Cuadrilla spokeswoman said that, as the operations had finished before the detection, "This is not an "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 fracturing operations at the time".

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Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said people should not be concerned.Fracking in Lancashire was stopped in 2011 after being linked with earthqaukes. Environmental activists failed in early October in Britain's High Court to keep fracking from proceeding in northwest England.

"Fracking only started 11 days ago".

However, in future local communities living near fracking sites may have to put up with more powerful earth tremors under Government plans revealed earlier this month.

'When is the Government going to realise that fracking is the wrong choice for Lancashire, the United Kingdom and our global climate?'

Lancashire fracking has stopped due to an quake below the ground. Cuadrilla is planning to frack two wells at its Lancashire site, and then it aims to test to see if the gas flow is commercially viable.

Fracking involves injecting liquid at very high pressure into subterranean rocks to force open fissures and release shale gas stored below.