Frack Quakes Take Lancashire Site Offline After Only a Week

By Gary Cutlack on at

Lancashire's potential as a fracking world leader has been called into doubt, as miniature earthquakes have pulled the site offline only a week after the controversial gas extraction operations were restarted after governmental approval.

Site operator Cuadrilla won't like the use of the word earthquake here, as the more favourable term "tiny seismic events" it uses makes it sound less worrisome a development – and it wasn't strong enough a wobble to be felt by people on the surface either. An underground shift measuring 0.4 on the Richter scale is what was recorded, and although this is below the industry panic station level of 0.5, the decision was made to temporarily halt the pumping of liquid into the ground in order to extract those precious petrochemicals. Mainly to calm down local news reporters, we'd imagine.

Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site came back online on October 15, after quite the pile of fuss about the drilling technique being used in the UK. From what we can understand, there are people fiercely against it, and other people who say it'll all be fine, and they don't much get on. [Guardian]