The pumps of Cuadrilla that sit atop its Lancashire fracking testbed have been switched off again, thanks to the ground activity triggering the largest seismic event yet last night.
Wednesday evening saw monitoring equipment log a wobble measuring 1.55ML at the smaller end of the Richter scale, which Cuadrilla, in its defence, says is roughly equivalent to "a large bag of shopping dropping to the floor" and that's it's unlikely anyone would've felt felt it or noticed unusual ripples atop their evening decaffeinated tea, as movement at this level is below the "normal detection threshold" the British Geological Survey tracks.
Still, that's above the current 1.5ML limit the government put in place before allowing the UK's fracking work to begin, so operations are obliged to cease for checks, lest they waken some sort of northern Godzilla from within the shale gas beds. The interruption might be a good thing anyway, as some experts say we don't have as much shale gas as we thought, so good on them for trying to make it last by regularly switching off the pumps. [Guardian]