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Fracking suspended at Preston New Road after tremor registers 2.9 on the Richter scale

Posted on - 26th August, 2019 - 1:31pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News
Protesters line the road near the fracking site in Preston New Road Pic: Helen Rimmer
Protesters line the road near the fracking site in Preston New Road Pic: Helen Rimmer

Fracking has once again been halted at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site following recent seismic activity.

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The latest tremor at 8.30am on Monday 26 August measured 2.9 on the Richter scale and was felt by Preston residents.

Read more: ‘My bed moved’ – largest tremor yet at Cuadrilla fracking site felt in Preston

The Oil and Gas Authority confirmed operations will remain suspended until they can be sure the risk of induced seismicity is being appropriately managed.

A statement on the Cuadrilla website said: “We can now confirm the event detected at 8.30am in the area of our exploration site in Preston New Road, near Blackpool, was magnitude 2.9 on the Richter scale.

“We appreciate this has caused concern for local people and by way of reassurance it is worth noting that this event lasted for around a second and the average ground motion recorded was 5mm per second. This is about a third of that permitted for construction projects.

“As previously stated, we were not operational this morning and no hydraulic fracturing has been carried out this weekend.

“We are working with the team of regulators who intensely monitor our activity at Preston New Road to investigate the event and will provide more updates in due course. Hydraulic fracturing operations will remain suspended during this time.

“We have verified that the well integrity is unaffected.”

A spokeswoman for Preston New Action Group said: “At 2.9ML, this is the largest fracking induced earthquake to have happened in the UK, it is very frightening when you hear a loud bang and things in the house rattle.

“Given that this quake was felt across Blackpool, the Fylde Coast and beyond, what is likely to have happened beneath the ground to the well at the source? 

“We should not be being subjected to this level of stress and fear. So many people have felt it and are trying to log it that it is proving difficult to get onto the British Geological Survey site. Fracking must be stopped immediately.”

A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire said: “Lancashire voted against this [fracking] at every level of local government but national government over-ruled and have repeatedly given us bland re-assurances about “gold standard regulations.

“Enough is enough. People are cowering in their homes and just waiting and wondering when the next quake will be and how much damage it will cause. 

“We call upon our local MPs to come off the fence and press for an immediate ban on fracking. We are sick of being treated as human guinea pigs.”

Read more: Fracking halted due to earthquake at Preston New Road site

What do you think about fracking being suspended? Did you feel the tremor? Let us know in the comments below.

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