Cuadrilla suspends fracking after record quake

Hydraulic fracturing remains suspended at Cuadrilla Resources’ Preston New Road shale gas site after an earthquake of record magnitude was felt in Blackpool and surrounding areas.

Monday morning’s seismic event, with a local magnitude of 2.9, is the largest to be associated with fracking so far in the UK. It followed another event of 2.1ML on Saturday evening. The firm was not fracking when they happened.

Cuadrilla’s operations will remain suspended while the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) gathers and analyses data on the events, which were among dozens of smaller ones in recent weeks that are associated with Cuadrilla’s activities. The regulator said it will consider “whether or not the hydraulic fracturing operations, mitigations and assumptions set out in the operator’s hydraulic fracture plan continue to be appropriate to manage the risk of induced seismicity” at Preston New Road.

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