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Fracking paused in Lancashire after fourth seismic event in four days

Fracking paused in Lancashire after fourth seismic event in four days

The 0.76-magnitude tremor detected by the British Geological Survey was the largest of 17 tiny quakes to have been recorded in the vicinity of the company's site near Blackpool since it resumed operations last week after a seven-year hiatus.

The quake is the 14th recorded by the British Geological Survey and the joint biggest since fracking began last Monday.

The company said: "Cuadrilla can confirm following hydraulic fracturing this morning (27 October) a micro seismic event of 0.8ML, which can't be felt at surface, was recorded through the detailed seismic monitoring Cuadrilla and the British Geological Survey (BGS) are carrying out".

The tremor occurred at the Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton, Lancashire.

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.

Cuadrilla expects to resume its Lancashire fracking project on Sunday.

However the exploration company said "micro seismic" events like this do not cause any damage and can not be felt at ground level.

The tremor was classed as a "red event" as part of the traffic light system regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority.

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Fracking was banned in 2011 after Cuadrilla caused two earthquakes of up to 2.3 magnitude at another site in Lancashire.

While fierce opposition from environmental activists prompted a court battle, a last-minute attempt to block the recommencement of fracking failed earlier this month.

Saturday's tremor is the 18th in the area since fracking recommenced 12 days ago.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Rose Dickinson said fracking poses risks to the environment and the latest tremor was "deeply concerning".

'This is deeply concerning for those living nearby and why the industry must be closely monitored.

Cuadrilla Resources has reported a second seismic incident this week at its site in northern England, where the United Kingdom shale gas explorer recently started hydraulic fracturing operations. It was the second tremor in two months.

"Recent events have galvanised so many people to stand up against fracking!" added another.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a way of extracting natural gas from shale rock formations that are often deep underground.


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