Second tremor at Cuadrilla site

Rich Loizou Simon Blevins and Richard Roberts

Cuadrilla Resources, a British oil and gas exploration company, said it would suspend the Lancashire fracking for eighteen hours.

If a tremor takes place during fracking operations, anything above 0.5 magnitude is considered a "red event" and requires the firm to stop injecting water and monitor the area for further seismic activity.

Operations have been paused for 18 hours, during which seismicity levels will continue to be measured.

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

Cuadrilla said on Friday the micro seismic event it detected early on October 26 had a magnitude of 0.76, so it would temporarily pause activities under the traffic light system.

Cuadrilla said the relebant regulators have been informed and work is expected to resume tomorrow morning.

"This is not a "red incident" under the traffic light system operated by the Oil and Gas Authority as we were not pumping fracturing fluid as part of our hydraulic fracking operations at the time".

The British Geological Survey (BGS) records seismicity to one decimal place and therefore have recorded the event as 0.8ML (local magnitude).

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

The Guardian revealed earlier this month that the energy minister, Claire Perry, had proposed raising the regulatory threshold for tremors caused by fracking as the industry begins to mature.

A previous earth tremor earlier this week registered 0.4 magnitude and temporarily halted Cuadrilla's operations for 24 hours.

Environmental activists failed in early October in Britain's High Court to keep Cuadrilla's fracking from proceeding.

"Fracking only started 11 days ago". In that time there have been 17 earthquakes, including one today that has reached a red warning level, ' she said.

They stopped after 11.30am this morning after the tremor was detected on the grounds.

Fracking in Lancashire was suspended yesterday after Cuadrilla caused a minor quake that breached government limits. It was the second tremor in two months.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas.

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