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Cuadrilla to visit locals hit by seismic activity

Shale gas explorer says hydraulic fracturing operations remain suspended

UK shale gas explorer Cuadrilla Resources is planning visits to the homes of locals in northern England who were reportedly affected by seismic activity caused by the company’s fracking operations in the region.

Last week, hydraulic fracturing at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site was suspended pending an investigation after induced seismic activity was recorded that significantly exceeded the set regulatory threshold of 0.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.

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Cuadrilla said the largest of the events, with a 2.9 magnitude, lasted for between two and three seconds and was felt by many in the locality.

The company now aims to visit the local people who have raised concerns about property damages.

“We are sorry for any concern this has caused. We are in the process of visiting local people who have raised concerns about minor damage to their property and will repair any damage that is assessed to have been caused by the seismic events,” Cuadrilla said.

Hydraulic fracturing remains suspended and Cuadrilla said it continues to work with the UK regulator to address questions raised following the recent seismic events.

“We don’t have a date for operations to restart but it won’t be until both the regulator and ourselves are confident that the technical questions have been satisfactorily answered and the risk of a repeat occurrence has been properly mitigated,” the company said.

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The first tremor, on 21 August, caused a 1.6 magnitude tremor. Tremors above 1 magnitude also took place on 22 and 23 August, followed by an even bigger tremor of 2.1 magnitude late on 24 August.

Then on 26 August, when fracking was not taking place, a 2.9 magnitude tremor hit, followed a smaller 1 magnitude seismic event on the same day.

If the threshold is crossed, operations must stop for 18 hours, however, work was immediately suspended, according to the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) and the UK’s Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), pending an investigation.

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