Fracking firm schedules visits to assess if earth tremor from its drill site damaged homes

Fracking firm Cuadrilla has apologised to residents for the earth tremor on bank holiday Monday.

Preston New Road fracking site
Preston New Road fracking site

The Bamber Bridge-based firm is contacting people who have claimed that the 2.9ML seismic incident linked to the Preston New Road fracking site has caused damage to their homes.

The shake, one of more than a hundred since the firm fracked its second well at the Little Plumpton site, has caused widespread alarm and sparked fresh calls for fracking to be halted.Protesters gathered at the site on Saturday.

In a statement on its website, Cuadrilla said: “We would first like to acknowledge again that we are aware of the concern that this has caused, particularly among residents living close to the site in and around Blackpool.

“This event lasted for between two and three seconds and was felt by many in the locality. 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.”

It said that no further fracking would take place until an investigation by its technical team and the regulator was completed.

It added: "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."

But environmental campaigners say it should not restart and three minor seismic events have been recorded by the British Geological Survey on September 2 - the largest being 0.2ML.

A spokesman said: “Frack Free Lancashire has seen Cuadrilla’s latest statement.

“It is worth remembering that Cuadrilla originally stated that it could work within the traffic light system, that there would be no seismic events, that nothing would be felt at the surface and that there would be no damage to property as a result of its activities.

"It has been spectacularly wrong on every issue. Cuadrilla is saying that it should be allowed to continue fracking once the suspension is lifted.“The position of Frack Free Lancashire is very clear. We have fought against fracking for many years and the proposals were rejected at every level of local government only to be overturned by a pro-fracking government.

“Residents have now had enough. It is time for Cuadrilla to pack their bags and leave - for good. We are calling for an immediate and permanent ban on all fracking.”