Fracking supporters reject calls for halt to testing in Lancashire

Cuadrilla's fracking equipment at Preston New Road
Cuadrilla's fracking equipment at Preston New Road

Supporters of fracking have hit back at calls to  halt the industry after the latest series of earth tremors.

They included one of magnitude 1.5ML, from the Preston New Road fracking site which according to the British Geological Survey was felt by several people in the surrounding area.

Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey echoed local opposition saying: “The Government cannot block their ears any longer to community voices and climate scientists. They must act in the public interest and follow Labour’s call to ban fracking immediately.”

But a Lancashire For Shale spokesman said: “Microseismic activity like this goes hand-in-hand with minerals and energy extraction, and is to be expected.

“In this particular instance, the British Geological Survey says that some people report having felt the tremor, but researchers at the University of Liverpool say a 1.5 ML microseismic event occurring at a depth of two kilometres, where the fracking is taking place, would only produce surface vibration equivalent to dropping a honeydew melon on the floor.

“Cuadrilla will now pause, intensify its monitoring and check the integrity of its well in accordance with the Traffic Light System of controls agreed with the Oil and Gas Authority. Any calls to suspend shale gas exploration in response to this trailing event are entirely unjustified.

"We cannot continue to rely so heavily on expensive, less secure and higher emission imported gas to meet our needs when there is a ready supply under our feet that will also benefit the local economy.”