Gas company issue fracking monitoring pledge

Francis Egan, Chief Executive at Cuadrilla Resources
Francis Egan, Chief Executive at Cuadrilla Resources
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CAMPAIGNERS today said they “welcome” a fracking firm’s decision to install earthquake monitors – but they still have concerns.

Anti-fracking protesters said they were yet to be convinced allowing Cuadrilla Resources to frack for shale gas on the Fylde coast is the right decision.

But the firm said its plans to install a “comprehensive suite” of monitoring equipment at Anna’s Road, Westby, will show fracking does not threaten water supplies.

The equipment means when exploratory fracking resumes data will be available on any seismic movements, and the firm said it is part of its pledge to work to “best-practice” industry standards.

Chief executive Francis Egan, said: “This technology has been recommended by scientific, academic and industry experts. Cuadrilla is committed to working to and establishing best-practice standards. One of the most important features of this system will be to demonstrate any fractures created by hydraulic fracturing stay thousands of feet below the aquifer. It will be an effective way of demonstrating the process is no threat to water supplies.”

The monitors will be placed around the site and a traffic-light style warning system will be in place to warn of tremors.

Tina Rothery, from Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, said: “Although any insights into the potential harms being caused by shale gas extraction – fracking – are of course essential and therefore welcome, this step is addressing only one of a myriad of genuine and serious concerns.”

Engineer Mike Hill, who has independently advised groups on shale gas locally, added: “I welcome the introduction of micro seismic monitoring. This will show the size, shape and growth rate of the fractures as they happen. However, with no fracking regulations in place then I do not think fracking should be allowed at all for now.”

And Philip Mitchell, from the Blackpool and Fylde Green Party, said: “I’m sure seismic monitoring will help but I have serious concerns about hydraulic fracturing across Lancashire’s seismically risky geology.”

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