Opponents of fracking in Lancashire are calling for a permanent ban on fracking following this morning’s 2.9ML earth tremor caused by Cuadrilla’s shale gas site.
The Oil & Gas Authority ordered a suspension of hydraulic fracturing at Preston New Road near Blackpool within hours of the tremor which was felt across the Fylde region. DrillOrDrop report
About 400 campaigners aged between six and 80 gathered outside the site this afternoon. Some were people who had never previously opposed fracking.
A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire told DrillOrDrop:
“We are now calling for a fracking ban to be passed by the UK government.
“Following this morning’s 2.9ML earthquake that was fracking-induced, dozens of reports of structural damage have been received from residents across Blackpool and the Fylde.
“Considering this is almost a deja vu of the 2011 earthquakes, it is most worrying. Lessons have not been learnt by either the government or industry. Our geology is wholly unsuitable for fracking.
“With the Oil and Gas Authority suspending fracking at Preston New Road, they now need to go further and implement a ban.
“It is intolerable to think that Cuadrilla will be able to start fracking again in the future and we are currently considering all legal options.”
A spokesperson for the Preston New Road Action Group said:
“It is good news that the OGA have decided to suspend fracking. We trust that a full and proper investigation of what has gone on here will take place.
“We find it hard to imagine that some damage to the well has not been caused after this morning’s quake.
“Fracking should not be allowed to resume again if there is further risk of damage to our environment and property.”
Earlier today, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan said he “sincerely hoped” fracking would not be halted by the 2.9ML tremor. He said the 2.9ML tremor was within the limits of seismic activity that could be induced by fracking at Preston New Road.
He also said the company now measured surface ground motion vibration which allowed it to put any seismic activity into context.
But a resident living close to the site told DrillOrDrop:
“It is easy for Francis Egan to be so dismissive of what is going on here when he lives a distance away. Our daily lives are being impacted by what takes place at Cuadrilla’s site.
“There is now a constant worry of when the next quake will happen, we have no warning, just an unexpected loud bang and vibration.
“We know that local residents have experienced damage to their property but we are also concerned about what damage is being caused below the ground. It is just not acceptable to force this industry on a community.
“A tremor of 2.9 ml is very close to the maximum limit of 3.1 ml that Cuadrilla have previously said would be very unlikely.”
The region’s Green Party MEP, Gina Dowding, also urged ministers to reject fracking:
“How long before government listens to scientists on the climate emergency, takes heed of tremors, shows some respect to the concerns of the local community & bans fracking completely?”