'Fracking has been paused at a site in Lancashire after the second earthquake in the space of three days.
A series of small tremors were detected at the Preston New Road site, peaking at a magnitude of 0.9 which meant operations had to stop.
Readings above 0.5 are ranked “red” on the traffic light system used to monitor these events, and mean fracking must be suspended immediately.
Fossil fuel exploration company Cuadrilla began pumping again at the site this week for the first time since October, when small tremors meant activity had to be repeatedly paused.
Within days of starting again, a minor earthquake of 1.5 magnitude struck – the largest to hit the site since shale gas exploration began this year.
A spokesperson from Cuadrilla said: “A series of micro seismic events in Blackpool have been recorded on the British Geological Survey (BGS) website today 14 December.”
“The largest recorded was 0.9ML (local magnitude) at about 2pm. This occurred whilst we were hydraulically fracturing at the Preston New Road exploration site.
“Detected by Cuadrilla’s sophisticated monitoring system, and verified by the BGS, it will be classed as a ‘red’ event under the traffic light system operated by the Oil and Gas Authority.
“Cuadrilla has paused and will continue to monitor micro seismicity for at least 18 hours after the event was recorded, in line with the traffic light system regulations. Well integrity has been checked and verified.”'
Read more: Fracking halted in Lancashire again after second earthquake in three days
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