Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 2nd July 2015.

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Photo of Mark Menzies Mark Menzies Conservative, Fylde

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps are being taken to reduce the risk of seismic activity as a result of shale gas drilling.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

In order to avoid hydraulically fracturing near faults, operators are required to review information on faults in the area of the proposed well, and to monitor background seismicity before operations commence. In addition, real time seismic monitoring will also continue during operations, informing a “traffic-light” regime, so that operations can be quickly halted and data reviewed if unusual levels of seismic activity are observed. The level of seismicity at which operations are halted has been set at a precautionary low level on the basis of a report by independent experts and will only be detected at the ground's surface by sensitive equipment.

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