Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 8th November 2016.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Chesterton Lord Hunt of Chesterton Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in developing their policy on fracking, whether they have taken into account the number of earthquakes which measured 3.0 on the Richter Scale in Oklahoma and other places in the US where fracking has been carried out.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

We have ensured that strong controls are in place to mitigate seismic risks. Operators in the UK must avoid hydraulically fracturing near faults, and must monitor seismic activity before, during and after operations. Operations will halt if seismic activity exceeds a magnitude of 0.5 or greater on the Richter scale, and the pressure of fluid in the well will be reduced immediately.

Studies in the United States(1) have shown that most induced seismicity is caused by re-injection of waste and produced waters from oil and gas operations, both conventional and unconventional. Re-injection of waste and produced waters will not be permitted from shale gas wells in the UK.


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