Fracking: Earthquakes

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the earthquakes at the fracking site in Little Plumpton Lancashire; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

The independent oil and gas regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), is responsible for ensuring operators mitigate the risk of induced seismicity. The OGA is continually monitoring operations around the Preston New Road site to ensure they remain in line with Cuadrilla’s Hydraulic Fracture Plan, which was independently approved by the OGA and Environment Agency before the commencement of hydraulic fracturing operations.

The Traffic Light System, which dictates the required response to seismic activity, has worked at the Preston New Road site in exactly the way that it was designed to. The very minor seismic events recorded at the Preston New Road site cannot be felt at the surface.

The UK has world-leading safety and environmental regulations to ensure that shale gas exploration is carried out safely and responsibly, and the Government believes the current system is fit for purpose.

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