To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of physical damage caused by hydraulic fracking on the (a) cost and (b) availability of home insurance for residents near that damage.
The Department has not undertaken such assessments. As part of the assessment of an application for hydraulic fracturing operations, the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) requires operators to have in place the necessary funds or an insurance policy (including third-party liability) that will cover unforeseen events. In addition to insurance cover, landowners can bring a claim against a shale gas operator if its activities caused damage to their property.
Hydraulic fracturing has taken place at two sites in Lancashire to date. Following a seismic event linked to Cuadrilla’s operations on 26 August a small number of reports of minor cosmetic damage have been investigated by the operator’s insurer and this is a matter for the operator and homeowners.
The Government has always been clear that it will only support the exploration of our shale gas resources in a safe and sustainable way. The Oil and Gas Authority is undertaking a scientific analysis of the data from Cuadrilla’s earlier operations in 2018 which will be published shortly. The Government will set out our future approach once we have considered the findings.