Earthquake triggered: Britain's only fracking facility is facing off

Earthquake triggered: Britain's only fracking facility is facing off

In Blackpool, County Lancashire, several earthquakes occurred in the past few days. At first, the earth moved last Wednesday. Measuring stations found a value of 1.6 on the Richter scale. The spectacle was then repeated once each Friday (1.1 on the Richter scale), Sunday (2.1) and Monday (2.9). The effects of the quakes were, however, relatively small. Some residents were awakened by the shocks, but at least as many overslept the events as well. From damage to the infrastructure is not yet known. The fact that the small earthquake series nevertheless led to nationwide discussions, lies with the company Cuadrilla. Because this operates very close to the only fracking plant in the country.

Fracking
Photo: Fracking; Author Ostroff Law CC BY-SA 3.0 (VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Fracking earthquakes have already been detected in the USA

In doing so, chemical liquids are pumped into the ground at great pressure in order to break up rock strata and thereby reach oil and gas deposits. The technology is currently used mainly in the United States, where it has helped the US become an exporter of fossil fuels. However, fracking also brings enormous disadvantages. This allows the chemicals used to penetrate into the groundwater . In the US state of Ohio, it was also proven in 2014 that a series of earthquakes was triggered by fracking. This is exactly what residents and experts fear now in the UK. The country's oil and gas authority has therefore halted all fracking work to further investigate the incidents.

In 2011, drilling had to be stopped once before

It is already known that Cuadrilla had last attempted to develop a new borehole. It is basically normal that it comes to minor shocks. But the earthquakes measured in Blackpool were much stronger than expected. Experts are also worried as the magnitude of the quakes has steadily increased. In addition, the phenomenon is not completely new: As early as 2011, attempts were made in the region to develop a new borehole. But this work had to be stopped because two earthquakes occurred. Even experts are currently having a hard time assessing how great the risk of fracking earthquakes actually is. Because it is still a fairly new technology, it simply lacks the necessary data base.

Via: The Guardian

More about fracking:

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Protecting the environment and drinking water: Ireland prohibits fracking

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