U.K.-based energy company Cuadrilla Resources** has finally admitted that their hydraulic fracturing activities were likely to blame for a series of small earthquakes that shook areas of Britain around fracking sites earlier this year. The company was the only energy company in the U.K. that used fracking to extract natural gas until the entire practice was put on hold in late Spring while the company and government officials investigated the cause of the earthquakes.
Cuadrilla claims in a new report that the earthquakes that occurred in April and May of this year were caused by an “unusual combination” of both geology and their fracking activities. However, they’ve assured officials that such a combination, and resulting earthquakes, were not likely to happen again. The Associated Press said, “But the report estimated that in the ‘unlikely scenario,’ that fracking kicked off another tremor, its maximum magnitude would be about 3 – meaning it would probably barely be felt if at all.”
DeSmogBlog covered the earthquakes earlier this year:
One earthquake occurred in April and measured a 2.3 on the Richter scale, and another occurred last week measuring 1.5 in magnitude. Both quakes happened at the same time and in the same location where the Cuadrilla Resources energy company was actively fracking gas wells. No significant damage was reported from either earthquake.
The British Geological Survey suggests that the earthquakes are a result of fracking, as gas and oil drilling has been known to cause small earthquakes in other areas of the world.
Fracking operations in the U.K. remain suspended as government officials continue investigating the earthquakes and review Cuadrilla’s report.
**DeSmogBlog contributor Graham Readfearn points out that Cuadrilla is 55 per cent owned by an Australian company, Lucas.