Tuesday, 31 May 2011

BBC News - Blackpool Shale Gas drilling suspended after quake

31 May 2011 Last updated at 12:17

Share this page

Blackpool Shale Gas drilling suspended after quake

Shale gas drilling Shale gas drilling is controversial

Shale gas test drilling in Lancashire has been suspended following an earthquake on the Fylde coast.

A spokeswoman for Cuadrilla, the company carrying out the tests, said drilling was suspended as a precaution after Friday's 1.5 magnitude quake.

"No fracking will be resumed until the data has been interpreted by ourselves in consultations with the British Geological Survey (BGS)," she added.

On 1 April a 2.2 magnitude tremor also centred on Poulton-le-Fylde.

Shale gas drilling, known as "fracking" involves creating tiny explosions to shatter hard shale rocks and release gas underground.

It has proved a controversial process in the US with environmentalists alleging that shale gas leaking into their drinking supply causes tap water to ignite.

But earlier this month the Commons energy select committee called on ministers to support the process in the UK arguing that environmental problems associated with it in the US could be overcome by tight regulation and good industry practice.

The BGS said it was also monitoring fracking as a precaution.