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Hydraulic fracturing ‘unlikely’ to be major earthquake risk for UK, expert says – ‘Impact is low’ | United Kingdom | News UK News

A government review of whether the fracking ban should be lifted will indicate that the risk from shellfish gas mining is no worse than coal mining and can be mitigated. Pro-Brexit Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced on Tuesday that he had commissioned a new report on the industry in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Kwarteng added that it was ‘absolutely right that we explore all possible domestic energy sources’.

However, the MP for Spelthorne also pointed out that it would take ‘years of exploration and development before commercial quantities of gas could be produced’.

A four-year study, led by Newcastle University, will inform the latest review.

The study concluded that there are now better tools for predicting and mitigating earthquake risk from hydraulic fracturing, according to the Telegraph.

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Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into the cracks between rocks in an effort to release trapped gas.

A ban was imposed on the practice in 2019 after a 2.9 magnitude event took place at a managed site in Lancashire.

Subsequent investigation revealed that it was not possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of earthquakes.

Mr Kwarteng then asked the British Geological Survey to investigate the possibility of using alternative techniques to reduce the risk and magnitude of any seismic event in the UK.

Professor Richard Davies, the university’s pro-vice chancellor and petroleum geologist, said large earthquakes from fracking were unlikely to be a major risk.

He said: “We lived with them without too much trouble in the days of the coal mines.”

Professor Davies added: “During coal production a lot of earthquakes were created in the UK up until the 1980s and the coal miners strike.

“Yes, Margaret Thatcher stopped the earthquakes, and they were never very big. It’s the same set of rocks.

“The risk of seismicity is high, but the impact is low.”

Opinion polls suggest that public support for fracking remains weak.

The most recent survey found support at just 17%.

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at rural charity CPRE, said: “Opening the door to fracking again is an absurd move by government that is guaranteed to provoke fury and despair within any community. threatened by a potential fracking site in her neighborhood.

“Public opposition to fracking has grown to the point that it’s hard to see how any project could go ahead without mass protests.”

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This notice was published: 2022-04-06 00:49:03

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