U.K. firm Alleges that Fracking Caused Small Earthquakes in Northwest England


U.K. firm Cuadrilla Resources stated on November 2 that hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" was the impetus for small earthquakes that occurred in Blackpool in northwest England earlier in the year, which exacerbated already-existing concerns about the safety of the technology used.

Following the tremor, Britain temporarily prevented fracking activities and ordered that research be done into methods used, Reuters reports. After action by the country's government, Cuadrilla stated that the likelihood for repeat tremors is not high. The company stated that the geology of the site where the drilling occurred is highly atypical and very unlikely to be found at other drilling locations.

The company issued a statement which said that, "Cuadrilla's water injection operations take place very far below the earth's surface, which significantly reduces the likelihood of a seismic event of less than 3 on the Richter scale having any impact at all on the surface," according to the media outlet.  

A recent study released by Duke University provides evidence that drilling for gas causes drinking water to be contaminated by methane, but this contamination is due to how wells are built while drilling as opposed to the chemicals contained in the fracking mixture, The New York Times reports.