When two small earthquakes struck near Blackpool, England in April and May, suspicious eyes turned toward the hydraulic fracturing operation in the area. In a move few expected, Cuadrilla Resources, admitted that its shale fracking operations were indeed responsible.
In a press release issued today, Cuadrilla explained the findings of an investigation of the tremors:
It is highly probable that the hydraulic fracturing of Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall-1 well did trigger a number of minor seismic events. The seismic events were due to an unusual combination of geology at the well site coupled with the pressure exerted by water injection as part of operations. This combination of geological factors was extremely rare and would be unlikely to occur together again at future well sites.
Cuadrilla insists that the event was extremely rare and unlikely to do any damage if it ever recurred. But whether or not it’s right, the fact that humans are causing earthquakes as well as global warming is likely to make the idea of fracking much less palatable.
Updated: Despite Cuadrilla's insistence that this is an isolated incident, a US Geological Survey report links 50 earthquakes to fracking operations throughout the United States.
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