UK Energy Minister Had 'Private' Meeting With Drillers Before Fracking Resumed

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Fracking firm Cuadrilla has once again halted operations at its site near Blackpool after recording the 17th earth tremor since drilling re-commenced nine days ago.

Saturday's tremor was detected at the firm's site in Little Plumpton after work ended for the day on Saturday, when operations finish at 13:00.

Another quake has hit Blackpool near the Preston New Road fracking site - and it's the biggest one so far.

Anti-frackers claim pollution from drilling shale gas includes cancer-causing chemicals.

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"Cuadrilla was hydraulicaly fracturing the shale rock adjacent to the horizontal well at the time and the seismicity is classed as a red event in line with the traffic light monitoring system regulated by the oil and gas authority".

Lancashire fracking has stopped due to an natural disaster below the ground. "However, we will continue to monitor seismic activityclosely and plan to resume hydraulic fracturing on Monday".

"All the relevant regulators were informed without delay and we have verified that the well integrity is intact".

Cuadrilla said the tiny tremor was "way below anything that would be felt at surface, much less cause any harm or damage".

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The Guardian revealed earlier this month that the energy minister, Claire Perry, had proposed raising the regulatory threshold for tremors caused by fracking as the industry begins to mature. Mr Egan said he expected more incidents to be recorded because of the sensitivity of the recording equipment the company was using at the site in Lancashire.

It said it expects to resume fracking on October 27.

Fracking in Britain was halted after two tremors in the same area led to legal challenges.

The technology has transformed the United States energy landscape in the last decade, owing to the combination of high-volume fracking - 1.5m gallons of water per well, on average - and the relatively modern ability to drill horizontally into shale after a vertical well has been drilled.

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The company said the activity did not reach the "red" level on the Oil and Gas Authority's warning system. Cuadrilla is planning to frack two wells at its Lancashire site, and then it aims to test to see if the gas flow is commercially viable.