The largest earthquke yet has halted fracking again at Cuadrilla’s exploration site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire.
The 1.5 magnitude earthquake was recorded at the site at about 11.20am on Tuesday 11 December, after hydraulic fracturing had finished for the day.
The Shale gas exploration company’s statement said: “A series of micro seismic events in Blackpool have been recorded on the British Geological Survey website this morning following hydraulic fracturing at our shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, Lancashire.”
Cuadrilla said that according to recent research by the University of Liverpool the impact would be like dropping a melon.
The firm also said that a series of smaller micro seismic events occurred during hydraulic fracturing, beginning at about 9.40am.
Cuadrilla will pause and continue to monitor micro seismicity for at least the next 18 hours, in line with the traffic light system regulations.
Earlier this month GE reported that Cuadrilla was seeking to raise the threshold for seismic activity at which fracking must stop.
In November, Cuadrilla announced that it has begun to see natural gas flow to the surface from its shale exploration well
Since beginning work in October, there have been three other earthquakes over the 0.5 magnitude. A 1.1 magnitude earthquake on Monday 29 October, following two 0.8 magnitude earthquakes - the first on Friday 26 October which halted work for 18 hours, and the second on Saturday 27 October.
The company plans to fully test flow rates from the first two exploration wells towards the end of 2018 and into the new year following the completion of hydraulic fracturing operations.