Shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla is said to be seeking to raise the threshold for seismic activity at which fracking must stop.
The BBC has reported that the firm who are currently extracting shale gas in Lancashire is seeking to raise the threshold for seismic activity at which fracking must stop. The firm has stopped fracking three times since it started working on the site last month, when the current limit of 0.5 magnitude was exceeded.
Cuadrilla confirmed the plan but did not provide a statement to the BBC.
According to the BBC the plan would need to be submitted to the government.
In a statement from one of Cuadrilla’s main investors, the Australian mining company AJ Lucas chairman Philip Arnall said the 0.5 magnitude threshold was thought of as “overly conservative”.
The BBC has reported that Arnall said that Cuadrilla was “working on the assumption that this constraint will not be altered for the current hydraulic fracturing operations”.
It continued to say that Cuadrilla would also allow more fluid to come back to the surface after fracking, in an attempt to tackle the problem of earth tremors. This process is predicted to reduce friction in the well, which is more than 2km underground.
The statement to shareholders continued: “Cuadrilla will engage with the regulators and the industry to clearly demonstrate that a more appropriate upper limit on seismic monitoring should be set to enable optimal testing without compromising on world class environmental and safety measures.”
Earlier this month, 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 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.