Fracking causes as much seismic activity as ‘jumping off a ladder’
Gareth Hughes is going to be very disappointed that his little campaign to under-mine fracking in NZ has turned out to be fact free and nothing but scare-mongering.
A new study says that fracking will cause as much seismic activity as “jumping off a ladder”.
A controversial process used to extract shale gas causes tremors equivalent to someone ‘jumping off a ladder’.
Fracking, which involves blasting underground rock deposits with water and chemicals to release trapped pockets of gas, has been blamed for triggering earthquakes.
But a study has concluded ‘it is extremely unlikely that any of us will ever be able to feel an earthquake caused by fracking’.
After examining hundreds of thousands of gas extraction operations, the scientists found only three instances where resulting shocks could be detected by residents above ground.
In contrast, they found other man-made activities, such as mining and waste-disposal, are much more likely to trigger noticeable seismic activity.
Lead researcher Professor Richard Davies from Durham University’s Energy Institute, said the risk of fracking resulting in seismic activity that could be felt on the surface is ‘not significant’.
‘In almost all cases, the seismic events caused by hydraulic fracturing have been undetectable other than by geoscientists. It is also low compared to other man-made triggers,’ he said.
‘By comparison, most fracking-related events release a negligible amount of energy roughly equivalent to or even less than someone jumping off a ladder onto the floor.’
He added: ‘It is extremely unlikely that any of us will ever be able to feel an earthquake caused by fracking.’
A forthcoming report by the British Geological Survey is expected to announce that shale gas deposits are far larger than previously predicted. Industry experts say we could be sitting on enough gas reserves to supply the nation for more than a century.
David Cameron wants to see Britain at the heart of the ‘shale gas revolution’, and Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to offer lucrative tax breaks and a simplified regulatory regime to the industry in a bid to promote investment.