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.


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  • That won’t stop Gareth, he will still be on Campbell Live saying how harmful fracking is. What amazes me is that someone constantly on TV saying the earth was flat would be pulled up and held to account for speaking nonsense, yet Gareth can repeat something 50000 times which is equally as untruthful and it is accepted as some sort of proven fact.

    • spollyike

      Why does it amaze you? We all know where the NZ media alliances lie don’t we?

      I bet if there was a watermelon or loserbore politician cliaming the world was flat then both the herald and campbell live would run multiple articles covering and concluding the fact.

      • HAHAHA yes you are probably correct; it really is pathetic from the media and the left.

    • Mr_Blobby

      In a small country like NZ every day is a slow news day. International news, if you can call it that, is regurgitated propaganda out of America.

  • rockape

    Or as much as stamping your foot when your flags been stolen!

  • Patrick

    The Greens are very rarely able to substantiate their claims of impending doom – doesn’t prevent them from lying through their teeth to attract funding & the voters though.

  • BJ

    The boy should really go and get some life skills before he sets his mind in concrete over things he knows nothing about. I bet he didn’t even take science subjects at school level based on his uni studies of history and politics.

    • spollyike

      Like all of these socialist idiots, everything he says, thinks or does is based only on his IDEOLOGY. These people are so focussed on their PC marxist ideology that they wouldn’t know scientific common sense unless it slapped them in the face.

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    The idiot Greens will come up with some excuse to counter the studies that blow their bullshitting claims out of the water and they will get prime time news coverage with it. Its about time one of these MSMs had the balls to stand up to their outlandish claims and hold them to account.

    • spollyike

      Yeah, they’ll just wheel out one of their own “scientists” to “dis-spell the myths” probably one of the global warming alarmist types.

  • cows4me

    I wonder if Hughes and his demented followers will be utilising any benefits obtained through fracking. Surely if fracking is so evil these people should take a moral stand and forgo any benefit from said activity. I suspect they are all piss and wind, like every other pretended outrage.

  • Polish Pride

    Who funded the study…?

  • Polish Pride

    I do find the hypocrisy beautiful in the fact that Your position is that scientists telling you climate change is real are full of crap and are probably paid shills of the Green movement. Yet when it comes to fracking and a scientific study comes out you champion it from the mountain tops simply because it suits your set of beliefs without even bothering to consider whether or not the study might have been funded by big oil and gas and that these scientists are merely shills for them…
    but many in power (either govt or corporation) don’t want you to think for yourselves, just do your job and consume like a good little boy or girl.

    • rockape

      The consesus of scientist bubble got pricked a long time ago

  • Justsayn

    Let the scientists work out if it is okay, and if they are not sure then take a cautious approach.

    I agree with PP that the same can be said for climate change. You might say the science on that is not settled (and I don’t mean a completely united scientific view and there will always be a few that disagree with the vast majority on any topic – I’ve met scientist that will swear black and blue that they are 100% sure that God created the universe!!), well if that is true then surely the cautious thing to do is to address the climate change issue we best we can and if it later proves those efforts were unneeded so be it.

    Fracking? If the scientists are not sure (not 100% sure, scientists won’t say that if they are worth their salt) it is okay, and the risks are what they are said to be, then don’t do it until the science is in. I very much doubt the risks are really what they are being said to be, but I’d be happy to let the scientific community decide that.

    You can add fluoridation to the list as well. The science behind that is very clear that fluoridation is a good thing. Sure there are a few scientist that disagree, as always.

    The problem comes when you start making things like fluoridation, fracking, or climate change response a public / democratic decision. The public cannot understand the science, its all to hard for them to care about it. What the public are swayed by are people like the Greens and the anti-fluoride groups who spout grave risks and doom. The public understand those things. So we end up making flat-earth decisions in the name of “democracy” – bloody stupid really.

  • Hazards001

    What amazes me is that boy wonder truly believes that a pissy little blast a couple of K’s down would be enough to move tectonic plates and cause an earthquake.

    The same plates that created the Southern Alps for example? The guy has rocks in his head…maybe they need fracked to let the methane out that is trapped in his shit for brains!

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