Truss told to increase earthquake limits to kickstart fracking revolution

UK test drilling site for shale gas

Surely the time has to come to break the energy policy stranglehold of climate-obsessed ‘net zero’ propagandists. Everyone knows limits on drilling have been set far below earthquake level. Replacing at least some imports with local gas must make sense, if feasible.
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Liz Truss is being urged to relax the limits on earthquakes caused by fracking as part of plans to kickstart an energy revolution, says The Telegraph.

The Prime Minister is already poised to end the moratorium on fracking within days in a bid to make Britain energy independent by 2040.

But companies say this alone will not be enough to unlock Britain’s potentially vast shale gas reserves. The Telegraph understands fracking businesses are lobbying for the limits on seismic activity to be substantially increased to help kickstart the industry.

Current rules require drilling to stop if it causes tremors of 0.5 or more on the Richter scale.

Experts say tremors at this level occur naturally and often, at a magnitude so low it is imperceptible to people above ground. The current limit blocks any realistic possibility of exploiting shale resources commercially.

Fracking companies want parity with other industries, for example geothermal energy, which is allowed to create earthquakes of higher magnitudes than 0.5. In the US, fracking-related tremors of up to 4-magnitude are allowed.

According to the Royal Society, tremors of up to magnitude 2 are not generally felt by people above ground and fracking is not expected to cause tremors of more than magnitude 3.

A report by the society in 2012 said fracking would be less disruptive than coal mining had been historically.

It said magnitude 3 tremors were typically “felt by few people at rest or in the upper floors of buildings; similar to the passing of a truck”.

However, when Cuadrilla’s test operations in Lancashire caused a magnitude 2.9 tremor three years ago, residents nearby complained that their homes had been shaken, with some saying objects had fallen off of shelves.

Professor Richard Davies, a leading petroleum geologist at Newcastle University, said fracking had thus far “not been a major source of earthquakes” and that coal mining had caused “many times more”.

He said the question of whether the UK’s resources were commercially exploitable remains unproven but that restrictions on seismic activity prevented “a proper test”.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

September 14, 2022 at 04:48AM

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