Despite the in-place ban, it is ‘unlikely’ that gas fracking in the UK would lead to dangerous earthquakes, a study has found.
A study that will inform a government review of fracking has found that the controversial gas extraction process poses little risk of creating dangerous earthquakes in the United Kingdom.
Although previously utilised in the country, the use of fracking as a method of gas extraction in the UK was originally mothballed back in 2019 over safety fears and an effective lobbying campaign against the technology.
However, a new study due to be published by Newcastle University which is set to inform a government review of the practice has reportedly found that the actual risk posed by fracking is quite minimal, and is unlikely to lead to the creation of dangerous seismic activity.
Instead, the process is likely to create much smaller tremors similar to those experienced when coal was actively mined in the UK.
“We lived with them without much concern during the coal mining era,” The Telegraph reports Prof Richard Davies, the petroleum geologist at Newcastle University as saying.
“During coal production, vast numbers of earthquakes were created in the UK right until the 1980s and the coal miners’ strike,” the expert continued. “Effectively Margaret Thatcher stopped the earthquakes, and they were never very big.”
“It’s the same set of rocks,” he concluded. “The risk of seismicity is high, but the impact is low.”
UK Fracking Sites Saved from Being Concreted Over… For One Yearhttps://t.co/8xawHvQBg8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 1, 2022
Fracking in the United Kingdom has for some time been looked upon with extreme suspicion by some, with initial reports indicating that there was no way of telling what kind of seismic activity the process could generate.
Two of the UK’s main fracking sites chad even been ordered to be physically sealed off by the industry regulator, though the order was then postponed for a year last week, the first indication of a potential coming change of heart.
However, with the increasing need for western energy independence and the new evidence pointing toward the process being safer than initially thought, it appears that fracking may be experiencing a change of fortune in Britain.
A number of UK lawmakers have come together to demand that fracking resume in the country on a “war effort” level in the hopes of combatting the European market’s overreliance on Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
“Boris should immediately stop the concreting in of current shale wells and go for gas with all the vigour of a national war effort, which this very nearly is,” said Conservative MP and former Brexit Minister Steve Baker. “Our civilisation may depend upon it.”
More senior Conservative Party members seem slower to jump on the bandwagon, however, with UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng saying that although it is “absolutely right that we explore all possible domestic energy sources”, it would take “years of exploration and development before commercial quantities of gas could be produced” through fracking.
In the meantime, the government appears to be chasing down renewables and Nuclear as medium-term methods of easing the ongoing energy crisis, with Boris Johnson saying that he “dreams” of massive wind farms being floated out onto the Irish sea.