Tag Archive: Fracking


An application to carry out fracking in England for the first time since a ban was lifted in 2012 has been approved.

North Yorkshire County Council considered a bid by Third Energy to extract shale gas at a site near Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.

Hundreds of protestors had attended a meeting in Northallerton to voice anger at the project, which was previously recommended for approval.

Councillors on the council’s planning committee voted 7-4 in favour.

Live updates from today’s meeting

The meeting has heard a number of objections from people opposed to the plans.

Supporters including landowners, farmers and Third Energy employees also had their say.

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at rock to release the gas inside.

Opponents say it can cause water contamination, earthquakes and noise and traffic pollution.

Immediately after the vote, North Yorkshire Police tweeted a warning to protesters.

It read: “Please be aware, the police will take action against unlawful behaviour linked to the #nyshale protest.”

After the decisionm, campaigners gathered outside County Hall in Northallerton chanting “we say no”.

Rasik Valand, chief executive of Third Energy said the approval meant the firm now had “a huge responsibility”.

“We will have to deliver on our commitment, made to the committee and to the people of Ryedale, to undertake this operation safely and without impacting on the local environment,” he said.

Campaign group Frack Off said: “These plans could pave the way for thousands of fracking wells to spread across Yorkshire and many other parts of the country if not stopped.

“Impacts, including pipelines, air pollution and waste disposal will spread far beyond the areas being drilled.

“Third Energy’s plans in Ryedale are the thin end of a very large wedge.”

No fracking has taken place in the UK since 2011, when tests on the Fylde coast were found to have been the probable cause of minor earthquakes in the area.

Since then, two high-profile applications to frack in Lancashire have been rejected by councillors and are now the subject of appeals.

Third Energy wants to frack for shale gas using an existing two-mile deep well – called KM8 – drilled in 2013 close to the North York Moors National Park. They could start by the end of the year.

Andy Mortimer, the company’s subsurface director, told the committee fracking at Kirby Misperton was “highly unlikely to cause any sort of earth tremor”, describing the area as “seismically benign”

He said Third Energy would operate a safety system that would halt operations if a seismic event measuring above 0.5 on the Richter Scale occurred, adding that “trains cause seismic signals several orders of magnitude greater than our proposed threshold”.

The firm already had licences to produce gas in North Yorkshire and offshore in the North Sea.

Source: Landmark North Yorkshire fracking vote approved – BBC News

Northern Oklahoma is just as susceptible to a damaging earthquake within the next year as the most quake-prone areas of California. That’s because earthquakes are no longer just a natural hazard, the U.S. Geological Survey says. In its new quake hazards forecast released March 28, the agency for the first time has included artificially triggered seismicity.

An increased risk in the central United States largely stems from sites where fluids, such as wastewater from fracking, are injected underground (SN: 8/9/14, p. 13). Rising fluid pressure underground can unclamp faults and unleash earthquakes (SN: 7/11/15, p. 10). From 1973 to 2008, an average of 24 potentially damaging quakes rattled the central United States each year. From 2009 to 2015, an uptick in fracking activity helped skyrocket that number to 318 annual quakes on average, with a record-setting 1,010 tremors in 2015 alone. Around 7 million people currently live and work in central and eastern U.S. areas vulnerable to shakes stemming from earthquakes roughly above magnitude 2.7, USGS scientists estimate.

Human-caused quakes aren’t as powerful as their natural counterparts (the strongest induced quake in the United States clocked in at magnitude 5.6 in 2011 compared with the magnitude 7.8 San Francisco temblor in 1906, for instance). But the potential for more powerful shakes exists, the scientists warn. The new hazard assessment should help regulators revise building codes to better prepare for the rising risk.

Source: Quake risk in parts of central U.S. as high as in fault-filled California | Science News

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