A spokesman for Cuadrilla confirmed that micro seismicity had been detected at 8.46pm by the highly sophisticated monitoring system in place at the shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, Lancashire.
He added: “We can confirm that a micro seismic event measuring 1.55ML (local magnitude) on the Richter scale occurred after we had completed the hydraulic fracturing programme for the day at our Preston New Road site. Most local people will not have felt it due to its small size. The equivalent ground motion would be similar to a large bag of shopping dropping to the floor. Well integrity has been verified and we will now pause operations and continue monitoring for the next 18 hours.
“The Preston New Road exploration site is the most regulated and monitored site in Europe and the systems in place are working as they should. Minor movements of this level are to be expected and are way below anything that can cause harm or damage to anyone or their property. All the relevant regulators were informed and we have verified that the well integrity is intact”