Liz Truss issued fracking earthquake warning as return of drilling nears

Liz Truss is being warned her recent moves amid the energy crisis could backfire a leaked Government report has revealed. Concerns over the UK's "ability to forecast drilling-linked earthquakes" have been voiced following the PM's decision to lift the moratorium on fracking. Calls for the UK to ramp up its domestic supplies to avoid importing expensive foreign gas have grown as Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine and his supply cuts to Europe have triggered alarming price rises in Europe.

As bills soar, Ms Truss has responded by pledging to lift the ban on fracking to boost Britain's homegrown energy, adding this could get the gas flowing "within six months". She is now receiving backlash for her decision which was banned by the Conservatives in 2019, the Express reports. READ MORE: Tyson Fury takes ten-day social media break for Queen as Gypsy King makes admission in sombre video

This came after a report by the Oil and Gas Authority that it is not possible to accurately predict the probability of tremors associated with fracking, as little progress has been made in this regard. As fracking firms race for permits after the practice was given the green light by Britain's new leader, licences may even be issued as early as next week.

The Cuadrilla hydraulic fracturing site at Preston New Road

It comes as a report by the Geological Survey (BGS) that was held up due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II warns that limiting the risk of earthquakes during the process of extracting shale gas remains a "scientific challenge". There are still "significant existing knowledge gaps", according to the report with issues over determining whether potential new fracking sites could handle earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0.

Fracking firms argue earth tremors on this scale are highly unlikely to be felt above ground and occur at that intensity naturally anyway. The Royal Society say tremors up to magnitude 2 are not likely to be felt above ground- magnitude 3 tremors are normally only "felt by few people at rest or in the upper floors of buildings; similar to the passing of a truck", the organisation says. Current Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, called for the BSG to look into techniques to slash the risk of earthquakes and their magnitude in the fracking process.

Cuadrilla's test operations in Lancashire caused a magnitude 2.9 tremor which sparked complaints from nearby residents who reported shaking in their homes and even objects falling off their shelves three years ago.

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There were over 120 recorded tremors recorded during drilling at Cuadrilla's New Preston Road site. But Mr Kwarteng's request, which was also aimed at finding out whether sites outside of Lancashire would be suitable for drilling, has shown that there is little evidence to prove that fracking "can be done safely", despite the Conservatives pledging in their 2019 manifesto that the process would only be resumed if the science shows that it can be. The BSG report also says that the limited number of fracking sites in the country "makes it impossible to determine with statistical significance" the rates of "induced seismicity", the Guardian reports.

The BGS report adds that determining the maximum magnitudes before and during drilling also "remains challenging", while it is "difficult to make a valid comparison" to make a comparison with other countries due to the limited number of existing sites.

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