MYTH #6:     “Fracking can be done safely”

In 2019, the Government paused fracking in the UK because of safety concerns. Presumably those concerns must have been addressed for the moratorium to be lifted?

FACT: According to the British Geological Survey, nothing has changed – to quote their 2022 review into safety issues “Earthquake forecasting remains a scientific challenge for the geoscience community”[i]. They go on to say that fracking is known to trigger earthquakes large enough to cause structural damage and that, based on experience from the USA and Canada, 1% of fracking wells can be linked to earthquakes with magnitude of 3 or greater. In some areas, this rises to over 30%.  In 2019, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA)  advised the government that “until further studies can provide clarity, they will not be able to say with confidence that further hydraulic fracturing would meet the government’s policy aims of ensuring it is safe”[ii]. This “further study” from 2022 shows that it still can’t be done safely. So the government have simply changed their policy: people living near fracking sites will have to “tolerate a higher degree of risk and disturbance”[iii].Of course, this just considers safety as it relates to seismicity – you may also want to review what the latest research says on impacts on public health, air pollution, water pollution, noise disturbance and so on


[i] Recent scientific advances in the understanding of induced seismicity from hydraulic fracturing of shales (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1105675/BEISInducedSeismicityReportOR220501A.pdf)

[ii] Government ends support for fracking – GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-ends-support-for-fracking)

[iii] Government says people living near fracking sites should tolerate more risk and disturbance in the national interest (https://drillordrop.com/2022/09/22/government-says-people-living-near-fracking-sites-should-tolerate-more-risk-and-disturbance-in-the-national-interest/)