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Shale gas ‘fracking’ halted after possible quake link

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Already under fire over perceived threats to local water sources, the natural gas industry is facing a new challenge: earthquakes.

A small energy company halted its shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing program in Britain after two mild earthquakes were recorded in the vicinity, an area where such tremors are rare.

Now, the controversial drilling activity is being linked to earthquakes – first in Arkansas, where companies are developing the prolific Fayetteville play, and now at Britain’s first shale gas exploration site, near Blackpool in northwest England.

U.K.-based Cuadrilla Resources suspended its hydraulic fracturing – in which chemically laced water is injected at high pressure to crack open gas-bearing rock – pending a review of the seismic activity near the Preese Hall drilling site.

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