Sunday 1 September 2019 1:50 pm

Cuadrilla says sorry for concern over record-breaking earthquake and promises to mend the damage

Britain’s only active fracking company has apologised to residents near its site after a 2.9 magnitude earthquake rocked houses last week.

Cuadrilla said it was visiting locals to assess “minor damage” caused at properties in Blackpool and the surrounding area. The firm will repair any damage it believes was caused by last Monday’s quake.

Read more: Record quake reignites calls for fracking ban

“When it happened you could see a lot of the stuff in the bathroom moving, shaking the sink and mirror,” Nick Bell, a local, told City A.M. at the time.

Fracking is still indefinitely suspended at the site, after the Oil and Gas Authority ordered work to stop.

“We don’t have a date for operations to restart but it won’t be until both the regulator and ourselves are confident that the technical questions have been satisfactorily answered and the risk of a repeat occurrence has been properly mitigated,” the company said in a statement.

“We are sorry for any concern this [tremor] has caused,” it said.

Cuadrilla said the tremor lasted for two to three seconds and created ground vibrations of between five and eight millimetres per second.

“For context, construction projects are typically permitted to operate at levels between six and 15 millimetres per second,” the company said.

Read more: Fracking halts after earthquake at Cuadrilla site

“People have asked why we are doing this and our answer remains unchanged, we are exploring for shale gas at Preston New Road with the aim to establish a domestic energy supply that the UK really needs,” it added.

The quake was the third record-breaking tremor to rock the area in just a week. Under government rules, fracking must stop if tremors reach above 0.5 on the Richter scale.