Saturday, 5 November 2011

Local scientists in fracking debate

British Geological Survey scientist  Dr Brian Baptie, based at Murchison House in West Mains Road, has contributed to the debate on whether the extraction of shale gas contributes to earthquakes.

Suggestions that huge finds of shale gas may become a game changer in UK energy supplies have been dogged by recent links to small earthquakes recorded in Lancashire.  Baptie commented:
‘The proposed maximum acceptable earthquake of a magnitude 2.6 earthquake might, at a depth of 3km, result in an intensity of shaking that would not be expected to cause any damage but would be widely felt by people indoors and out, and may displace objects on shelves.’
In response to a report playing down the dangers of the fracking method of extracting shale gas, Professor Stuart Haszeldene (of Edinburgh University) countered with a more cautious assessment:
‘Although this is a very thorough report, I would be very cautious before proceeding with more commercial drilling.'
More details can be found here along with a discussion of fracking.

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