Homeowners in the North West of England may find themselves paying higher home insurance premiums in the future as scientists working for a drilling company admitted that that their gas exploration activities probably caused the two minor earthquakes that hit the region earlier this year.
Geological risks associated with fracking
Workers for the Cuadrilla Resources Company have stopped their controversial method of extracting resources from the ground, known as fracking, until more tests have been carried out. The process which involves the injection of water and chemicals into layers of rock under high pressure is done to produce quantities of Shale Gas. The procedure is known to cause minor problems in the geological structure of the immediate area but companies believe the profits generated from the mining, warrants the small risk to the local area. Already France has banned the technique and protesters who say fracking is dangerous and contaminates drinking water as well as destabilising the ground staged protests in London at a mining conference and on Merseyside earlier this week.
Mining set off dozens of tremors
Earlier this year two small earthquakes hit the Fylde region, one measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale and another smaller one measuring 1.5. Although experts assert that quakes of this magnitude do not cause structural damage,several residents in the Fylde area did claim on their home contents insurance policies for damage to glassware, pottery etc. Many householders said they felt the shocks in their homes. The scientists also revealed that the mining triggered off up to 50 very small tremors as well as the two quakes. The scientists said that unusual geological conditions at the well base probably caused the problem and other wells in the area may not trigger off the same effect.
Costs homeowners can do without
Home insurance providers are certain to factor in the possibility of earthquakes in the region if the drilling continues and although the increases in premiums may be small the fact is that they could have an effect on incomes, at a time when financial pressure is coming to bear on most homeowners.