UK gives go ahead to fracking for gas despite seismic concerns

The UK government has given the go-head to hydraulic fracking, with Energy Secretary Edward Davey announcing on Thursday that companies would permitted to engage in exploration of shale gas reserves subject to new controls on seismic risk.

CNN reports that major players in the UK fracking sector have hailed the decision, with Cuadrilla Resource's CEO Francis Egan calling it a "turning point in the country's energy future."

The British government introduced a ban on hydraulic fracking last year in the wake of two small earthquakes in Lancashire, where Cuadrilla Resources was developing a shale gas project.

The use of hydraulic fracking has been a source of tremendous controversy in the North America, with opponents claiming that the technology has the potential to compromise potable water supplies and trigger seismic events.

The controversial technology involves the release of underground reserves of oil and gas into shale formations by the pumping vast amounts of water into the earth and fracturing the rock surrounding deposits.

Despite the cancellation of the ban firms which engage in fracking will still be subject to strict requirements with respect to seismic risks, including the drafting of plans to reduce potential disruptions and the thorough monitoring of seismic activity.

Image of Edward Davey courtesy of DECCGoveUK Youtube