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Call for oil drilling ban after spate of earthquakes

Oil drilling

A group of geologists have called for a ban on oil drilling after Surrey suffered 12 earthquakes in four months.

The scientists have called on business secretary Greg Clark to impose an immediate ban on the works after Surrey suffered its first earthquakes in 50 years.

In a letter to the business secretary, the four senior geologists claim that there are risks to health and the environment from several oil exploration sites.

“The abrupt onset of the earthquake cluster recorded by the British Geological Survey [BGS] at Newdigate since April 1 requires an explanation, and gives rise to our concerns about safety. Oil drilling, extraction and re-injection can cause earthquakes,” the letter first seen in the Times reads.

“There are two oil sites in the immediate area: Horse Hill and Brockham. A causal link with either well site cannot be ruled out, so we need the full picture for the risk assessment.”

Last month BGS, a public body that advises the government on geosciences, installed five earthquake monitors to pinpoint the location and cause of the earthquakes.

The body ruled that the earthquakes were most likely natural but could not rule of the oil drilling as the main cause. 

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