February 7, 2019 / 1:45 PM / 7 months ago

No plans to review gas fracking rules: British government

FILE PHOTO: Cuadrilla's Preston Road fracking site is seen near Blackpool, Britain, October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government has no plans to review regulations for fracking gas in the country, it said on Thursday, following calls from industry to revisit the rules.

Chemical giant Ineos and fracking firm Cuadrilla earlier this week said current restrictions around seismic events at fracking sites could force the industry to close.

Under the so-called traffic light system fracking must be paused for 18 hours following any seismic event of magnitude 0.5 or above, something which forced Cuadrilla to halt its operations several times last year.

“We set these regulations in consultation with industry and we have no plans to review them,” a spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in an email.

The government however, said it still believes shale gas could be an important energy source for the country and the industry could generate economic benefits and well paid jobs.

Cuadrilla said this week its test drilling in northwest England showed a rich reservoir of high quality and recoverable gas.

Environmentalists have campaigned against fracking, saying extracting more fossil fuel is at odds with Britain’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have also raised concerns about potential groundwater contamination.

Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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