Professor defends independence of fracking study

The lead author of a report that compared seismic activity caused by fracking to the energy produced by someone jumping off a ladder has insisted that his study was fully independent of big energy companies, writes Jonathan Brown for The Independent.

Professor Richard Davies of Durham University, who has previously worked in exploration for ExxonMobil, said it was vital that academics in the field had direct experience in the industry. The study found that only three earthquakes able to be detected by humans had been caused by fracking, in which shale rock is blasted with water, sand and chemicals, despite the drilling of hundreds of thousands of wells since 1929.

But campaign group Frack Off claimed that the peer-reviewed study published in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology last week demonstrated that universities had been "hijacked by the industry PR machine" mirroring the so-called ‘fracademia’ row in the United States.
Full report on The Independent site