Hydraulic fracturing volume is associated with induced earthquake productivity in the Duvernay play by R. Schultz1, G. Atkinson, D. W. Eaton, Y. J. Gu, H. Kao, January 19, 2018, Science Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 304-308
Seismicity curbed by lowering volume
Determining why hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) triggered earthquakes in the Duvernay Formation in Canada is important for future hazard mitigation. Schultz et al. found that injection volume was the key operational parameter correlated with induced earthquakes in the Duvernay. However, geological factors also played a considerable role in determining whether a large injection volume would trigger earthquakes. These findings provide a framework that may lead to better forecasting of induced seismicity.
A sharp increase in the frequency of earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta, began in December 2013 in response to hydraulic fracturing. Using a hydraulic fracturing database, we explore relationships between injection parameters and seismicity response. We show that induced earthquakes are associated with completions that used larger injection volumes (104 to 105 cubic meters) and that seismic productivity scales linearly with injection volume. Injection pressure and rate have an insignificant association with seismic response. Further findings suggest that geological factors play a prominent role in seismic productivity, as evidenced by spatial correlations. Together, volume and geological factors account for ~96% of the variability in the induced earthquake rate near Fox Creek. This result is quantified by a seismogenic index–modified frequency-magnitude distribution, providing a framework to forecast induced seismicity.
A few of the visuals in the study:
The Frac Greed Graphs:
A few media reports:
Study defines link between fracking, earthquakes in northern Alberta
by Bob Weber, January 18, 2018, The Calgary Herald
EDMONTON — Scientists have figured out how hydraulic fracking causes earthquakes in northern Alberta, but they have a way to go before they can use that knowledge to predict if it will cause temblors in other areas.
“Right now, there isn’t a good solution for how to do that with induced earthquakes,” said Ryan Schultz of the Alberta Geological Survey and lead author of a paper published
Thursday [Friday; AER’s summary/announcement of the paper was published on Thursday] on the hundreds of quakes that have occurred around the Duvernay oil and gas field since 2013.
The largest happened in January 2016 [On the 12th, about an hour after the Supreme Court of Canada hearing in Ernst vs AER ended] when the ground shook with a magnitude measuring between 4.2 and 4.8.
Pictures shook on the walls of homes in Fox Creek, a community in the centre of the field.
Previous research had narrowed the cause down to fracking, which involves pumping high-pressure fluids underground to create tiny cracks in rock to release natural gas or oil.
But Schultz and his colleagues were still puzzled as to how the quakes happened. The field had been fracked for three years before tremors began, they noted, and some parts of it hadn’t shook at all.
Analyzing data from about 300 wells using a set of complex statistical tools, the scientists concluded that earthquakes occurred when certain operating procedures coincided with the right kind of geology.
“Location matters,” Schultz said.
The team found that at least four factors have to be present before human-caused earthquakes are likely to happen. The underlying rock needs a fault line; the faults have to be oriented in a direction that can slip; and there has to be a way for fracking fluid to pressure it.
“There has to be some sort of pathway that allows fluid flow to happen between the operation and the fault,” said Schultz. “It’s only when you have all of these geological ingredients that you can have induced earthquakes.”
The fourth factor is the volume of fracking fluid. Too much in a susceptible area and a quake results.
“You could put a nice straight-line relationship between the number of earthquakes you get and the injected volume,” Schultz said.
“The more volume you put into the ground, the more earthquakes you get, the more likely you are to get a big one.”
Not all parts of the Duvernay have the right geology, the scientists realized. It wasn’t until companies began drilling in an area where conditions were right that the earthquakes began.
Schultz said the analysis won’t allow geologists to predict when fluid volumes could cause earthquakes in other fields — at least not yet. It’s too hard to know if the right geology is present until after the quakes actually happen.
“Constraining those things in the subsurface ahead of time is notoriously difficult to do.”
The research, however, does help operators working in areas where those factors are known to be present, he said. And it does add an important piece to the puzzle of how fracking causes the ground to move.
Alberta’s energy regulator has already changed its rules for operators in the Duvernay area to try to mitigate the risk of further quakes.
The next step, said Schultz, is to look for other ways to know if an area may be susceptible to slipping.
“Are there other things you can look for?” he asked. “Are there ways you can start building a forecast approach?
“We want to get a better sense of that spatial relationship.” [Emphasis added]
Study sheds light on how fracking increases earthquake risk by Ivan Semeniuk, January 18, 2018, The Globe and Mail
Three years after hydraulic fracturing for natural gas — also known as fracking – began around the central Alberta community of Fox Creek, the number of earthquakes in the region suddenly began to rise, including a magnitude 4.8 tremor that rattled the town in January, 2016, and forced the shutdown of a nearby gas well.
Now a scientific study of what happened at Fox Creek is shedding light on the connection between fracking and earthquakes, with results that could help industry better control the seismic activity that fracking creates.
In the study, published Thursday in the journal Science, a Canadian team of researchers compared publicly available data on gas wells operating in the vicinity of Fox Creek with the earthquake frequency recorded by seismometers in the area.
Among the factors they examined, only one – the amount of fluid injected into the ground – seemed to make a difference in the number of earthquakes that were recorded around a given well site.
“Wells that have a higher volume [of fluid] tend to have earthquakes associated with them,” said Ryan Schultz, a seismologist with the Alberta Geological Survey and lead author of the study.
Even though most earthquakes are too weak to be felt, a growing number of earthquakes means there is a greater chance of producing a seismic event that causes damage on the surface.
While not all gas plays are seismically active, the findings suggest that well operators can reduce the risk of triggering larger quakes by restricting how much fluid they use in places where the local geology makes earthquakes likely.
“Low-volume hydraulic fracture operations will be much less likely to induce potentially-damaging earthquakes,” said Gail Atkinson, a seismologist at Western University in London, Ontario, and a co-author of the study.
The finding comes amid growing international concerns over the seismic risks associated with fracking, a process of using injected fluid to crack open small fissures in bedrock, releasing gas reserves that were previously inaccessible to extraction. [Emphasis added]
Why some fracking wells are prone to triggering earthquakes, Volume of fluid injected is a big factor, but only in areas with connection to existing fault by Emily Chung, CBC News, January 18, 2018
Why does fracking cause earthquakes in some places and not others? Alberta scientists say they’ve figured out some factors that make certain wells prone to triggering earthquakes. That could help make it possible to forecast the risk of fracking-induced earthquakes in the future.
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a way of extracting natural gas that involves injecting fluid into a well under high pressure to fracture the gas-bearing rock and release the gas inside.
The practice has been linked to most large earthquakes in Alberta and B.C.’s oil and gas patches in recent decades. And some U.S. residents have launched lawsuits over injuries and damage to homes caused by earthquakes induced by the oil and gas industry.
But generally across North America, fracking-induced earthquakes are rare and also a relatively recent phenomenon [The escalating greed increasing volumes and pressures leading to widespread frac deregulation to enable the harms is recent too], prompting questions about why they arise in some places and not others.
Some of the biggest fracking-induced earthquakes in the world — including three higher than magnitude 4.0 that could be felt by humans [Who told the reported this false tidbit? One of Steve Harper’s CBC Board members? Induced earthquakes have been felt and some caused damages at lower magnitudes than 4] — have taken place in the Kaybob Duvernay Formation near Fox Creek, Alta.
[Reality Check, one example of many:
Parts of Groningen were shaken by an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale on Monday afternoon. The tremor was the biggest in the region since 2012 and the third strongest ever recorded, the KNMI said. The epicenter of the quake was in the village of Zeerijp near Loppersum, but it was also felt in the provincial capital of Groningen, including at the city’s main hospital. According to provincial television station RTV Noord, the quake is the sixth to hit Zeerijp within a month. On Twitter locals described the way homes in the region shook and creaked but police said no major problems were reported.
The quakes are caused by ground settling following the extraction of natural gas from under the province. Last year the government reduced the volume of gas from 27 billion cubic metres to almost 22 cubic metres but locals say much more still needs to be done. Locals were also quick to describe the latest quake as a wake-up call to national government which had for years ignored the problem.
Economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes, who is responsible for natural gas extraction, is due to visit the province on Wednesday. Court At the end of last year, the Council of State gave Wiebes one year to come up with proper arguments to support his decision to cap the extraction of gas from under Groningen province at 21.6 billion cubic metres a year. The case was brought by a group of Groningen residents and green group Milieudefensie who say the safety of locals is more important than providing income for the treasury. They wanted gas production to be drastically reduced or stopped altogether. The biggest quake, in 2012, measured 3.6 on the Richter scale and led to hundreds of reports of damage. Since the quakes began, some 75,000 complaints have been made about damage and the bill for research, shoring up property and damages claims has reached an estimated €1.3bn so far. [Emphasis added]
End Reality Check]
But they’ve happened only in certain areas and only since 2013, even though fracking began there in 2010.
A study led by Ryan Schultz, a seismologist with the Alberta Energy Regulator and a geophysical research scientist at the University of Alberta, shows that the underlying geology determines whether earthquakes can be induced at all by a particular well. But if an earthquake can be induced, then the number of earthquakes increased with the amount of fluid pumped into the well, reports the study published Thursday in the journal Science.
The authors of the study, which also involved researchers at Western University, the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta and Natural Resources Canada, came to that conclusion after analyzing drilling records for around 300 wells in the region submitted to the Alberta Energy Regulator. [How many records have been withheld on oil patch activities that also induced earthquakes but companies chose not to report?] They found that the reason earthquakes didn’t start there until 2013 was because companies didn’t start drilling earthquake-prone wells until then.
So what makes a well earthquake prone? Earthquakes happen at faults, where two of the Earth’s tectonic plates come together. Earthquakes occur when the two plates slip or slide relative to one another. In order to cause an earthquake, a fracking well needs to have a physical connection via the underlying rock to a fault that is oriented so that the pressure of fluid from the well can change the stress on that fault and increase the chance of it slipping. [Also, induced earthquakes can create new faults, which can lead to frac’ing inducing more quakes!]
“The concept is pretty dead simple,” Schultz said.
If you knew everything about the underlying geology, it would be easy to calculate what volume of fluid would induce earthquakes for a given well, he said. “But actually doing it in real life is amazingly difficult.” [Yet, experts and lapdog AER staff often instantly blame nature, no matter what the harms or how many lives are at risk after causes problems and or when homeowners/landowners report problems]
That’s because it’s hard to tell if a nearby fault exists, what its orientation is, and whether its physically connected to a well.
Fossil coral reefs
That said, Schultz and his collaborators managed to pinpoint some signs that the underlying geology might be prone to earthquakes. One is the edge of a fossil coral reef below the well. The edges of modern coral reefs tend to form at faults, so ancient reefs likely did, too. When ancient reefs are buried and fossilized, they produce a distinctive type of rock called carbonate that geologists often detect and map, pointing to the location of faults, Schultz said.
Based on their results, the researchers came up with an equation that allows people to input the fluid volume and a description of the geology into earthquake rate forecasts. Such equations are routinely used to forecast the risk of natural earthquakes, which remains constant. But it’s been much harder to find a way to forecast the rate of human-induced earthquakes because it changes depending on human activities, Schultz said.
“While we’re certainly not there yet, this is a good step in that direction,” he said.
He thinks the relationships of different factors to earthquakes uncovered in this study could also be adjusted to apply to other regions. Heather Deshon, a seismologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, has been studying fracking-related earthquakes in her state since 2010. Deshon, who was not involved in the new study, agrees that the research will allow for more accurate earthquake forecasts.
“That’s important for people living in an area … but also important for the industry that is building infrastructure in an area to understand,” she said. But she noted that for now, the equation relies on already knowing whether earthquakes can be triggered in a given area or not.
“How are they going to recognize in advance that there’s the potential to generate earthquakes? Right now, everyone is still working on that.” [Yup, as Schlumberger’s Chair and CEO Andrew Gould famously said, “At the moment, we’re doing it by brute force and ignorance“]
Mirko van der Baan, a University of Alberta researcher who has studied the link between earthquakes and fracking across North America but was not involved in the new study, says the findings help explain why fracking-induced earthquakes have only been noticed in the past, even though fracking has been happening since the 1940s and common since the 1970s.
The recent invention of horizontal drilling has boosted the volumes of fluid pumped into wells, he said. [Increased volumes have also been injected into frac’d vertical, slant, and deviated wells under greater and greater pressures, not just horizontal] Van der Baan called the new study “very thorough.”
He said that if we better understand what causes human-induced earthquakes, it may be possible to prevent them in order to better balance economic and environmental sustainability. [Environmental sustainability is impossible with modern “brute force and ignorant” hydraulic fracturing of unconventional oil and gas! Emphasis added]
Emily Chung covers science and technology for CBC News. She has previously worked as a digital journalist for CBC Ottawa and as an occasional producer at CBC’s Quirks & Quarks. She has a Ph.D. in chemistry.
New research draws link between fracking and earthquakes in Fox Creek area, Fracking near areas with a susceptible fault line leads to the occurrence of more measurable earthquakes, researchers find by Lucy Haines, January 18, 2018, Metro Calgary
Local seismologist Ryan Schultz has made the first link between Fox Creek-area earthquakes and fluid volume from hydraulic fracturing, with location of well pads playing a significant role in seismic activity.
The new Alberta Geological Survey and University of Alberta research findings will be published in the Jan. 19 issue of Science, one of the world’s leading peer review scientific journals.
While fracking isn’t new—happening routinely across the province and in the Fox Creek area since 2010—the first earthquakes in the concentrated area of the Duvernay Formation didn’t start until 2013.
Schultz said he started studying the earthquakes to better understand what was causing them.
“The team found that when increased volumes of hydraulic fracturing fluid are injected in susceptible regions, and where there’s a ready-to-slip fault line, the increased pressure can lead to more numerous, measurable earthquakes,” Schultz said.
“We had wondered why some high-volume well locations see earthquakes, while others don’t. We stitched the ideas together to find the spatial relationship,” added Schultz, nothing that where there’s a pre-existing susceptible fault line, the nearby hydraulic fracking can be the factor that changes the stress on that fault.
Since 2013, there has been a marked increase in earthquakes near Fox Creek, ranging up to magnitude 4. [Metro Calgary trying to down play the severity of frac induced quakes? The highest reported in that area so far, has been a world record 4.8M]
“The findings will allow us to better forecast the hazards from these induced earthquakes, and what indicators to look for. Where might this happen? What can the average person anticipate?”
Schultz will continue to work with colleagues at the Alberta Geological Survey and Jeff Gu, a U of A geophysics professor, on the next step—to better predict the best places to conduct hydraulic fracking where it’s least likely to cause earthquakes.
“We want to characterize everything we can about these earthquakes so that we can describe them in as much detail as possible,” Schultz said. “But when you answer questions, more questions come up.” [Emphasis added]
A Deeper Dive into What’s Causing the Fox Creek Quakes by In the News, Resource Stories with Energy, January 18, 2018, AER
A new study led by an Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) seismologist sheds light on why the number and magnitude of earthquakes in the Fox Creek region of Alberta are on the rise.
The Alberta Energy Regulator’s AGS branch worked with researchers at Western University, the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, and Natural Resources Canada to understand the link between hydraulic fracturing and induced seismicity in the Fox Creek area.
Entitled Hydraulic Fracturing Volume is Associated With Induced Earthquake Productivity in the Duvernay Play, the study notes that hydraulic fracturing operations with larger fluid-injection volumes tend to cause earthquakes. However, volume alone isn’t the full story: there’s also a greater likelihood of causing detectable earthquakes when fracturing in certain areas of the hydrocarbon-rich Duvernay formation. The study suggests that [Corporate greed is the most guilty party for causing frac induced quakes] the geology likely dictates which areas are prone to these earthquakes.
The study has been published in Science—one of the world’s leading scientific journals. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
These documents show how—sometimes with the help of state officials—industry sought to distance oil and gas production from the quakes, despite mounting scientific evidence linking the two. …
It was in late 2011 when the issue of earthquakes became a hot topic in Oklahoma. In many ways, the quake in the town of Prague—a 5.7 magnitude event, the most powerful earthquake on record for the state—was the wake-up call. Sandra Ladra and her son Ryan were sitting in the living room of their home when the ground started to shake.
“There was no warning, there was no rumble, there was no thud, then shaking. It was just instant loud,” Ryan said. “I jumped straight up and ran over to the corner to get out from underneath anything that could fall.”
Ladra was still sitting on the couch when a chunk of her roof broke off and crashed down on her knees. She was rushed to the hospital. Her medical expenses wound up costing tens of thousands of dollars, and the house was left with about $200,000 in damages.
In the immediate wake of the quake, Oklahoma’s governor downplayed the connection to industry-related activities. Months later, the U.S. Geological Survey published preliminary findings for a paper that would link the 2011 Prague earthquake to industry, and in particular, to wastewater injections that often accompany the extraction of oil and gas. But amid early scientific reports saying as much, state officials issued widely-reported statements that the 2011 quake was likely a “result of natural causes.” [Just like AER initially did regarding frac induced quakes and fracing causing drinking water contamination, magically not even needing to gather any data or do any monitoring!]
What wasn’t reported in the year following the quake was how the oil and gas industry reacted internally to the initial scientific reports. The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board is a quasi-public state agency, voluntarily funded by the industry. Its entire board is made up of industry leaders, appointed by the governor and legislature. It’s also the main group that handles environmental clean-ups related to oil wells in the state. The situation is unusual but not unique: Ohio, Kansas, and Illinois have similar set-ups. [AER too]
In 2012, the board’s Executive Director, Mindy Stitt, solicited talking points about earthquakes from the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, according to emails obtained through a public records request. Those talking points were specifically aimed at addressing two pieces of newresearch on the connection between the tremors and industry-related activities.
Among the 2012 talking points shared between the lobbying group and the agency officials were statements that downplayed the seriousness of the quakes, and their connection to industry. The first suggestion, in extra big font, was that the term “seismic activity” should be used instead of “earthquake.” And, although a marked increase in Oklahoma quakes had accompanied the state’s oil boom in recent years, the talking points said: “The area where the seismic activity was recorded has a history of seismic activity and has been one of the most active areas in the state.” …
Other emails and internal documents show how industry figures weren’t happy hearing from constituents concerned about the quakes, and in some cases tried to block their emails or make light of them with the help of state officials.
In 2014, former Petroleum Association president Mike Terry asked an official at the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board for help blocking communications from Oklahoma resident Daryl Rossi, who was sending him reports about the link between oil and gas activity and increased seismicity.
“This week I’ve been receiving multiple emails from this crazy environmental activist about fracing [sic] and earthquakes,” he wrote. “Is there a way to block these emails?”Carla Schaeperkoetter, the director of education for the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, forwarded instructions on how to block an email address.
“Of course that means that he is avoiding the truth,” Rossi said in an email when we told him Terry blocked his messages. “That is the easiest way to avoid a tough discussion.”
Terry did not respond to multiple requests for comment. After months of trying to speak with staff at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association by phone and email, our efforts were mostly ignored. One association executive we met at a conference declined to speak to us.
Internal communications from 2015 show that officials at the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board were also poking fun at concerned citizens who were making noise about earthquakes.
The emails we obtained show that staff considered doing a Jimmy Kimmel-style “Mean Tweets” video, consisting of public officials reading angry tweets from residents. Their concept seemed aimed at making light of concerns about human-caused earthquakes. Officials at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association were copied onto the thread.
“Even though I hate being on camera..I think this could be will be really funny so I’m in!” wrote one Resources Board staffer.
A sample tweet, according to internal emails, read: “Don’t ever live in Oklahoma. Fracking causes earthquakes and contaminated water. Ain’t ever gonna stop. Might as well change @OKCThunder to OKC earthquakes,” referencing Oklahoma City’s basketball team.
A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board said the video was never produced after the group’s ad agency “decided it wasn’t a direction they wanted to go.”
Mickey Thompson, a former top oil and gas lobbyist who helped found the board, was by this point worried about what he saw as a lack of response to the quakes. He’d broached the subject with industry officials, but said he saw little interest in seriously addressing the issue.
“I was consulting for two different companies here in town in Oklahoma City, trying to talk about that internally, in meetings related to the projects I was working on,” recalled Thompson.
“And it was almost, I call it, a gag order. Not from the government but from the legal departments in oil companies.”
One of the industry figures he urged to speak up more was Kim Hatfield, the president of Crawley Petroleum, and an Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association board member. In an email to us, Hatfield pushed back on Thompson’s assertion that he had not done enough to publicly address the connection between earthquake activity and industry. “I have given countless interviews, spoken at numerous public gatherings, headed up a research project with the [Oklahoma Geological Survey],” he said.
But Hatfield also warned his colleagues to speak with caution about the connections between industry-related activities and earthquakes. In a 2015 email we obtained, part of a thread among lobbyists and top industry figures after a scientific report was released, Hatfield stressed that top researchers were not in agreement with every point on the topic, and that, “We have to be careful about how we discuss this issue to make sure we don’t get beat to death with our own words.” [!!!!!!!]
Hatfield told us in an email that he was simply trying to ensure good intentions didn’t go awry. “It was my concern that an overly broad generalization or inadvertent mistatement [sic] would be seized upon and used to characterize the speaker and the industry as being duplicitous,” he wrote.
Around that time, Oklahoma oil baron Harold Hamm, who would go on to advise presidential candidate Donald Trump on energy, became part of the story.
In 2015, Bloomberg reported on internal emails from the University of Oklahoma that suggested Hamm was trying to get scientists at the Geological Survey who were linking earthquakes to oil and gas activity dismissed.
In a recent deposition from former Oklahoma Geological Survey state geologist Austin Holland, Holland said he felt pressured in meetings with people like Hamm and state officials to alter his research on human-induced earthquakes. The deposition was taken for an ongoing case brought against companies by homeowners whose properties were damaged in the 2011 quake.
Holland put most of the blame on state officials. He left the state when he felt his scientific integrity was being compromised.
“I wasn’t being coerced by industry, I was being coerced by my superiors. I did have people in the industry say, ‘Well, you can’t say that’ or ‘You can’t say this,’” Holland testified in the recent deposition. “But the ones that actually write the paycheck control what I say in the public eye, and what I don’t.”
In a statement to The Naked Truth, Holland’s boss, University of Oklahoma president David Boren, whom Holland named in his deposition, said he made it clear to the scientist that “our commitment to academic freedom is paramount.” [Who believes Boren?]
Boren noted that much of the initial research linking earthquakes to industry activity came from the university, where the Oklahoma Geological Survey operates. A representative from Hamm’s company, Continental Resources, called Holland’s comments about Hamm “untrue. Unequivocally.”
Industry wasn’t just looking to sway the minds of the state’s voters. Email exchanges show staff of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board were thinking of using a public education program to steer children toward information that seemed to downplay scientific conclusions on the links between earthquakes and industry activity.
The educational branch of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board provides public school teachers with training and materials to teach children about the energy industry.
In a 2011 email to colleagues, Terry happily described watching hundreds of schoolchildren learning about oil and gas activity, and said he hoped to reach 20,000 students per year through the program.
“Guys, I’m telling you this student ed program is a well oiled machine,” he wrote to other lobbyists and top industry figures. “We are slowly but surely winning the war; at least in Oklahoma!”
But an email exchange from 2016 between members of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association shows that the information war was not over.
[ROARING LAUGHTER!] Jeremy Fitzpatrick, a board member of the lobbying group, was alarmed that his six-year-old daughter came back from school talking about the link between industrial activity and earthquakes.
[IT GETS FUNNIER!] “We need to deploy our troops,” he wrote.
In response, Resources Board head Mindy Stitt wrote that she would try to mobilize the educational program used in nearly all of the state’s districts, to try to get alternative information to schoolchildren. [HOW VILE. JUST LIKE AT THE AER, CORRUPT STAFF ALL NEED TO BE FIRED, SANS PAY, SANS PENSION]
“We have a scholastic outreach committee meeting coming soon,” Stitt wrote, adding she would bring it up to see if they could revamp the classroom curriculum “to add some factual information about seismicity.”
Former Petroleum Association President Terry also chimed in, complaining “the problem is not the students, it’s the parents and the teachers. We also need something for teachers so they won’t just regurgitate what they read and see in the media.”
In an email, Stitt told The Naked Truth: “The [Resources Board] has not ever and does not include anything regarding earthquakes” in its classroom curriculum. She said her response was regarding information campaigns for the broader public about what the industry is doing to respond to earthquakes, found on the agency’s website.
Officials and industry leaders have recently begun to acknowledge links between earthquakes and industry. Oklahoma now has a council on seismic activity, aimed at expanding research on the issue. Once again, though, the group consists of state agencies and industry lobbying groups, including the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. A Resources Board video describing the council notes: “Industry has been a fantastic partner in this thing,” adding, “No one’s trying to cover it up.” [Pfffffffffffffffffffffffft!]
In 2015, the state commission that handles oil and gas regulations created a Department of Induced Seismicity. It received funding for one year. [Emphasis added]
[The AER and not one media reported on this 3.8M earthquake in Fox Creek’s frac zone yet both yodeled loudly about much smaller 2M equivalent ice quakes a few weeks later at Alberta Beach. Media even reported Jeff Kavanaugh, a U of A prof and ice quake expert, contradict the conclusions by AER’s Ryan Schultz (author of the study featured in this post).]
2017 12 12: Fox Creek, Alberta Frac Quakes start up again; New Study by Standford Scientists: Small earthquakes at frac sites may be early indicators of bigger quakes to come; Surprising Finding: Arkansas earthquakes mostly caused by hydraulic fracturing, only some by wastewater injection, None caused by trucks
2017 08 15: Fracking the golf course. Ask Indian Hills Golf Course, Lambton Shores, Ontario: Did nature, waste injection, gas storage or fracking causing massive natural gas geysers and erupting greens in 2015? Two municipalities declared state of emergency, Golf Course had to shut down, pay to investigate and clean up
2017 06 26: CAPP Induced Planned Deflection & Dismissal of Frack Quake Risks & Harms? U of A Study: Human-induced seismicity (leaves out the tens of thousands of small frack quakes) and large-scale (why leave out the medium & small-scale production that’s fracked?) hydrocarbon production in PA, WV, OK, ND, TX, USA and SK, AB, BC, Canada
2016 11 26: “Devastating Domino Effect?” 5.0M Earthquake Causes “Substantial Damages” to 40-50 Buildings in Downtown Cushing, Rattles Residents Across State; Felt as far away as Johnson City, TN, 1297 km away
2016 11 21: USGS Study: Oil drilling may have caused 1933 California 6.4M Long Beach earthquake that killed about 120 people and caused massive damages. “There may be no upper limit” to the size of earthquakes caused by the oil industry
2016 09 16: Another 5.6M Earthquake Hits Frac Ravaged Oklahoma: Mitigation Obviously Not Working! Quakes Increasing, No Matter How Many Injection Wells Shut Down or Injection Volumes Reduced. State Of Emergency Declared for Pawnee County. 58,628 people felt the quake, as far as 2,323 km away in Boston, MA
2016 08 16: Known risk of earthquakes caused by oil and gas development, BC Hydro worries about fracking unconventionals near dams, specifically coalbed methane and shale gas. “Alberta Offers Lessons In Keeping Oil and Gas Industry ‘Safe’ From A Public Endangered By Fracking”
2016 03 21: AER Investigation Report (yes another one): CNRL’s Primrose fracking flow to surface mess and groundwater contamination “caused by excessive steam volumes, along with open conduits such as well bores, natural fractures and faults, and hydraulically induced fractures.”
There was no clear relationship between the location of the earthquake hypocenters and any previously known active tectonic structures.
Closer investigation showed that the earthquakes had created new faults.
… In all these cases, the result of human interference was to change the state of stress in the surrounding volume of earth. If the stress change is big enough, it can cause an earthquake, either by fracturing the rock mass—in the case of mining or underground explosions—or by causing rock to slip along existing zones of weakness.
The situation in regions of hydrocarbon recovery is not always well understood: in some places, extraction of fluid induces seismicity; in others, injection induces seismicity.
… Even minor actions can trigger strong seismicity. ]