3.9M earthquake west of Frac’d Crazy Fox Creek Alberta reported by Earthquakes Canada, 1 km depth

Reported by:
http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/stndon/NEDB-BNDS/bulletin-en.php

Nothing posted by AER: https://www.aer.ca/providing-information/by-topic/seismic-activity

Excellent question by Rodney Forsberg on ASRG Facebook page

More information will be posted when/if it becomes available

Refer also to:

2019 06 20: Frac’ing creates job jobs jobs? Frac Quake Shaker Repsol laying off 30 per cent of Canadian staff

2018 02 17: Frack Patch Porn: The ultimate sexual assault by men in positions of power? Ensign drills Canada’s longest lateral, 7,770 metres (4.828 miles), at global frac-quake capital, Fox Creek, Alberta. Is it the world’s longest lateral onshore?

2018 02 09:”Insane” Greed: Fox Creek Shakes as Frackers Drill for Condensate to Dilute Bitumen

2018 02 19: New study: Hydraulic fracturing volume is associated with induced earthquake productivity in Duvernay play, Fox Creek Alberta

2017 12 17: UPDATED WITH MORE QUAKES, 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

2016 04 07: AER allows Repsol to resume fracking after causing world record 4.8M frac quake (felt 280 km away near Edmonton) in AER’s Fox Creek Blanket Approval Frac Frenzy Free-for-All Experiment. But, Repsol appears too shaken to resume

2016 04 04: Why are frac’d Albertans so easily bribed by law violators and polluters? Why don’t groups in Fox Creek say “No thank you Chevron, We’d Rather Skate in Hell Than Take Your Money”

2016 01 15: Canada breaking frac quake records: Geosciences professor thinks earthquakes near Fox Creek are clearly linked to fracking

2016 01 15: Edmonton’s 630CHED Jespersen Show Interviews Jessica Ernst on her Supreme Court of Canada Hearing vs AER & Dr. Jeffrey Gu on the 4.8M Earthquake at Fox Creek, Alberta (day of Ernst’s Supreme Court Hearing)

2015 08 10: Fox Creek: Yet another earthquake in AER’s deregulated blanket approval frac experiment. Fracking-Related Earthquakes Could Ding Credit Quality

2015 07 25: Fox Creek Mayor Jim Ahn rightfully worried about frac quakes harming sour gas infrastructure in the community. How much damage have the quakes already caused sour gas wellbores and pipelines?

2015 07 17: AER Frac Pilot Project: Earthquakes, tax increases, water restrictions, double homicide, spills and accidents shake Alberta town’s faith in fracking; Aging sour facilities in deregulated Fox Creek a big worry for council; AER’s FracQuake Red Light stops Chevron only 16 days; Families moving out

2015 06 16: Do we need another “independent” frac study? The AER asks: How far do we go? Fox Creek residents react to the latest 4.4 Magnitude quake

2015 06 14: Chevron reported 3.6 magnitude event; Shut down by AER. Is the AER’s Frac Quake Stop Light System Irrelevant? Another 4.4 Magnitude Earthquake at Fox Creek


Fox Creek’s Water Tower mural, funded by frac quake shaker Chevron
Complete with frac quake crack damage imagery?

2015 02 20: Fox Creek frac quakes make AER play deregulation with you and your loved ones: “Red Light = Green Light”

2015 02 02: Fracking Quakes Pose Added Risks but Oil and Gas Companies Refuse to Share their Collected Seismic Data. “In low seismic environments like Fox Creek where the natural earthquakes are infrequent, the hazards from an induced seismic event can exceed the hazards from a natural source”

2015 01 31: Fracing Record Breaking Quaking at Fox Creek Alberta?

2015 01 29: Did Alberta Just Break a Fracking Earthquake World Record with 4.4 Temblor at Fox Creek? Sounds of Silence: The Crooked Lake Earthquakes

For years industry and fracking experts argued the technology wouldn’t cause quakes that could be felt on the surface.

But specialists in earthquake hazards such as Gail Atkinson, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Induced Seismicity Hazards at Ontario’s Western University, argued the opposite.

“I have consistently maintained this kind of thing can happen,” said Atkinson. “With fracking, the magnitudes have been increasing every year.”

Natural Resources Canada reported a swarm of at least 15 earthquakes this January west of Fox Creek in a region where Encana, Talisman, Apache, Chevron Canada and ExxonMobile intensified the drilling and fracking of two-kilometre-long horizontal wells nearly a year ago.

The companies are cracking rock in the unconventional Duvernay shale at a depth of 3,000 metres in order to extract condensates, a product typically worth more than oil and used to dilute heavy bitumen for pipeline transport.

An investigation by Atkinson last year into a related swarm of 25 small earthquakes in the same area ranging in magnitude from 2.5 to 3.5 between 2013 and 2014 found that the events also corresponded “closely to hydraulic fracture treatments of oil and gas production wells in the immediate vicinity.”

Last Friday’s shaker

Since Dec. 2014, a second swarm of earthquakes has rattled the region within a 50-kilometre radius of the community of Fox Creek, an oil and gas town with a population of 2,000 people in northern Alberta. The community is about 260 kilometres north of Edmonton.

The largest Fox Creek quake registered 4.4 magnitude and caused walls to shake and beds to move. It became the source of constant social chatter on Friday, Jan. 23.

“When we hit a magnitude of 3.8 this month, I’d thought for sure that the industry would stop and take a smoke break to figure out what’s going on,”said 57-year-old Barb Ryan, a Fox Creek resident who has been keeping an eye on resource development. “But they didn’t. Many are in denial here.”

Ryan has pressed for more transparent monitoring over the fracking industry’s growing impacts on water, air and public health, but said she has faced resistance from local authorities. (She also graphed the Fox Creek swarms using coordinates from Natural Resources Canada.)

2015 01 29 AER Map Fox Creek blanket approval play with quakes plotted by CATalyzethis.ca

The earthquakes have mostly taken place in the province’s first “play based regulation pilot,” a geographical area where the regulator has given blanket approval to the development of the formation as opposed to approving one well at a time. The Alberta Energy Regulator says the strategy “results in regulatory efficiencies,” but critics call it a new form of deregulation.

Ryan said that most people in Fox Creek know little to nothing about the first or second earthquake swarm, because there has been no public reporting on the events.

To recognize the risk of earthquake hazards in Alberta might put livelihoods on the line and businesses at risk, she said. “Cognitive dissonance prevents some communities from admitting or even discussing the resource industry’s impacts. The topic is very divisive.”

Many Alberta geologists did not answer Tyee queries on the earthquake swarms.

Based on public data from Natural Resources Canada, Ryan estimates the region around Fox Creek has recorded approximately 94 small quakes since 1990.

“We’ve had more than 70 of those quakes since Dec. 2013,” she said. “We once averaged zero to three quakes a year.

Since the initial swarm, we’ve averaged zero to four quakes a day.”

Rise of ‘man-made’ quakes

Overwhelming scientific evidence from the U.S. Geological Survey now shows that the fracking industry and its need for huge wastewater disposal wells have fostered unprecedented “man-made earthquakes” in the eastern and central U.S. In the process the industry has rewritten seismic records in Ohio, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas.

Some experts now argue that man-made industry quakes are more dangerous than natural ones. 

Western University’s Atkinson said that “the hazards may be significant, depending on the proximity of infrastructure, and should be carefully evaluated… the hazard is concentrated close to the activity [within about five kilometres], because the motions die off with distance.”

Added Atkinson: “The earthquake hazard from induced seismicity in places like Alberta where seismicity is being triggered is greater than the natural earthquake hazard… it will take regulators in the United States and Canada a while to figure this out.”

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