New news or old? Frac’ing, not waste injection, causing earthquakes in Western Canada. Diana Daunheimer calls out U of Calgary’s David Eaton: “So why are you getting the details on this issue so very wrong Mr. Eaton?”

BEATING A DEAD HORSE? SETTING THE STAGE TO BLAME NATURE?

Fracking earthquakes are rare, isolated events, says B.C. Oil and Gas Commission, Less than 1% of fracking wells directly trigger earthquakes, says recent report by Wanyee Li, March 31, 2016, CBC News

Earthquakes from fracking are rare and usually not felt, says the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission, in response to a report released last week that show a definite link between hydraulic fracturing and large earthquakes.

The report says 90 per cent of all large earthquakes with a magnitude larger than 3.0 in northeastern B.C are linked to fracking. It is simply a matter of time before a fracking-triggered earthquake causes damage, said one of the report’s lead authors.

Fracking triggers 90% of large quakes in B.C., Alberta oil and gas patch
However, the report also said less than one percent of fracking wells directly trigger earthquakes. That’s the piece of information the oil and gas industry is highlighting.

“These are isolated events, they’re rare events. It’s very rare that they are ever felt at surface,” said Ken Paulson, chief operating officer for the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission.

Mitigating risks

Any wells that cause a 4.0 magnitude or larger earthquake must shut down and implement measures that mitigate the risk for another earthquake, said Paulson.

“You can reduce the pressures or you can reduce the pump rates,” he said. [Neither pressure nor quantity have reportedly been correlated to the quakes, which can happen hours, days even weeks after a frac. AND REDUCING PRESSURES OR RATES DOESN’T MITIGATE GAS MIGRATION FROM CASING AND FORMATION DAMAGES CAUSED BY THE QUAKES, EVEN THOSE NOT FELT!]

Alternatively, well operators can choose to avoid the fault altogether. [ VOLUNTARY “best frac quake practice?”]

“If it looks like you’ve intersected a fairly large fault, then what you can do is just skip that stage and move on to other stages. So avoiding the fault and avoiding any further movement on the fault.” [Because x-ray vision is now standard qualification requirement for frac’ers?  Or, cross your fingers, move along a few meters, try again? Another VOLUNTARY “best practice?”]

The oil and gas commission will continue to work with researchers to monitor seismic activity in the area, said Paulson.

The commission has worked with researchers to install nine new seismic detection centres in northeastern B.C. in recent years, he said. There are now 11 detection centres in the region, allowing the industry to keep better track of earthquakes.

“We’re very comfortable that hydraulic fracturing is conducted every day safely here in British Columbia and can continue to be,” said Paulson.

With files from CBC Radio’s The Early Edition [Emphasis added]

Fracking only one factor in cause of earthquakes: survey by Chase Charney, March 31, 2016, Energetic City
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — According to the Geological Survey of Canada, new research confirms there is a firm link between fracking and nearly every large induced earthquake recorded in oil patches in B.C. and Alberta.

90 per cent of quakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher are said to have been caused by companies fracking for oil and gas.

That said, considering there are many operational fracking wells across the provinces, research also indicates less than one per cent directly caused earthquakes.

Moving forward the organizations says work needs to be done on precisely what other factors aside from fracking specifically create earthquakes.

Scientist Honn Kao says blame cannot be placed strictly on fracking when it comes to big quakes.

Data was based off of 25 years worth of information from over 12,200 fractured oil and gas wells, and 1,000 waste disposal wells. [Emphasis added]

Quakes from fracking on the rise in Canada by Mike Soraghan, March 30, 2016, E&E News
While man-made earthquakes in the central United States have been linked to disposal of drilling wastewater, a new paper links a growing pattern of quakes in western Canada to the specific practice of hydraulic fracturing. [Companies, quake experts and the regulators in BC and Alberta already concluded years ago, fracing was to blame for the frac quakes]

A team of scientists from Canadian universities and government agencies compared earthquakes in a broad swath of western Canada to “fracked” oil and gas wells and found a strong correlation.

“In western Canada,” the study said, “most recent cases of induced seismicity are highly correlated in time and space with hydraulic fracturing.”

Their paper, being published today online [Which did not happen! Why are the press reporting this lie?] in the journal Seismological Research Letters, linked quakes to 39 fracked wells in the foothills region of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.

2016 03 31 Journal Seismological Letters did NOT publish frack quake paper, as reported by media in Canada, and US

Snap of the journal’s currently available issue’s Table of Contents was taken March 31, 2016, and was the same on March 29 and 30.

They also correlated seismicity linked to disposal operations, but that trend has remained steady in recent years. The number of quakes linked to fracking has shot up significantly.

The earthquakes in the United States linked to fracturing have been relatively weak, usually barely strong enough to be felt. But quakes linked to fracking in Canada have been as strong as magnitude 4.6. [Correction, strongest so far, world record frac quake, 4.8 M January 12, 2016, day of the Ernst vs AER Supreme Court of Canada hearing, in Fox Creek]

Scientists have known for decades that injection of any industrial wastewater deep underground can cause earthquakes. Oil and gas production accounts for the largest volume of waste fluid disposed of in this way.

In the United States, scientists have documented a startling rise in earthquakes in oil and gas production areas, particularly Oklahoma (EnergyWire, March 8). But they’ve linked most of the quakes large enough to be felt or cause damage to disposal operations. They have frequently been frustrated that many people insist on saying that those quakes are associated with hydraulic fracturing (EnergyWire, June 10, 2015). [Would there be the phenomenal amount of toxic waste to inject, if there was no brute force ignorant hydraulic fracturing?]

But there have been documented cases of hydraulic fracturing itself causing earthquakes, particularly in Ohio and Oklahoma (EnergyWire, Oct. 31, 2014).

The study was done by scientists from Western University in Canada, the University of Calgary, the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission and the Alberta Geological Survey.

They looked at a 175,000-square-mile area in western Canada with 12,289 fracked wells. The area has had about 240 earthquakes in the last 30 years. But the rate has shot upward in the past five years as oil development has accelerated, driven by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

The team screened for quakes that happened within 12 miles of a fracked well, within three months of the frack job. They correlated 39 fracked wells with earthquakes.

From 1985 to 2015, there were 258 quakes in the study area greater than magnitude 3. The researchers determined that 21 were natural. The rest are believed to have been triggered by disposal or hydraulic fracturing.

“In the second part of the period — 2010-2015 — the fractions shift increasingly to [hydraulic fracturing],” said lead author Gail Atkinson of Western University.

Fracking, the paper says, can trigger an earthquake in two ways. The fracture created by the process can reach a fault, causing it to slip. Or, if the fracture doesn’t reach a fault, it could still change underground pressures on a fault enough to trigger it.

While the proportion of fracked wells linked to earthquakes is small — less than 1 percent — the paper says there’s still a hazard because thousands of wells are being fracked each year. And buildings in the area haven’t been built to withstand earthquakes, because it hasn’t been considered a quake-prone area.

“The likelihood of damaging earthquakes and their potential consequences needs to be carefully assessed when planning HF [hydraulic fracturing] operations in this area,” the study says.

The scientists note that their findings clash with numerous studies in the United States that have linked seismic swarms to disposal. But they say the studies finding the hazard from fracking to be negligible might need to be re-examined.

It’s possible that more quakes are linked to hydraulic fracturing than they realize, but the evidence has been masked by the flood of disposal-linked quakes.

The study says that scientists may have been underestimating the potential strength of the earthquakes, by saying the relatively low fluid volumes keep them small. But the study found that some fracking-related quakes have exceeded the models used to make that point. Instead, the study says, the size of the quake might be determined by the size of the fault it ruptures.

“We expect that more earthquakes will occur, at least in some areas,” the study said, “and their maximum magnitudes may exceed the values observed to date.”

[Emphasis added]

OLD NEWS MASQUERADING AS NEW TO DISTRACT CANADIAN MEDIA FROM REPORTING ON THE DAMNING STUDY RELEASED TODAY BY DIGIULIO AND JACKSON, CONFIRMING THAT ENCANA CONTAMINATED THE DRINKING WATER AQUIFER AT PAVILLION WYOMING?

Journal of Seismological Research Letters did not publish the new, but not new, paper online today, March 29, 2016, as reported in the media.

2016 03 29 Seismological Letters Did not publish online, the 'new' not new frac quake paper by Gail Atkinson et al

2016 03 29: The Bie Lie Unravels: Scientists Digiulio & Jackson Slam EPA For “Walking Away” From Pavillion Frac Pollution Study in 2011 (Alberta regulators, gov’t walked from Rosebud frac pollution in 2008, never enforced Encana’s 2004 law violations), Encana’s fracking contaminated underground water reservoirs in Wyoming, finds study by former EPA scientist who led preliminary investigation. EPA never followed up

2016 03 29: New peer-reviewed published paper by Digiulio & Jackson, Pavillion Wyoming aquifers contaminated by fracking: Only one industry is allowed to inject toxic chemicals into underground sources of drinking water – hydraulic fracturing

2016 03 29: How creative will frac fraud get? Wyoming regulator hires Canadian frac patent holder Maurice Dusseault (why?), Blames nature, Copy cats Alberta regulators, gov’t, Research Council (now Alberta Innovates), Ignores red flag indicators of petroleum industry contamination, Ignores that Encana frac’d drinking water aquifers like Encana did at Rosebud

Fracking linked to 90 per cent of seismic activity in B.C. & Alberta: Study by Dan Fumano, March 29, 2016, The Province

… For the report, in the May-June edition of Seismological Research Letters, the team of 13 scientists surveyed seismic activity between 1985 and 2015 in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), an area of 454,000 square kilometres near the border between Alberta and B.C., and looked at 12,289 fracking wells and 1,236 waste-water disposal wells.

“There’s been this growing tide over the last few years” of one-off reports linking an earthquake with fracking activity, she said, but this new report puts them “all together in a more systematic way.”

– Western University professor of geophysics Gail M. Atkinson

Comment by Diana Daunheimer to the article below:

“There’s a mixture of science and the whole social-political aspect of this.”

You bet there is Mr. Eaton! Of critical importance is that the political, social, synergy and funding aspects of the oil and gas industry greatly degrades the science and dissemination of factual information and regulations. Wouldn’t you agree?

How long has industry actually known, but vehemently denied hydraulic fracturing causes seismicity? Likely decades, since at least 1985.

“Fracking involves pumping high-pressure fluids underground to create tiny cracks in rock to release natural gas or oil”

Fracking also involves high pressure gas completions as well. Cracks are not always tiny, some fracs propagations have been logged (communicating with other wells bores) at over a kilometre in distance. The average propagation from industry records is approximately 200-400m. That’s some “tiny” crack, which then has the potential (which never existed prior to fracking the formation) to connect to a natural fracture, that may be tens or hundreds of kilometres in distance. Induced and unmanageable chaos.

“Alberta’s energy regulator has already changed regulations for the industry as a result of the Fox Creek earthquakes.”

Subsurface Order #2, which is the interim measure put in place by the AER to “regulate” seismic events, is only relevant to the Fox Creek play based pilot area. The ridiculous stop light system does not apply to any other area or operator in the province that is causing seismicity, such as is in operations around Rocky Mountain House and Cardston. The AER has only implemented regulations for a small portion of operators in a specific area, not the industy as a whole.

“Scientists are aware of the pressure they face getting the issue right, Eaton said.”

So why are you getting the details on this issue so very wrong Mr. Eaton?

Why not tell everyone about how the AER has swept all frac monitoring, previously reported by AGS, under their non-transparent, 100% industry funded, corporate regulatory system?

***

SOME BACKGROUND ON ACADEMIA BOUGHT BY OIL AND GAS IN ALBERTA, NOTABLY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY:

2012: Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources A California Perspective

The most memorable moment was when Dr. John Cherry, the renowned hydrogeologist from the University of Guelph, characterized the activities in the U.S. as a grand experiment with no proper scientific research on the effects of hydrofracturing on the environment. He challenged the funding mechanisms for such research in the U.S. because of the ties between universities and industry (or other parties), and indicated that the U.S. would be better off with a funding system similar to that in Canada, where the funding is not similarly tied and thus scientific research can proceed relatively unencumbered. [There isn’t time to keep current this oil patch university graft list:

Cenovus, Syncrude and Suncor and other oil and gas companies “helping draft” curriculum for students from kindergarten to Grade 12

Cenovus donates $1.5 million to Lakeland College

Talisman pledges $1.25 M to Mount Royal University, Alberta

Burning Waters: UVic Partner’s environmental record questioned

Encana donates $1.5 Million to Mount Royal University

EnCana donates $7.5 Million to the University of Alberta

Cenovus donates $3 Million to the University of Alberta

University of Calgary Prostitutes Itself To Big Oil & Gas

EnCana to donate $1 Million to the University of Calgary

Encana donates $1 million to Red Deer College

EnCana $1 Million donation to University of Calgary questioned as company awaits energy decision

Million-dollar Nexen donation to Mount Royal University to benefit future journalists, educators

Imperial Oil donates $1 Million to Mount Royal University

Cenovus donates $3 Million to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Is the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology overflowing with oil money?

ConocoPhillips Canada supports University of Lethbridge and places students

Trican Donates $5 million for cancer research at the University of Calgary

Trican donates $5 Million to Fight Chidhood Cancer and for research at the University of Calgary

Enbridge donates 1.2 million to the University of Calgary, research chair first of its kind dedicated to holistic cancer care

EnCana donates $50,000 to Northern Medical Program Trust

Enbridge Donates $500,000 to the Alberta School of Business

June 2013 Cenovus 3 million endowment to University of Alberta to assess energy and environmental options for industry and government ]

Fracking, not water disposal, behind earthquakes, says new study by Bob Webber, The Canadian Press, March 29, 2016, The Calgary Herald

New research suggests that hydraulic fracking of oil and gas wells is behind earthquakes caused by humans in Western Canada.

A study, published Tuesday by a group of top Canadian researchers, says problems in Alberta and British Columbia aren’t being caused by injecting waste water underground. It’s a major step in understanding seismic events that have already led to changed regulations in Alberta and caused public concern in both provinces.

“It’s critical that we get to a complete scientific understanding of the issue,” said David Eaton, a University of Calgary geophysicist and a co-author of the study.

Fracking involves pumping high-pressure fluids underground to create tiny cracks in rock to release natural gas or oil. Scientists had previously concluded that oilpatch activity can cause earthquakes by making it easier for faults in underground rock to slip, but they didn’t know whether the Canadian quakes were caused by fracking or by the disposal of waste water by injecting it back underground.

Public interest has been high, especially after a tremblor in January shook pictures on the walls of homes in Fox Creek, Alta., a community in the centre of the Duvernay oil and gas field. Measuring between 4.2 and 4.8 on the Richter scale, the quake was the largest of hundreds of similar shakers around the community since 2013.

Eaton and his colleagues began with a database of more than 12,000 fracked and disposal wells drilled between 1985 and 2015. They cross-referenced that with another database of seismic events over that time.

A complex statistical analysis pinned the blame convincingly on fracking and not disposal, Eaton said.

“There are more earthquakes in Western Canada that are more related to hydraulic fracturing than waste-water injection by a factor of about two.”

Eaton said the situation is reversed in the United States, where waste-water disposal is considered to be behind most human-caused seismic activity.

That doesn’t mean that a lot of wells cause earthquakes. Eaton calculates that about 0.3 per cent of fracked wells create problems.

But there are enough wells drilled for even that tiny fraction to be a concern.

“Even at 0.3 per cent, because of the very large number of hydraulically fractured wells, it still represents an issue that is of high priority to address scientifically,” said Eaton.

Alberta’s energy regulator has already changed regulations for the industry as a result of the Fox Creek earthquakes. Eaton said regulators in British Columbia are also considering changes.

“The regulators have been quite responsive.” [!!!!!!!!]

Eaton suggested his findings raise questions about how well the geology of heavily fracked oilfields in Alberta and British Columbia is understood.

“The occurrences in Canada have come as a surprise — in some cases to industry — because there was a belief that all the potential faults had been identified,” he said. “One of the things we’re actively researching is to find new and better ways to identify these features.

“We’re looking for the signature of critically stressed faults in new and different ways.”

Scientists are aware of the pressure they face getting the issue right, Eaton said. [To ensure their “science” fits industry’s pro-profit, anti-environment, anti-people, anti-regulation, anti-duty of care, anti-enforcement, anti-accountability?] agenda?

“There’s a mixture of science and the whole social-political aspect of this.” [Emphasis added]

Fracking, not disposal, behind human-caused earthquakes in western Canada: study by Bob Weber The Canadian Press, March 29, 2016, Global News

EDMONTON – New research suggests that hydraulic fracking of oil and gas wells is behind human-caused earthquakes in western Canada.

The study, published Tuesday by a group of top Canadian researchers, concluded that it isn’t injecting wastewater underground that’s causing problems in Alberta and British Columbia — a major step in understanding seismic events in those provinces that have already changed regulations and caused public concern.

“It’s critical that we get to a complete scientific understanding of the issue,” said David Eaton, a University of Calgary geophysicist and a co-author of the study.

… Public interest in the issue has been high, especially after an event in January shook pictures on the walls of homes in Fox Creek, Alta., a community in the centre of the Duvernay oil and gas field. Measuring between a 4.2 and 4.8 magnitude, that quake was the largest of hundreds of similar shakers around the community since 2013.

Eaton and his colleagues began with a database of more than 12,000 fracked and disposal wells drilled between 1985 and 2015. They cross-referenced that with another database of all seismic events over that time.

A complex statistical analysis pinned the blame convincingly on fracking and not disposal, Eaton said.

“There are more earthquakes in western Canada that are more related to hydraulic fracturing than wastewater injection by a factor of about two.”

Eaton said that’s the reverse of the situation in the United States, where wastewater disposal is considered to be behind most human-caused seismicity.

That doesn’t mean that a lot of wells cause earthquakes. Eaton calculates that about .3 per cent of fracked wells create problems.

But there are enough wells drilled for even that tiny fraction to be a concern.

“Even at .3 per cent, because of the very large number of hydraulically fractured wells, it still represents an issue that is of high priority to address scientifically,” said Eaton.

Alberta’s energy regulator has already changed its regulations for the industry as a result of the Fox Creek earthquakes. [But, the AER’s puny and weak changes are ineffective, they did not prevent the January 12, 2016 4.8 M frac quake.] Eaton said regulators in British Columbia are also considering changes.

“The regulators have been quite responsive,” he said. [Really?]

Watch below: Alberta energy regulator brings in new rules to try to prevent fracking-related earthquakes

2016 03 29 Global news clip on frack quakes study, Gail Atkinson, seismologist U Western Ontario

2016 03 29 Global news clip, Barb Ryan

Fox Creek citizen frack quake monitor, Barb Ryan

2016 03 29 Matt Brudzinski, seismologist on Ohio quakes

Eaton said his findings raise questions about how well the geology of heavily fracked oilfields in Alberta and British Columbia is understood.

“The occurrences in Canada have come as a surprise — in some cases, to industry — because there was a belief that all the potential faults had been identified,” he said. “One of the things we’re actively researching is to find new and better ways to identify these features.

“We’re looking for the signature of critically stressed faults in new and different ways.”

Eaton said scientists are aware of the pressure they face getting this issue right.

“There’s a mixture of science and the whole social-political aspect of this,” he said. [Emphasis added]

Fracking linked to 90 per cent of seismic activity in B.C. & Alberta: Study by Corey Lewandowski, March 29, 2016, Vancouver Sun

Scientists from the federal government, regulatory agencies and Canadian universities have unearthed a deeper understanding of the link between fracking and earthquakes in a major oil-and-gas-producing region of Western Canada.

A new report, set to be published in the journal of the Seismological Society of America, examines an area straddling the B.C.-Alberta border and finds that between 90 and 95 per cent of seismic activity Magnitude 3 or larger in the last five years was caused by oil and gas activity, with most of it linked to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

“The biggest implication of this study is that we can no longer deny the link between induced earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing,” said Honn Kao, an earthquake seismologist with the Geological Survey of Canada and co-author of the report.

Asked if more work is needed to better understand the link between seismic activity and resource extraction in Western Canada, Kao said: “The answer is definitely yes. [Really, or is that to ensure the frac harms continue – “frac ‘n track” as recommended by Dr. John Cherry and other frac-enabling “experts” across Canada?]

“We now know much more about induced seismicity than four years ago when our research project started. But we still have a long way to go before we can claim that the phenomenon is well-understood,” said Kao, a B.C.-based scientist with Natural Resources Canada, a federal government institution. [When your house is crumbling down around you and the road to your children’s school is not longer safely passable because of frac quakes getting bigger and bigger, and felt further and further away, do you care if pro-frac, industry enabling scientists understand frac quakes “well?”]

“Ultimately, we hope that our research results can provide observation-based results to regulators so that a good balance can be reached between the protection of public safety and environment, and the economic benefit of developing unconventional oil and gas resources,” he said. [Or for regulators to further deregulate and politicians to write new frac quake laws making it illegal for citizens harmed to sue the companies responsible?

Is Alberta next? West Virginia politicians vote in law to take away frac harmed citizens’ right to sue. Judge Derek Swope: “Would I want one of these wells next to my property? I live in the country on a rural road, and the answer is ‘no.’” ]

… For the report, in the May-June edition of Seismological Research Letters, the team of 13 scientists surveyed seismic activity between 1985 and 2015 in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), an area of 454,000 square kilometres near the border between Alberta and B.C., and looked at 12,289 fracking wells and 1,236 waste-water disposal wells.

The report notes that between 2010 and 2015, “both seismicity rates and the number of HF (fracking) wells rose sharply,” adding: “It is remarkable that, since 1985, most of the observed M ≥3 seismicity (activity of Magnitude 3 or greater) in the WCSB appears to be associated with oil and gas activity.”

Another co-author of the report was Dan Walker, senior petroleum geologist with the B.C. Oil & Gas Commission. Walker wasn’t available to speak Monday, but BCOGC spokesman Graham Currie answered questions by email, saying: “The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission has taken a leading role in the detection and mitigation of induced seismicity.”

There’s nothing to suggest increased oil and gas activity represents any elevated risk for the public, said Currie.

[BC Reality Check:

Jack Shawn Eyles, 28, from Kelowna BC, dies fracking in NE BC for Calfrac (Nitrogen Pumping Division) on Progress Energy Canada Ltd. Site: “Not an explosion as we usually think, but an explosive or sudden release of extremely high pressure” ]

He noted northeast B.C. doesn’t have a history of “high-magnitude events,” and added: “The commission has effective regulatory measures that apply to every well approved in northeast B.C. to ensure there is no risk to the safety of the public.”

The report’s lead author, Western University professor of geophysics Gail M. Atkinson, said it’s important to note that earthquakes triggered by fracking are localized within a few kilometres of drilling sites, which are usually in remote locations of the province, and people living in B.C.’s cities and towns aren’t at risk.

[Frac location reality check:

But, she added, the new findings “fundamentally change” our understanding of the seismic hazard in these regions, and could have significance for industry workplace safety, and could change seismic risk calculations for critical infrastructure such as bridges and dams. “Previous hazard assessments, essentially, are too low,” she said.

The report is “an important step,” Atkinson said, in understanding the link between fracking and seismic activity.

“There hasn’t been a comprehensive, statistical report of how many earthquakes are happening each year and what percentage of them are related to hydraulic fracturing,” she said.

“There’s been this growing tide over the last few years” of one-off reports linking an earthquake with fracking activity, she said, but this new report puts them “all together in a more systematic way.” [Emphasis added]

Study confirms link between fracking, earthquakes in Western Canada by Mark Hume, March 29, 2016, The Globe and Mail

New [??] research [summing up years old research??] has confirmed the link between fracking in the oil and gas fields of Western Canada and flurries of earthquakes that have been shaking the region.

… The link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes has been known [for years, and reported often officially by provincial and federal regulators], but the sweep of the research, published online on Tuesday in the journal Seismological Research Letters, makes the connection clearer and shows the lesser impact of wastewater disposal, long thought to be the major cause of seismic activity.

The BC Oil and Gas Commission says the research does not raise any safety concerns, but critics disagree.

“I am calling on both the government and the official opposition to join me in supporting a moratorium on horizontal fracking in British Columbia,” Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, [Synergy Alberta strikes again! Green Party is OK with industry harming innocent Canadian families and fresh water aquifers by vertical, slant, deviated high pressure fracing, notably directly into drinking water aquifers?] said in a statement Tuesday. “Other jurisdictions, like Quebec, New York, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, have already suspended the practice and B.C. should follow suit.”

… In northeast British Columbia, the number of earthquakes jumped from about 20 a year in 2002 to nearly 200 a year by 2011. … Graham Currie, a spokesman for the B.C. OGC, a provincial agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, said in an e-mail the new research only confirms what was already known.

“The report findings, showing a link between hydraulic fracturing and induced seismicity, have been well understood in British Columbia for the past four years,” Mr. Currie wrote, referring to a much smaller 2012 study that found some fracking operations had caused earthquakes in the Horn River Basin.

… “Mitigation measures are now in place, including new regulations that shut down industry operations if seismic activity reaches a certain threshold,” [But, lets companies resume after a few empty unenforceable promises are made] he said.

In British Columbia and Alberta, any earthquake of magnitude 4 or higher related to fracking triggers an immediate shutdown of operations until a management plan has been approved by regulators.

Although there has been one fracking-induced earthquake of 4.6 magnitude and one of 4.4 magnitude in British Columbia and two 4.4 magnitude quakes in Alberta in recent years, so far none has caused any damage. [Why is Mark Hume/the Globe and Mail leaving out the new world record frac quake of 4.8 M that Repsol admitted was caused by the company’s fracing in Fox Creek, an hour after the Ernst vs AER Supreme Court of Canada on January 12, 2016?]

But Ben Parfitt, a resource policy analyst for Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said it may only be a matter of time before a fracking earthquake does serious harm.

“The frightening thing about the linkages between these drilling and fracking activities and earthquakes is that the professionals who look at the industry and try and understand what is going on below the surface actually have no way of predicting what’s going to happen,” he said.

“People who are trying to understand what this brute-force technology is going to do can’t model it. And that is a significant concern,” Mr. Parfitt said. “Let’s consider where some of this fracking activity is happening. It’s taking place in close proximity to some very large earth-filled dams on systems like the Peace River.” [And are being felt hundreds of kilometres, from Ft. St. John to Pink Mountain in BC, and in Alberta from Fox Creek to St. Albert!]

Mr. Parfitt said he is worried because thousands of wells are projected to be drilled in the next few years and the operations are growing in magnitude.

“We know that seismic activity is occurring and that it’s getting worse because what’s happening with these frack jobs is that they are getting bigger,” he said. “There are big, big concerns about what this is going to mean.”

[Concern Alert: Frac Waste Quakes Make Time Magazine: The U.S.’s New Earthquake Capital: Oklahoma. “Some seismologists say that even if all disposal activity stopped in the state immediately, there could be earthquakes for decades.” ]

Robert Shcherbakov, associate professor at the University of Western Ontario and one of the co-authors of the study, which was done by federal, regulatory agency and university researchers, said it is difficult to assess the risk associated with fracking because only a small number of wells will trigger earthquakes, and it is impossible to predict which ones.

He said most the earthquakes occur in “several well-defined clusters:” the areas around Fox Creek, Rocky Mountain House and Brazeau River in Alberta and near Fort St. John in British Columbia. Those communities are all in the heartland of Western Canada’s oil and gas fields. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

2016: Ernst vs AER January 12, 2016 Supreme Court of Canada hearing followed by 4.8M quake in AER’s Immoral Blanket Approval Frac Experiment Gone Wild, felt in St. Albert, 260km away

2015 03 04: AER seismologist discusses the Fox Creek earthquakes with CBC Radio: 

“We just want to manage this so it doesn’t get any bigger,”

“We’re really trying to understand this.”

AER has been monitoring since 2008 and receiving near real-time data, from the area, since 2014. Therefore, AER was aware of all activity since the original swarm in 2013 and since. They did not inform nor take action until after the 4.4 mag event became public.

2014 06 09: St. Albert residents sitting on abandoned oil and gas wells

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 Chevron pays for water tower mural. Too bad the town had to haul water after frac’ing started, and some of the town’s water wells went dry

2015 Chevron funded Fox Creek water tower mural, did it make the cracks

Are those frac quake damages painted on the mural?

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

2015 Chevron funded Fox Creek water tower mural, did fracking crack it, w chevron logo

Fox Creek Water Tower, Mural paid by Chevron.

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

2016 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 28: Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says there’s no plan for broader review of safety of Alberta’s pipeline network. What will Fox Creek’s Mayor Ahn think of that?

2015 09 21: AER Responding to Encana Sour Gas Well Blowout in AER’s blanket approval, fracing free-for-all near Fox Creek. Was it caused by what Mayor Ahn fears? Fracquakes?

2015 09 22: AER & Encana Lying Update: Encana’s Deadly Sour Gas Blow Out at Fox Creek: Did Alberta’s Energy Minister lie for Encana & “No Duty of Care,” cover-up agent extraordinaire, the AER? ]

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