Frackquakes new Texas normal.
Thank you fracking: frackquakes new Texas normal.
What’s undisputable, however, is a new reality for Texans. They need to understand that “some parts of Texas are in earthquake country now,” Mark Peterson, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Modeling Project, told the Dallas Morning News. Source
Some people (generally those who don’t live near it) love fracking. Everyone hates frackquakes. This fact creates a big problem for industry and their PR flacks.
Industry and Fracking’s Joe Camel, are desperate to keep people and the media from connecting fracking with frackquakes. Their reasoning is similar to this: Guns don’t kill people, bullets do.
Despite Joe’s efforts, neither the media nor the public is buying that tortured logic. CNN: What’s causing Texas earthquakes? Fracking ‘most likely,’ report says. CNN means you’ve lost.
Even scientists who support fracking because they get money from industry know frackquakes follow fracking and one frackquake leads to more and likely bigger frackquakes.
“I don’t think any of us was surprised by Thursday’s event,” says DeShon [SMU’s Heather DeShon, associate professor of geophysics]. “There have been a series of magnitude 3 and greater earthquakes in the Johnson County area. If you have movement on a fault and change the stresses, you increase the likelihood of additional earthquakes. In other words, one earthquake frequently leads to another.” Source
I don’t believe that one thing always leads to another. Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss. But fracking leads to massive amounts of waste that requires disposal which leads to frackquakes. There are important laws in the natural world.
“The First Law of Ecology: Everything Is Connected to Everything Else….The Second Law of Ecology: Everything Must Go Somewhere…. The Third Law of Ecology: Nature Knows Best…. The Fourth Law of Ecology: There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. ~Barry Commoner
Friday the internets were buzzing with photos of Commissioner Ryan Sitton in a hardhat doing well inspections in Mansfield. These inspections were in response to concern about well casing integrity following the M40 frackquake in Venus and near Mansfield.
The Dallas Morning News wrote this on thescoopblog:
Meanwhile the Railroad Commission of Texas is out inspecting gas wells to make sure last night’s quake didn’t damage them.
Railroad commissioner Ryan Sitton and four crews from the RCT are inspecting wells in the vicinity of last night’s quake. The primary goal is to check for damage. “Everything appears to be in fantastic shape,” Sitton says. “Everything looks perfect.”
We don’t expect thorough reporting on the scoopblog like we do in a regular news story. But, had they inquired about the extent of the inspection program and how long it would take, it might have reduced my email load.
Skeptics filled my inbox with emails bearing subjects like: photo op, media stunt and frakquakes smoke screen.
Excerpt from one such email:
I smell photo op bullshit.They would have to inspect 100’s of wells from the epicenter radius to get to Mansfield’s wells — it would take a week. They probably hit just a few for photos and then went over to shake hands with Lindsay.
No worries #txlege. See how we’re inspecting shit in this pic! “Is it leaking Bob?” Bob taps gauge… Okay, let’s go to Hooters.
M4.0 is a magic number for frackquakes. Even the skeptics agree that frackquakes of this magnitude can cause structural damage. There are about 20,000 wells in North Texas with cement casing that is subject to structural damage. Only last year did the Railroad Commission make a new casing rule that requires a whole, entire 3/4″ of cement to protect our water in the upper part of the well. The lower part is a whole, entire 1/2″.
Unless they check pressure on all the wells this is nothing but a frackquakes smoke screen stunt provided by the Railroad Commission.
Fracking hopeful skeptics
The hopefuls also sent me email with subjects like: They are shutting down injection wells!!! And injection wells to be shut down!!! They included a link to a news article titled: Disposal well operators near quake to stop operations. Update with another misleading headline.
I hate to be the turd in the fracking hopeful punchbowl but…
- They are only doing a test and will stop injection temporarily during the test–like 24 hours, maybe. This is a good thing but it’s not a shut down.
- Fracking produces MASSIVE amounts of waste.–1.2 barrels for every foot drilled according to the API. You do the math. MASSIVE is an understatement.
- Even if they shut down an injection well permanently, the problem is not solved. As fracking continues and expands, and it will expand dramatically if THIS happens, more waste is produced. That waste exists and it has to go someplace.
- Sadly, injection is currently the best option for fracking waste.
- As injection continues the frackquakes will increase in frequency and magnitude.
We’ve been warned to expect bigger frackquakes.
Professor testifies saying that Texas is trending toward stronger quakes #txlege #TXHouseEnergyResources
— Lon Burnam (@LonBurnam) May 4, 2015
USGS regarding the M4.0 frackquake.
“I’m not at all surprised to read about an event of that magnitude occurring,” said Art McGarr, a USGS seismologist in Menlo Park, Calif. “That area has had quite a few induced earthquakes. There are a lot of wastewater disposal wells near there that have been injecting quite substantial amounts of wastewater from unconventional energy production.” Source
Frackquakes new economic stimulus plan!
Here’s a new product available to Texans to help deal with this sad fact: Frackquakes new Texas Normal.
HURRY!!! Supplies are limited!!!
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Alberta Neighbor says
I think Texas is in for a shit storm, and Steve Everley is irrelevant.
Oil and gas induced seismicity, by any other name, is still oil and gas induced seismicity.
“Seismic events induced by well completions, production and wastewater injection.
At-risk oil and gas operations activities:
– Salt water disposal
– Hydraulic fracturing
– Carbon sequestration
– Enhanced oil recovery”
And, the “common side effects” are the same, regardless of the industry experiment – so they’d better be out checking those abandoned and suspended wells too.
“Wellbore damage may be a common side effect of induced seismicity, leading to:
– Contamination of shallow aquifers
– Production loss along damaged well bores
– Loss of reservoir isolation
Monitoring and controlling induced seismicity in operations can help mitigate this risk.”
Since the oil and gas induced earthquakes are increasing in frequency and magnitude in Texas, and everywhere else it seems (we just had a 4.4M frac quake here in Alberta after more than 200 smaller ones), I’m going to add another really obvious “turd in the fracking hopeful punchbowl”; not much “monitoring and controlling” of oil and gas induced earthquakes goin’ on – if any. What a shit-show.
ps. Would love one of those portable door frames. Maybe they could “jazz” it up a bit and add a little fan to expel the radon that’s coming through it?
“Another major U.S. health study has found that the hydraulic fracking of unconventional rock formations can liberate and accelerate the release of radon, a highly carcinogenic gas.
… The mechanism for releasing radon into the atmosphere in fracked landscapes may be similar to that caused by earthquakes … Atmospheric levels of radon will typically increase fivefold prior to an earthquake due to stress changes in rock which, in turn, opens new fractures and pathways to the surface.”
The door thing might be a scam. 😉
Alberta Neighbor says
Darn. I was just thinking if they made it round and added some holy-shit handles, we wouldn’t have to be stuck in one spot … nevermind.
like that idea!
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma: