Frackquakes are a major public safety issue.
Bridge inspectors are checking recently built bridges for damage from earthquakes. The article says they haven’t found any damage but they might have missed this little bridge at the epicenter of the M3.1 frackquake that happened during the ladies golf tournament in Irving.
This past week the Railroad Commission ignored SMU’s peer-reviewed science and ruled that XTO’s injection well in Azle was not responsible for causing the earthquakes there.
SMU’s research found that XTO’s injection well was the “most likely” cause of the earthquakes.
At the Railroad Commission hearing, XTO’s lawyers and experts spent hours poking holes in the SMU research. SMU scientists elected not to participate in the hearing; no one showed up to defend their work. WFAA
It was another Kabuki hearing where no one was there to represent the public because SMU researchers failed to appear.
Understandably, Irving residents are not feeling hopeful about getting answers despite SMU’s stated commitment to the Irving earthquake study. Frackquakes are a major public safety issue. What’s the point in doing the science if you aren’t willing to defend it so it can be used to protect the public?
More fracking will lead to more frackquakes.
There is an intense push by industry to export domestic, fracked oil and gas and this will only lead to more of the many fracking impacts including frackquakes. Here’s what they have planned for Texas.
Exports will require more fracking. As depicted in the above map, the U.S. plans on 33 LNG export sites which will require an unthinkable increase in fracking.
B.C. is planning on 5 LNG export sites. The Oil and Gas Commission in B.C. has stated that LNG exports could cause “FIVE times as many fracking-caused earthquakes.”
In order to meet the province’s highest estimate of five terminals delivering 82 million tonnes of LNG a year, drilling would have to increase five-fold by 2020 — up to 2,100 wells per year, he said.
“If five terminals get built, get ready for some unavoidable seismic activity. I don’t think there’s any way you can stop it,” he said. “It’s just the cost of doing business.” The Star
Researchers are still determining the cause of a recent M4.6 frackquake in Canada, but fracking injection and not fracking waste injection was the cause of last year’s M4.4.
The commission has, however, confirmed that Progress Energy triggered a 4.4 magnitude tremor last August — among the largest caused by the industry in Canada. The Star
SMU researchers say that Dallas should prepare for larger frackquakes.
“We do need to keep in mind there could be larger earthquakes and think about how we might prepare for that.”
“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
Who profits? Who pays?
In the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil “must compensate homeowners for declines in the value of their properties because of earthquakes linked to production at Europe’s largest gas field, the Groningen field.” These quakes are caused by extraction not fracking. Source
Earthquakes from extraction are quite common. SMU’s research found that “wastewater injection and saltwater extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause” of the quakes in Azle and Reno. Source Researchers had similar findings about the earthquakes in the Eagle Ford Shale.
To shake things up a bit.
Industry painfully stretches logic by demanding that fracking injection is innocent and only fracking waste injection is to blame for frackquakes. There are many examples of fracking injection induced quakes but it’s important to have fun at every possible opportunity.
Calling @saeverley: #Fracking (by your cramped definition) definitively identified as cause of serious #earthquakehttp://t.co/I2pTBSp93Y
— EARTHWORKS (@Earthworks) August 26, 2015
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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Those SMU folks were smart in not going to the RRC. The RRC does everything it can to defend the O&G companies–and nothing will ever change.
Smart? It’s way past time we should be letting the industry win by default. You say “nothing will ever change.” That’s the attitude that means nothing ever WILL change. Things MUST change. SMU and the USGS or any scientists who have done extensive research about our earthquakes or any of it should show up to defend their work. If they were encouraged “Not” to attend, then we should know who encouraged them. There are not enough opportunities for public hearings with the Railroad Commission that have to do with all this “new” and “flawed” drilling technology in our state. It’s all very disappointing.