Skip to comments.Study discounts fracking as earthquake cause
Posted on 06/18/2012 9:28:57 AM PDT by thackney
The fracking drilling technique used to tap shale oil and gas is unlikely to trigger earthquakes, but underground injection of wastewater from drilling offers more risks for seismic activity, a new U.S. study said Friday.
The National Research Council study, which also examined the risk of earth-quakes associated with tap-ping geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage, found the total balance of fluid injected or removed underground was the biggest factor in causing earthquakes related to energy development.
"Although induced seismic events associated with these energy technologies have not resulted in loss of life or significant damage in the United States, some effects have been felt by local residents and have raised concern about additional seismic activity," the council said.
Researchers have known since the 1920s that injecting or withdrawing fluids from the ground could cause earth-quakes, the report said, but the issue has come to the fore in recent years as states such as Arkansas, Ohio and Texas experienced small tremors associated with wastewater disposal from oil and gas drilling.
Advances in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have dramatically increased oil and gas production from shale formations, but critics have charged that the drilling activity is polluting the water and air. Opponents of fracking have also raised concerns about possible earthquakes.
The game around here is to deliberately confuse injection wells with fracking.
Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies
In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention.
Although only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activities among the hundreds of thousands of energy development sites in the United States have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public, understanding the potential for inducing felt seismic events and for limiting their occurrence and impacts is desirable for state and federal agencies, industry, and the public at large. To better understand, limit, and respond to induced seismic events, work is needed to build robust prediction models, to assess potential hazards, and to help relevant agencies coordinate to address them.
Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies identifies gaps in knowledge and research needed to advance the understanding of induced seismicity; identify gaps in induced seismic hazard assessment methodologies and the research to close those gaps; and assess options for steps toward best practices with regard to energy development and induced seismicity potential.
In the media? exactly.
While related, as injection has increased as some of the hydraulic fracturing fluid is injected, it is not the cause.
Where the fluids are recycled, this is not an issue.
Wouldn’t it be better to have a bunch of small seismic events over time instead of one big event all at once?
I think so.
When we lived in Alaska the short 4~5 scale earthquakes seemed like pressure relievers to me.
The EPA now provides a room full of 14 year olds, with a “what if?” assignment and an adequate supply of pot, to develop their latest “scientific” theories.
The EPA uses these results to implement their next set of Federally imposed mandates, to further constrict American economic growth.
The local and national environmentalist groups have no problem with lying. They’ve gone so far as to claim that the drillers are pumping radioactive waste into the ground.
My favorite panic inducing claim is that the water being pumped into the ground will flash over to steam causing a massive steam explosion reminiscent of the yellowstone supervolcano. (Rock temps at the 2800 foot depth they’re pumping the water into are around 72 degrees in southern Michigan.
When are the grown-ups with an education going to start writing articles on this subject? Hydraulic fracturing is not a “drilling technique”, it’s a completion method/process that occurs after the drilling is done.
thackney, I know that you know what I just wrote but I just had to write something before my head exploded...
Fracking is saving the U.S. economy by providing cheap natural gas, and that wont be tolerated by the anti-U.S. “environmentalists.”
No problem. I’ve fought the same for years.
Not to mention the growing amount of US oil production.
For those who want to see how fracking works, here’s a short vidoe made by those who do itfor a living: http://www.northernoil.com/drilling