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Fracking causes earthquakes


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#1    jugoso

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:07 AM

Quote

The process, increasinvly being used by energy companies, involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to fracture rock to obtain oil and natural gas.

Posted Image Read more...
The U.S. Geological Survey is set to release its findings Wednesday that a "remarkable" increase of quakes in the U.S. midcontinent since 2001 is "almost certainly" the result of oil and gas production.

U.K. experts, meanwhile, point to a study released Monday that found recent earthquakes in northwest England were caused by fluid injection into a nearby fault zone as evidence fracking can be safe when conducted by responsible operators.

Uh-Oh!

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#2    Abramelin

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

View Postjugoso, on 18 April 2012 - 02:07 AM, said:

The U.S. Geological Survey is set to release its findings Wednesday that a "remarkable" increase of quakes in the U.S. midcontinent since 2001 is "almost certainly" the result of oil and gas production.

U.K. experts, meanwhile, point to a study released Monday that found recent earthquakes in northwest England were caused by fluid injection into a nearby fault zone as evidence fracking can be safe when conducted by responsible operators.

Uh-Oh!

Huh?

Shouldn't that last sentence run like this:

"U.K. experts, meanwhile, point to a study released Monday that found recent earthquakes in northwest England were caused by fluid injection into a nearby fault zone as evidence fracking can NOT be safe EVEN when conducted by responsible operators"


#3    BFB

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:33 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 18 April 2012 - 09:14 AM, said:

Huh?

Shouldn't that last sentence run like this:

"U.K. experts, meanwhile, point to a study released Monday that found recent earthquakes in northwest England were caused by fluid injection into a nearby fault zone as evidence fracking can NOT be safe EVEN when conducted by responsible operators"

Really bad journalisme.

The english study says fracking might have caused 2 earthquakes near Lancaster in North West England last year. However if tighter regulations and monitoring are applied you might be able to do it safe without causing earthqaukes.

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#4    questionmark

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:52 PM

Besides the fact that lately at some News Outlets the high-school intern gets to write the stories: If you take away something within the earth that will cause a cave to be left, and cave cause cave-ins and cave-ins tremors. The bigger the cave the bigger the earthquake. No matter how responsible the operation is conducted. That is true for mines, fracking and near to surface oil pumping.

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#5    Babe Ruth

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:43 PM

Interesting information, but not surprising.  :unsure2:

An Ohio study has suggested the same thing--fracking increases tremors.


#6    socrates.junior

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

Oh nice misleading title you got there. Fracking doesn't cause earthquakes, the injection of waste water does. Really, get your facts straight. Worst type of yellow journalism.

A geologist is a fault-finder.

#7    jugoso

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:17 PM

View Postsocrates.junior, on 19 April 2012 - 02:46 PM, said:

Oh nice misleading title you got there. Fracking doesn't cause earthquakes, the injection of waste water does. Really, get your facts straight. Worst type of yellow journalism.
It certainly is poorly written and confusing. If I understand the article correctly, it claims that the process of fracking  (blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to fracture rock) isn´t responsible for earthquakes but rather

"(earthquakes are) linked to the injection of wastewater produced during fracking back into the ground in order to dispose of it".

Then it further goes on to state

"a study released Monday that found recent earthquakes in northwest England were caused by fluid injection into a nearby fault zone as evidence fracking can be safe when conducted by responsible operators."

Mm-Kay.....a little confused here. :wacko:  Help anyone?

Hydraulic fracturing animation
http://www.cbc.ca/nb..._animation.html

Hydro Fracked Site vs. Propane Fracked Site
http://www.cbc.ca/nb...tated_site.html

So should I conclude from the article that propane fracking won´t cause earthquakes as no waste water will be produced??

Edited by jugoso, 19 April 2012 - 06:24 PM.

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#8    socrates.junior

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

I think the main conclusion is that hydrofracturing doesn't cause earthquakes, regardless of the spurious claim of the article. What is possibly linked, is the disposal of waste water by injecting it into the ground. There's a simple way to fix that...regulate the disposal of the waste water.

Not very hard.

A geologist is a fault-finder.

#9    jugoso

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

View Postsocrates.junior, on 19 April 2012 - 06:46 PM, said:

I think the main conclusion is that hydrofracturing doesn't cause earthquakes, regardless of the spurious claim of the article. What is possibly linked, is the disposal of waste water by injecting it into the ground. There's a simple way to fix that...regulate the disposal of the waste water.

Not very hard.
Ok. So it´s not all of the fissures enhanced by fracking that cause the earthquakes but rather returning the waste water into it that causes them. Not sure if I buy that one but I´ll accept it.

Still leaves one pretty big question:  what are they going to do with all the waste water?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates one well in a coal bed can require anywhere from 200,000 litres to more than 1 million litres while a horizontal well in a shale formation can use between 7.5 million to 19 million litres of water.

The New York Times collected data from more than 200 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania. Many of them are tapping into the Marcellus Shale, a vast underground rock formation. But a method being used to stimulate wells, called hydraulic fracturing, produces wastewater containing corrosive salts and radioactive and carcinogenic materials. In Pennsylvania, this wastewater has been sent through sewage treatment plants that cannot remove some of the contaminants before the water is discharged into rivers and streams that provide drinking water. The Times was able to map 149 of the wells.

See map:
http://www.nytimes.c...al-gas-map.html

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#10    Doug1o29

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 08:18 PM

View Postsocrates.junior, on 19 April 2012 - 06:46 PM, said:

I think the main conclusion is that hydrofracturing doesn't cause earthquakes, regardless of the spurious claim of the article. What is possibly linked, is the disposal of waste water by injecting it into the ground. There's a simple way to fix that...regulate the disposal of the waste water.

Not very hard.
A number of years ago the Rocky Mountain Arsenal tried to dispose of waste chemicals by injecting them into deep wells.  There were a large number of small earthquakes in the area.  Seismic studies showed they all occurred along a previously-unknown fault that the wells had accidently drilled into.  When they quit injecting stuff into the wells, the earthquakes stopped.  Apparently, the high-pressure injections lubricate the fault, allowing it to slip.

There is a proposal to release pressure on the San Andreas by injecting water into it.  That hasn't been done, though.  It's one thing if Ma Nature unleashes the Big One, quite another if the US govt does it.
Doug

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#11    JayMark

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:20 PM

View Postjugoso, on 19 April 2012 - 07:43 PM, said:

Ok. So it´s not all of the fissures enhanced by fracking that cause the earthquakes but rather returning the waste water into it that causes them. Not sure if I buy that one but I´ll accept it.

Still leaves one pretty big question:  what are they going to do with all the waste water?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates one well in a coal bed can require anywhere from 200,000 litres to more than 1 million litres while a horizontal well in a shale formation can use between 7.5 million to 19 million litres of water.

The New York Times collected data from more than 200 natural gas wells in Pennsylvania. Many of them are tapping into the Marcellus Shale, a vast underground rock formation. But a method being used to stimulate wells, called hydraulic fracturing, produces wastewater containing corrosive salts and radioactive and carcinogenic materials. In Pennsylvania, this wastewater has been sent through sewage treatment plants that cannot remove some of the contaminants before the water is discharged into rivers and streams that provide drinking water. The Times was able to map 149 of the wells.

See map:
http://www.nytimes.c...al-gas-map.html

The use of water by this industry is absolutely grotesque. As much as they use a crap load of it, 10 000 cubic meters in average per well, they also contaminate it with a lot of chemicals, some of which are highly toxic and reactive. Also it has been reported that only about 50% of it will eventually be recuperated.

Now comes the problem of dealing with this used water. I have worked in the domain and I can assure you that a normal sewage treatment plant will not effectively clear it especially if it is "treated" in a biological plant. It will only become dilluted like it was done with our biological waste in the past not to mention that it could very well affect the normal biological treatment to begin with that relies on bacterias that are, just like us, sensitive to toxins, variations in pH etc. Dillution is not a solution in such a case. Even an industrial waste water treatmend would most likely have to be adjusted in order to efficiently take away all the dangerous stuff out of it. Not every chemical is treated the same way in regards to removal. Normal plants are mostly already "adjusted" to the kind of water they usually treat. If you decide to treat a water with a very diffrent chemical composition, you need to rigourously analyse it and undergo the appropriate methods.

Mixing industrial waste water with biological waste water is already bad to begin with. It can result in the formation of dangerous by-products. Free chlorine for instance can react with organic compounds to form halocarbons. Maby not in this very case (it depends of the analysis report in regards to incoming used water) but it's just an example.

It has been suggested that there could be a link between hydrofracking and tremors and it wouldn't surprize me considering what is done. Although, I haven't jumped in it yet so I won't conclude yet on the how/what/when etc. I'll need to check what some more geologists have to say about it as well. Not only about the tremors but also the change in geological structure resulting from the activity as well. Sure thing is that I am against this activity. They are trying to go forward with their 20 000 well project in Québec but we are massively protesting against it and have given them trouble already. Thanks to PA people who have welcomed us twice when investigating on several aspects of this industry.

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#12    Doug1o29

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:10 PM

View PostJayMark, on 19 April 2012 - 09:20 PM, said:

The use of water by this industry is absolutely grotesque.
I had a pond poisoned by salt water leaking from a gas well.  Killed off all my fish.  That was ten years ago and the pond is just starting to recover.

A farmer I know lost several goats to a leaking arsenic well.  He didn't know what was causing it, so he called the County Agent who came out the next Monday and took samples.  These were analyzed on Tuesday.  The Corporation Commission was called.  On Wednesday, an engineer arrived and surveyed the well site.  On Thursday heavy equipment arrived, sealed the well, scooped up the contaminated soil and trucked it to a disposal site.  The site was regraded the next day and seeded.  He even got a check for the dead goats and lost milk production.  The Corporation Commission doesn't mess around.  That well was on the watershed for the Town of Yale (Jim Thorpe's hometown); it could have poisoned a lot of people.
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#13    JayMark

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:23 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 20 April 2012 - 01:10 PM, said:

I had a pond poisoned by salt water leaking from a gas well.  Killed off all my fish.  That was ten years ago and the pond is just starting to recover.

A farmer I know lost several goats to a leaking arsenic well.  He didn't know what was causing it, so he called the County Agent who came out the next Monday and took samples.  These were analyzed on Tuesday.  The Corporation Commission was called.  On Wednesday, an engineer arrived and surveyed the well site.  On Thursday heavy equipment arrived, sealed the well, scooped up the contaminated soil and trucked it to a disposal site.  The site was regraded the next day and seeded.  He even got a check for the dead goats and lost milk production.  The Corporation Commission doesn't mess around.  That well was on the watershed for the Town of Yale (Jim Thorpe's hometown); it could have poisoned a lot of people.
Doug

Sorry to hear that. But thanks for sharing. It's a good example of the dangers associated with it. Glad to see that your Comission has dealt with it fast. We only have very few of them now but nobody really dealt with affected people.

There was a couple here which was invaded by the industry who proceeded to drill a well less than 100 m from their home. Activity went on 24/7, loads of trucks all the time, explosions, tremors, light, noise and strong oudors. When they ignited the gas to check for the pressure, there have been numerous "bursts" that could have been very dangerous. The industry is supposed to offer a great compensation and ask before drilling if it's less than 100 m from the house. After months of activity, the industry went to them for the compensation which was... an air conditionner! How could this be even more insulting?

Another one was drilled in a small village and numerous people got sick after about 2 weeks because of all the volatile compounds that were floating around.

Not to mention that there are a load of wells planned to be drilled in a small area here near Mt. Saint-Hilaire which is filled with Radon.  :no:

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#14    Doug1o29

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:56 PM

View PostJayMark, on 20 April 2012 - 02:23 PM, said:

When they ignited the gas to check for the pressure, there have been numerous "bursts" that could have been very dangerous.
Gas pressure is monitored with a "bloodhound" - a device that "sniffs" gas coming off drilling mud.  Monitoring is continuous and there is a person assigned to keep an eye in the monitoring equipment - the mud logger.  When drilling for oil, they may burn off unwanted gas by igniting a flare - usually a 30-foot flame, but on a gas well, you want to sell it, not burn it.  Pressure checks are done with a meter.

The blowout preventer is supposed to contain any sudden gas spikes and prevent an explosion, but it doesn't always work (Patterson 17, Deep Water Horizon, etc.).  At Patterson last winter, they had it apart for maintenance when a flame ignited on the rig.  With the equipment in pieces, there was no way to prevent an explosion, so the crew ran for it.  They lost their cars, but nobody got hurt or killed.  I hear they've started re-drilling the well.
Doug

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#15    Ashotep

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:35 AM

Peoples water supplies have been contaminated because of fracking.  Now at least some of these people can put a match to their water and watch it burn.





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