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Friday, September 7, 2012

Canadian earthquakes tied to fracking

The Calgary Herald is reporting that the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission has concluded that 38 small earthquakes in that Canadian province between 2009 and 2011 were caused by hydraulic fracturing associated with shale gas extraction.  

“The investigation has concluded that the events ... were caused by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing in proximity to pre-existing faults,” the agency said.  Ken Paulson, chief operating officer at the commission is quoted by the Herald as saying, "There was no risk posed to public safety or environment by any of the events that were looked at as part of this investigation.”

BCOGC's  report recommends improvements in seismic detection, further study to identify pre-existing fault lines, stronger monitoring and reporting procedures, and an examination of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing parameters like lower pump rates or injection volumes and seismic activity.  These are common-sense measures, consistent with recommendations made by similar studies of induced seismicity from fracking or wastewater injection in the U.S. and the UK.

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