Oklahomans are suing frackers over earthquakes. Residents of Pawnee, Oklahoma, have filed a class-action lawsuit against 27 oil and natural gas companies, alleging that they are responsible for damage caused by earthquakes linked to fracking.
Before the state’s recent fracking boom, earthquakes in the region were relatively rare, but in recent years, Oklahoma has seen thousands of quakes. Many scientists believe the temblors are caused by frackers injecting their chemical-tainted wastewater deep underground. Pawnee has seen nearly 800 earthquakes in the past year, including a magnitude 5.8 in September, the largest on record in the state. That quake resulted in 289 insurance claims, reports the Tulsa World, but nearly four in five claims made in the area since 2010 have been denied because most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover earthquakes.
The lawsuit alleges that the energy companies have displayed “reckless disregard for public or private safety,” and seeks an unspecified amount for both property damage and emotional distress. Earthquakes caused by oil drillers are now so common that the government just assumes they’re coming. Oklahomans Can Sue Fracking Companies for Earthquake Damages. Fracking is causing Oklahoma’s earthquake “swarm” This story is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Over the last few years, Oklahoma has experienced an insane uptick in earthquakes. As Mother Jones reported in 2013, the count exploded from just a couple per year back in the mid-2000s to over a thousand in 2010, growing alongside a boom in the state’s natural gas drilling industry. There is now a heap of peer-reviewed research finding that Oklahoma’s earthquake “swarm” is directly linked to fracking — not the gas drilling itself, but a follow-up step where brackish wastewater is re-injected into disposal wells deep underground. It’s a troubling trend in an industry that thrives under notoriously lax regulations, especially when the risk to property and public safety is so obvious. If those numbers weren’t dramatic enough, here’s another: This year, Oklahoma has experienced an average of two quakes per day of magnitude 3.0 — enough to be felt and inflict damage to structures — or greater. Natural gas drilling is causing earthquakes in Europe too.
Shell and ExxonMobil, as well as the Dutch government, ignored for decades that drilling in Europe’s largest gas field was causing earthquakes that put human lives and property at risk.
That’s the takeaway of a new report out this week from an independent group advising the Dutch government. As the natural gas beneath the Netherlands has dwindled in recent years, residents of Groningen County have experienced an increasing number of earthquakes. Fracking is definitely causing earthquakes, another study confirms. Yet another study has found a link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes.
This one examined 77 minor quakes near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: The sequence of seismic events, including a rare “felt” quake of a magnitude 3.0 on the Richter scale, was caused by active “fracking” on two nearby Hilcorp Energy Co. well pads, according to the research published online [Tuesday] in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.The study found that although it is rare for fracking associated with shale gas extraction to cause earthquakes large enough to be felt on the surface by humans, seismic monitoring advances have found the number of “felt and unfelt” earthquakes associated with fracking have increased over the past 10 years. L'exploitation des gaz de schiste provoque plus de séismes aux Etats-Unis - Page 2. Scientists Find 'Direct Link' Between Earthquakes And Process Used For Oil And Gas Drilling.
By Emily Atkin Posted on "Scientists Find ‘Direct Link’ Between Earthquakes And Process Used For Oil And Gas Drilling" This picture from Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011 shows the aftermath of what was at the time the strongest earthquake to strike Colorado in more than 40 years.
In research published Tuesday, USGS scientists cite “clear evidence that the earthquake sequence was induced by fluid injection.” CREDIT: AP Photo/Ed Andrieski A team of scientists with the U.S. In a study to be published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America on Tuesday, the scientists presented “several lines of evidence [that] suggest the earthquakes in the area are directly related to the disposal of wastewater” deep underground, according to a BSSA press release. The USGS research is just the latest in a string of studies that have suggested the disposed water is migrating along dormant fault lines, changing their state of stress, and causing them to fail.
CREDIT: Rubenstein et. al. Fracking halted at Ohio site following earthquakes. Fracking began at a well in rural eastern Ohio last month.
On Monday, parts of the surrounding Mahoning County started shaking, prompting state officials to shut down the operation, fearing it was responsible for what could be an unprecedented string of earthquakes linked to natural gas extraction. Ohio Earthquakes Linked To Fracking, A First For Region. COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation's strictest.
A state investigation of five small tremors last month in the Youngstown area, in the Appalachian foothills, found the injection of sand and water that accompanies hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Utica Shale may have increased pressure on a small, unknown fault, said State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers. He called the link "probable. " While earlier studies had linked earthquakes in the same region to deep-injection wells used for disposal of fracking wastewater, this marks the first time tremors in the region have been tied directly to fracking, Simmers said. The five seismic events in March couldn't be easily felt by people. Ohio blames frackers for earthquakes. Ohio officials have linked fracking in the state to an unprecedented swarm of earthquakes that struck last month.
Following its investigation, the state is imposing new rules to help reduce frackquake hazards. It’s well-known that frackers can cause earthquakes when they shoot their polluted wastewater into so-called injection wells. But a swarm of earthquakes that hit Mahoning County, Ohio, last month was different — it occurred not near an injection well, but near a site where fracking had recently begun. State officials investigated the temblors and concluded that there was a “probable connection” between them and hydraulic fracturing near “a previously unknown microfault.”
On Friday, following the discovery, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced that frackers will need to comply with new permit regulations. Texans want frackers to stop causing earthquakes. Some North Texans who have been enduring a months-long flurry of earthquakes want the shaking to stop — and they believe that means putting an end to a controversial fracking practice.
“Is somebody going to help us?” One resident asked the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates gas and oil drilling, during a hearing on Tuesday. “I’ve heard of tornado alley. I’ve never heard of earthquake alley.” The dozens of residents who traveled to Austin for the hearing want frackers barred from injecting their wastewater underground at high pressure. The commission says operations at one injection well in the area were suspended in November after it was found to be operating at unusually high pressure. [G]eneral counsel for the commission Wendell Fowler said inspectors can only start the two to three month process of shutting down a well if there is polluted water, fluid escaping, a change in conditions or the rules.
University studies if quakes in North Texas linked to fracking. Fracking triggered more than 100 earthquakes in Ohio. A single fracking wastewater well triggered 167 earthquakes in and around Youngstown, Ohio, during a single year of operation.
That’s according to a study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research by Won-Young Kim, a researcher at Columbia University. Earthquakes had never been recorded at Youngstown before 2010. Then, at the end of that year, frackers started pumping their waste from Marcellus Shale drilling projects into the 9,200-foot deep Northstar 1 injection well. Within two weeks, the area had experienced its first quake. From January 2011 to February 2012, the area was jangled by an average of nearly 12 earthquakes every month. Confirmed: Fracking triggers quakes and seismic chaos. Major earthquakes thousands of miles away can trigger reflex quakes in areas where fluids have been injected into the ground from fracking and other industrial operations, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.
Des apprentis-sorciers ces gaziers ?! – alwen
Previous studies, covered in a recent Mother Jones feature from Michael Behar, have shown that injecting fluids into the ground can increase the seismicity of a region. This latest study shows that earthquakes can tip off smaller quakes in far-away areas where fluid has been pumped underground. The scientists looked at three big quakes: the Tohuku-oki earthquake in Japan in 2011 (magnitude 9), the Maule in Chile in 2010 (an 8.8 magnitude), and the Sumatra in Indonesia in 2012 (an 8.6). They found that, as much as 20 months later, those major quakes triggered smaller ones in places in the Midwestern U.S. where fluids have been pumped underground for energy extraction. The finding is not entirely surprising, said van der Elst. Plus de séismes aux Etats-Unis, la faute aux gaz de schiste - Page 2. Biggest Oklahoma Earthquake Ever Linked To Oil Industry.
In 2011, a report from the United States Geological Survey linked a series of earthquakes in Oklahoma in January 2011 to a fracking operation underway there. There was no definitive proof, but it seemed likely that tracking was related to those Oklahoma earthquakes. On November 5, 2011, a 5.7 earthquake struck near Prague, in central Oklahoma. Fourteen homes were leveled, schools were closed for repairs, and the quake was felt across 17 states. If it had not been centered in open country, the effects could have been much worse. Nevertheless, it worried seismologists, who had believed this area to be seismically safe.
Quake Triggered By Oil Wastewater. Quand le gaz de schiste fait trembler la terre. Fracking's Latest Scandal? Earthquake Swarms. At exactly 10:53 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, 2011, Joe and Mary Reneau were in the bedroom of their whitewashed and brick-trimmed home, a two-story rambler Mary's dad custom-built 43 years ago. Their property encompasses 440 acres of rolling grasslands in Prague, Oklahoma (population 2,400), located 50 miles east of Oklahoma City. When I arrive at their ranch almost a year later on a bright fall morning, Joe is wearing a short-sleeve shirt and jeans held up by navy blue suspenders, and is wedged into a metal chair on his front stoop sipping black coffee from a heavy mug. His German shepherd, Shotzie, is curled at his feet. Joe greets me with a crushing handshake—he is 200 pounds, silver-haired and 6 feet tall, with thick forearms and meaty hands—and invites me inside.
Nouvelle tuile pour l'exploitation du gaz de schiste. «On ne peut pas prouver qu'un tremblement de terre est causé par une injection précise », explique Cliff Frohlich, géophysicien à l'Université du Texas, qui publie les résultats de ses recherches dans le plus récent numéro de la revue Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Sud de Pau : explosion et tremblement mystérieux. New rumblings: Earthquakes intensify scrutiny of shale gas methods - Sacramento Living - Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health. Fracking May Have Caused 50 Earthquakes in Oklahoma. Written by Brian Merchant, Treehugger In a surprising turn of events, Cuadrilla Resources, a British energy company, recently admitted that its hydraulic fracturing operations “likely” caused an earthquake in England. Predictably, this news quickly sent a shockwave through the U.K., the oil and natural gas industries, and the environmental activist community. And it certainly feeds plenty of speculation that the same phenomenon could be occurring elsewhere. Speculation that would be well-founded, evidently.
Right on the heels of Cuadrilla’s announcement, news is spreading that the United States Geological Survey has released a report (pdf) that links a series of earthquakes in Oklahoma last January to a fracking operation underway there. The U.S.G.S. determined that “from the character of the seismic recordings indicate that they are both shallow and unique.” From the report: This post was originally published by Treehugger.
Related Stories: Les gaz de schiste font trembler l’Angleterre. Small earthquake in Blackpool, major shock for UK's energy policy - Science - News. Click HERE to view graphic (69k jpg) Earthquake experts from the British Geological Survey said that the 1.5 magnitude quake last week was similar to a 2.3 earthquake in April in the same area and that both may be linked to the experimental fracking for shale gas at Preese Hall on the Fylde coast. Bans on commercial fracking are already in place in France as well as in New York and Pennsylvania states, where people living close to fracking sites have been filmed setting fire to tap water contaminated with methane gas.
"It seems quite likely that they are related," said Brian Baptie of the British Geological Survey (BGS). "We had a couple of instruments close to the site and they show that both events were close to the site and at a shallow depth.