Is the "Dubious Duo" of Fracking & Earthquakes More Common in Canada Than we Know? PinP Wonders...

by Larry Powell

PinP has learned that, years before “fracking” was blamed for a significant earthquake in northern Alberta early this year, a whole series of somewhat smaller quakes was happening in the Horn River Basin of northeastern BC, where fracking reached a peak some four years ago. 

Researchers representing the Geological Survey of Canada and the BC Oil and Gas Commission reviewed seismographs from the area from 2002 to 2011. They conclude there is a “high likelihood of a physical relationship” between the quakes and the fracking. They detected only 24 local quakes in the Basin in ’02 and ’03, before fracking began. But, by 2011, when fracking peaked, that number had jumped to 131. And so had the magnitude - from 2.9 (on the Richter scale) before fracking, to 3.6 afterward.

Then this past January, Alberta’s energy regulator blamed fracking for an earthquake in the northern part of that province, near Fox Creek. According to the CBC, it was “of 4.4 magnitude, severe enough to cause minor damage.” It was described as the worst quake of its kind ever attributed to fracking.

Fracking is another term for “hydraulic fracturing.” It’s a technique used in the energy industry. Water and chemicals are injected under tremendous pressure into underground shale formations, forcing the natural gas in them to the surface. Groups such as Physicians for Social Responsibility, have expressed a host of concerns about the practice, including the toxic nature of the chemicals which are suspected of polluting underground wellwater. Fracking has spread to many areas of the world over the past decades, including Canada. 

The research relating to the BC events was published recently in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. But it is not believed to have been widely reported in the mainstream media as yet. 

Which begs the question, just how many other earthquakes linked to fracking may already be occurring in Canada, which we haven't even heard about yet?

Stay tuned!


John Fefchak said…
I hate to even imagine the consequences, should the Manitoba government provide a licence to the Sio Silica proposed Project.
PinP said…
John F. is right to be concerned about this. The Sio Silica project he references is so wrong on so many levels - it will threaten the workers employed there by dangerously invading their lungs, contaminate the Brokenhead River watershed and provide fodder for the dangerous and misguided practice of fracking. Will we every learn?
John Fefchak said…
I hate to even imagine, what the consequences will be, if the Manitoba government permits a licence to the Sio Silica Project.

Popular posts from this blog

Conservative MP Absent From a Child Poverty Forum in Southwestern Manitoba.

A Candidate's Forum on Child Poverty Touches a Nerve in Manitoba.

The Bio of Larry Powell - publisher of this blog.