New Case of Earthquakes Related to an Injection Well in WV?

One of the gross inaccuracies MDN has tried to address over the past several years is the claim that “fracking causes earthquakes.” It does not. At least not measurable earthquakes people can feel at the surface. No less a source than the National Academies of Science released a study last year to “finally” put that particular myth to rest (see NRC Study: Fracking Does Not Cause Earthquakes). Unfortunately the earthquake myth is just too good a PR opportunity to pass up, so anti-drillers haul it back out about every three months for a new round of exposure.

The earthquake issue is confusing for many people because there is a loose connection between earthquakes and fracking: injection wells. Although most fracking wastewater is now recycled to be used again for more drilling, some of it is disposed of via deep injection wells. If an injection well happens to be located near a geologic fault, the pressure from the injected fluid has the potential to trigger an earthquake. It happened in Youngstown, OH in late 2011/early 2012 (see ODNR Finds Youngstown Injection Well Caused Earthquakes). According to a recent report from WV Public Broadcasting, it may now be happening again near a Chesapeake-owned injection well in Braxton County, WV…

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