Canadian Summertime Earthquake Said to be Tied to Fracking

This is not strictly a Marcellus/Utica story, but interesting and relevant nonetheless. Last summer a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit northeast British Columbia (Canada). The BC Oil and Gas Commission has confirmed that the quake was as a result of fracking shale wells in the area. This is perhaps the fifth or sixth time fracking itself–and not a wastewater injection well–has been tied to an earthquake. Ever. Worldwide. Which means fracking causes earthquakes, statistically speaking, 0% of the time. Of course that kind of context won’t get reported as the meme of “Canada confirms fracking caused quake” bounces around the mainstream mediasphere. Which is why we bring you the news here on MDN–to provide context that an instance where fracking actually does cause an earthquake is as rare as hen’s teeth. The truly amazing aspect of the story is this: BC authorities didn’t shut down the fracking operation! They took a very adult, mature approach: Back off a bit on the pressure you’re using to frack the well with, and if another quake then happens, we’ll shut it all down and think through another approach…

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