Monday, January 02, 2012

Earthquakes prompt cessation of injection of fracking brine into Ohio injection wells

UPDATE, Jan. 7: "Geological experts . . . expect more earthquakes to come as the industry continues to expand across the eastern United States," Eric Niiler of Discovery News reports.

Recent earthquake activity in Ohio is related to the injection of wastewater into the ground near a fault line, creating enough pressure to cause seismic activity, but "The seismic events are not a direct result of fracking," the short term for hydraulic fracturing, which produced the wastewater, state Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer told reporters Saturday. (WKBN image: wellhead)

The day before, the department announced that the owner of the injection well near Youngstown had agreed to stop injecting the brine "so that any potential links with earthquakes can be further assessed," Ann Sanner of The Associated Press reported."Ten minor earthquakes have occurred this year within 2 miles of the well, the department said. Each registered at 2.7 magnitude or lower."

Saturday, there was a 4.0 quake, just at the threshold for causing damage. "Area residents said a loud boom accompanied the shaking. It sent some stunned residents running for cover as bookshelves shook and pictures and lamps fell from tables," the AP reported. On Sunday, state officials said four other injection wells drilled in the area would be indefinitely prohibited from being opened and taking fluid, CNN reports.

1 comment:

Patrick Seil said...

Good grief! We've been fracking for years in southern Illinois. There are small seismic events, but only what one would expect in a fault system. Big deal. Can the chicken littles of the world quit clucking until they actually have something to cluck about?