View topic - Study ties oil, gas output to US Midwest quakes

It is currently December 11th, 2019, 3:22 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: April 11th, 2012, 8:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
Posts: 3016
Location: Milton
Can't wait to see the report.....
and what Uncle Stevie says....

Quote:
The researchers found the rate of quakes has jumped six-fold from the late 20th century through last year, with a particularly sharp rise from 2009 to 2011. That includes mild quakes.

The researchers said the timing and geography suggest some kind of link to oil and gas production, but it's not clear why the two might be related.

Some previous work has linked earthquakes to injecting huge amounts of wastewater deep into the earth.

The study from the U.S. Geological Survey has not been published, but it is scheduled to be presented at a scientific meeting later this month.


Jeff

http://sync.sympatico.ca/news/study_tie ... s/4db88cae

_________________
Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 12th, 2012, 8:43 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: October 24th, 2007, 1:52 pm
Posts: 556
Location: Beaumont, AB
An earthquake is simply movement and energy that is released as a result of slip along a fault. If you inject a lot of water into a fault, it is quite feasible that the water will act as a lubricant and will allow the movement and energy release to occur more readily.

Some would argue that this may not be a bad thing, as a lot of small earthquakes are better (i.e. less damaging) than 1 big one.

dave

_________________
Dave W
"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing" - Henry David Thoreau


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 12th, 2012, 6:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
Posts: 3016
Location: Milton
Too bad it's not just water they are injecting into the earth. I think thread on fracking says a lot about it. If these quakes in what would be normally quiet seismic zones could release those chemicals that much faster into the water table.
Jeff

_________________
Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 12th, 2012, 8:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3473
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
So the author cleaned all those facts from an abstract for an unpublished paper?

The rate of quakes has "jumped"? Really, your statistical analysis of a 15 year period tells you that and that's supposed to mean something?

"Some previous work has linked"

The words "some" and "linked", well that's enough proof for me!

This theory (if it's even a theory at this) might even be true but premature and groundless (at this point) propaganda like this is silly at best and dangerous at worst.

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 12th, 2012, 8:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 8th, 2004, 12:26 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Columbus, OH
A lot of folks including geologists and oil and gas regulators think it's more than a theory. The link seems to be "well" established.

See this, for example ... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/0 ... 34808.html

or this ...
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0 ... earthquake

There is a lot more info out there in case you don't trust the above sources ... try searching Google with keywords ... Ohio earthquake.

_________________
Je suis un homme du nord


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 12th, 2012, 9:59 pm 
Offline
CCR Assistant Administrator
User avatar

Joined: January 20th, 2003, 7:00 pm
Posts: 12090
Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
Natural Resources Canada, Frequently Asked Questions about Earthquakes

http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.c ... aq-eng.php

Quote:
Can people cause earthquakes?

Yes! Minor earthquakes have been triggered by human activities such as mining (rockbursts and cavity collapse), the filling of reservoirs behind large dams, and the injection of fluids into wells for oil recovery or waste disposal. Large dams hold back enormous quantities of water. Some of this water may penetrate into cracks in the underlying rock, and sometimes this may trigger small earthquakes under or very near the reservoir.

Following an underground nuclear explosion, small earthquakes have often been recorded near the test site. These are due to the collapse of the cavity created by the explosion.

Man-made earthquakes always occur close to the site of the activity. There is no link between human activities like these and earthquakes occurring hundreds or thousands of kilometres away.

_________________
I'm out of bed and I made it to the keyboard....what more do you want?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 13th, 2012, 10:50 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3731
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
This isn't nearly the horror or supposition that posters are making this out to be. The reality is that just as Barbara quote states, human engineering practices have caused earthquakes. I was taught about this back in 1989 when I took Engineering Geology during Graduate School. USGS studies have been investigating the impact of both the hydraulic fracturing process as well as the disposal of the wastewater generated from multiple fracking events in geologically deep disposal wells. This proceedure happens on a daily basis mainly in natural gas producing areas of the world, including here in Michigan. It's a hot button issue, that includes plenty of misinformation on both sides of the equation.

It's far from suprising that pumping tens of millions of gallons of water into the earth can and will cause motion along faults. Fracking requires massive amounts of water... literally they create huge lined lakes near the well head with millions of gallons of water. Into this water are mixed chemicals to enhance the introduction of water into the formation to enlarge the fractures, proppents to hold open the fractures, as well as "breakers" that aid in removing the fracking water from the formation. Many of these compounds are not chemicals we want in our drinking water. But, these "fracking chemicals" amount to a very small portion of the millions of gallons of water used in the process, and they are being injected at high pressure into petroleum bearing formation that will be used for either or both oil and natural gas production. Thes e formations are thousands of feet below the unconsolidated sediment or rock formations we rely on for drinking water. Obviously this doesn't necessarily preclude that these compounds might impact drinking water sources, but for most well water users in the US and Canada, you likely have a source of much higher concentrations of impacted water from the nearby gasoline station, industrial plant, or even the shade tree mechanic, farmer, or farm dump next-door.

As with many environmental issues, Environmental professionals have to spend way more time dealing with hot button environmental issues in the media, and the press and public miss the pink elephant in the room, the environmental risks we already know about, but lack both support from the liable private companies that created these environmental issues, and the political support via government funding to pay for the costs of the environmental problems created by private companies that are no longer viable.

So before you worry about what is being introduced into petroleum bearing rock formations miles deep in the earth, spend a few minutes to go look at the known sites of environmental risks that have already been assessed by your State or Provincial Environmental Agency. It's alot more likely that you health and wellness will be impacted by that environmental site a mile laterally from where you are currently standing than from oil production activities that have been in the same formations for decades.

PK


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 13th, 2012, 7:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
Posts: 3016
Location: Milton
Agreed there is misinformation from both both sides but I thought it was good to see a Gov't org putting out the call.
As for screwing around with ground water and a place to inject what they call "waste water"
into the rock formations,
Sooner or later something has to give with the way we are treating the planet.
I do believe that this process is going to come back and bite us in the a$$.
and it will be the same scenario that you describe with non viable private companies.
but in this instance it will be these private drilling companies that will no longer exist.
If you look at the way they are gutting various eco laws and protections you have to wonder when the breaking point is going to be met,
Jeff

_________________
Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 21st, 2012, 10:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 11th, 2005, 11:19 am
Posts: 1870
Location: Boise, ID
pknoerr wrote:
So before you worry about what is being introduced into petroleum bearing rock formations miles deep in the earth, spend a few minutes to go look at the known sites of environmental risks that have already been assessed by your State or Provincial Environmental Agency.

PK ... the main issue with fracking is not seepage from geologic formation miles deep (although this has not yet been ruled out), but a failure of well integrity (casing or cementing) with the high pressures, gas pockets, and large volumes of water and other fluids that are involved. Geological instability from low level earthquakes doesn't help matters any, either.

Quote:
Cementing is the obvious “weak link,” according to Anthony Gorody, a hydrogeologist and consultant to gas companies who has been a defender of fracking. Other scientists emphatically agree. “If you do a poor job of installing the well casing, you potentially open a pathway for the stuff to flow out,” explains ecologist and water resource expert Robert B. Jackson of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1111-80

Flowback water is an additional concern:

Quote:
"horizontal fracking requires enormous volumes of water and chemicals. Huge ponds or tanks are also needed to store the chemically laden “flowback water” that comes back up the hole after wells have been fractured" ...

Then the flowback water has to be managed; up to 75 percent of what is blasted down comes back up. It is laden not only with a cocktail of chemicals—used to help the fracking fluid flow, to protect the pipe and kill bacteria, and many other purposes—but often with radioactive materials and salts from the underground layers. This toxic water must be stored on-site and later transported to treatment plants or reused. Most companies use open-air pits dug into the ground. Many states require the bottoms of the pits to be lined with synthetic materials to prevent leakage. Some also require the pits to be a sufficient distance from surface water. The problem is that even when proper precautions are taken, pit linings can tear, and in heavy rains the pits can overflow.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1111-80

If they regulated the industry better (see Cheney 2005 Energy Act exemptions), there would be fewer mistakes, better handling of waste, and fewer issues with groundwater contamination around fracking sites from leaky wastewater storage pools and well failures.

Add to this air quality concerns. And we are just starting to tackle this issue now as a result of a court decision in 2009 (and with mixed results).

Quote:
EPA altered the final regulations to offer a key concession to the natural-gas industry, which had raised concerns about being able to comply with the proposed regulations issued last year.

Under the final rules, companies can comply with the standards until 2015 using flaring, which reduces harmful emissions by burning off the gases that would otherwise escape during natural-gas drilling. After 2015, companies will need to install so-called “green completions,” which are technologies that capture harmful emissions.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wir ... r-fracking


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: April 21st, 2012, 4:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3731
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Ed, I agree, well construction can and does have a huge effect on the potential of any well to fail... this includes drinking water wells, high volume extraction wells, natural gas and petroleum production wells, and hazardous waste disposal wells. If any of these wells are not completed correctly the materials inside can impact the formation, or the formation water can contaminate the drinking water you plan to use.

Yeah flowback water is an issue too, but have you ever been at a petroleum production well head when they begin production? Petroleum and Natural Gas production is not a clean process, and it has never been. I don't see the small amounts of fracking chemicals in the huge volumes of water being used in fracking being remotely the environmental risk associated with crude under pressure blowing back up the well.

More regulation might help a little, but as I said before, production to feed our insatiable need for hydrocarbon based energy isn't a clean proceedure regardless of what anyone says. Most production is done well within the laws, but achieving perfect environmental protection in a very dirty business like petroleum production is impossible. Where we can get the biggest bang for the buck regulating is in placing an importance on doing the right thing for the environment, because the costs for making mistakes is so high that nobody wants to make them.

PK


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 12:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 11th, 2005, 11:19 am
Posts: 1870
Location: Boise, ID
pknoerr wrote:
So before you worry about what is being introduced into petroleum bearing rock formations miles deep in the earth, spend a few minutes to go look at the known sites of environmental risks that have already been assessed by your State or Provincial Environmental Agency.
Looks like we have some new information on this topic published in the last several days. Peer reviewed study suggests migration is possible where natural faults and fractures are present, and may be exacerbated by fracking activities. Lustgarten with ProPublica is one of the more active journalists reporting on these issues. The research looks at computer models, and suggests that natural migration over the course of 100 years could be shortened to a decade, or "just a few years."

http://www.propublica.org/article/new-s ... thin-years

Asked to review the EPA's finding of groundwater contamination from fracking in Pavillion, WY, study author has added to the result.

http://docs.nrdc.org/energy/files/ene_12050101a.pdf

Quote:
After consideration of the evidence presented in the EPA report and in URS (2009 and 2010), it is clear that hydraulic fracturing (fracking (Kramer 2011)) has caused pollution of the Wind River formation and aquifer. The EPA documents that pollution with up to four sample events in the domestic water wells and two sample events in two monitoring well constructed by the EPA between the level of the domestic water wells and the gas production zone. The EPA’s conclusion is sound.
So where do we go from here?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 9:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3731
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
idylwyld wrote:
Looks like we have some new information on this topic published in the last several days. Peer reviewed study suggests migration is possible where natural faults and fractures are present, and may be exacerbated by fracking activities. Lustgarten with ProPublica is one of the more active journalists reporting on these issues. The research looks at computer models, and suggests that natural migration over the course of 100 years could be shortened to a decade, or "just a few years."

http://www.propublica.org/article/new-s ... thin-years


Ed, thanks for the article. Unfortunately, it's nothing new. Absolutely migration through fractures and faults is possible. The purpose of fracking is to fracture the petroluem bearing rock. But that doesn't mean it fractures all the rocks above and below the pertroleum bearing rock. So in the case of the Marcellus.... that's the unit that bears the petroleum. So I see little worry that they swiss cheese that unit with fractures as that is how the petroleum is extacted. Nearly all petroleum occurs in a "trap." This is where the petroleum is trapped by other geological units that don't allow the material to leave the reservoir formation. If the fracturing were to fracture both both the reservior formation as well as all the units between that reservoir and the formation relied upon for drinking water, migration could take very little time. But the reality is that this is highly unlikely. Not only is there the spatial seperation (ie: that the reservoir rock is way below the surface) and the drinking water supply formation much shallower, but there are normally many seperate geological units. Some of which are highly impermeable (No rock is totally impermeable) so there is always the chance that fluids (petroleum, natural gas, brine, and potable water can migrate through the natural fractures, faults, disolution cavities, as well as the porespace in the rock itself. But it's highly unlikely that fracking will fracture all of the rock formations such that migration through several formations consisting of thousands of feet of saturated rock will be fractured to allow transmission into an aquifer.

So none of the information presented in the article is false or anything you wouldn't learn in a Geology 101 class. Unfortunately, whether fracking is safe cannot be a blanket statement in all geological envornments. It needs to be determined by a professionals that collectively understands the geology, fluid mechanics, petroleum science at a specific location. That's why, both the petroleum companies, and state and federal agencies need to be involved in determining whether fracking a well located in a specific location is safe. Will there be mistakes? Absolutely. There are mistakes in brain surgery, in manufacture of NASA spacecraft, in construction of sky scrapers, and in what lands in your box of Cheerios. This shouldn't minimize the importance of doing things safely, but the reality is that literally hundreds of thousands of wells have been fracked for 50 years, and very very very very few have ever had a problem. There will be problems... just like there are mistakes in heart surgery , or the construction of roads, or the manufacture of airplanes. But we're not going to stop doing any of those pursuits... so why would we stop fracking when very very very few mistakes have occured in a process that has been happening in natural gas producing areas for a half century?

PK


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 9:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 6146
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Idylwyld,

Quote:
So where do we go from here?


Forward.

:wink:

EPA's Lisa Jackson has said that fracking is "perfectly capable of being clean" (paraphrasing here) and EPA would oversee and regulate drillers. OTOH, if Romney makes it in, the EPA role could be diminished significantly, like Harper's doing to Environment Canada, we're open for business.

Could be some new fracking standards proposed today, although industry insiders would probably use another word instead of "fracking" for all that EPA interference.

Quote:
U.S. readies proposal to clamp down on fracking

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON

Thu May 3, 2012 11:10pm EDT

(Reuters) - The Obama administration wants to clamp down on shale gas drilling on public lands and set standards that proponents of tougher regulation hope will provide a blueprint for drilling oversight nationwide.

Industry sources said the Interior Department could propose a new rule on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as early as Friday.

The measure would require natural gas drillers to disclose chemicals they use to frack wells, a controversial process that involves injecting water, sand and chemicals deep underground to extract fuel from rock formations.

Fracking has been essential to unlocking the nation's massive shale gas reserves, but critics argue that the practice has polluted water and hurt the environment.

The administration has said it supports shale oil and gas development, but has also called for strong oversight.

Administration officials have said they hope the rules could provide a template for states, which handle most of the regulation of fracking.

The Bureau of Land Management estimates that companies use the fracking technique on about 90 percent of wells drilled on federal lands. But only about 14 percent of U.S. natural gas production occurred on those lands in 2010.

An Interior Department official, who did not speak for attribution, said the administration has been clear about its aim throughout the process.

"We intend to propose a rule that supports the administration's goal of continuing to expand production of America's abundant oil and gas resources on federal and Indian lands by taking steps to ensure public confidence in hydraulic fracturing and other technologies that will play an integral role in our nation's energy security."

Industry and other stakeholders will have a chance to comment on the draft before it is finalized.

A draft of the rules that leaked in February proposed that companies disclose the "complete chemical makeup of all materials used" in fracking fluids, a provision that has been opposed by industry.

That draft plan also would require drillers to ensure the stability of underground casing in wells and that waste water from fracking does not leak into the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency late last year issued a draft study that said fracking fluids likely polluted an aquifer that supplies public drinking water in Wyoming.

The energy industry has complained the draft rules were overkill as companies were voluntarily revealing the fluids.

One of the largest natural gas drillers, Chesapeake Energy Corp, said it has been voluntarily disclosing its information on chemicals for nearly a year on all its wells on public or private lands on the Web.

Other major producers include Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and Range Resources.



http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/ ... 4R20120504

_________________
><((((º>


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 11:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 11th, 2005, 11:19 am
Posts: 1870
Location: Boise, ID
frozentripper wrote:
OTOH, if Romney makes it in, the EPA role could be diminished significantly, like Harper's doing to Environment Canada, we're open for business.
The US has been "open-for-business" for some time, which is why we are talking about this. There is a glut in NG supplies (companies are scaling back because the price has fallen too low), and oil production is the highest it has been since beginning of Bush Admin.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/12 ... 3-20120311

How much business does one country need ... clearly, this doesn't appear to be the solid path to GDP or job growth as one would expect, especially since housing prices are still too high, subsidies are being scaled back on industries that "do create" jobs, college debt levels exceeding credit card debt, schools laying off teachers, incentives still on the books for sending capital and jobs overseas, and a great deal more. This is election season in the US ... you can buy it if you want, but EPA being a job killer is a slogan, not an objective reality.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 4th, 2012, 1:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3731
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Ed, Why go mix politics with science. This isn't a discussion about politically whether we should be fracking because there is a glut of NG on the market. It's been a discussion that fracking leads to earthquakes and potential groundwater contamination. The reality is that fracking can be and has been done safely. JUst like the storage of thousands of gallons of gasoline in a fiberglass tank mere feet above known drinking water sources can be and has been done safely. But I can tell you that there are waaaaaaaay more private drinking water wells that have been impacted in both the US and Canada by leaks from the improved fiberglass gasoline underground tanks than by all the fracking in the world. But there is nobody out there calling for an abolishment of underground storage of fuel. Ya gotta seperate the BS talking points from the science. An all out ban on fracking makes as much sense as an all out ban on storage of fuel.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group