Nikiforuk: New report by BC regulator admits frac quake risk is high with formations “in a near critical state, meaning only small fluid pressure increases are sufficient to cause specific sets of fractures and faults to become critically stressed.” Researchers still can’t say where or why; Public complaints surging as frac quakes escalate. Have you read the small print of your home insurance policy?

BC Tap Water Alliance Press Release: Attribution Science Proves Now is the Time for Canadians to Step Up and Sue the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Alberta Energy Regulator for Cumulative Fraud

Excellent comment to Nikiforuk’s article!


“A major review of fracking commissioned by the B.C. government found similar issues in its report released earlier this year. There was too little seismic data available to reach conclusions, it reported. The [fracking] operators often have collected some/all of the necessary data; however, these data are rarely shared with the regulators and researchers, limiting the advancement of effective forecasting methods,…”

– Wonderful, nobody in the ‘know’ about things actual knows much and none have apparently heard of the precautionary principle beyond its effect on return on investment.

Given the past record of oil/gas producers regarding the effects of their products on climate change, and their capture of regulators, government nd academia it is not unreasonable to believe that present efforts regarding understanding fracking are all directed towards keeping us in the dark and assuming virtually all the economic and physical risks of the undertaking.

They all should be sued for fraud and reckless disregard for public health and safety as well as costs. But I forgot we have been brainwashed into subservience by the mythical ‘jobs’ pill.

I doubt that youth will continue to buy it.

2016: USGS Study: Oil drilling may have caused 1933 California 6.4M Long Beach earthquake that killed about 120 people and caused massive damages. “There may be no upper limit” to the size of earthquakes caused by the oil industry

Frack Quakes: Knowledge Is Weak as BC Drilling Grows, As an LNG boom looms, so does the mystery of related tremors, finds report by Andrew Nikiforuk, Oct 29, 2019, The Tyee

Regulators know fracking has caused earthquakes in northeastern B.C. big enough to rattle homes and halt construction at the Site C dam worksite in 2018.

Those same regulators certainly are mindful of the fact that if one or more planned LNG plants are built on B.C.’s coast, fracking in the province would surge.

But a newly released report for the BC Oil and Gas Commission says researchers can’t yet answer basic questions about where fracking will trigger earthquakes or why some frack jobs set off only small earthquakes while others trigger larger ones.

The independent geological report by the Calgary firm Enlighten Geoscience found incomplete seismic data and complex geology are major obstacles to understanding the potential hazard posed by fracking-triggered earthquakes.

“The lack of consistency in type, quantity and quality of data being collected, and especially in data that has been collected in the past, makes it difficult to develop a good understanding of the induced seismicity in the region,” said the report.

The report looked at the Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area created by the BC Oil and Gas Commission in May 2018 after public complaints about the number of earthquakes now unsettling the formerly quiet seismic region. The study area includes Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, the two regional centres.

The earthquake risk is high, the researchers found. The underground formations are “in a near critical state, meaning only small fluid pressure increases are sufficient to cause specific sets of fractures and faults to become critically stressed.”

Hydraulic fracturing sends highly pressured blasts of large quantities of water, chemicals, and sand down wells to shatter rock formations and allow gas to flow.

The report says neither industry nor government know where pre-existing faults and fractures exist underground.

“Further study is needed to better understand both the state of stress and the distribution of existing faults and fractures,” concluded the study. [aka, use communities, homes, farms, public infrastructure, lives as test tubes]

A major review of fracking commissioned by the B.C. government found similar issues in its report released earlier this year.

There was too little seismic data available to reach conclusions, it reported.

“The [fracking] operators often have collected some/all of the necessary data; however, these data are rarely shared with the regulators and researchers, limiting the advancement of effective forecasting methods,” stated the report.  [Of course industry refuses to share the data! Regulators, researchers, politicians would stomp out frac’ing if it were!]

For years researchers have emphasized the need for more information on the potential seismic hazards posed by fracking. A 2018 report noted the importance of understanding the risk to infrastructure “such as the BC Hydro Site C dam on the Peace River near Fort St. John.”

Gail Atkinson, one of the nation’s top seismic hazard experts, has even proposed five-kilometre fracking exclusion zones to protect critical public infrastructure such as dams and hospitals.

Eighty-five per cent of the natural gas and oil production in northeastern B.C. now requires hydraulic fracturing.

The concerns for dam safety are well-founded and date back more than 50 years. In 1963, the disastrous collapse of California’s Baldwin Hills Dam was linked to underground injection of fluids in a nearby oil field. Five people were killed and hundreds of homes destroyed.

Last November the BC Oil and Gas Commission suspended operations at a large well pad owned by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. about 20 kilometres from the Site C dam after the company triggered three seismic events ranging from 3.4 to 4.5 in magnitude. CNRL is one of Canada’s largest oil and gas producers and chaired by billionaire Murray Edwards.

The tremors were widely felt in the region and the impact on Site C construction prompted an emergency meeting between BC Hydro and the OGC.

Other companies have continued to frack in the region, but the commission suspended activity at CNRL’s site until the completion of a detailed technical review.

Under rules for the mitigation area, industry must shut down operations after triggering a magnitude 3.0 tremor. In some other jurisdictions, like the United Kingdom, the fracking industry must shut down after causing 0.5 magnitude quakes.

Alberta and B.C. use a “traffic light” system to respond to fracking-caused earthquakes. Different levels of tremors require different responses from companies, from notifying regulators to shutting down operations.

But new research suggests the system is inadequate to protect public safety and critical infrastructure. [Of course! That’s the intent! The silly light system is designed to let frac’ers keep fracing after a short circus show to con impacted communities into believing someone is minding the shop at the regulators, then, let the frac’ers resume their quaking and shaking]

The system only requires a halt to fluid injection after significant earthquakes. But Canadian researchers recently noted industry-triggered earthquakes can occur long after fracking has been concluded.

The issue of seismic hazard raises serious questions about the planned expansion of hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal in the region to support LNG development on the B.C coast. Both kinds of fluid injection can activate faults and cause damaging earthquakes.

In March, BC Oil and Gas Commission shut down a wastewater disposal well owned by CNRL in the Septimus field south of the Site C dam because it was causing earthquakes and was considered a threat to “public safety” and the environment. 

To date the OGC has shut down at least 10 wastewater disposal wells because of seismic risks.

Industry-triggered quakes have sparked public alarm around the world.

In this region, swarms of earthquakes near Fort St. John, B.C., and Fox Creek, Alberta have rattled homes and raised concerns about public safety among local politicians.

In China, damaging tremors triggered by fracking operations in densely populated Sichuan province have killed or injured scores of people and caused millions of dollars of damage.

In Arkansas and Oklahoma, tremors induced by fluid injection or hydraulic fracturing have reduced rural property values in some areas by as much as nine per cent.

And in England, small tremors triggered by shale fracking operations have been felt by hundreds of citizens. Industry-triggered seismic activity has strengthened opposition to fracking. This fall Cuadrilla Resources shut down its fracking operations after setting off a 2.9 magnitude quake widely felt around Blackpool. England’s Oil and Gas Authority is still investigating the incident. 

In some cases fluid extraction by the industry can cause earthquakes.

In the Netherlands, citizens are reeling from swarms of earthquakes caused by the extraction of methane in the Groningen field owned by Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. Decades of extraction has caused rock to fracture and subside resulting in magnitude 2.0 and 3.0 tremors that have caused almost $1.5 billion in property damage.

New research in the U.S. and Canada has found hydraulic fracking causes more earthquakes than originally thought and can trigger tremors more than 10 kilometres away from well sites being fractured.  

Researchers have also found that “injecting fluids into sedimentary rock can cause larger, more distant earthquakes” than injecting into the deeper basement rock.

Another recent study published in Science suggests that much larger areas may be at risk from fracking operations than previously assumed.

Water injected by oil and gas companies can travel along fault or fracture lines in deep rock and cause these faults to slip, the study found. These slippage movements can gradually increase the pressure on more distant parts of the faults, and trigger seismic events “over regions considerably larger than the pressurized region.”  

A Dalhousie University study reached similar conclusions

Refer also to:

Encana Earthquake Implications

One further consideration is the lack of disclosure by the companies.

Both Roan and Encana did not press release or file an 8-k with the SEC disclosing the earthquakes, despite magnitudes of 3.0 or greater.

An investor carefully watching filings but not paying attention to local news regarding these companies could have missed these important events. There is a risk that such lack of disclosure of events that seem to have had a noticeable affect on their share prices and may have substantially affected their operations, working capital, etc could open up the companies to action by shareholders and regulators.

Ultimately, the earthquakes seem to have already started to drag Encana’s stock to under-perform the index, despite no disclosure by the company. And a similar situation seems to have sent Roan in a tailspin, down more than 90% since the earthquake it may have caused in November 2018. There could be further substantial downdraft in Encana’s stock price for some of the same reasons and because of the post-merger accounting, despite its larger size and diversification. And the lack of disclosure regarding the earthquakes by the companies is concerning.

What the Frac Hell is going on in Canada! 3.9M earthquake west of Frac’d Crazy Fox Creek Alberta reported by Earthquakes Canada, 1 km depth, now scrubbed from their website!

2015 01 29: Did Alberta Just Break a Fracking Earthquake World Record with 4.4 Temblor at Fox Creek? Sounds of Silence: The Crooked Lake Earthquakes

Some experts now argue that man-made industry quakes are more dangerous than natural ones.

New study: Hydraulic fracturing volume is associated with induced earthquake productivity in Duvernay play, Fox Creek Alberta

Fox Creek, Alberta Frac Quakes start up again; New Study by Standford Scientists: Small earthquakes at frac sites may be early indicators of bigger quakes to come; Surprising Finding: Arkansas earthquakes mostly caused by hydraulic fracturing, only some by wastewater injection, None caused by trucks

AER allows Repsol to resume fracking after causing world record 4.8M frac quake (felt 280 km away near Edmonton) in AER’s Fox Creek Blanket Approval Frac Frenzy Free-for-All Experiment. But, Repsol appears too shaken to resume

Canada breaking frac quake records: Geosciences professor thinks earthquakes near Fox Creek are clearly linked to fracking

Fox Creek: Yet another earthquake in AER’s deregulated blanket approval frac experiment. Fracking-Related Earthquakes Could Ding Credit Quality

Do we need another “independent” frac study? The AER asks: How far do we go? Fox Creek residents react to the latest 4.4 Magnitude quake

Chevron reported 3.6 magnitude event; Shut down by AER. Is the AER’s Frac Quake Stop Light System Irrelevant? Another 4.4 Magnitude Earthquake at Fox Creek

Fox Creek frac quakes make AER play deregulation with you and your loved ones: “Red Light = Green Light”

Fracking Quakes Pose Added Risks but Oil and Gas Companies Refuse to Share their Collected Seismic Data. “In low seismic environments like Fox Creek where the natural earthquakes are infrequent, the hazards from an induced seismic event can exceed the hazards from a natural source”

Fracing Record Breaking Quaking at Fox Creek Alberta?

New news or old? Frac’ing, not waste injection, causing earthquakes in Western Canada. Diana Daunheimer calls out U of Calgary’s David Eaton: “So why are you getting the details on this issue so very wrong Mr. Eaton?”

Frac Waste Quakes Make Time Magazine: The U.S.’s New Earthquake Capital: Oklahoma. “Some seismologists say that even if all disposal activity stopped in the state immediately, there could be earthquakes for decades.”

Scientific American: Even if Injection of Frac Wastewater Stops, Quakes Won’t; Oklahoma’s state seismologist, Jacob Walter: 900 fold increase in earthquakes in past decade of oil & gas frac boom is “unprecedented in human history”

Heavily frac’d Colorado seeing earthquakes where they’ve never happened before. “Big booms, roars and shaking homes.”

Oklahoma Insurance commissioner clarifies “man-made” earthquake policies: 92% of earthquake claims denied by insurers, “Until a legal ruling is made, it is generally assumed that the earthquakes are not man-made”

Another 5.6M Earthquake Hits Frac Ravaged Oklahoma: Mitigation Obviously Not Working! Quakes Increasing, No Matter How Many Injection Wells Shut Down or Injection Volumes Reduced. State Of Emergency Declared for Pawnee County. 58,628 people felt the quake, as far as 2,323 km away in Boston, MA

Known risk of earthquakes caused by oil and gas development, BC Hydro worries about fracking unconventionals near dams, specifically coalbed methane and shale gas. “Alberta Offers Lessons In Keeping Oil and Gas Industry ‘Safe’ From A Public Endangered By Fracking”

“yep they get the gold, we get the shaft.” Dam collapses at one of Australia’s largest gold mines after 2.7M earthquake 2 km away. Imagine BC’s foolish, high risk Site C dam surrounded by frac’ing causing much stronger earthquakes!

Oklahoma’s boasted frac quake mitigation failing, badly! More homes damaged by two 4.2M quakes Sunday NE of Enid; Court coddling oil companies causing quakes, leaving people plaintiffs dangling

Texas, New Study: Fracking directly linked to increase in earthquakes

CAPP Induced Planned Deflection & Dismissal of Frack Quake Risks & Harms? U of A Study: Human-induced seismicity (leaves out the tens of thousands of small frack quakes) and large-scale (why leave out the medium & small-scale production that’s fracked?) hydrocarbon production in PA, WV, OK, ND, TX, USA and SK, AB, BC, Canada

“Frack Free Lancashire is delighted to learn that 35 days after they caused a 2.9ML earthquake which shook the Fylde and the confidence of their investors, Cuadrilla are finally demobilising…. The seismic activity which they provoked has not stopped though, with the 133rd event being recorded on Saturday, five weeks after they last fracked.”

Lancashire UK: Cuadrilla apologises over quakes while trivializing the damages to homes and wants to keep frac’ing. What will the frac-greedy politicians and regulator do? “The whole house went backwards and forwards. [It] was a really strong movement.”

UK, Blackpool: Cuadrilla’s quakes won’t stop even though work ordered stopped. Bigger quake, 2.9M, damages countless homes, 450 residents protest, demand frac ban. Company’s earthquakes keep getting bigger: 2.1M quake, felt by residents, days after previous record set at 1.6M, also felt by residents. Cuadrilla had promised it would keep quakes below 0.5M

Pawnee Oklahoma’s 5.8M earthquake caused river to rise. Not just waste injection causing earthquakes in Oklahoma, frac’ing causing them too, like in BC & Alberta

Insurer Lloyd’s Wins Right to Fight New Dominion Lawsuit in N.Y. Over Oklahoma Quake Coverage; Lloyds refusing to pay damages claiming water and chemicals injected for fracing doesn’t qualify as pollution

Chartered Insurance Institute warns on growing fracking risks

Dutch Court Suspends Gas Production on earthquake fears; Pennsylvania Insurance Dept Issues Quake Notice: Fracking Exclusion Not Allowed, “Endorsements that attach to homeowners insurance policies in this Commonwealth should cover all earthquakes, whether believed to be ‘naturally occurring’ or caused by ‘human activity’”

Eight Industry Leaders to Present at Catastrophe Response Unit Seminar for “all insurance claims management, adjusters and industry personnel” includes feature presentation: “Fracking Induced Earthquakes”

Man-Made Frac Quakes Could Threaten 3.5 Million Americans in 2017: USGS Report

American Insurance Industry Adjusts to Earthquake Risk Caused by Fracking

UK National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance New Frac Exclusion: “WE will not pay for liability arising out of any activity involving prospecting, extraction or refining of liquid or gaseous fuel. An example of such an activity is ‘fracking’”

2015: Alberta frack operation near Devon shattered home window; No wonder Edmonton-area residents are protesting fracing near their homes

2019: 4.6M earthquake, 1 km in depth, most powerful yet in central Alberta, hits SW of Red Deer, cracks walls in homes, knocks power out to thousands. Vesta Energy reports quake to AER, shuts down frac’ing. AER investigating. Geological Survey of Canada says looks like fra’cing didn’t do it.

AER orders Vesta Energy to suspend frac operations at well site linked to 4.6M earthquake in Central Alberta

NE BC: Monday’s 4.5 Magnitude frac quake, felt from Pink Mountain to Fort St. John (180 km), ‘likely’ caused by Progress Energy, OGC confirms | Ernst v. EnCana Corporation

AER Frac Pilot Project: Earthquakes, tax increases, water restrictions, double homicide, spills and accidents shake Alberta town’s faith in fracking; Aging sour facilities in deregulated Fox Creek a big worry for council; AER’s FracQuake Red Light stops Chevron only 16 days; Families moving out 

Business Insurance: Oil boom and fracking cause spike in energy industry workplace deaths. Do you have copies of Commercial Liability Insurance Coverage for companies operating near your home and loved ones?

Banks refusing mortgages on land where oil or gas rights have been sold to energy company; insurance companies cancel renewals if they find gas or oil lease on insured properties

Major earthquake could cause $75B in damage, study by Insurance Bureau of Canada warns; major quake would bring insurance industry to its knees

More lies & frac fraud? Why did AER’s Darin Barter (now NEB) suggest trucks to blame for citizens feeling frac quakes at Cardson? Why not tell the truth? Why are regulators and “experts” so loath to publicly disclose fracing’s many public safety risks?

US Gulf drillers forgo insurance citing high premiums

Nationwide Insurance continues avoiding shale gas fracking risks

Nationwide Insurance: Fracking Damage Won’t Be Covered

Fracking a lesser-known, but significant environmental insurance risk

2012: First Insurance Company Refuses to Cover Damages Caused by Fracking

2011: The New “F” Word: “Fraccidental” Insurance Headaches – Fracking: Understanding the opportunities & challenges of the latest environmental liability exposures

etc etc etc etc

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