Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New fracking injection well starts the earthquake fun


Brine water, a byproduct of oil drilling and hydraulic-fracturing for natural gas, is flushed underground.
"There's definitely a coincidence," said Jeffrey Dick, geology department chairman at Youngstown State University. "But whether or not there's a link, nobody has enough data quite yet."
Heidi Hetzel-Evans, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the agency stood by regulations allowing the well operations. The agency has "not seen any evidence that shows a correlation between localized seismic activity and deep-injection well disposal," she said.

Yeah!  We start Arkansas all over again!  This is a prime fault zone, the megathrust that defines the Hamilton Fault Zone, and zooms all the way down to the big stuff.  I don't think we have the seismic resolution to define a mechanism, but, like Arkansas, they should start with a NW thrust zone, and then bloom to a large NE strike-slip.  Although in this area, like Hamilton, you can survive with a NE mixed fault mechanism.

Now, the fun in watching this will be to see how big the earthquakes can get before they capitulate by turning off the well.


Harold Asmis said...

I just use the blog for its publishing tools. I never get any feedback other than link spam. All the intelligent conversation is on g+. Wonder how long that will last?

Peter said...

My question is are these induced earthquakes worth it? Is living with frequent quakes an acceptable price to pay for oil/gas development?

Peter said...

Younstown sure doen't look like it has much in the way of a seismic history either.


Harold Asmis said...

That whole area is one big oil well! They've induced 2 M5+ earthquakes in the past few decades. So maybe they are happy with earthquakes. :)

Harold Asmis said...

I would have expected another earthquake by now. I suspect that they are scared and have turned off the injection well -- darn! :)