Fracking report too quick to dismiss earthquake dangers
10 April 2013
Commenting on a new study from Durham University about fracking induced earthquakes Friends of the Earth Scotland Campaigns Co-ordinator Mary Church said:
“Durham University’s research is surprisingly blasé about the risks posed by the low magnitude earth tremors that we know fracking can induce. While a quake measuring 2 on the Richter scale might not be felt by most people it can cause serious damage to the gas well and increases the risk of toxic chemicals and methane leaking into the atmosphere and water environment.
“It is by no means clear that the seismic risks of fracking are limited to minor quakes. Scientists in the USA have linked a earthquake in Oklahoma measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale, which injured 2 people and destroyed 14 homes, to processes similar to those used in fracking for gas.”
“Unconventional gas extraction and fracking is linked to very serious local environmental and health problems in countries such as Australia and the USA where the industry is more developed.
“Scotland has plentiful renewable resources and tough climate targets, the last thing we need is to go after yet more fossil fuels.”
Notes to Editors
1. Researchers from University of Oklahoma, Columbia University and the US Geological Survey found that wastewater (from nearby conventional oil wells) injected into the rocks for disposal was the likely cause of the earthquake, and point to the consequences for the unconventional gas industry which relies on injection of fluid into rocks as part of the hydraulic fracturing process. See Keranan et al, 2013 http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2013/03/26/G34045.1.abstract?ci...
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