"So, does fracking cause earthquakes? Not exactly, but the way companies dispose of fracking waste can, which means that other types of energy-related activity that rely on fluid injection—enhanced oil recovery, enhanced geothermal systems, carbon capture and sequestration—also have the potential to cause quakes. Still, the evidence suggests that we can add earthquakes to the growing list of fracking-related hazards, alongside air pollution, tainted drinking water, and potentially outsized carbon emissions.
Something Is Seriously Wrong With the Weather!
Anyone who has been paying attention will note that large-scale nature-related disasters are increasing.
Every few weeks it seems, Earth unleashes devastating violence of some sort or other. An earthquake---a tornado--a tsunami---a massive storm---a flood---a drought---a rash of wildfires. It levels property, destroys homes, decimates crops, claims lives. And another constellation of survivors are left breathless in its wake, tasked with trying to piece their shattered lives back together.
It is a dreadful reminder of an awesome and important reality.
Pioneered by Halliburton, the process involves injecting millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure down and across horizontally drilled wells as far as 10,000 feet below the surface. The pressure causes the rocks to crack and release natural gas. The fissures are held apart by the sand particles allowing natural gas from the shale to flow up the well. Halliburton refuses to divulge the contents of the chemical cocktail used in the process.
Since 2004, much of this practice has been concentrated in the Marcellus Shale, a geological formation that spreads from midstate New York across more than half of Pennsylvania and into Ohio and West Virginia. It reaches cities from Cleveland, Buffalo N.Y., and Pittsburgh in the western region almost to New York City and Philadelphia in the east."
he major companies involved in drilling in the Marcellus Shale area include Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy, with rights to 1.45 million acres; Texas-based Range Resources, with 1.4 million acres; and Cabot Oil & Gas, also headquartered in Texas, with 1.2 million acres. Several billion-dollar companies, including Norwegian colossus StatoilHydro Asa, Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum and EOG Resources, are also feeding at the Marcellus Shale trough.
The natural gas content of the Marcellus Shale is estimated to range from 168 trillion to 516 trillion cubic feet. From 2000 to 2008 the number of active oil and gas wells in New York nearly doubled, from 6,845 to 13,687. In Pennsylvania 4,000 wells have been drilled since 2008, and are anticipated to produce 19 million gallons of wastewater a day by 2011. While the industry claims that thousands of new jobs are being created, so far much of the field work is being done by crews from Texas and Oklahoma who have expertise in shale gas."