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Sharp increase in seismicity since 2008 induced by massive wastewater injection
From Science Magazine June 2014
Corresponding author. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Unconventional oil and gas production provides a rapidly growing energy source; however, high-production states in the United States, such as Oklahoma, face sharply rising numbers of earthquakes. Subsurface pressure data required to unequivocally link earthquakes to wastewater injection are rarely accessible. Here we use seismicity and hydrogeological models to show that fluid migration from high-rate disposal wells in Oklahoma is potentially responsible for the largest swarm. Earthquake hypocenters occur within disposal formations and upper basement, between 2- and 5-kilometer depth. The modeled fluid pressure perturbation propagates throughout the same depth range and tracks earthquakes to distances of 35 kilometers, with a triggering threshold of ~0.07 megapascals. Although thousands of disposal wells operate aseismically, four of the highest-rate wells are capable of inducing 20% of 2008 to 2013 central U.S. seismicity.
WASTEWATER DISPOSAL LINKED TO EARTHQUAKES (Editor’s notes)
The number of earthquakes is increasing in regions with active unconventional oil and gas wells, where water pumped at high pressure breaks open rock containing natural gas, leaving behind wastewater in need of disposing. Keranen et. al. show that the steep rise in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA is likely caused by fluid migration from wastewater disposal wells. Twenty percent of the earthquakes in the central United States could be attributed to just four of the wells. Injected fluids in high-volume wells triggered earthquakes over 30 kilometers [almost 18.6 miles] away.
Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations
Robert W. Howarth · Renee Santoro ·Anthony Ingraffea The Author(s) 2011.
This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Abstract: We evaluate the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas obtained by high volume hydraulic fracturing from shale formations, focusing on methane emissions.
Natural gas is composed largely of methane, and 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the lifetime of a well. These methane emissions are at least 30% more than and perhaps more than twice as great as those from conventional gas. The higher emissions from shale gas occur at the time wells are hydraulically fractured—as methane escapes from flow-back return fluids—and during drill out following the fracturing.
Falling Oil Price slows US Fracking
From: Oil-Price.net | By: Steve Austin | 12.08.14
Recent falls in oil prices alter the financial dynamics of oil extraction. Certain sources of oil entail lower costs than others. For example, conventional pumped oil extraction in high pressure onshore wells costs relatively little to set up and operate, whereas remote oil fields beneath icy seas require specialized equipment and override wages to locate and extract. When the oil price rises, more difficult oil fields become economically viable, when the price falls, the margins of extraction remove the viability of certain sources. Hydraulic fracturing in the United States has provided an unexpected source of oil. However, it has contributed to an oversupply that could soon cause fracking production to shut down; as a matter of fact applications for new U.S. well permits dropped by nearly half last month. US oil production is slowing down because of low oil prices and today we’ll explain the reasons for that decline and explore the solutions.
From Food and Water Watch
What is Fracking?
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Fracking, also called “hydraulic fracturing,” is a destructive process that corporations like Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil use to extract natural gas and oil from rock that lies deep underground. They drill a deep well and inject millions of gallons of toxic fracking fluid – a mix of water, sand and harsh chemicals – at a high enough pressure to fracture the rock and release the oil or gas.Fracking is exempt from major environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Water Act, and spills and accidents are far too common.http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/fracking/
Perceived and Real Problems of ‘Fracking’
From Oil and Gas Monitor website
Top Environmental Concerns in Fracking
As a result of recent technological innovations improving the ability to extract oil and natural gas from shale and other rock formations, the popularity of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has surged, leading to new investment opportunities and positive growth for the domestic gas and oil production industry. With the expansion, however, has come risk and scrutiny.
To help quantify and qualify those potential risks, and in response to escalating public concern, Congress directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to conduct a study into the potential impacts of fracking on drinking and ground water. A first report of results is expected by the end of 2012, with a final report to be released in 2014.
Waste not: Common Sense Ways To Reduce Methane Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
The case for taking action on climate change has never been clearer: as the third National Climate Assessment states, the U.S. is already experiencing the effects of climate change, from increasing heat across the country to more extreme weather events totaling billions of dollars in damage. Given these impacts, and much worse to come, the cost of inaction to our health, environment, and economy is far too great, especially when effective and low-cost means for reducing climate-warming pollution are available now.
In this report, we show how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can fulfill the agency’s duty under the Clean Air Act to cut in half dangerous, wasteful methane pollution from the largest industrial source—the oil and gas industry—in just a few years, using common sense standards based on available, low-cost control measures for a targeted
The oil and gas industry is the nation’s largest industrial source of methane, a much more potent climate-warming pollutant than carbon dioxide pound-for-pound, and the oil and gas sector is the second largest industrial contributor to overall climate pollution. Moreover, there is compelling evidence that the industry is releasing a lot more methane than is currently accounted for in government inventories. For the full report http://catf.us/resources/publications/files/WasteNot_Summary.pdf