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Earth Power United Kingdom Science

Minor Quakes In the UK Likely Caused By Fracking 318

Stirling Newberry writes "Non-conventional extraction of hydrocarbons is the next wave of production, including natural gas and oil – at least according to its advocates. One of the most controversial of the technologies being used is hydraulic fracture drilling, or 'fracking.' Energy companies have been gobbling up Google ad words to push the view that the technology is 'proven' and 'safe,' while stories about the damage continue to surface. Adding to the debate are two small tremors in the UK — below 3.0, so very small – that were quite likely the result of fracking there. Because the drilling cracks were shallow, this raises concerns that deeper cracks near more geologically active areas might lead to quakes that could cause serious damage."
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Minor Quakes In the UK Likely Caused By Fracking

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  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:10AM (#37934992) Homepage
    /Geologist who works for a major oil company.

    So you're obviously a non-biased source.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:11AM (#37934994)

    You're on the right track. To quote the article: In the case of the Cuadrilla site, the report stated, this occurred near an already-stressed fault. The fluid spread over a period of 10 hours after injection and caused the quakes.

    It's just that those that are against fracking are gonna use this a scare tactic.

    The same concerns over tainted water tables, etc. have been raised when oil drilling was beginning in the mid 1800s.

    Each environment is different and requires a case by case study to determine if fracking is indeed "bad" to the environment, but at the same time, to know all of this we need to continue to frack the trapped gas/oil.

  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:28AM (#37935322) Homepage

    Sigh, yet another "The SKY IS FALLING" story from the clueless.

    The micro-fractures plus the injection of water, sand & detergents used by fracking are making small stress relieving adjustments (earthquakes) possible.

    It's just what we would need to eliminate major earthquakes. Unfortunately the geology of earthquake zones & that where fracking can be useful to recover recover otherwise unavailable gas do not overlap so it will never happen as a beneficial side effect of commercial fracking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:47AM (#37935640)

    OP here. So the Environmental Protection Agency and Ground Water Protection Council are biased in favor of big oil? My comments are based on THEIR studies, not my own, not my employer's.

    Please, explain your brilliant reasoning or is it just a big government conspiracy?

    Amazing that the most ignorant comments get modded up. Group-think at its finest.

  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:59AM (#37935830) Homepage Journal

    Yea, 'cause you don't have to drill through that first, and there's no chance that raising the pressure below could force things just under the water table up into it.

    It might not be as bad as 'the sky is falling' folks claim, but it isn't good either.

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