How Fracking, Oil & Gas, & Deep Injec...

How Fracking, Oil & Gas, & Deep Injection, Trigger Earthquakes - the facts: Don't Frack California

There are 19 comments on the Daily Kos story from May 22, 2014, titled How Fracking, Oil & Gas, & Deep Injection, Trigger Earthquakes - the facts: Don't Frack California. In it, Daily Kos reports that:

Huge quantities of groundwater are consumed in California's central valley in the summer and early fall.

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Wonder Why

Marina Del Rey, CA

#2 May 22, 2014
There is at least one authoritative report that links the 1987 Whittier quake to subsidence at the Montebello oilfield caused by the oil extraction.
World Traveller

Alhambra, CA

#3 May 22, 2014
I just saw the Chief Researcher of the Save the Hills group on channel 3 from a Montebello City Council meeting mention the name of the researcher and the report, which I think was a McGregor or MacGregor (both are names of scientists) and the title of the report was something like "Induced Seismicity from Oil Field Operations."

I can't find it myself, probably because of the unknown name spelling, but perhaps someone else may post a link to the report?

According to her, it did say that the 1987 Whittier quake may have been caused by oil field operations.
ytw

Alhambra, CA

#4 May 23, 2014
Arthur McGarr, Geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey

“On a possible connection between three major earthquakes in California and oil production,” A. McGarr, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 1991 Abstract, http://bssa.geoscienceworld.org/content/81/3/...
World Traveller

Alhambra, CA

#6 May 23, 2014
truth squad wrote:
Whittier earthquake was much deeper than any oilfield operations and on the other side of the Whittier fault which terminates the northern/ eastern side of the MOntebello oil field
Overstating and going over the top ruins credibility to the real problem with shallow depth fracking.
Including water by product re-injection in with the chemical fracking does not help either- separate issues
Bad article unless you're chicken little
Perhaps you haven't seen spate of more recent articles that indicate a correlation between oil field operations, water pumping, and other activities and induced earthquakes?

One of the main points of the articles is that it may be the change in weight of the land above the faults that may be inducing the quakes, so operations may not have to extend to the depth of the faults themselves.
Wonder why

Los Angeles, CA

#7 May 23, 2014
World Traveller wrote:
<quoted text>Perhaps you haven't seen spate of more recent articles that indicate a correlation between oil field operations, water pumping, and other activities and induced earthquakes?
One of the main points of the articles is that it may be the change in weight of the land above the faults that may be inducing the quakes, so operations may not have to extend to the depth of the faults themselves.
Good point.
World Traveller

Alhambra, CA

#9 May 24, 2014
truth squad wrote:
seen lots of articles
however the article in question goes over the top and thus destroys its credibility
no pumping or subsidence in the area of the 1987 Whittier epicenter and the Puente Hills thrust is too deep to be affected
You're sure about all operations in the area for that year and recent years previous?
ytw

Scottsdale, AZ

#10 May 25, 2014
McGarr's article was recently cited by the National Research Council. Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2013.
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php...
ytw

Scottsdale, AZ

#12 May 26, 2014
Dear Truth Squad,

You may express your opinion to the following authors at the National Academy of Sciences:

Committee on Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies

Committee on Earth Resources

Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering

Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu
Wonder why

Downey, CA

#14 May 28, 2014
There's an old song with the line "The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone". The different strata of rock in the earth are also connected. What affects one, especially in terms of weight and pressure, can affect others. Subsidence is just one example. Given the presence of a potentially active earthquake fault in the Montebello Hills (the Montebello Fault) both micro seismicity and a larger earthquake are significant concerns.
Concerned Bystander

Whittier, CA

#16 May 29, 2014
truth squad wrote:
The Montebello fault is not large enough to generate a large earthquake.
The > 10 km deep Puente Hills thrust and the Whittier Fault, which constrains the north-east limits of the Montebello Oilfield are both capable of generating a 7.5 (very rarely) but 6.8-7.1 for residential building code purposes.
When are we going to see subsidence in the MOntebello Hills
Inquiring minds need to know..
Maybe you missed it, but the McGarr link seemed to say that the hills that Montebello is a part of experienced subsidence in 1987. Did I misread it?
Wonder why

Downey, CA

#18 May 30, 2014
truth squad wrote:
The Montebello fault is not large enough to generate a large earthquake.
The > 10 km deep Puente Hills thrust and the Whittier Fault, which constrains the north-east limits of the Montebello Oilfield are both capable of generating a 7.5 (very rarely) but 6.8-7.1 for residential building code purposes.
When are we going to see subsidence in the MOntebello Hills
Inquiring minds need to know..
My understanding is that the Montebello Fault is a thrust fault that could break the surface earth apart in a quake, causing severe damage to whatever structures might be on top of it. And, since it is located in the active Montebello oilfield, issues of gas release and/or fire, could exist.

Btw, Freeport McMoran, the oil company that owns and manages the Montebello oilfield, is drilling six new oil wells there. This is obviously a thriving industrial concern, and not a safe or appropriate place for a bunch of condos to be built.
Witty Whittierite

Alhambra, CA

#21 Jun 2, 2014
truth Squad wrote:
The kind of rhetoric that gives the fracking movement a bad name
from Brenna Norton
"
Oil companies and corporate agriculture giants are moving fast to pave the way for the $50 billion twin tunnel project to take water from the Sacramento River and funnel it to their farms in the Central Valley and over the Monterey Shale formation for fracking."
I think you're a tad confused.
The quote you cite is from the ANTI-Fracking movement.
The fracking movement is in favor of the twin tunnel project, as the volume of water they use would not cause comment in regular times, but in our severe drought, is coming under close scrutiny.
The fracking movement is the force behind the TV commercials that tout 'proven, clean hydraulic fracturing' as the key to America's gas and oil self-sufficiency.
A rep from Freeport-McMoran said in a recent Montebello city council meeting that there is 'no High-Volume Hydraulic fracturing ..... or any form of acidizing' going on in the Montebello oil field at this time, and in the forseeable future. Possibly, these statements may turn out to be as inaccurate as their discredited pronouncements concerning their Baldwin Hills Oil Field operations have turned out to be.
Hope this clears it up for you.
Wonder why

United States

#23 Jun 3, 2014
It's been known since the 70's that certain oil production techniques, such as water flooding, can, in some situations, cause measurable earthquakes. Persons living near the Montebello oilfield have reported feeling "micro tremors " every few days or weeks. These tremors are consistently reported as occurring in the very early morning, from 4:00 to 6:30 a.m. With Freeport McMoran drilling six new wells in the Montebello oilfield, I wonder if the tremors will increase in frequency.
Concerned Bystander

Alhambra, CA

#24 Jun 3, 2014
Wonder why wrote:
...... With Freeport McMoran drilling six new wells in the Montebello oilfield, I wonder if the tremors will increase in frequency.
And intensity.
Wonder why

Downey, CA

#26 Jun 4, 2014
The real issue is the effect the micro-tremors would have on any condos or other residences placed on top of the active oil field, as Cook-Hill is proposing. If the micro-tremors are discernible a few blocks from the oil field, obviously they would be felt more strongly by anyone on top of it. Long term effects would include deteriorating foundations and greater "settling" of earth under buildings leading to uneven floors and other effects.
Wonder why

Downey, CA

#28 Jun 7, 2014
There are lots of "real issues". High pressure hydraulic fracturing, water flooding and utilization of waste water (from Fracking) disposal wells have all been linked to increased seismicity. Other quakes happen without any connection to oil or natural gas production. If I remember correctly there's even been quakes precipitated by geothermal wells. My point is that it's not wise or safe to place vulnerable families on top of an active oil field.

Since: Mar 11

St. Croix valley

#29 Jun 7, 2014
isn't creating many small, not harmful earthquakes better than letting the pressure buildup until there is one big, harmful temblor?
Wonder why

Downey, CA

#30 Jun 7, 2014
woodtick57 wrote:
isn't creating many small, not harmful earthquakes better than letting the pressure buildup until there is one big, harmful temblor?
The people in Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Ohio who've experienced measurable earthquakes as the result of Fracking and other oil production techniques certainly seem to have been bothered by them. Oil production doesn't only cause micro tremors.

Your theory re: release of pressure from micro tremors may have some applicability in some cases. I seem to remember that might have played a role in the case of geothermal wells near the Salten Sea.

Whether or not they reduce pressure, microtremors cause long term damage on structures in the area, just ask the people who live near the Baldwin Hills oilfield.
Concerned Bystander

Alhambra, CA

#31 Jun 7, 2014
The problem is that there is no such thing as a 'not harmful' earthquake.

While there may not be buildings falling or landslides destroying homes from the smaller quakes, there is definitely damage. Reportedly, in Baldwin Hills alone there are many homes with cracked foundations, walls, gas, sewer and water lines from the smaller quakes and subsidence. Around the country, there are researchers considering the effects on municipal infrastructure from oil field operation induced subsidence.

After every small quake in the LA County area, there are always water line breaks, sometimes dozens of them.

The bottom line is the common sense that shaking ground with buried utilities and concrete building foundations will always cause some level of damage.

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