“Anywhere where you have existing fault structure in the sub-surface and you are doing fluid injection either for hydraulic fracturing or disposal there is the potential for induced seismicity.”
The BC Oil and Gas Commission has determined a four-point-six earthquake in Northeastern BC back in August was the result of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
Commission Chief Operating Officer Ken Paulson says this shows the system is working.
“This one actually showed our existing regulatory framework is working. What we put in place in B.C. is a system where if an operator has a felt event or an 4.0 event they have to report it to us immediately. They did that in this case. Work with the operators to develop a mitigation program going forward to prevent future events.”
As for how this might impact BC’s fledgling LNG industry.
“I think you have to keep in mind all the events that we have seen are very low magnitude well below the threshold where you would see any damage at the surface or any issues in the near sub-surface. All of the movement that we have seen has generally been confined to the formations at that depth.”
Paulson says this is the third time the Commission has linked fracking with earthquakes. The other two were in the Horn basin in 2012 and in the Montney formation in 2014.
A previous study for the commission found 231 seismic events in the Montney Basin from August 2013 to October 2014.