Alberta Energy Regulator confirms fracking the cause of quakes
Central Alberta earthquakes that caused structure damage and briefly knocked out power to parts of the town of Sylvan Lake were caused by oilfield fracking, says a report by the Alberta Energy Regulator.
And according to the Calgary Herald, the agency says its investigation has turned up multiple new clusters of such seismic activity in the province.
An investigation by the AER and its Alberta Geological Survey (AGS), states seismic activity on March 4 of last year and March 19, 2018, in the Red Deer area was caused by hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting liquid to loosen rock formations and free up hydrocarbons.
That kind of earthquake activity wasn’t familiar to that area but was highly noticeable when it occurred, said the report.
“Within Alberta, the majority of induced earthquake activity has been focused on areas of the Duvernay Formation development near Fox Creek,” it states. “However, recent events (19 March, 2018 and 4 March, 2019) were large enough to be felt by nearby residents in the City of Red Deer who were between 4-10 km away.”
It says such seismic activity in a typically more stable area “was suspicious, considering the recent development of the Duvernay East Shale Basin.”