The Cause of An Exaggerated Earthquake Unclear But Some Fear It Is Due to Fracking

A natural gas operation that halted work after a 4.6-magnitude earthquake in northeastern British Columbia last week has been linked to the largest earthquake in the province that’s been attributed to fracking.

Progress Energy, which is owned by Malaysia’s Petronas, paused its operations after the Aug. 17 quake that occurred 114 kilometres from Fort St. John.

The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission has previously said that hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — by the same company triggered a 4.4-magnitude earthquake that was felt in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson in August 2014.

Progress Energy responded late Wednesday, saying the cause of the recent quake has not yet been established.

“The northeast B.C. foothills is a seismically active area with more than 6,000 seismic events each year, 99 per cent of which measure a magnitude so low that they are not felt on the surface,” said a statement from spokesman Dave Sterna.

The company has voluntarily installed 17 seismic monitoring stations in its operating area, Sterna added.

A report by the commission said fracking has caused nearly 200 seismic events in the Montney Trend, which stretches from the B.C.-Alberta boundary near Dawson Creek to the B.C. Rocky Mountain foothills.

The report that investigated fracking, the process of fluid injection into rock to extract natural gas, looked into quakes recorded between August 2013 and October 2014.

A few facts to disrupt the narrative:

Any displacement of earth with water, massive coal mining, mine collapses and heavy-duty extraction can cause a seismic event.

The Richter Scale measures the severity of a seismic event. One measuring 4.4 would be felt and cause only minor damage.

British Columbia happens to be along a fault line. In fact, British Columbia is no stranger to earthquakes big or small. A recent one measured 5.2 on the Richter Scale. A few larger ones measured well over seven on the Richter Scale. In 1946, a 7.3 earthquake caused two deaths, one due to drowning and the other a heart attack. A bigger earthquake is yet to come.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is done away from urban areas making the likelihood of massive urban infrastructure damage and physical harm to the population nil.

But those are just facts.

  • Xavier

    Relieving stress through frequent small quakes seems preferable to allowing it to build to a point that a massive quake occurs. In fact, fracking may be saving lives and billions of dollars for insurance companies.

    • This is just a red herring to stop fracking and it’s rather shameless.

      • mobuyus

        The left dines on red herrings.

      • Exile1981

        Russia has been spending billions on anti-fracing groups.

  • ontario john

    I blame Harper and the Jews.

    • Surele Surele

      You forgot Harris.

  • Surele Surele

    What the frack?

  • Chris

    Why let inconvenient truths like facts ruin a perfectly good delusion.

  • Alain

    So those Romans must have been doing a lot of fracking around Pompeii. I guess that explains it.

  • Minicapt

    Unfortunately, the article does not successfully explain the depth at which fracking is done,versus the depth at which the earthquake occurred.


    • Xavier

      No room for facts; it’s all supposition and blind faith.