B.C. halts frack­ing in north­east quake area

Calgary Herald - - CITY+REGION -

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. The B.C. Oil and Gas Com­mis­sion is shut­ting down oil­field frack­ing oper­a­tions in an area in the north­east part of the prov­ince for at least 30 days while it in­ves­ti­gates earthquakes that oc­curred there on Nov. 29.

The reg­u­la­tor says the seis­mic events mea­sur­ing be­tween 3.4 and 4.5 mag­ni­tude took place near hy­draulic frac­tur­ing oper­a­tions be­ing con­ducted about 20 kilo­me­tres south­east of Fort St. John by Cal­gary-based Cana­dian Nat­u­ral Re­sources Ltd.

It says the com­pany im­me­di­ately sus­pended that work and it won’t be al­lowed to re­sume with­out the writ­ten con­sent of the com­mis­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to Nat­u­ral Re­sources Canada, the 4.5 mag­ni­tude earth­quake was felt in Fort St. John, Tay­lor, Chetwynd and Daw­son Creek but did no dam­age. It was fol­lowed by two smaller af­ter­shocks.

Hy­draulic frac­tur­ing in­volves in­ject­ing large amounts of wa­ter, sand and chem­i­cals into a well to break up tight rock un­der­ground and al­low trapped oil and gas to flow.

The tech­nol­ogy has been linked by the B.C. com­mis­sion to pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents of “in­duced seis­mic­ity.”

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