Fracking shakes Ohio – Ohio thumps fracking

9 Mar 2012

The State of Ohio today announced new rules relating to fracking – not relating to the chemicals injected into the groundwater as Michigan has required – but requiring significant geological investigation because of a report (here) which concluded that a dozen earthquakes in northeast Ohio in the last year were caused by fracking.

The report concludes that it is possible to properly locate and operate injection wells and not cause earthquakes,  but in this case, there were a number of factors making a “compelling argument” that the recent “seismic events” were related to the fracturing operation including the timing of the quakes, the proximity of them to the well, the cluster pattern around the well and some of the known predisposition of the geology in the area.

In short, the report indicates that before fracturing, there needs to be an analysis of the presence of faults within so-called “basement rock,” the stress state of those faults, the depth and proximity of the well to the fault, the volume of liquid being injected, at what pressure and for how long to evaluate the likelihood of causing tremors.

I believe that fracking will continue but that there will be many more prerequisites to ensure that no harm is done.  I wonder how long before Michigan looks at this.

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