A new study released by scientists from University of Colorado in Boulder reveals startling new facts about how far fracking earthquakes can occur from their injection well head point.
In Longmont / Greeley Colorado, over TWO HUNDRED different earthquakes occurring at a depth of at least 10,800 feet, up to 2 miles away from the fracking operation.
As you may know (if you’ve been following the fracking earthquake developments over the past several years), fracking earthquake are spreading across wider areas, happening deeper in the crust, and growing in magnitude.
On top of this new finding, we have come to find out that yesterday, a Judge in Colorado OVERTURNED THE FRACKING BAN passed by the people of Colorado.
Corporate corruption allowed by what I would call a payoff / false ruling from a person who has either been paid or threatened to make this ruling.
Graft, and greed making their way into Colorado’s law making system.
The people voted on a gas extraction process, the judge thinks their take on the law TRUMPS the voters…. lolol..
Hope a big one hits near the judges house in the middle of the night , and I hope their house is on a slope, or at the bottom of a large hill with loose boulders.
:) Hope they get the feel mother natures response to their corrupt ruling while their in bed at home.
Judge says Earthquakes are “ok”.
We’ll see how long that lasts, most likely we’ll have to wait until a few more people are killed. This year, only 3 people killed in Colorado due to fracking.
Wait until its a family , or a child. Then we can blame this judge. Until then. Hope the people do something in Colorado to fight this corruption.
First the new study linking over two hundred 10,000+ ft. deep earthquakes to a Greeley, Colorado frack well.
“GREELEY – A 10,800-foot-deep well into which NGL Water Solutions DJ LLC injected oil and natural-gas wastewater is linked to more than 200 earthquakes, a University of Colorado Boulder scientist said.
CU scientists detected the earthquakes with equipment in June after a quake in Greeley in May, said Anne Sheehan, geophysics professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science.
The team found “quite a few little earthquakes” with epicenters within about two miles of the well, she said.
The wastewater-injection well is the subject of a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission investigation into whether NGL Water Solutions violated the terms of its permit related to the volume of wastewater injected by the company.
“We are reviewing documents to determine whether the well was operated within permit guidelines,” Colorado Department of Natural Resources spokesman Todd Hartman said in an email.
The state oil commission in July let NGL resume activity at the well with some restrictions after ordering the company to temporarily suspend injection activity when two earthquakes shook the Greeley area in May and June. The May 31 earthquake, with a 3.2 magnitude, was felt even in Boulder, Sheehan said.
NGL Water Solutions, formerly High Sierra Water Services LLC, operates 11 of the 29 injection wells in Weld County. The injection wells are designated specifically for wastewater and regulated by state authorities. NGL Water Solutions also does some oil and gas wastewater recycling.
The investigation comes two months after the state said that it planned to join a 10-state working group to investigate whether wastewater disposal associated with fracking is linked to quakes. The working group followed a rash of tremors in Oklahoma.
At the time, a petroleum engineer for the state oil commission told BizWest that he considered the potential of earthquakes caused by Colorado’s injection wells as “very low.”
Earthquakes associated with wastewater injection are nothing new in Colorado. From 1963 to 1967, a series of earthquakes occurred when wastewater was disposed of in a 12,000-foot-deep well at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, northeast of Denver. The quakes, the earliest known underground wastewater disposal-related tremors, stopped in 1968 after the Army slowly removed wastewater from the well.
Earthquakes at Rocky Mountain Arsenal came before the state developed regulations on injecting wastewater underground. Much of the research done on the subject since then has been conducted in Colorado and has helped the state develop a better understanding of how to reduce human-caused earthquakes.
Wastewater injection from coal-bed methane production in the Raton Basin west of Trinidad may have caused multiple earthquakes during the past few years, including a 5.3-magnitude tremor in August 2011, Robert Williams, a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program, told BizWest recently.
In Northern Colorado, the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing generates enormous amounts of wastewater that oil companies typically inject thousands of feet underground. Fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals into a drilled hole to extract oil and gas from dense shale formations.
Before the recent quakes in the Greeley area, state and federal officials were seemingly unaware of earthquakes taking place in Northern Colorado even as it planned to join the national working group.
“There’s not much of an update for us to give here,” Lepore, the state oil commission director, told BizWest just weeks before the May earthquake in Greeley. “We have a fairly detailed program, and if other states don’t have that, we obviously would want to share that sort of information with them.”
Lepore had said it was too early to tell whether the working group would lead to new state regulations on deep-injection wells.
CU scientists Shemin Ge and Matthew Weingarten found that a massive increase in earthquakes in central Oklahoma likely came from the injection of vast amounts of oil and gas wastewater underground.
Earthquakes linked to injection wells used to dispose of fracking wastewater represent one of the primary challenges of unconventional oil and gas development, Ge said. Practices that could reduce quakes include avoiding injecting water at high rates, avoiding faults and closely monitoring pressure changes.
“Before permitting, thorough site-specific hydrogeological studies should be conducted,” she said.
NGL not only operates more than a third of the injection wells but also recycles oil and gas wastewater in Colorado and Wyoming. In Wyoming, for example, the company told BizWest last year that it operated a water-treatment facility that has recycled more than 32 million barrels of water and discharged more than 5 million barrels of highly treated water into the New Fork River, a tributary of the Green and Colorado rivers. The water recycling, however, represented only 5 percent of the company’s business, with most of its revenues stemming from its injection-well activity.
Doug White, senior vice president of NGL Water Solutions, did not respond to a request for comment. White also declined to comment for a previous story on the injection well. Hartman declined BizWest’s requests for an interview with Lepore on the investigation.
The state oil commission imposed restrictions on NGL’s continued operations of the well, reducing the volume of wastewater to a maximum rate of 5,000 barrels daily with a maximum pressure of slightly more than 1,500 pounds per square inch. After 20 days, the company could increase its injection rate to 7,500 barrels per day at the same pressure.
NGL’s state oil commission permit had allowed the company to inject slightly more than 1,500 pounds per square inch, but at a higher rate of 10,000 barrels per day.
Hartman said the oil commission believes that the problem is confined to the NGL injection well and not widespread among other wells.
“We’ll continue to closely monitor and accumulate all available information at this location,” he said, “and work with partners to continue understanding how best to limit and prevent potential seismic impacts related to deep injection generally.”
More on the Judge overturning the fracking ban in Greeley, Colorado.
“A fracking ban in the city of Longmont, Colorado, was thrown out by a judge amid petition drives to hold a statewide vote in November on restricting oil and gas drilling that generate $30 billion a year.
The debate over fracking, in which water, chemicals and sand are injected below ground to extract oil and gas from sand and shale formations, has escalated in Colorado as drilling moves closer to suburbs, raising concerns about water and air contamination. Five communities in the state have voted to ban or put a moratorium on such activity.
Judge Dolores Mallard yesterday granted a request by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association to overturn a voter-approved ban on the use of fracking. Mallard rejected Longmont’s argument that the ban is legitimate because the fracking amounts to a purely local matter.
“The judge has invited us to seek the change we need either through the higher courts or the legislature,” Bruce Baizel, director of Earthworks Energy Program, a group that supported the ban, said in an e-mailed statement. “We fully intend to pursue the former on appeal while the latter underscores the need for the citizens of Colorado to get out and support the Environmental Bill of Rights ballot measure this fall.”
Mallard ruled that Longmont can’t override the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She also overturned a ban on the storage and disposal of fracking waste within city limits.
“The court finds the matter of mixed local and state interest,” Mallard wrote in her opinion. “Longmont does not have the authority, in a matter of mixed state and local concern, to negate the authority of the Commission,” she wrote, adding that the city “does not have the authority to prohibit what the state authorizes and permits.”
Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers, a Republican, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday that Mallard got the ruling “right.”
Mallard stayed her ruling to give environmental groups a chance to appeal it.
Kaye Fissinger, president of one of those groups, Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont, said the ruling is the first to overturn a local fracking ban in the state.
“It’s tragic that the judge views the current law in Colorado as one in which fracking is more important than public health,” Fissinger said in an e-mailed statement. “Reversing that backwards priority is a long-term battle that we’re determined to continue.”
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, and business leaders have vowed to defeat ballot initiative proposals that would amend the state constitution to require wells to be set back 2,000 feet from structures and provide communities with more control over where drilling takes place.
U.S. Representative Jared Polis, a Democrat from Boulder who is backing the initiative requiring 2,000 feet of space, has said it’s now up to the people of Colorado to address the fracking issue. Supporters of the initiative must turn in 86,105 valid signatures of registered voters by Aug. 4 to place the measures on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC:US), Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL:US) and Encana Corp. (ECA:US), which are drilling in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, one of the nation’s richest oil and gas fields, said on July 16 they will spend $50 million to fight the measures. Drilling in the basin has helped make Colorado the nation’s sixth-largest natural-gas producer and ninth-biggest oil producer.
The case is Colorado Oil & Gas Association v. City of Longmont, 2013-cv-63, Boulder County, Colorado, District Court (Boulder).”