Fargo Forum Spreads Innuendo About Oil Patch Earthquake
There was an earthquake in North Dakota recently, and that has prompted a lot of speculation about the role fracking and fracking waste water wells may have had in it. But it seems as though the earthquake really didn’t have anything to do with oil activity.
As I’ve noted in previous posts, this earthquake was well within historical norms for seismic activity in North Dakota long pre-dating oil activity, and geological officials in the state were quick to dismiss claims that oil drilling had anything to do with the earthquake.
But that didn’t stop the rabidly anti-oil
activists reporters at Forum Communications from going out and finding someone who would draw the link between fracking and the earthquake for them, no matter how ill-informed they are about the state’s geology:
North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources geologist Fred Anderson said based on what he knows about the earthquake, he believes it was caused by naturally occurring geology, not manmade activities.
The earthquake does not seem unusual when looking at the 10 earthquakes known to have originated in North Dakota, Anderson said. Six of those earthquakes occurred in the northwest region, and two of those in the Oil Patch happened before drilling for oil began in the 1950s.
“Definitely the probabilities of earthquake occurrence are higher for the northwest part of the state,” Anderson said.
But Art McGarr, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, who is not familiar with North Dakota geology but has studied earthquakes since 1962, said based on his experience and the amount of industrial activity going on in the Williston area he believes the most likely hypothesis is that wastewater injection triggered the earthquake.
So the North Dakota officials, who are familiar with North Dakota’s geology, aren’t blaming fracking. But some federal official, who isn’t familiar with North Dakota’s geology, is blaming fracking.
And, of course, the anti-oil Forum Communications is quick to glom on to the latter’s opinions to spread innuendo.Tags: fracking, North Dakota News, oil