OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Study on earthquakes, fracking arrives Friday

Jun 15, 2012 by

By Ben Geman – 06/14/12 06:24 PM ET   The Hill

Coming Friday: The National Research Council (NRC) will release a report on the potential for energy technologies — including wastewater injections associated with natural-gas drilling — to cause seismic activity.
“Hydraulic fracturing, click carbon capture and storage, stuff geothermal energy production, and conventional oil and gas development are various energy technologies that require injecting fluid deep underground, an adverse side effect of which is the potential to cause earthquakes,” the NRC notes in an announcement of the upcoming analysis.

Much of the attention around energy tech and quakes has centered on natural gas developed through hydraulic fracturing. The re-injection of large volumes of wastewater from gas drilling has been linked to seismic activity.

The report “examines the scale, scope, and consequences of earthquakes caused by subsurface fluid injection during energy production and identifies gaps in knowledge and research that could advance the understanding of man-made earthquakes,” according to the NRC.

The topic has caught the attention of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee leaders, who have scheduled a June 19 hearing on the matter.

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com

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