Fossil fuel corporations cause earthquakes for profit


This April 2015 video from the USA says about itself:

Oklahoma links earthquakes to oil and gas industry wastewater

There has been a sharp increase in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma in recent years. Some observers have suggested the rise of oil and gas drilling is responsible. The state’s government, however, hasn’t acknowledged that link until now. Gwen Ifill talks to Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma about the connection.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) has been conducting criminal investigations for months into the extraction of gas from smaller fields in the Netherlands. The research is said to focus on the Canadian Vermilion corporation, which in the village of Diever, eg, achieved more than three times the maximum permitted production quantity, according to a joint study by regional broadcsasting organisations RTV Noord, RTV Oost, RTV Drenthe and Omrop Fryslân.

The OM confirms that a criminal investigation is ongoing, but does not say whether it concerns Vermilion. “We can only report that we are investigating something if suspects are aware of it. Otherwise, they would read in the newspaper that they have been designated as suspects and that is not decent”, says a spokesperson.

How about when the OM suspects an unemployed hungry person of stealing a loaf of bread? I have the uncomfortable feeling that then, the Public Prosecution Service would not be so ‘decent’. As that unemployed hungry person would not not be a powerful multinational corporation.

Earthquakes and subsidence

Local residents are afraid of earthquakes and subsidence. “The judge in The Hague has already said that there is no reason to think that the risks with a small gas field are smaller than with the Groningen field“, says Alie Eiting from Diever.

A little further on, on the border of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe, residents wonder what the accelerated gas extraction in the vicinity of their houses means. “Publicly available figures on the internet have already shown that the companies are extracting more gas than is permitted in the license”, says Jeanette van der Velde of the Gas Drenthe, Overijssel, Friesland (GasDrOvF) foundation. “For the sake of clarity, those publicly accessible figures come from the gas corporations themselves.”

Wiebes boosts production

Gas corporations are obliged to draw up a production plan for all fields that they operate. If the minister agrees, then he will also formulate the conditions. Those conditions, such as a maximum production quantity, are included in the environmental permit.

Because gas extraction in the Groningen field is being slowed down, [right-wing VVD party] Minister Wiebes has issued several permits last year for smaller fields in the north of the country. He increases production there. Yesterday, members of the Lower House of Parliament Henk Nijboer (PvdA) and Sandra Beckerman (SP) said that they are going to question Minister Wiebes about this.

Leaks

The OM does not only investigate production from smaller fields. There is also an investigation into the NAM

joint venture of Shell and Exxon corporations

for pollution in Collendoorn (Hardenberg local authority) and Farmsum (Groningen). In January this year there was a spill in Collendoorn. Chemical substances have also leaked into the soil in Farmsum.

USA: Virginia Tech scientists have found that in regions where oilfield wastewater disposal is widespread — and where injected water has a higher density than deep naturally occurring fluids — earthquakes are getting deeper at the same rate as the wastewater sinks. Perhaps more critically, the research team of geoscientists found that the percentage of high-magnitude earthquakes increases with depth, and may create — although fewer in number — greater magnitude earthquakes years after injection rates decline or stop altogether: here.

A new analysis of historical seismic data led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that earthquake activity in West Texas near the city of Pecos has increased dramatically since 2009. The study, published Nov. 4 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, is important because it leverages old, unmined data to track seismic activity over nearly 20 years — much further back than other studies — to show that activity has increased during the past decade in an area of the Permian Basin that is being heavily developed for oil and gas. Although researchers have generally thought that to be true, the statewide TexNet earthquake monitoring system has been gathering data since only 2017, making it impossible to definitely determine when the cluster of seismic activity around Pecos really began: here.

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