What the frack?

Posted on January 1, 2012


There are several stories coming out today about fracking, hydraulic fracturing, in Ohio. Many of these stories are wondering if fracking is to blame for the 11 recent earthquakes in Northeast Ohio.

As I understand it, fracking is a process of injecting rock formations with brine water to release natural gases contained within the formation.

Officials: 4.0 magnitude quake in Northeastern Ohio related to wastewater injection well

The lead in the story above said that the quake is linked “to the injection of wastewater into the ground near a fault line, creating enough pressure to cause seismic activity.” But then the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Jim Zehringer, said during a news teleconference that the quake is not caused by fracking.

“The seismic events are not a direct result of fracking,” he said.

Basically, from what I read, this happened because the well in this case was near an unknown fault line, not because of fracking in general. At least, that is what the experts are saying. So while the quakes are being caused by fracking at this particular area, fracking is not known to cause earthquakes at wells that are not located near fault lines.  So fracking is and isn’t the cause at the same time.

What the frack?

What is your opinion on fracking in Ohio? Do you think it should continue?