A hydraulic fracturing operation near Fox Creek in Canada, 263 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, has been shut down after an earthquake hit the area; The magnitude 4.8 quake was reported at 11:27 a.m., says Alberta Energy Regulator, which ordered the shutdown of the Repsol Oil & Gas site 35 kilometres north of Fox Creek. It was felt 2
Carrie Rosa, spokeswoman for the regulator, says “the company has ceased operations … and they will not be allowed to resume operations until we have approved their plans.” Rosa added the company is working with the energy regulator to ensure all environmental and safety rules are followed. In a statement, Repsol confirmed the seismic event and said the company was conducting hydraulic fracturing operations at the time it happened. “Repsol immediately shut down operations and reported the event to the AER and other local authorities,” the statement said.
“The company is investigating the event, which includes reviewing and analyzing available geological and geophysical data, as well as the onsite seismic monitoring data. Operations will not resume at this location until a full assessment of the event has been completed and approval has been received from the AER.” There were no reports of injuries or damage to the site, Rosa said.
Jeffrey Gu, associate professor of geophysics at the University of Alberta, said the area surrounding Fox Creek has been experiencing a proliferation of quakes lately. He estimates in the last six months there have been hundreds of quakes in the area ranging in magnitude from 2.0 to 3.0. This larger quake was felt 280 km away.