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Fracking poses low risk for causing earthquakes, report finds

June 19, 2012
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WASHINGTON — Hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas extraction technique commonly known as “fracking,” has a low risk for inducing earthquakes that can be felt by people, but underground injection of wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing and other energy technologies has a higher risk of causing such earthquakes, says a new report from the National Research Council.

In addition, carbon capture and storage may have the potential for inducing seismic events, because significant volumes of fluids are injected underground over long periods of time.

However, insufficient information exists to understand the potential of carbon capture and storage to cause earthquakes, because no large-scale projects are as yet in operation. The committee that wrote the report said continued research will be needed to examine the potential for induced seismicity in large-scale carbon capture and storage projects.

READ MORE: Injection well induced earthquakes in Ohio

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