Progress Energy taking fracking-caused quake ‘very seriously’

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission has confirmed fracking activity in the Fort St. John area earlier this year caused the largest earthquake linked to date to the oil and gas industry.

Ken Paulson is the OGC Chief Operating Officer.

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In this case, the quake occurred on Aug. 17 about 114 kilometres from Fort St. John and Progress Energy paused its operations after it struck.

Progress also held the previous record for the largest known fracking-caused BC quake, which occurred last year and registered a 4.4 magnitude — as opposed to 4.6, the new record.

Now owned by Malaysia’s Petronas, Progress would supply gas from this area to the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG terminal, and Mr. Paulson was asked how this might impact the fledging B.C. LNG industry.

Progress is listed online as the largest holder of contiguous land in the world-class North Montney play, and the website says currently over 13,000 drilling locations have been identified in the area with about 215 wells drilled.

A statement from the company says it takes this incident very seriously and also notes it has 17 monitoring stations in its operating area to accurately detect seismic activity.

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