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Woodburn Forest – Facts

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On this very sad morning following Infrastrata’s spudding of their first Petroleum well in Northern Ireland at Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus, Stop The Drill have some very serious questions for NI Water the landlord of the site which was unlawfully leased to the company. We also have a number of questions for Mid and East Antrim Council following the disclosure that the Head of Planning, Paul Duffy asked Infrastrata for help in responding to questions from councillors about this project.

NI Water
On 13 May 2016 Stop The Drill wrote to Sara Venning Chief Executive of NI Water raising grave concerns about the claim that the Woodburn well pad is ‘Zero Discharge’. Stop The Drill has also sought the following information from NI Water. Ms Venning was present at an NI Water Board meeting in July 2013.
(http://www.niwater.com/…/boa…/board_minutes_24_july_2013.pdf) where InfraStrata’s request to lease the land at Woodburn was discussed. i.e.
12. Proposal for Oil Exploration at Woodburn Catchment in Carrickfergus The Board considered the proposal in detail. The Board was assured that contamination risk had been dealt with in the pre-conditions for NIW land being accessed for this project. It was agreed that DRD should also be notified of this proposal. Continue reading

Fracking and Earth quakes: listing the facts

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 Fracking and Earth quakes: listing the facts

Reporter: Geert deCock – Food and Water EUROPE

My colleagues in the US listed some helpful facts about fracking, shale gas and induced seismicity

There is now a lot of talk about this, as scientists now linked fracking waste water injection to a surge of quite big earth quakes in Oklahoma. See this Reuters article.



The industry and its affiliates would like to dismiss the fact that many new earthquakes sweeping across the nation are fracking-related.
Hydraulic fracturing itself can cause earthquakes, they just tend to be smaller and less frequently felt than earthquakes produced from underground injection control wells

I n 2011, fracking was associated with a 3.8 magnitude earthquake in British Columbia, Canada

In 2011, in Blackpool, England, two earthquakes were directly linked hydraulic fracturing

Fracking has also been linked to a “felt” earthquake in Garvin County, Oklahoma in 2011.

An Ohio-based study that came out in 2015 pinpointed fracking as the cause of a 3.0 magnitude earthquake near the Poland Township

In late 2014 a Seismological Research Letters study found that fracking is the likely culprit for hundreds of small tremors in Ohio

The public generally uses the term fracking to refer to the entire process, including drilling, blasting apart the rock formations, dealing with the wastewater and more. You cannot frack a well and not have wastewater flow back.

Underground injection control wells are a common method of disposal for fracking waste

In the eastern and central United States, earthquake activity has increased about fivefold, from an annual average of 21 earthquakes above a 3.0 magnitude between 1967 and 2000, to more than 300 earthquakes above a 3.0 magnitude over three years from 2010 to 2012

According to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), this increased seismic activity is associated with wastewater disposal wells in states such as Oklahoma, Colorado, Arkansas, Ohio and Texas

The threat of increased earthquake activity is of concern for the seismically active state of California, where the Monterey Shale overlaps the San Andreas Fault

Induced Seismicity  

Induced seismicity occurs when human activity triggers a dormant fault by adding or reducing stress and/or increasing pore pressure

Pore fluids are fluids that inhabit the pore space in a rock.
Fluid pumped underground can cause pressure in a rock’s pores or fissures; this pressure is known as fluid pressure or pore pressure.
Fluid can play a major role in controlling stress that is being applied to a fault; changes in pore pressure – such as an increase in fluids – can cause changes in the forces (tectonic forces, for example) holding a rock together.

This can cause an earthquake.

When fluid is injected underground — as is done to fracture shale rock and for the disposal of fracking wastewater — it can lubricate fault zones. As fluid moves into a fault zone, pore pressure increases, which can cause the fault to slip and result in an earthquake

Fluid pressure from high-rate disposal wells can migrate, so even if an injection well is not very close to a fault line or to one that is susceptible to earthquakes, the fluid pressure can migrate long distances to reach a fault that is more susceptible

Induced seismic events may not always strike soon after the injection activity begins. It may take a long time for an earthquake to trigger, and sometimes not until after the injection activity has ended

Geert Decock
Food and water Europe


Fracking, an old technology with no proven case of groundwater contamination – A quick and clear rebuttal

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As part of your anti-fracking activities, you have all faced this argumentation from the shale gas industry or from fracking proponents: “America has drilled and fracked more than 1 million wells over the past 60 years, and in all that time there has never been a proven case of groundwater contamination caused by fracking.”

You may already have some arguments to answer to this false claim, but maybe not arguments to answer to all the elements of this statement, or maybe arguments you not always find convincing enough.
If this is the case, I very strongly recommend you have a look at this excellent article published on Ecowatch, which quickly and very clearly debunk the claim with solid arguments: http://ecowatch.com/2013/11/08/industry-mislead-americans-on-fracking/

More fact sheets and scientific evidence: here and here