Fracking causing minor earthquakes in BC regulator

CALGARY — A spate of small earthquakes in B.C.’s remote northeastern corner were caused by a controversial technique used to extract natural gas from shale rock, says a report by the province’s energy regulator.The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission launched its probe after a “number of anomalous, low-level seismic events” were detected in the Horn River Basin, a gas-rich shale formation that’s attracted some of the industry’s biggest players.“The investigation has concluded that the events observed within remote and isolated areas of the Horn River Basin between 2009 and 2011 were caused by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing in proximity to pre-existing faults,” the agency said.[np-related /]In order to break the rock and free the gas trapped inside of it, companies inject a combination of water, sand and chemicals underground at high pressure.The process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has drawn concern from environmentalists and landowners for the amount of water the process requires and for potential contamination of groundwater.Studies have also linked fracking to earthquakes around shale formations in England and Oklahoma.The 38 events detected by Natural Resources Canada ranged between magnitudes of 2.2 and 3.8 on the Richter scale. A quake of between 4.0 and 4.9 is considered “light” and may cause a noticeable shaking of indoor items and rattling noises.Only one of the quakes was felt at the surface by “workers in the bush” on May 19, 2011 and there have been no reports of injury or property damage.“In undertaking the investigation, the commission notes that more than 8,000 high-volume hydraulic fracturing completions have been performed in northeast British Columbia with no associated anomalous seismicity,” the report said.The report said no quakes were recorded in the area prior to April 2009.It said all of the events began after fracking took place. The quakes happened within five kilometres of fracking operations and within 300 metres of the depth at which the rock was being fractured.Among other things, the report recommends improvements in seismic detection in the area, further study to identify pre-existing fault lines and stronger monitoring and reporting procedures.It also calls for an examination of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing parameters and seismic activity. For instance, lower pump rates or injection volumes may be considered.“It is essential to take pre-emptive steps to ensure future events are detected and the regulatory framework adequately provides for the monitoring, reporting and mitigation of all seismicity related to hydraulic fracturing, thereby ensuring the continued safe and environmentally responsible development of shale gas within British Columbia,” says the report.The Canadian Press read more

Clash at Cinnamon Gardens club 1 killed

One person was killed following a clash between two groups at a night club located at Cinnamon Gardens early this morning.The police said that the victim was a resident of Barnes Place in Colombo. A heated argument had then ensued resulting in the clash. The police said they have identified the suspects involved in the clash and a team has been deployed to arrest them. According to the police, the victim had gone to the club together with his friends when they were confronted by another group. The police said that the victim was identified as 22 year old Premkumar Suren who is a three-wheel driver by profession.

UN tribunal tells Serbia and Montenegro to produce accused general

A spokesman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) told a press briefing in The Hague that the ICTY regarded Serbia and Montenegro as having failed to fulfil its duty of providing General Pavle Strugar at the place and time determined.The senior legal officer of the ICTY’s Trial Chamber sent a letter to Serbia and Montenegro yesterday outlining its view after an earlier letter from Serbia and Montenegro cited health reasons as an explanation for the delay in returning General Strugar.General Strugar was given provisional release from detention in The Hague in 2001 on the condition that he return to face charges of murder and attacks on civilians during the 1991 siege of the Croatian seaside city of Dubrovnik. But he has not yet returned.