Trans Mountain tanks not built to withstand ‘sloshing’ oil during earthquake: engineer

Company says it has excellent emergency preparation procedures

tanks burnabymountian transmointinTanks at the Burnaby Mountain tank farm built in 1953 (not shown) may not be strong enough during a major earthquake, group says.

Trans Mountain is defending its emergency preparedness after a politician, engineer, activist and geologist stood outside its Burnaby Mountain tank farm to accuse the pipeline company of potentially endangering thousands of lives in the event of a major earthquake.

Burnaby North-Seymour federal NDP candidate Svend Robinson held a press conference Tuesday alongside Simon Fraser University geology professor John Clague, structural engineer Gordon Dunnet and anti-pipeline activist Karl Perrin.
Dunnet said existing Trans Mountain tanks could fail to hold their contents during an earthquake. While the company has published a report detailing how the tanks walls would withstand the ground-shaking forces during a quake, it does not take into account the force of sloshing oil within the tank.

The six tanks in question were built in 1953 and have moveable roofs that float on top of the oil. They were built to outdated standards without considerations made for lateral pressure from seismic or wind forces, Dunnet said.

While many people have raised concerns about the risks associated with the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline – which would add 14 new tanks to the Burnaby Mountain site – Dunnet said the existing infrastructure already poses a serious safety concern to the 30,000 people who live within two kilometres of the tank farm. MORE


More Frack Quakes Rattle Alberta, Cause Deaths in China

Regulator shuts down operations near Red Deer. Thousands protest in Sichuan.

Gail Atkinson
Seismic hazard expert Gail Atkinson on dangerous earthquakes triggered by fracking: ‘It is not just happening in Western Canada. It can happen anywhere.’

On Monday Albertans living around the oil-service city of Red Deer, got an early morning wake-up call – a 4.6 earthquake.

Vesta Energy, a privately owned oil and gas company, halted its fracking operations west of the city after the company most likely triggered the quake that temporarily shut down power to nearly 5,000 residents.

It was one of the largest recorded tremors ever to shake central Alberta.

A day later, Mar. 5, the provincial energy regulator ordered the company to suspend fracking operations and report all seismic data for the last three months.

The order announced the regulator was suspending operations at the well site “in order to protect the public and the environment.” Among the harms fracking induced earthquakes can cause are “adverse effects to the environment, public safety and property damage and/or loss,” said the order. MORE

Fracking-induced earthquakes prompt call for buffer zones around Site C dam

In November, two wells being fracked caused an earthquake so severe it halted construction at Site C, 20 kilometres away. The incident is prompting locals to question how B.C. regulates the region’s abundant oil and gas activity near schools, hospitals and farms

Image result for fracking earthquakes bc

BC Hydro officials were so alarmed by an earthquake that shook the ground at its sprawling Site C dam construction project in late November, they ordered a halt to all work and got on the phone to British Columbia’s Oil and Gas Commission (OCG).

The 4.5 magnitude earthquake was linked to natural gas company fracking operations and was among the most powerful to rock the region in recent years.

And it raises questions about what other infrastructure — bridges, schools, hospitals, to say nothing of homes — may be at risk from fracking operations.

Two wells ‘in the process’ of being fracked shook Site C dam

Site C is the most expensive public infrastructure project in British Columbia’s history.

Its estimated costs have ballooned to $10.7 billion partly due to delays during early work phases when “tension cracks” opened on the partially excavated slopes along the river. The slopes are notoriously unstable as underscored by a spectacular landslide last fall that threatened the community of Old Fort, just downstream from the dam construction site.

The earthquake began at dusk on November 29 and was felt throughout the Peace region. It shook residents at their dinner tables in communities from Charlie Lake to Pouce Coupe nearly 100 kilometres southeast and points in between including Hudson’s Hope, Fort St. John, Taylor, Dawson Creek, Farmington and Chetwynd.

BC Hydro told the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) that it ordered workers at Site C to down tools when the quake began and that a conference call took place early the next morning between BC Hydro and Oil and Gas Commission officials. MORE

Fracking and the major role it plays in causing earthquakes in Alberta When we think of the wide open prairies, we don’t usually think of earthquakes — but they are more common than you may believe. Tiffany Lizée explains.

Earthquakes in the prairies are more common than you think.

READ MORE: 4.6 magnitude earthquake hits central Alberta near Red Deer

Of the roughly 2,800 earthquakes recorded in Alberta over the past three decades, almost half of those have occurred on prairie land. Shifting tectonic plates have caused earthquakes on the prairies, however, scientists are finding human activity may also be a major factor.

Eaton’s research suggests there is increasing evidence that earthquakes can be induced by injecting fluids from oil and gas operations deep into the earth.

“What we’ve seen, starting at about 2013, in Western Canada is that we have more frequent earthquakes of [significant] magnitude and they’re related to oil and gas activities,” said Eaton.

Hydraulic fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground under extreme pressure, which cracks the rocks and minerals and then releases the oil and gas trapped inside. MORE

Fossil fuels are bad for your health and harmful in many ways besides climate change

Fossil fuels are bad for your health and harmful in many ways besides climate change

Pumpjacks dot the Kern River oil field outside Bakersfield, Calif. Credit: James William Smith/

Many Democratic lawmakers aim to pass a Green New Deal, a package of policies that would mobilize vast amounts of money to create new jobs and address inequality while fighting climate change.

Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, they are calling for massive investments in  and other measures over a decade that would greatly reduce or even end the nation’s overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels.

As experts in environmental geographysociology, and sustainability science and policy, we wholeheartedly support this effort. And, as we explained in a recently published study,  is not the only reason to ditch fossil fuels.

While conducting our research, we constantly encounter new evidence that depending on fossil fuels for energy harms people and communities at every point along fossil fuel supply chains, especially where coal, oil and natural gas are extracted.

The , oil and  industries are also major contributors to human rights violationspublic health disasters and environmental devastation. MORE

Oil and Gas Commission Confirms Fracking Caused Earthquakes Felt by Hundreds

Fort St. John tremors measured magnitude 3, 4 and 4.5, rattling residents.

Image result for andrew weaver fracking

In an industry bulletin, the [BC energy] regulator also revealed that CNRL well operators expected that “induced seismicity was likely to occur, but events larger than magnitude 3 were not expected.”

Instead the company triggered events measuring magnitude 3.0, 4.0 and 4.5 on Nov. 29 that rattled homes and were felt by hundreds of citizens, as well as construction workers at the Site C dam site.

All hydraulic fracture operations within the lower Montney formation will remain suspended” at the CNRL well pad “pending the results of a detailed technical review,” said the bulletin.  MORE


Company Linked to Tremors that Jolted Fort St. John Triggered Previous Quakes

CNRL’s waste water disposal wells linked to cluster of quakes in 2015.

Last month’s shutdown of some Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. operations after they likely triggered earthquakes was not the first time the corporation has been linked to tremors in northeastern B.C., The Tyee has learned.

The BC Oil and Gas Commission ordered the company to halt operations for 30 days last week after earthquakes rattled Fort St. John and the Site C dam project. MORE