Betty Kolner (“Sign now for safer standards on fracking,” Journal, May 18) has confused water used for fracking during the completion of oil and gas wells with water that oil and gas wells produce throughout their economic life. She stated, “The millions of gallons used for each well is stored in tanks or reinjected into the wells, which has been proven to cause man-made earthquakes” and “the millions of gallons of water is forever lost for any use.”
Much of the water (and chemicals) used during the fracking process is recovered and reused in future well fracks. It is not reinjected into the well causing man-made earthquakes. The water produced during the life of the well, that comes up with the oil and gas, is typically in the millions of gallons. This is the brackish to saltwater that is naturally mixed with oil and gas and would never have been tapped to use for anything; so it’s not actually “lost.” This saltwater is transported to specific injection wells, sometimes far from the producing wells. There, very deep underground and pumped under high pressure, large volumes of produced waste saltwater are injected into the rock.
These are the wells that have been associated with “man-made” earthquakes. This injected saltwater can sometimes “frack and lubricate” and thus reactivate old, dormant faults.