WATCH ABOVE: A 4.4 earthquake rocked the Town of Fox Creek Saturday. As Lisa Wolansky tells us, the oil and gas town has felt its share of shaking.
EDMONTON – A 4.4 magnitude earthquake has rattled a small town in Northern Alberta for the second time this year.
The quake struck around 6:00 p.m. Saturday night, about 36 kilometres east of Fox Creek.
The small oil and gas town has had tremors in the past, including one the same size in January that caused minor damage.
There’s still no word on the cause of Saturday’s quake, but officials have blamed previous tremors on hydraulic fracking in the oil and gas industry. In fact, the last 4.4 magnitude earthquake in January was the largest ever connected to fracking.
Each year, Alberta averages 30 earthquakes. Since December 2013 there have been 200 in the Fox Creek area alone.
Fracking involves injecting a chemical mixture into the ground. The pressure of the fluids then breaks shale formations and releases oil or natural gas for capture.
Since the 1950s, there have been 120,000 wells that have been hydraulically fractured in Alberta. Four-thousand of them are around Fox Creek.