​AER suspends fracking well linked to Monday earthquake

Image: AER

SYLVAN LAKE, Alta. — The Alberta Energy Regulator has ordered a company to suspend fracking operations at a well site linked to an earthquake that was felt in the communities of Red Deer and Sylvan Lake.

Natural Resources Canada says the 4.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in central Alberta around 5:55 a.m. on Monday.

The regulator says Vesta Energy Ltd. must suspend hydraulic fracturing operations at the site in order to protect the public and the environment.

It says the Calgary-based company must submit a report of all seismic activity in the area since April and specific fracturing data for the well site from Jan. 29 to Monday.

The regulator has also ordered Vesta to file a plan to eliminate or reduce future seismic activity from fracturing.

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping chemicals and sand underground to break up rocks to help get oil and natural gas flowing.

© 2019 The Canadian Press