Rong County suspends shale gas fracking amid quake fears, Sichuan, China

Rong county in Zigong of Sichuan Province has suspended its shale gas exploration after three earthquakes occurred within two days, which locals have angrily attributed to the fracking.


Description

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC), a series of earthquakes hit Sichuan province’s Rong County in Zigong since 24 Feb 2019. The first quake happened on Sunday, 24 Feb, followed by two more, including a magnitude 4.9 quake on Monday afternoon (25 Feb) that caused two fatalities. The epicentre was monitored at 29.48 degrees north latitude and 104.49 degrees east longitude at a depth of 5 km. [1] Twelve people were injured, according to the county government and other reports suggest the quakes have damaged more than 10,000 buildings to various degrees, affected some 13,260 people and caused a total economic loss of 14 million yuan (USD 2.1 million), according to official estimates.[2][3]

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Basic Data
NameRong County suspends shale gas fracking amid quake fears, Sichuan, China
CountryChina
ProvinceSichuan
SiteRong County, Zigong City
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Shale gas fracking
Specific CommoditiesNatural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsTwelve people were injured, according to the county government and other reports suggest the quakes have damaged more than 10,000 buildings to various degrees, affected some 13,260 people and caused a total economic loss of 14 million yuan (USD 2.1 million), according to official estimates.[2]
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationUnknown
Potential Affected Population13,260
Start Date2018
Company Names or State EnterprisesPetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina) from China - one of the shale gas producers
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC ) from China
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) from China - one of the main shale gas producers
Relevant government actors-The government of Rong County

-Sichuan Earthquake Administration (SEA, http://www.scdzj.gov.cn/)

-China Earthquake Administration
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Air pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Otherearthquakes
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Deaths
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Other socio-economic impacts
Otherstudents could not study in a peaceful environment and residents could not be relieved in daily life.
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Shale gas fracking was temporarily halted in this county, however, people were deeply affected by the frequent earthquakes and other environmental impacts, while there is still no strong scientific supports to link the earthquakes with the fracking, it's also difficult for the local residents to claim for justice.
Sources and Materials
References

[8] Lei, X., Huang, D., Su, J., Jiang, G., Wang, X., Wang, H., ... & Fu, H. (2017). Fault reactivation and earthquakes with magnitudes of up to Mw4. 7 induced by shale-gas hydraulic fracturing in Sichuan Basin, China. Scientific reports, 7(1), 7971.
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[12] FRACKING IMPACTS - FRACKING EARTHQUAKES (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[13] Fracking Frenzy (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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Links

[5] Quakes Spark Mass Anti-Fracking Protest in China's Sichuan (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[6] China county suspends fracking after earthquakes kill 2 (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[7] Chinese county stops shale gas mining amid quake fears: Xinhua (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[10]专家解答:为什么荣县又地震了?(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[14] 自贡市荣县地区地震频发,居民整日惶恐不安!(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[1] Shale gas mining halted after quake hits Sichuan

(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[11] No direct evidence shale gas mining cause of frequent earthquakes in Sichuan: Seismologists (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[15] Sina Weibo @吴长今 (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[17] PetroChina says shale gas output hits record at Sichuan field (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[16] SICHUAN SHALE AND THE CHINESE APPETITE FOR CLEAN FUEL (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[2] 荣县召开2.25地震新闻发布会(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[20]四川荣县连发地震已致2人死 全县停止开采页岩(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[3] Sichuan County Suspends Fracking After Quakes, Deaths(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[4] Chinese authorities halt fracking in Sichuan after residents protest (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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Media Links

[9] Fracking-off: Extreme Energy Action Network (accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[18]四川自贡荣县发生4.7级地震以后,反对开采页岩气(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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[19] 自贡地震:荣县政府电动门被愤怒群众撞成S波浪型,排山倒海!(accessed on 2019-02-26)
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Other Documents

Defending homes, no shale gas fracking[18]
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Protest in front of the county government[19]
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Local residents running out of the buildings for fear of earthquake[20]
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schoolchildren cowering under their desks[15]
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Meta Information
ContributorEnvJustice, ICTA-UAB
Last update04/03/2019
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