Spain gas plant caused 450 quakes

Photo: Cordon Press.
The Castor gas facility, off the coast of Valencia, has been causing quakes.

Spain’s National Geographic Institute (IGN) have revealed that a gas storage plant has caused hundreds of quakes.


Yesterday (Monday) it was revealed that a gas storage plant has been directly responsible for more than 450 ‘microquakes’ off Spain’s Mediterranean coast in September 2013.

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The IGN have confirmed that there is in fact a “direct link” between the 2013 seismic activity and the injection of gas into a giant underground gas storage facility located in the Gulf of Valencia.

The findings, which are due to be published by the IGN in a report, show that in September 2013 some 450 earthquakes struck the Gulf of Valencia, with the area not normally linked to high levels of seismic activity.

The strongest quake had a 4.2 magnitude. Although none of the quakes caused damage they did cause some alarm.  

Environmentalists blamed the quakes on the gas storage facility, which is operated by Castor.

The plant stores gas in a depleted oil reservoir some 1.7 kilometres beneath the Mediterranean Sea and sends the resource via a pipeline to Spain’s national grid.

In October 2013 the Spanish Government admitted that there appeared to be a link between the facility and the spate of earthquakes.

And now the new IGN report has confirmed the worst fears of quake-hit residents and environmentalist groups.  

The new findings also show that seismic impact studies undertaken by Castor in the area, which is near a fault line, were inadequate.  

The Castor facility, which was given the “lowest danger level” in terms of threats from earthquakes, failed to take the threat of induced seismic activity into account.

IGN geologists also discovered the presence of an unmapped fault line, and the institute plans to investigate this. 


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