Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Study Links Increased Drilling With Earthquakes

Scientists Say Tremors in Colorado, New Mexico Likely Connected to Nearby Wastewater Injection Wells

By Tamara Audi, WSJ
Updated Sept. 15, 2014

A magnitude-5.3 earthquake that hit Colorado in 2011 was likely caused by the injection of wastewater into the ground, a process used in natural-gas drilling, according to new research to be released Tuesday.

The new study, published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, adds more detail to a growing body of work seeking to establish and explain the connection between human activity and seismic events, known as induced quakes.

Geologists have been intensely focused on the field in the past few years, as some states, including Oklahoma, Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico, have seen a rise in quakes that coincides with an uptick in activities associated with oil and gas extraction, scientists say.

According to the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the energy industry, there have been "fewer than 40 incidents of seismic activity" over the past five decades "potentially associated" with thousands of injection wells across the country.

(More here.)

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