Fracking Impacts - Fracking Earthquakes

Fracking, both hydraulic fracturing and the injection of fracking waste into disposal wells, is resulting in a massive increase in damaging earthquakes in the US (across at least 8 states) and Canada, and more recently in Argentina and China (with fatal results), including swarms of hundreds or thousands around individual wells, with the largest confirmed fracking earthquake so far a magnitude 5.7 in Oklahoma which caused significant damage and injuries, but there significant variation with location, with most fracking quakes in the US caused by waste injection while the majority in Canada appear to have been directly caused by hydraulic fracturing, the largest of which was a magnitude 4.6 near a frac pad in northeastern British Columbia Continue reading

Texas saw a surge in the number of earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude and greater in 2021, jumping eightfold since 2017 (Click To Enlarge)

Shaken by fracking quakes, Texas is forced to act (, February 2022) The Permian Basin, from which 40 percent of US oil and 15 percent of its gas are extracted, experienced nine earthquakes greater than three-magnitude in 2019, 51 in 2020 and 176 in 2021, and what causes these earthquakes is not fracking itself, but injecting the wastewater into wells, as drilling companies must deal with huge quantities of water that come up when fracking—water makes up about 80 percent of the fluid pumped out of the ground and almost 4,000 active wells have been drilled specifically to dispose of the wastewater in the Permian Basin

Earthquakes in Texas doubled in 2021. Scientists cite years of oil companies injecting sludgy water underground (Texas Tribune, February 2022) More than 200 earthquakes of 3 magnitude and greater shook Texans in 2021, more than double the 98 recorded in 2020, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of state data maintained by the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, the record-setting seismic activity is largely concentrated in West Texas’ Permian Basin, the most productive oil and gas region in the state, and is almost certainly a consequence of disposing huge quantities of contaminated, salty water deep underground — a common practice by oil companies at the end of the hydraulic fracturing process that can awaken dormant fault lines

Largest slow-slip earthquake directly linked to fracking recorded in Western Canada (CTV News, February 2022) Western Canada’s largest slow-slip earthquake believed to correlate to hydraulic fracturing operations has been detected by a team that included University of Calgary researchers, the equivalent of a magnitude five seismic event, which took place over several days and satellite measurements indicated a few centimetres of ground movement, but no shaking was detected by seismographs in the area of north eastern British Columbia

Earthquakes have risen alongside wastewater injections in Texas. This chart shows earthquakes around the city of Pecos. Red indicates earthquakes. Green is oil production, and blue is wastewater disposal in millions of barrels. (Yellow shows the rise in natural gas production.) (Click To Enlarge)

Texas went big on oil. Earthquakes followed. (Vox, January 2022) It’s been a big winter for earthquakes in West Texas, an unsettling pattern for a state that, until recently, wasn’t an earthquake state at all and before 2008, Texans experienced just one or two perceptible earthquakes a year, but now sees hundreds of yearly earthquakes of at least magnitude 2.5, and thousands of smaller ones blamed on the oil and gas business — and particularly a technique called wastewater injection — for waking up ancient fault lines, turning a historically stable region into a shaky one, and opening the door to larger earthquakes that Texas might not be ready for

Groningen protest planned after earthquake-proofing subsidies ran out in a day (NL Times, January 2022) A protest has been planned in the Netherlands after a subsidy fund in the fracking earthquake zone ran out in one day, with the subsidy ceiling of 220.8 million euros for strengthening and making homes in the Groningen gas extraction area more sustainable was reached within a day of applications opening, and over 2,600 applications were received at the ten physical counters on Monday, and it is not yet known how many digital applications had been submitted when the subsidy ceiling was reached

Researchers Find Evidence That Fracking Can Trigger an All-New Type of Earthquake (Science Alert, December 2021) A team of researchers from the Geological Survey of Canada has documented a new type of earthquake event resulting from slow ruptures near an active gas well, which helps to explain how near-imperceptible tremors induced by oil and gas extraction processes can trigger seismic slips and larger earthquakes, with around 10 percent of the roughly 350 earthquakes recorded over 5 months a few kilometers from an active gas well in British Columbia, Canada, ruptured more slowly and lasted seconds longer than typical tremors caused by fracking, could help understanding of how fracking triggers minor tremors leading to larger earthquakes

Growth and location of earthquakes in Texas over last two decades, which are strongly correlated with fracking industry activity (Click To Enlarge)

Fracking Under the Gun: Latest quake in U.S. Oilfield Raises scrutiny of Drilling Waste Injections (Offshore Engineer, December 2021) A magnitude 4.5 earthquake, the third-largest to hit Texas this decade, that rattled the Permian basin in Texas on Monday night, was the latest in a surge of earthquakes linked to the disposal of wastewater, and is likely to add pressure on oil producers in the region to slow or stop underground wastewater injections that regulators believe may be the cause, as the earthquake occurred in an area already under investigation by the Commission for increasing seismicity, with some 18 active wells that dispose an average of 9,600 bpd each

Flurry of earthquakes in Salina region raise new questions about wastewater injection (Kanas Reflector, December 2021) The 4.3 magnitude earthquake south of Salina in the first week of December was concerning enough hundreds of people contacted officials to report the home-rattling tremblor, but turned out to be a precursor to more than a dozen quakes in the region that included a 4.0 at Gypsum and 3.5 at Assaria on Dec. 15, the Christmas surprise 2.0 in Marion, the 3.9 near Lindsborg and 3.3 at Salina on Sunday, and a triple-header Monday morning ranging from 2.5 to 2.8 on the perimeter of Salina, prompting an investigation by the Kansas Corporation Commission, which is responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry

New Type Of Earthquake ‘Triggered By Fracking’ Discovered (Forbes, December 2021) A Canadian-German research team have documented a new type of earthquake in an fracking injection field in British Columbia, which rupture more slowly, similar to what has previously been observed mainly in volcanic areas, but this can also cause a stress change on nearby faults that causes them slip rapidly and lead to more conventional earthquakes

New Mexico investigates earthquakes induced by oil and gas as Texas cracks down on injection (Carlsbad Current-Argus, October 2021) Growing concerns about earthquakes in the Permian Basin caused by wells fracking operators use to dispose of wastewater has led Texas regulators to curtail the allowed amount of water being injected and block any new such wells in the Midland area, but over the border a dramatic increase in earthquakes in southeast New Mexico has also been seen, as earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or more have increased, with 12 in the past year compared with one or less in previous years

An adobe house in Sauzal Bonito, Neuquén Province, Argentina destroyed by the numerous earthquakes now paguing the Vaca Meurta Shale region (Click To Enlarge)

Sixty earthquakes in ten days, the reality of an Argentine fracking town (OPSur, August 2021) With the arrival of hydraulic fracturing equipment to north Patagonia, the ground has been moving, and a new round of tremors beginning on July 16 has its epicenter in the Argentine locality of Sauzal Bonito, a town in the southern province of Neuquén surrounded by a hydrocarbon exploitation involving fracking all 300 families living in the area are struggling with anguish in fear of landslides, having to run out of bed to get the children to go outside, in the dark, with temperatures below zero

Northeast B.C. at increased risk of powerful earthquakes from thousands of fracked gas wells, new research warns (The Narwhal, May 2021) In a peer-reviewed article published today a former hydrologist with British Columbia’s Oil and Gas Commission, argues that it is not single, errant fracking operations that explain why many earthquakes have already occurred in B.C. and will occur in the future, but the “cumulative development” or fracking of thousands of wells, and warns that the surge in fracking-induced earthquakes that lies ahead poses serious risks to communities and critical infrastructure in the Peace River region — including the Site C dam, an aging bridge and critical lifeline to the north and a massive gas processing plant

Geoscientists Find That Shallow Wastewater Injection in Oil and Gas Production Fields Drives Deep Earthquakes in Texas (SciTechDaily, May 2020) In a newly published paper, focused on the Delaware Basin in western Texas, one of the most productive and unconventional hydrocarbon fields in the United States, Virginia Tech geoscientists have found that shallow wastewater injection – not deep wastewater injections – can drive widespread deep earthquake activity in unconventional oil and gas production fields, and since 2010, the basin has experienced a significant increase in shallow wastewater injection and widespread deep seismicity, including the recent 5.0 magnitude event near Mentone, Texas

Surviving the Onslaught of Fracking in Argentina (Real News Network, February 2020) With each new tremor felt in the tiny village of Sauzal Bonito, Neuquén Province, Argentina the old adobe houses rattle, creating new cracks in walls and floors, and although a chronic sense of anxiety looms, people have grown accustomed to this frightening increase in earthquakes over the past few years, though they never experienced an earthquake prior to 2015, and as the number of fracked wells in the Vaca Muerta Shale multiplies, so does the rate of wastewater injection, surging tenfold, from around 18,000 cubic meters in 2013 to more than 180,000 cubic meters in 2018

Most destructive earthquake linked to fracking – magnitude 6.0 on June 17, 2019 in Changning County, Sichuan Basin, China that killed at least 13 people and injured 220 (Click To Enlarge)

Unusually shallow earthquake ruptures in Chinese fracking field (, October, 2020) An unusually shallow earthquake triggered by hydraulic fracturing in a Chinese shale gas field could change how experts view the risks of fracking, after a study found the magnitude 4.9 earthquake, along with two foreshocks with magnitudes larger than 4, appear to be related to activity at nearby hydraulic fracturing wells, took place along a fault about one kilometer (0.6 miles) deep killing two people died and injuring twelve

2019: The Year Fracking Earthquakes Turned Deadly (Inside Science, February 2020) The first fracking-induced earthquake to claim human lives shows why magnitude may underestimate the danger such earthquakes pose, as the shallower it is, then for the same magnitude of earthquake, the stronger the shaking, and fracking-induced earthquakes do tend to be much shallower than natural ones

Regulator confirms earthquakes near Red Deer ‘induced’ by fracking (Calgary Sun, January 2020) Central Alberta earthquakes that caused structure damage and briefly knocked out power to parts of the town of Sylvan Lake were caused by oilfield hydraulic fracturing, says a report by the Alberta Energy Regulator and the agency says its investigation has turned up multiple new clusters of such seismic activity in the province, the majority of induced earthquake activity focused on areas of the Duvernay Shale Formation development near Fox Creek

The Quake Threat to Dams Posed by Fracking Was Long Warned (The Tyee, January 2020) Officials at BC Hydro have been concerned about the fracking industry since 2007 when coal bed methane extraction resulted in seismic activity at the Peace Canyon Dam near Hudson Hope, and after fracking company CNRL triggered a 4.5 Magnitude earthquake in November of 2018 that forced the evacuation of the Site C Dam site, its engineers have begun to reassess seismic safety of shallow industry induced quakes which behave differently than natural events by causing more severe ground motions and pose real risks to infrastructure only built to withstand natural earthquake hazards

Over 120 damage reports after latest Groningen quake (NL Times, June 2019) On May 22nd a 3.4 magnitude fracking earthquake happened in Loppersum, which is often the epicenter of earthquakes caused by gas extraction in the province of Groningen, and while the temporary committee that handles mining damage in Groningen (TCMG) is still receiving reports of damage caused by the earthquake, by Sunday the counter stood at 4,832 reports, according to RTL Nieuws, with the committee receiving at least 200 reports per day over the past two weeks.

Property damage risk from hundreds of earthquakes above magnitude 3 in a large area of Oklahoma extends tens of kilometres from wells causing them (Click To Enlarge)

Fracking can cause earthquakes tens of kilometres away – new research (The Conversation, May 2019) A new study finds that while some induced earthquakes occur very near the fracking site itself, but others have been reported as far as 50 kilometres away, with “silent” movements that didn’t produce earthquakes at the initial point of slippage, but gradually increased the pressure on more distant parts of the faults, inducing earthquakes much further away from the borehole than the injected fluid could reach, making it difficult to guarantee the safety of surrounding areas

Damaging Sichuan earthquakes linked to fracking operations (Science Daily, April 2019) Two moderate-sized earthquakes that struck the southern Sichuan Province of China last December and January which injured 17 people and resulted in a direct economic loss of about 50 million Chinese Yuan Renminbi (roughly $US 7.5 million), were probably caused by nearby fracking operations according to a new study

Fracking Linked to Quake that Jolted Fort St. John (The Tyee, December 2018) The earthquakes that rattled Fort St John last Thursday evening were not natural phenomena, but were likely caused by energy companies’ massive fracking of one of the many wells in the region, with an ever-growing injection volumes, uncharted faults and over-pressured shale formations have all played a role in the explosion of industry-made quakes.

7 Year Study Measures Rising Anxiety Among Residents In Oklahoma Due To Swarms Of Earthquakes Caused By Fracking Waste Injection Wells (Click To Enlarge)

Injecting wastewater underground can cause earthquakes up to 10 kilometers away (PBS, September 2018) Research finds that fracking waste injection wells can trigger earthquakes up to 10 kilometers (6 miles) away and that, contradictory to conventional wisdom, injecting fluids into sedimentary rock rather than the harder underlying rock often generates larger and more distant earthquakes

Fracking-Induced Earthquakes Generate Anxiety In The Public (Forbes, July 2018) A new Berkeley University 7-year study, covering a period when Oklahoma experienced an average of two earthquakes per month of greater than magnitude 4 due to fracking, shows that fracking-induced earthquakes can generate significant anxiety in the public, and coping with the damage caused by earthquakes could induce psychological distress, with property damage and reduced value of homes a primary concern and a cause of anger and worry

Fracking Might Have Led to 5.5 Magnitude Earthquake That Injured Nearly 100 People: Study (Newsweek, April 2018) Scientists believe that fracking, in this case used to harness geothermal energy, may have led to one of the most powerful earthquakes to strike South Korea since records began, a 5.5 magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Pohang on November 15, 2017, which injured at least 82 people and damaged thousands of buildings at a cost in the tens of millions of dollars

Oklahoma regulators order disposal well shut, more reductions after quakes (Reuters, April 2018) Oklahoma regulators on Thursday ordered a wastewater disposal well shut and told two operators to reduce injection volumes, the second such directive in less than two weeks after a series of earthquakes shook the state

Number Of Earthquakes Greater Than Magnitude 3 In Oklahoma As Of July 2017 Showing Large Increase Last Few Years During The Fracking Boom (Click To Enlarge)

Oklahoma earthquake clusters are the new normal in this fracked area (Mashable, April 2018) A cluster of earthquakes hit Oklahoma over the past few days, unsettling thousands of the state’s residents, with the U.S. Geological Survey saying that 2,274 people reported feeling a 4.3 magnitude quake on Sunday night and there have been at least 16 noticeable earthquakes (above 2.5 in magnitude) since Friday, but nerve-rattling earthquakes are normal for the area – at least since 2009 when the problematic quakes began, stoked by oil and gas extraction activity in the region

More Earthquakes May Be the Result of Fracking Than We Thought (Eos, February 2018) Analysis of the the 1,740 largest earthquakes in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas between June and September 2010 finds the vast majority were correlated with fracking operations at 17 out of 53 nearby production wells active during this time, and these events were bigger, more numerous, longer lasting, and farther away from the well – all indicating a high level of stress in the area

Manmade quakes force Dutch to face future without gas (Denver Post, January 2018) Thousands of homes in the northeastern Groningen province in the Netherlands are facing reinforcement or even demolition because of hundreds of small tremors caused by decades of gas extraction, with a shallow 3.4-magnitude earthquake on Jan. 8 – the most powerful to hit the region in five years – triggering nearly 3,000 reports of property damage, including a long vertical crack in Zeerijp’s historic church tower

Fracking fluids key to number of earthquakes near gas wells: study (Globe and Mail, January 2018) Three years after hydraulic fracturing for natural gas began around the central Alberta community of Fox Creek, the number of earthquakes in the region suddenly began to rise, including a magnitude-4.8 tremor that rattled the town in January, 2016, and forced the shutdown of a nearby gas well, and a new study of the events adds to a growing body of evidence of the cause-and-effect relationship between fracking and earthquakes

‘Like thunder in the ground’: Texans fear link between quakes and fracking waste (Guardian, January 2018) Fracking waste injection well, of which there are 33,541 across Texas, are the likely culprit behind a surge of earthquakes in the Fort Worth Basin since 20008 which has gone from experiencing no recorded earthquakes to hundreds – and residents want accountability

North Texas earthquakes occurring on faults not active for 300 million years (The Watchers, December 2017) A study by the US Geological Survey shows recent earthquakes in the Fort Worth Basin occurred on faults not active for 300 million years, indicating reactivation of long-dormant faults as a consequence of fracking waste fluid injection, and that these North Texas earthquakes are not simply happening somewhat sooner than they would have otherwise on faults continually active over long time periods

Yukon fracking operation shut down due to earthquakes (KOCO News, November 2017) The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has shut down some fracking operations in Yukon after at least three 2.5-magnitude quakes hit the area this week, shaking residents houses

How Humans Are Causing Deadly Earthquakes (National Geographic, October 2017) A study published in the journal Seismological Research Letters has identified 730 sites where human activity caused earthquakes, as high as magnitude 7.9, over the past 150 years and that the number of earthquakes is clearly rising in some regions of the world, such as as areas where fracking is taking place

New Database Reveals Growth In Human Induced Earthquakes Since Start Of Fracking In US, Canada And Australia (Click To Enlarge)

Risk of human-triggered earthquakes laid out in biggest-ever database (Nature, October 2017) From mining projects to oil and gas operations, human activity has set off earthquakes around the world and in many geological settings and research now highlights how big these quakes can get, with the Human-Induced Earthquake Database, or HiQuake, contains 728 examples of earthquakes (or sequences of earthquakes) that may have been set off by humans including several large, destructive earthquakes, and the fastest-growing quake-inducing activity in the database is the injection of fracking waste back into the ground by oil and gas operations and the number of these spiked in the early 2010s, at the height of waste-injection in Oklahoma and other parts of the central United States

Life in the Earthquake Capital of the U.S.: A Tale of Man-Made Disasters and Survival (, September 2017) Oklahoma, whose most distinctive disasters used to be the tornadoes that routinely rip through its plains, is now the most earthquake-prone state in the continental United States, and Pawnee is ground zero, since local fracking operators began injecting wastewater deep into the earth, the number of earthquakes of a magnitude of 3.0 or above have gone from just 3 in 2009 to more than 900 in 2015

Pennsylvania confirms first fracking-related earthquakes (State Impact, February 2017) Pennsylvania officials announce the state’s first confirmed fracking-related earthquakes took place last year in Lawrence County, northwest of Pittsburgh, where in April 2016, Texas-based Hilcorp Energy Company was fracking a pair of wells in the Utica Shale near New Castle when seismic monitors nearby detected five tremors, measuring between 1.8 and 2.3

Oklahoma warns of more quakes from energy drilling (Altus Times, January 2017) Oklahoma regulators said recently that the number of induced earthquakes could increase as oil and gas production expands in a broad area of the state, where researchers have linked the rising number of earthquakes in parts of the state to the underground disposal of fracking waste

In Canada, a Direct Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes (New York Times, November 2016) In Canada a spate of earthquakes in Alberta within the last five years has been directly attributed to hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas and scientists at the University of Calgary who studied those earthquakes, near Fox Creek, say the quakes were induced in two ways: by increases in pressure as the fracking occurred, and, for a time after the process was completed, by pressure changes brought on by the lingering presence of fracking fluid

A television reporter takes video as she walks past a damaged building in Cushing, Oklahoma caused by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake in November 2016 when Dozens of buildings sustained “substantial damage” after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck Cushing, home to one of the world’s key oil hubs (Click To Enlarge)

Official: 40 to 50 buildings damaged in Oklahoma earthquake (Denver Post, November 2016) Dozens of buildings sustained “substantial damage” after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake, which was the third in Oklahoma this year with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater, struck Cushing, Oklahoma, one of the world’s key oil hubs, with the Cushing City Manager saying 40 to 50 buildings were damaged, but the state has had thousands of earthquakes in recent years, with nearly all traced to the underground injection of fracking waste with Sunday’s quake centered 1 mile west of Cushing and about 25 miles south of where a magnitude 4.3 quake forced a shutdown of several wells last week

Quake near Oklahoma oil hub causes substantial damage (Naples Daily News, November 2016) A magnitude 5.0 earthquake, linked to the underground injection of fracking waste, centered near one of the world’s key oil hubs brought down building facades and shattered windows in the central Oklahoma city of Cushing, rendering century-old buildings unsafe, causing a few injuries and raising concerns about key infrastructure, where Cushing’s oil storage terminal is one of the world’s largest

‘Groundbreaking’ Study Links Texas Earthquakes to Wastewater Injection From Fracking (EcoWatch, September 2016) Even though scientists are pretty certain that waste injection from fracking and conventional drilling has led to the unprecedented spate of earthquakes rollicking Oklahoma, Texas and other states in recent years, definitive proof is rare, but researchers recently used satellite images of ground uplifting to show how waste disposal in eastern Texas eventually triggered a magnitude-4.8 earthquake in May 2012, the largest earthquake recorded in that half of the Lone Star state

Damage to a home in Timpson, Texas, following a 4.8 magnitude earthquake in 2012 which a new satellite study confirms was induced by injection of large volumes of waste from fracking (Click To Enlarge)

You can see fracking’s impact on Earth’s surface from space (New Scientist, September 2016) Fracking can lift Earth’s surface, a movement that has now been detected from space and can help predict where quakes induced by the activity are likely to strike when frackers injected waste water at high pressure into rocks deep underground – these deformations were seen near the location of the biggest quake ever recorded in eastern Texas: the magnitude 4.8 Timpson earthquake in 2012, widely blamed on waste water being injected at fracking sites close to the town

Oklahoma Quake Matches Record Even After Fracking Waste Restricted (Bloomberg, September 2016) Oklahoma registered one of its biggest earthquakes felt from Texas to Illinois, measuring 5.6 in magnitude and tying a state record set in 2011, even after state regulators have beefed up limits on disposing oilfield waste and the rate of tremors had started to slow somewhat from unprecedented levels last year of 890 earthquakes measuring 3.0 or higher, a far cry from only two in 2008

Results Of A Review Of Earthquakes In Texas Showning The Majority Are Caused By Oil And Gas Extraction And The Spike In Earthquakes Since Fracking Became Widespread Around 2010 (Click To Enlarge)

EPA Tells Railroad Commission that Fracking Is Causing Earthquakes in North Texas (San Antonio Current, August 2016) In an August 15 letter to the Railroad Commission of Texas, the Environmental Protection Agency says fracking causes earthquakes and it’s concerned with the amount of earthquake activity in North Texas because of its potential impact on public health and the environment, including underground drinking water sources, and accusing the Railroad Commission of publicly denying that scientific data links earthquakes to fracking

BC Hydro officials worry about risks of earthquakes triggered by fracking (Globe And Mail, August 2016) Documents, obtained through freedom of information legislation, show BC Hydro officials have worried for several years that fracking too close to the Peace Canyon Dam in northern British Columbia might cause the dam to fail, and there are immediate and future potential risks to BC Hydro’s reservoir, dam and power-generation infrastructure as a result of a nearby coal-bed methane project, and that earthquakes caused by human activity may be greater than the original design criteria for the dam

The Fracking Process Is Now The Leading Cause Of Earthquakes In Texas (Think Progress, May 2016) In the last 40 years, oil and gas activity has caused some 60 percent of Texas earthquakes higher than magnitude 3 with only 13 percent definitely natural, a new study led by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found and fracking waste injection wells are now the leading cause of earthquakes in Texas, as waste flows into nearby faults and softens the friction holding the faults in place, making it easier for a fault to slip, causing an earthquake

State Investigating 2 Quakes Near Pennsylvania Fracking Site (CBS Pittsburgh, April 2016) The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating whether fracking contributed to two small earthquakes near a western Pennsylvania drilling operation, where Hilcorp Energy Company has ceased its fracking operations in Lawrence County since two earthquakes, around 2.4 magnitude, struck

US Geological Survey Map Displaying 21 Areas Affected By Man-Made Earthquakes (Red), As Well As The Locations Of Huge Numbers Of Fracking Waste Injection Wells Causing The Earthquakes (Click To Enlarge)

Oklahoma Earthquakes: Who Pays? (Inside Energy, March 2016) New maps released by the U.S. Geological Survey reveal that seven million people are now living in areas at high risk for earthquakes, not naturally occurring earthquakes but man-made – induced by oil and gas operations that pump waste deep underneath the ground, with parts of Oklahoma and Texas are at highest risk as last year Oklahoma had more than 900 quakes, up from 3 in 2007

New Study Ties Fracking Water Disposal To California Earthquakes (Think Progress, February 2016) Injecting waste from oil and gas drilling in California has been tied to earthquakes for the first time, according to a new study which tied a set of 2005 earthquakes near Bakersfield, roughly 50 miles from the San Andreas Fault, to waste injection, though the link had already been shown in Colorado and Oklahoma and California’s wastewater injections have already raised concerns and prompted lawsuits, after environmentalists discovered oil and gas companies have received permits from the Dept. of Conservation to inject into protected aquifers

4.6 quake caused by fracking largest on record, OGC finds (Alaska Highway News, December 2015) Fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing caused a 4.6 earthquake north of Fort St. John this summer, the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) has found in report on the Aug. 17 quake which occurred near a well site where Progress Energy was fracking, while an earlier OGC report tied 231 seismic events in the Montney shale formation between August 2013 and November 2014 to oil and gas activity, of which 11 could be felt at the surface

Oklahoma Earthquake Swarm: Groups Start Legal Process To Sue Oil Companies Over Wastewater Injections (IBS Times, November 2015) Environmental groups in Oklahoma are attempting to slow the swarm of earthquakes rattling the state, with legal moves to stop certain producers from injecting copious amounts of fracking waste into the ground, a process scientists say is probably causing the seismic spike, which has seen around 700 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 in 2015 – a more than 300-fold leap from the start of the state’s drilling boom in 2008 which has put Oklahoma ahead of California as the earthquake capital of the lower 48 states

A collapsed building in Cushing, Oklahoma, after several 4.0-range earthquakes caused by fracking waste injection rocked the area in late 2015 (Click To Enlarge)

Seven quakes rattle Oklahoma; some felt in Kansas (Witchita Eagle, November 2015) At least seven earthquakes rattled north-central Oklahoma on Monday, including one, a magnitude 4.7 which damaged residents homes and was felt as far away as Iowa, prompting concern from residents and policymakers that the state isn’t doing enough to curb the earthquakes which occur in swarms in areas where injection wells pump fracking waste deep into the earth

Feds link earthquakes in southern Colorado to the oil and gas industry (Colorado Public Radio, September 2015) In 2011, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake rattled Trinidad in southern Colorado during the night, rousing residents from their sleep, toppling chimneys, and cracking house walls, and now federal researchers say they know what caused the quake, injection of fracking waste into wells deep inside the earth, and that wasn’t the only quake that can be linked to drilling in the Raton Basin, according to researchers. with 16 earthquakes of a 3.8 magnitude or greater between 2001 and 2013 were “induced” by the industry’s disposal of fracking waste

Fracking halted temporarily after 4.6-magnitude earthquake near Fort St. John (CBC News, August 2015) The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission is investigating the cause of a 4.6 magnitude earthquake, a very large quake for this region, earlier this week which triggered the shutdown of a major fracking operation, with the earthquake’s epicentre was just three kilometres from Progress Energy’s fracking site, which the company immediately shut down, with the Oil and Gas Commission suspecting that the quake was likely induced by hydraulic fracturing

Earthquakes shake Alberta town’s faith in fracking (The Globe and Mail, July 2015) The people of Fox Creek are wondering about the costs of exploiting the Duvernay shale formation after thier once a seismically stable area, with about one measurable earthquake a year, has more than 160 detected earthquakes since December, 2013, about the time hydraulic fracturing began in earnest, and the Alberta Energy Regulator has attributed two earthquakes measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale so far in 2015 to hydraulic fracturing, the strongest to be directly connected to hydraulic fracturing anywhere in the world

Rare 4.0 quake rocks north Texas amid fracking debate (Russia Today, May 2015) A magnitude-4.0 earthquake has rattled residents in northern Texas and fueled speculation that fracking is responsible, after more than 50 tremors have shaken the region since November 2013, part of a number of earthquake clusters began to strike northern Texas in 2008, coninciding with the rise of fracking, which a felt earthquake had not been previously reported in the area in nearly 60 years

Likely cause of 2013-14 earthquakes: Combination of gas field fluid injection and removal (ScienceDaily, April 2015) A seismology team led by Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, finds that high volumes of fracking waste injection combined with saltwater (brine) extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause of earthquakes occurring near Azle, Texas, from late 2013 through spring 2014, part of a series of earthquakes they have been studying earthquakes in North Texas since 2008 that have all occurred in areas developed for natural gas extraction from a geologic formation known as the Barnett Shale

Weather Underground: The arrival of man-made earthquakes (New Yorker, April 2015) Earthquakes used to be a relatively rare event for Oklahomans, but now they’re reported on daily, like the weather, and generally by the weatherman, with an average of two earthquakes a day of magnitude 3.0 or greater this year, caused by disposal wells, where the billions of barrels of waste brought up by fracking for for oil and gas are pumped back into the ground

Fracking-induced earthquake puts B.C. gas bonanza on shaky ground (Vancouver Observer, February 2015) The small town of Fox Creek in northern Alberta may have broken the world’s ‘fracking earthquake’ record with the 4.4-magnitude shaker that hit last month, the most probable cause of which, according to Alberta’s energy regulator, was nearby gas fracking operations, with the vast quantities of water industry injects into the ground is the “most likely candidate” for increasing the frequency and intensity of earthquakes

Fracking Quakes Pose Added Risks and Require Study, Expert Warns (The Tyee, February 2015) Earthquakes caused by fracking can produce more damaging ground motion at lower magnitudes than natural quakes due to their shallowness, in many areas the hazards of fracking earthquakes can exceed those from natural ones, and as many as one in five wells in the Fox Creek region may be triggering earthquakes

Kansas quakes likely caused by disposal of saltwater that results from oil and gas fracking process (Lawrence Journal-World, January 2015) Kansas officials have been reluctant to link the mysterious earthquakes in south central Kansas to fracking, but last week they said for the first time the earthquakes are likely caused by disposal of the waste that is a byproduct of the oil and gas extraction process, with the number of earthquakes in Kansas went from none in 2012 to more than 120 in 2014, the Kansas Geological Survey has said

Annual Oil And Gas Waste Disposal Volumes In Northeastern British Columbia Showing The Recent Spike In Waste Injection Which Is Correlated With Some Of The Swarms Of Fracking Earthquakes Which The Canadian Province Is Experiencing (Click To Enlarge)

Fracking Industry Shakes Up Northern BC with 231 Tremors (The Tyee, January 2015) British Columbia’s shale gas fracking industry triggered more than 231 earthquakes or ″seismic events″⁣ in northeastern British Columbia between Aug. 2013 and Oct. 2014, with some of the quakes were severe enough to ″experience a few seconds of shaking″⁣ on the ground in seven areas of the province on top of the large Montney shale gas basin and many of the earthquakes occurring in clusters or swarms

Fracking is definitely causing earthquakes, another study confirms (Grist, January 2015) Yet another study has found a link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, this one examined 77 minor quakes near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, including a rare “felt” quake of a magnitude 3.0 on the Richter scale, was caused by active “fracking” on two nearby Hilcorp Energy Co. well pads, according to the research published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

Kansas’ 4.8-magnitude earthquake, felt in Omaha area, likely to spur debate about energy extraction (Omaha World-Herald, November 2014) A southern Kansas earthquake felt as far north as Omaha with a magnitude of 4.8, was the strongest of the hundreds to have occurred in the Oklahoma area in the last 11 months, part of a sharp jump in earthquakes with the explosive growth in well drilling commonly referred to as fracking, and the location of this quake was just north of the Oklahoma-Kansas border

Fracking linked to Alberta earthquakes, study indicates (CBC News, November 2014) A University of Alberta study that looked at four years of earthquake data in the Peace River area of Alberta has concluded that waste injection into the ground is highly correlated with spikes in earthquake activity in the area, the largest a 4.3-magnitude earthquake was registered near Rocky Mountain House, causing about 500 customers in the area to lose power for several hours

Gas production blamed for rise in Colorado, New Mexico quakes (Reuters, September 2014) The deep injection of waste underground by energy companies during methane gas extraction has caused a dramatic rise in the number of earthquakes in Colorado and New Mexico since 2001, U.S. government scientists said in a study by U.S. Geological Survey researchers focused on the Raton Basin, which stretches from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico, which had been “seismically quiet” until shortly after major fluid injection began in 1999 but has since experienced 16 earthquakes of greater than 3.8 magnitude, compared with only one of that strength recorded during the previous three decades

Earthquake hazard linked with deep well injection in Alberta (CBC News, September 2014) The Alberta Energy Regulator says deep well injections have been shown to create earthquake hazards and Alberta has more than 3,000 disposal wells, which are injected with toxic fracking fluids over long periods of time, but that number is expected to grow as the industry expands

Power restored after 4.3-magnitude earthquake hits western Alberta (CBC News, August 2014) A 4.3-magnitude earthquake, which may have been triggered by oil and gas production, hit an area in western Alberta and was felt in Rocky Mountain House, a town of roughly 7,000 people and power was interrupted at a substation, which caused a shutdown at a gas plant, causing about 500 customers to lose power

Worried People At A Packed Town Hall Meeting In Edmond, Oklahoma Which Got Heated After Residents Began To Feel They Were Being Experimented On (Click To Enlarge)

Earthquake town hall meeting gets heated (Fox News, June 2014) Things got heated in Edmond Thursday night at a packed Earthquake Town Hall meeting with those in attendance wanting answers as to what’s causing the 231 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher so far in 2014, and responded with boos and screams saying they don’t want to be treated like lab rats being experimented on, when they received few answers

Earthquake Insurance Becomes Boom Industry in Oklahoma (Time, June 2014) Just a few years ago, earthquake insurance wasn’t something many thought much about in Oklahoma but that has changed with the outbreak of tremors that has rattled the state in recent years, which many blame on increased oil- and gas-drilling activity, with so far in 2014, 200 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or stronger, following a magnitude-5.6 earthquake in November 2011 – the largest ever recorded in Oklahoma – which destroyed 14 homes and injured two people

Oklahoma coming to terms with unprecedented surge in earthquakes (Witchita Eagle, June 2014) Oklamhoma had a 30-year average of only two earthquakes of magnitude-3.0 or higher per year, but over the last five years, the state has had thousands of earthquakes – an unprecedented increase that has made it the second-most seismically active state in the continental United States, behind California and scientists have never observed such a dramatic swarm of earthquakes, more likely cause of the recent increase is underground injection wells drilled by the oil and gas industry with about 80 percent of the state is within 9 miles of an injection well, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey

Cumulative Number Of Earthquakes Greater Than Magnitude 3 In The US Since 1967 Showing Large Increase Last Few Years During The Fracking Boom (Click To Enlarge)

Groningen gas earthquakes damage listed buildings (Dutch News, November 2013) Earthquakes, caused by gas extraction in Groningen, have damaged 69 out of the 100 listed buildings in the northern part of the province, according to the cultural heritage service Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed

Arkansas lawsuits test fracking wastewater link to quakes (Reuters, August 2013) Over a dozen residents of Greenbrier, Arkansas, hit by a swarm of more than 1,000 earthquakes up to magnitude of 4.7, have filed five federal lawsuits against the drillers, marking the first legal attempt to link earthquakes to wastewater wells

South Texas earthquakes likely caused by shale boom, researchers say (FuelFix, August 2013) Earthquakes in the Eagle Ford Shale region — including a magnitude 4.8 quake in 2011 which would have caused severe damage in an urban area — are likely being triggered by increased oil extraction, according to research from the University of Texas at Austin

Fracking led to 109 earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio, study finds (UPI, August 2013) Since records began Youngstown, Ohio has never had an earthquake, until the Northstar 1 injection well was built to dispose of frack wastewater in 2010, and in the year that followed 109 seismic events were recorded in the town, the strongest a magnitude 3.9

Pumping water underground could trigger major earthquake, say scientists (Guardian, July 2013) A University of California study finds pumping water underground – for example in shale gas fracking – can lead to dangerous earthquakes even in regions not prone to tremors, by weakening of pre-existing undergrounds faults and making them vulnerable to triggering by earthquakes thousands of miles away

United States Geological Survey: Man-Made Earthquakes Update (US Geological Survey, July 2013) The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States and USGS scientists have found that the increase coincides with the injection of fracking wastewater in deep disposal wells

Study links fracking wastewater to massive 2011 Oklahoma quake (Raw Story, March 2013) A study links the magnitude 5.6 earthquake that hit Oklahoma in November 2011, causing serious damage to homes and even buckling a highway, to injection of fracking wastewater into a disposal well

Fracking’s Latest Scandal? Earthquake Swarms (Mother Jones, March 2013) A magnitude 5.7 earthquake in Prague, Oklahoma which injured two people, destroyed 14 homes, toppled headstones, closed schools, and was felt in 17 states, is linked to fracking wastewater injection wells

Earthquakes Hit Gas-Rich Groningen Province in Netherlands (Bloomberg, February 2013) The strength of earthquakes triggered by gas production in the Dutch province of Groningen may rise to magnitude 5, according to a government study

Damage to a home in Sparks, Oklahoma, on Nov. 6, 2011, following two fracking earthquakes that hit the area (Click To Enlarge)

Scientists Link Rise In Quakes To Wastewater Wells (NPR, April 2012) Scientists who watch for earthquakes have discovered a big increase in the number of small quakes in the middle of the US, an area that’s usually pretty quiet geologically, and suspect the quakes are caused by fracking waste wells, because when they zeroed in on where they took place, they noticed clusters near waste wells linked to natural gas drilling, especially in Colorado and Oklahoma

Arkansas quakes decline since hydrofracking injection wells were closed (Syracuse Post-Standard, March 2011) The number and strength of earthquakes in central Arkansas have noticeably dropped since the shutdown of two injection wells in the area, around 100 earthquakes in the seven days preceding the shutdown earlier this month, including the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years, a magnitude 4.7, and the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission said preliminary studies showed evidence potentially linking injection activities with nearly 1,000 quakes in the region over the past six months.

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