Oklahoma finally recognises oil operations causing earthquakes


Oklahoma’s government has finally acknowledged that the earthquakes rocking the state are largely caused by pumping underground billions of litres of waste water from oil and gas wells.

Scientists have explained what is going on for years, as Cosmos reported last year in Man-made earthquakes cause seismic rumblings.

The New York Times reports that the state’s energy and environment cabinet had launched a website detailing the evidence of the link as well as an interactive map plotting earthquake locations and the sites of more than 3,000 wastewater-injection wells.

The statement noted that the most intense seismic activity “is occurring over a large area, about 15 percent of the area of Oklahoma, that has experienced significant increase in wastewater disposal volumes over the last several years.”
The statement and the website’s acknowledgment amount to a turnabout for a state government that has long played down the connection between earthquakes and an oil and gas industry that is Oklahoma’s economic linchpin.

Oklahoma oil and gas regulators are trying to ensure that newly drilled disposal wells do not create seismic risks but say they lack the authority to put a stop to existing operations.

  1. https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth-sciences/man-made-earthquakes-cause-seismic-rumblings
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/us/oklahoma-acknowledges-wastewater-from-oil-and-gas-wells-as-major-cause-of-quakes.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
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