• 10 mins Trader Trafigura Raises Share Of Oil Purchases From State Firms
  • 2 hours German Energy Group Uniper Rejects $9B Finnish Takeover Bid
  • 3 hours Total Could Lose Big If It Pulls Out Of South Pars Deal
  • 5 hours Dakota Watchdog Warns It Could Revoke Keystone XL Approval
  • 22 hours Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Major Crude Draw
  • 23 hours Citgo President And 5 VPs Arrested On Embezzlement Charges
  • 23 hours Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension
  • 24 hours Statoil Looks To Lighter Oil To Boost Profitability
  • 1 day Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer
  • 1 day Transneft Warns Urals Oil Quality Reaching Critical Levels
  • 1 day Whitefish Energy Suspends Work In Puerto Rico
  • 1 day U.S. Authorities Arrest Two On Major Energy Corruption Scheme
  • 2 days Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 2 days Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 2 days South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 2 days Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 2 days Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 2 days Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 2 days ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 5 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 5 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 5 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 5 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 5 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 5 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 5 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 5 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 6 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 6 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 6 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 6 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 6 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 6 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 6 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 7 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 7 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 7 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 7 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 7 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 7 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
Alt Text

Is U.S. Energy Independence Realistic?

The recent IEA report shocked…

Alt Text

New Battery Design Could Crush Tesla

Elon Musk’s old rival, Henrik…

Why Is Oklahoma Now The Earthquake Capital Of The U.S?

Why Is Oklahoma Now The Earthquake Capital Of The U.S?

With mounting evidence that the fracking industry is causing a dramatic rise in seismic activity in Oklahoma, a growing chorus is calling for a moratorium on the use of disposal wells.

Oklahoma is no stranger to oil and gas drilling. Oil derricks have dotted the horizon of the Sooner State for decades. But the rapid increase in hydraulic fracturing has coincided with a surge in the number of earthquakes. It isn’t the fracking itself that is causing more seismic activity, but the practice of disposing wastewater that follows. Related: Here Is Why Predictions For Lower Oil Prices Are Wrong

The US Geological Survey has noted the connection. “The increase in seismicity has been found to coincide with the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells in several locations, including Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Ohio,” USGS concluded on a section of its website entitled “Induced Earthquakes.” The USGS chart below notes the sudden rise in earthquakes since 2010, with many concentrated in Oklahoma.

CumulativeEarthquakes Related: Alberta Election Result Changes Little For Oil Industry

Oklahoma has been slow to recognize the link. Oklahoma experienced 585 earthquakes in 2014 with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater, skyrocketing up from 109 in 2013, and just a handful each year over the course of previous decades. Still, Oklahoma’s seismologists did not officially come out and make the connection between disposal wells and the state’s extraordinarily high frequency of seismic events until April of this year.

But after an extended period of time in which top officials with the state of Oklahoma declined to acknowledge a connection between disposal wells and earthquakes – a connection that federal seismologists came to quite a while ago – the fact that the state now accepts the connection has lent credibility to the rising tide of criticism of wastewater disposal. Related: Which Nation Just Became The World's Top Crude Importer?

A group of activists delivered a petition with 1,500 signatures to Governor Mary Fallin on May 11, calling for a moratorium on disposal wells in certain areas of the state that are prone to earthquakes. Barbara Van Hanken, the chair of the Oklahoma Sierra Club, supports the ban on disposal wells. “Oklahoma is now the earthquake capital of America. How did this happen?”

Gov. Fallin’s office responded by saying that the Governor does not have the authority to issue a moratorium. Instead she supports regulations that would maintain safety over the practice of disposing of wastewater. But with Oklahoma on pace to surpass 900 earthquakes this year with a magnitude of 3.0 or more, state officials will probably need to do more.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • James Housel on May 14 2015 said:
    Stunning case of heads stuck in the sand...literally. 45 years ago as a freshman at Caltech I wrote a report on the sudden appearance of earthquake swarms in Denver, CO. Turns out they directly matched the well logs of a deep waste disposal well for Rocky Flats Arsenal. The connection between deep waste disposal wells and earthquakes is nothing new.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News