Published on Jul 5, 2014
Just four wastewater wells in Oklahoma — where ENERGY COMPANIES dump water after completing the HYDRAULIC FRACTURING process — have caused scores of earthquakes this year, some 30 km from the site, according to a new study by top US universities.
The report, published in SCIENCE magazine, focused on the Midwestern state, which has produced 45 percent of the country’s magnitude 3 or bigger seismic shocks in the past five years — with the numbers rising rapidly to match the intensification of FRACKING activities in the area.
While HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, or fracking, — which involves pressuring rock formations with liquid until they crack, and then extracting the oil and gas within — poses an inherent risk of earthquakes, according to the authors, the biggest culprits were the wastewater wells, where the liquids used for fracking are pumped, once a reservoir is opened.
“The disposed fluids are capable of contributing to the seismic activity,” Katie Keranen, a geophysics professor at Cornell, and the lead AUTHOR of the study, told The Oklahoman newspaper.