The state of Oklahoma has been subject to a sudden surge in earthquakes, with a report linking the rise in wastewater, caused by unconventional gas and oil extraction, as the root cause.
Fluid migration, from high-rate disposal wells used to extract water from excavation sites, causes earthquakes by creating underground fluid pressure that increases seismic activity.
Although thousands of these wells operate across the state, the report has linked earthquake activity 35km away to four of the biggest wells.
Numerous reports over recent years have made the connection between the injection of wastewater and quake activity – suggesting regulation and reform is needed to curb seismic activity.
A US Geological Survey (USGS) published January this year totalled the amount of manmade quakes across the US. In particular, the town of Jones, which is nearby to a large amount of disposal wells, was subject to 2,500 quakes since 2008.
Water is a natural factor in the energy extraction industry. It is not only used for hydraulic fracturing, but also for obtaining more oil from conventional wells.
When gas or oil is released from the ground, water tends to be either with it or close by. Separating that water from the fuel is crucial – the method is called ‘dewatering’.
Four of the largest wells in Oklahoma have been pumping 4 million barrels a month underground to a depth of 3.5km – creating huge pressure points.
The team that conducted the report connected the huge seismic activity around the town of Jones to the vast injections of water made by the larger wells.
The study’s lead author, Dr Katie Keranen, from Cornell University, said, “It is possible that pressure looks to have risen in the places where the earthquakes are occurring.
“That pressure increase is what we see in natural triggering. So, if a fault is close to failure, the amount that the pressure is going up at these locations in our model is enough to push them over the edge.”
Fears of similar seismic activities happening in the UK from fracking have sparked opposition to the increasing use of unconventional gas extraction.
Photo source: UKBERRI_net via Flickr
Like our Facebook Page
How to Find an Eco-Friendly Termite Control Service Provider in Malaysia
Eco-Friendly Vegans Win Most Battles Not the War
3 Iconic Chicago Billboards Eco-Friendly Advertisers Can Learn from
EnviroSolar’s Abe Issa Discusses Success in Green Entrepreneurship
How Sports Could Be Impacted by Climate Change
What Eco-Friendly Patients Should Know about Online Therapy
6 Reasons Why Meal Delivery Services are Eco-Friendly
The Path for Retail’s Sustainable Future
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Treat a Sinus Infection
4 Strategies for Eco-Friendly Real Estate Investors to Find Properties
How Managed Print Services Helps to Reduce Paper Waste
Why Scientists Are Concerned About ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Drinking Water
Meat Farming Is Only Getting Smarter, Easier & Eco-Friendlier
What is Eco-Friendly Homesteading and How Does it Affect Your Insurance?
Importance of Using a Water Purifier in an Area with High Pollution
Alternative Financing Ideas for Green Businesses that Shun Banks
Tencel Material Demand Shows Britain Is More Eco-Friendlier Than Ireland
How To Invest in Clean Energy Stocks in Only Five Easy Steps!
How To Secure Funding As An Eco-Entrepreneur?
4 Amazing Eco-Friendly Businesses Worth Starting in 2021
- Features8 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home
- Energy9 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
- Features8 months ago
Essential Guidelines for Eco-friendly Moving into new Home
- Invest10 months ago
The Eco-Friendly Evolution of Bitcoin Over the Years