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Injection Well Linked to Destructive Earthquake in Oklahoma, Raising New Fracking Fears

Environment  (tags: animals, climate-change, CO2emissions, conservation, destruction, ecosystems, endangered, environment, energy, FRACKING, globalwarming, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, humans, nature, oceans, politics, pollution, protection )

- 1878 days ago -
A team of federal and university geologists have linked a series of unusual earthquakes, including a destructive 5.7-magnitude shocker, to oil-drilling waste water-injection wells in Oklahoma.

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Kit B (276)
Friday March 29, 2013, 12:38 pm
(Photo: Matt Nager / The New York Times)

A team of federal and university geologists have linked a series of unusual earthquakes, including a destructive 5.7-magnitude shocker, to oil-drilling wastewater-injection wells in Oklahoma.

The earthquakes occurred near Prague, Oklahoma, in 2010. The largest quake left two people injured, destroyed 14 homes, damaged a federal highway and was felt as far away as Milwaukee, according to a Columbia University release.

Columbia geologists partnered with the US Geological Survey to produce the report, which revealed a "potential" link between drilling wastewater injection and the massive earthquake.

The wells suspected of causing the earthquakes were in operation for at least 18 years, and the seismic events indicate that there can be decades-long lags between drilling wastewater injection and seismic events, according to the report.

The injection-well operations linked to the earthquakes were relatively small and involved filling oil wells with waste fluids, but over the years, pressure in the wells increased and eventually lubricated a known seismic fault.

"There's something important about getting unexpectedly large earthquakes out of small systems that we have discovered here," said Geoffrey Abers, a co-author of the study.

Abers said the team's observations indicate that the risk of humans inducing large earthquakes from even small injection activities is "probably higher" than previously thought.

The findings come at a time when geologists are reporting an uptick in minor earthquakes across the country linked to unconventional hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." Fracking has facilitated an oil- and gas-drilling boom across the country, and the process produces large amounts of liquid waste that is most often injected into underground wells for disposal.

In the last four years, the number of earthquakes in the central United States spiked by 11 times compared with three decades prior, the authors of the Oklahoma study estimate.

The wells suspected of causing the massive quake in Oklahoma were not disposing of unconventional fracking waste, but the report raises new concerns about the long-term impacts of underground drilling-waste disposal.

Oklahoma state officials have not officially determined the source of the earthquakes. In response to the report, a state geologist said the findings could link the wells to earthquakes, but the Oklahoma Geological Survey still suspects that they were naturally occurring, according to the Columbia University release. Well operations continue at the site.

Every day, the oil and gas industry injects two billion gallons of liquid waste into any number of 144,000 underground wells, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Earthquakes related to wastewater injection are rare, but in recent years, fracking-waste-injection wells have been linked to earthquakes in several states, including Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas and California.

Between the spring of 2011 and early 2012, a fracking-waste-injection well caused more than a dozen minor earthquakes near Youngstown, Ohio, including one 4.0 magnitude earthquake that was felt for miles.

A Truthout investigation found that Ohio regulators permitted operators of the Ohio well to raise its maximum injection pressure twice, once shortly before and once again after the well-caused two initial earthquakes on March 17, 2011.

The Ohio well has been shut down and state regulators have worked to reform their injection-well policies.
************Links within article at VISIT SITE********

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

Truthout needs your support to produce grassroots journalism and disseminate conscientious visions for a brighter future.


Elizabeth Fuller (134)
Friday March 29, 2013, 12:46 pm
As time goes by we will hear more and more about earthquakes due to fracking, and the government will do nothing as more and more land is decaying underground, it will take a biggie to really shake them up, but by will be too late. Noted with even more disgust for the oil industry and all of there lobbyist imps. Thanks Kit.

Kit B (276)
Friday March 29, 2013, 12:46 pm

This article, investigation and summary of events just set my hair on fire. Just how stupid do we have to be to continue to allow this happen, over and over? Fracturing deep rocks - or if you will deep underground mountains, is even more dangerous now than 30 years ago, the depth of slant drilling is far deeper, the issues being seen immediately are clearly placed before us, from cancer to asthma, to tap water igniting into flames and we do nothing more than sign a petition or two?

We do not NEED this form of energy, it is not clean to contrary it has proven itself to be very dangerous to humans and all living things and just as much a ecological contaminate as one should expect from fossil fuels.

When will Americans finally say enough is enough?


Past Member (0)
Friday March 29, 2013, 12:48 pm
I think fracking should be stopped everywhere They are not telling people enough about the damage it can do and they do not know long term what it will cause to the earth or man
Last year it caused two earthquakes in UK and they are talking about doing t it again Are they all mad See link

Noted thanks

Barbara K (60)
Friday March 29, 2013, 2:01 pm
When they break the planet as they are doing with this fracking, it has to react somewhere. That is what they are doing, breaking the planet where they are doing the fracking. Is it worth it? I don't think so. When they finish destroying the planet, where will we live? All their wealth won't help them either.

Kit B (276)
Friday March 29, 2013, 2:17 pm

Maybe only real conspiracy is that all these Super Rich folks actually do have another planet. Once ours is completely destroyed they will take of in their space ships and land on Planet La La Land.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Friday March 29, 2013, 2:29 pm
The connection was made back in 1987 but we all chose to ignore it.

Tamara Hayes (185)
Friday March 29, 2013, 2:52 pm
You said it Kit, how stupid do we have to be to keep on doing this. Even with all of the evidence laid out on the table, the only thing our government and governments across the world are seeing is green. Green dollar signs laid out in pretty little rows just waiting to migrate to their bank accounts. They are not concerned with any effects that fracking causes because why should they be? It is not affecting them. As long as they have wealth and power, there are no effects. I'll wager there is no fracking going on anywhere near where they live. The Whitehouse, the Pentagon, the Congressional buildings would all have to collapse on top of them from a fracking earthquake before they would notice anything.

Kit B (276)
Friday March 29, 2013, 4:08 pm

True enough Theodore, some of us did know about the dangers of the Schlumberger "slant or directional" drilling technique. Though it was not something that was general knowledge to the public. Fracturing has always been done in drilling, it was just never this deep before the Schlumberger slant drilling.

Yes, Tamara this is all about money. We do still all breath the same air, have universal water sources and soils, you taint mine and yours is tainted as well. That is what is missing here, the understanding that rolling the dice on the future rarely pays well in the end.

Lin Penrose (92)
Friday March 29, 2013, 6:07 pm
Thanks Kit - again - love your posts! Big and bad news for California, where some small forms of fracking have been going on for years. This state is a margin between two different major tectonic plates and is certainly known for earthquakes. Yet - still- it is being considered for major increasing fracking actions. The "not in my backyard" or" I have other ( different part of the world) living options" when it comes down to $ &?.

Kit B (276)
Friday March 29, 2013, 6:11 pm

Thank Lin, for that addition to this thread.

JL A (281)
Friday March 29, 2013, 7:42 pm
I'm glad the public has been informed--the geologists believed this was probably true in 2010 when it first happened and there were a whole heck of a lot of media deflection efforts.

I share Lin's fears about the plans to do it in the Monterey peninsula area on top of the most active fault in CA--the San Andreas. Much of the historical was in the oil area of Kern County north of the Grapevine (LA is on the other side).

Ramu Reddy (8)
Friday March 29, 2013, 7:47 pm

Care member (1)
Friday March 29, 2013, 8:08 pm

David C (131)
Friday March 29, 2013, 8:09 pm
noted. thanks

Marie W (67)
Friday March 29, 2013, 9:13 pm
Well OK how do you like, drill, drill, frack now?

Ruth R (246)
Friday March 29, 2013, 11:07 pm
Thank you Kit! Posted this to help out some people on Facts About Fracking on Facebook.

Lynn Squance (235)
Friday March 29, 2013, 11:52 pm
What happens if you fill a balloon too full of air? It explodes in your face and likely scares the crap out of you. So too with fracking. You can't keep pumping crap into the earth and expect no explosion.

And the effects take time --- that makes sense to me. For the first while, there is little effect, but the continuous fracking eventually takes its toll. First small cracks that over time grow into bigger cracks, such that the growth causes earthquakes.

It makes sense to me. Trouble is, I'm not a greedy corporation that sees only $ signs instead of seismic readings.

Ro H (0)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 4:36 am

S S (0)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 5:36 am
Thank you.

Alice C (1797)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 11:24 am
No more Fracking ! What is wrong with these people? Did they not pass 3rd grade or what ?

Alice C (1797)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 11:25 am
Thank you ~ shared

Birgit W (160)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 12:33 pm
No Fracking please

Elizabeth M (65)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 1:22 pm
Article read with great interest. I have wondered for several years now when something would happen due to fracking. Of course the Big Oil Corps. that are doing this, with the governments permission I might add, are going to deny, deny!! I guess they think that the majority of people are just plain stupid. I worked in the oil industry years ago, and was aware of the Schlumberger slant technique of drilling, but at that time was not aware of any fracking - this was over 40 years ago. I keep an earthquake site on my desktop and visit it quite often to see what activity is taking place. I agree with Lin and JL A regarding the San Andreas fault. Thanks Kit.

Sherri G (128)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 2:37 pm
Thanks Kit. Come on America we have alot of work to do if we are to let the GOP Oligarchy know we are awake, aware, and will act. What the oil companies deny should make absolutely no difference to the rest of us. Fracking in any form is destructive to the ground, water supplies, and release of hazardous waste that will destroy this planet. The oil companies are trying to frack in every state. We in CA are fighting against it now with Governor Brown.

Judy C (97)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 3:17 pm
The article states: "Every day, the oil and gas industry injects two billion gallons of liquid waste into any number of 144,000 underground wells, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Earthquakes related to wastewater injection are rare, but in recent years, fracking-waste-injection wells have been linked to earthquakes in several states, including Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas and California." The author points out that the seismic events may be delayed for decades. What sort of time bombs are we setting for our grandchildren? This is insane. Thanks, Kit.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 3:31 pm

Yes, it is insane. Do remember that they also use water from fresh community water reservoirs to pump into these wells (with very heavy chemical compounds) for fracking.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 6:18 pm
TY, N, P

Past Member (0)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 6:29 pm
I wonder if the strange booms being heard around the US are also due to fracking.

Edith B (146)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 9:32 pm
Fracking should be outlawed, but it won't be, because too much money is involved. Even an idiot should understand what this is doing to our earth.

Rhonda lawford (4)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 9:51 pm
One has to wonder why the people don't realize this more and really not allow it. I know my state is trying to and I keep doing what I can to keep it out, even it if it hundreds of miles away from me. Money is evil and this just proves it. Disgusting. Thanx for sharing tho.

Hartson Doak (39)
Saturday March 30, 2013, 11:08 pm
What's the problem? The fracking and injection wells are releasing the tension along Madrid fault line. Lots of little quakes instead of the BIG one. Sigh. Maybe some good will come from this madness.

Past Member (0)
Sunday March 31, 2013, 3:10 am
A vast majority of Earth’s species is now extinct. There is no special dispensation for the Human branch of the primates. The fact that we can understand this COMPELS us to cooperate, protect the voiceless, and nature upon which all life depends for survival, while we still have the huge advantage of FORESIGHT. How? Empower a Common Law Court verdict against the Vatican, Queen of England, Canadian Prime Minister, and other heads of church and state, for crimes against Humanity and genocide, to reclaim our world, and unalienable rights as provided by Creator!

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday March 31, 2013, 2:57 pm
Thanks, Kit. I've seen many articles like this in recent months, explaining the devastating effects to the groundwater and environment, as well as causing earthquakes. I don't know what it will take to stop fracking.

Robert K (31)
Monday April 1, 2013, 5:33 am
It's past time to hand out hundreds of corporate death penalties.

Klaus Peters (14)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:53 am
Mess with this planet and it will retaliate.
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