|Posted by Anti-Tyranny News on April 6, 2012 at 8:45 PM|
April 06 , 2012
Oil pumps in operation at an oilfield near central Los Angeles on February 02, 2011 (AFP Photo/Mark Ralston)
A US Geological Survey research team says a remarkable increase in earthquake occurrence in the US in the past decade is “almost certainly man-made.”
According to the study by USGS, oil and natural gas extraction activity have possibly provoked a series of recent earthquakes from Alabama to the Northern Rockies.
However, USGS authors did not estimate a direct cause-effect relationship between oil and gas activity and earthquakes.
“It remains to be determined how they are related to either changes in extraction methodologies or the rate of oil and gas production,” says the abstract for USGS study, published by the Seismological Society of America.
However they gave a possible explanation for it. They relate it to drilling, which requires the disposal of millions of gallons of wastewater for each well. The number of wells drilled has increased over the past decade.
A recent series of earthquakes in north-eastern Ohio, the latest and largest being on New Year's Eve, has prompted that state's Department of Natural Resources to close or suspend development by natural gas drillers of five deep wastewater disposal wells pending an investigation into well impact on increased seismic activity in the area.
Earthquakes have been linked to so-called injection wells in other states. For example, Arkansas imposed a permanent moratorium on disposal wells in an approximately 1,200 square-mile area, due to enhanced seismic activity near the Fayetteville Shale.