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In the heartland of Oklahoma sits a pretty town dotted with American flags and a quaint main street of century-old brick buildings. But in Guthrie, the devastating impact of oil-industry-induced earthquakes is being felt hard.
Look closely and you see cracks in the historic buildings, where the old masonry is giving way to a shifting ground. Guthrie has seen a wave of earthquakes since hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — picked up in the area.
■Cracked walls, crumbling brickwork: the legacy of fracking in Oklahoma
■PHOTOS | Oklahoma earthquake damage
There's no denial from the Oklahoma government or seismologists from 20 countries who met in Reno, Nev., last week that practices related to fracking are behind the swarms of earthquakes that have increased in volume and intensity since 2011.
"There's definitely a relationship between deep well disposal and the earthquake activity," the state's oil and gas regulator, Tim Baker, said in an interview with CBC News, referring to the practice of injecting fracking waste water deep into the ground.
More details and video at the link.....
Now that there is some science behind these claims I am wondering if the drill baby drill crew will mollify their ardour for shale gas....or will they simply shrug off this report....
The debate is far from over as there is a lot of wealth tied up in those rocks down there.....
Despite the fact that many fracking companies are under pressure financially with the 30 dollar barrel price....they took out a lot of loans to dig those wells....operating costs are not cheap either.....
I have heard rumours to the effect that bankruptcy will ensue if the oil price stays bottomed out...
This does not bode well for Americas over all economy...
Oklahoma has concerns
Baker describes the task ahead of him as "Herculean." He says that earthquakes caused by the oil and gas industry threaten not just homes and residential buildings, but critical infrastructure like the oil terminal at Cushing, which is the largest pipeline and oil storage facility in the United States.
"We started having earthquakes in the Cushing area," Baker said, "so there is concern."
It happened in 2014 when a new injection well opened near the town. There was enough concern that the well was shut down and the earthquakes stopped.
When new wells were drilled, the earthquakes started again. When three of them were capped, the earthquakes subsided, but not entirely.
The cumulative volume of research leaves little doubt about the link between fracking and earthquakes. One point of debate that did emerge is the significant difference between how the quakes are caused in Canada and the U.S.
In Oklahoma, the earthquakes are blamed on the industry practice of injecting waste water from oil production into wells dug deep into the ground. This causes changes in underground pressure and deep underground faults to slip, resulting in earthquakes.
In Canada, the direct action of fracking is blamed, as less water is used and injected back into the ground.
University of Calgary seismologist David Eaton says in the past six years, 90 per cent of earthquakes larger than magnitude three taking place in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin can be linked to fracking or waste water disposal. The vast majority — 62 per cent — are directly linked to fracking.
He believes that like those in Oklahoma, the earthquakes are being caused by changes in pressure underground.
Atkinson believes part of the difference between Canadian and U.S. quakes can be attributed to different geology.
There you have it....theres still more at the link but that's the gist of it.....
What do we conscense on it?.............. bander
edit on 28-4-2016 by bandersnatch because: (no reason given)
Earthquakes induced by human activity have been documented in the United States, Japan, and Canada. The cause was injection of fluids into deep wells for waste disposal and secondary recovery of oil, and the filling of large reservoirs for water supplies.
Most of these earthquakes were minor. Deep mining can cause small to moderate quakes and nuclear testing has caused small earthquakes in the immediate area surrounding the test site, but other human activities have not been shown to trigger subsequent earthquakes.
Within the central and eastern United States, the number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years. Between the years 1973-2008, there was an average of 21 earthquakes of magnitude three and larger in the central and eastern United States. This rate jumped to an average of 99 M3+ earthquakes per year in 2009?2013, and the rate continues to rise. In 2014, alone, there were 659 M3 and larger earthquakes . Most of these earthquakes are in the magnitude 3?4 range, large enough to have been felt by many people, yet small enough to rarely cause damage. There were reports of damage from some of the larger events, including the M5.6 Prague, Oklahoma earthquake and the M5.3 Trinidad, Colorado earthquake.
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. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose. Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking”, does not appear to be linked to the increased rate of magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes.