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Could the Human Race be causing these Earthquakes by extracting Oil?

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posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 12:59 PM
I will rely on others to speak about the earth's core, but drilling causing earthquakes is being studied.

The DFW area has recorded 20 minor earthquakes in the last year or two and the small town of Cleburne Tx. had 7 small quakes in a months time over the spring and summer. Cleburne is in Johnson county and the most heavily drilled area in the Barnett Shale. They hired SMU to investigate.

Until this started there had never been an earthquake in the area before.

Similarly, some geophysicists with the United States Geological Survey are intrigued by the prevalence of natural gas drilling near the North Texas earthquakes. USGS research geologist Russell Wheeler recalled a situation in the 1960s when the U.S. Army was trying to get rid of some liquid toxic waste on the north side of Denver. The Army drilled a couple miles into the earth and began pumping the fluid in, but the process was halted when earthquakes resulted, he says.

Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the agency’s National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., wanted to know when natural gas drilling started in the DFW area.

Told the boom began in 2001 and has accelerated in the past two years, Caruso said, “That’s all I’m going to say about that.”

Is it related to the earthquakes? “I’m not going there,” he said, and suggested looking up “induced seismicity.”

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 01:31 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn

Nice post, nice article. That occurrence implies heavily that drilling into the earth could cause earthquakes. And you know our new american motto when it comes to oil, drill deeper.

The OP may not be on point (we'd see oil at fault lines) a good and valid point is brought up. Drilling can cause earthquakes, if not an increase.

S&F..and i'm stingy with mine

Edit: From this article that liveandlearn posted, why am i not surprised?

The hydraulic fracturing technique was pioneered by Halliburton Co. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was chief executive officer of the company from 1995 to 2000 and served as an SMU trustee from 1996 to 2000. Some critics of SMU’s coziness with the company have referred to the school as “Southern Halliburton University.”

That explains it.

[edit on 30-9-2009 by cenpuppie]

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 01:47 PM
reply to post by stumason

we drill close enough together for it to have the same results.

let me say it in a way you will not argue with take a board 70milesx70milesx2inches drill nano sized holes in it YOU WILL STILL WEAKEN THE BOARD.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 02:07 PM
reply to post by rtcctr

Unfortunately for your analogy, not enough for it to matter in the slightest. God, what are they teaching the kids in school since I left? The lack of even basic scientific principle knowledge in this thread astounds me.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 02:11 PM
reply to post by D.E.M.

to let you know im 44 not a kid

second line

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 02:16 PM
One would think that if oil wells were causing earthquakes then we would see sink holes that correlate with them. I live here in the Dallas area and am familiar with the situation in Cleburne. The "experts" say that the recent quakes are not as a result of oil operations, but who knows.

I personally do not think that oil operations are to blame. There is just not any evidence around the world to support this notion. Plus, as I stated above, where are the sink holes that one would expect to see if that was the case.

Just my 2-cents

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 02:23 PM
My initial reaction? No, no possible way, this is ridiculous!

Then I thought about it. We typically pump the oil out by replacing it with water, leaving no void, but if trapped water pockets were to vaporize under geographic heat... well, maybe, maybe not. Also, are we leaving voids behind unknowingly? Are we pumping too much water in, creating pressure anomalies? Are we drilling too much in too small areas, weakening the plates? Could it be pressure differential waves from our operations traveling through the crust to focus on already weak spots?

Or is it really just a ridiculous hypothesis, playing into the hands of those who simply hate the fact that we use oil?

So my bottom-line opinion? No idea. I'd say this theory bears examination at least.

The jury is still out, IMO. But if it is proven that the drilling is responsible, then we must find an alternative for oil. It would be a much more sound reason than blaming CO2 for warming that isn't even happening. But be warned: I want proof before that happens, not just speculation and twisted facts.


posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 03:58 PM

Originally posted by stumason
reply to post by TruthxIsxInxThexMist


You "know", do you? Provide the proof, please.

Just saying something doesn't make it so. All the scientific data and even cursory observation shows that oil is not needed to "lubricate the plates"...

I cannot believe some people actually believe drivel like this. I despair, i really do. This site used to be full of intelligent people, now we just seem to have a huge mass of pillocks.

I think you need to take a look at liveandlearns post at top of this page before ridiculing my Theory!! Research into this drilling effect is currently in place

As to the Proof of Earthquakes becoming more common place.... well i don't actually have any proof except from what i hear and see on the News or Internet.....

Edit to add: Maybe a little more caution before posting is needed on your side

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:05 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn

Thanks for your post & link..... i needed some back-up on my Theory and it looks like you have provided it....

I gave you a Star

I like this:

After multiple earthquakes hit Cleburne, city leaders hired a geologist to find out why. Then they learned that Southern Methodist University geologists were conducting their own six-month study with 10 loaned seismic monitoring stations, funded mainly by the National Science Foundation. So Cleburne’s council decided to save the expense and piggyback on SMU’s study. Most of Cleburne’s earthquakes had already occurred when the 10 stations were put in place this summer.

Cleburne’s deference means that SMU—which has agreed to house the George W. Bush Presidential Library and think tank, and where Laura Bush is a trustee—will be the prime arbiter of whether the natural gas industry is the root of the earthquake problem.

And this:

Gas well activities such as injecting or extracting fluids into or from the earth’s crust can cause earthquakes, Stump said, but many other areas of the state have drilling and fracturing without earthquakes.

“There’s something peculiar going on here [in the DFW area] that’s not going on elsewhere,” Hayward says.

The earthquakes near the DFW airport were close to gas wells set up just last year, Frohlich says, noting, “It’s certainly a likely candidate as being related to the earthquakes.”

Though scientists have had less time to study data from this summer’s Cleburne quakes, “it certainly is suspicious,” Frohlich says

[edit on 30-9-2009 by TruthxIsxInxThexMist]

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:06 PM
reply to post by TruthxIsxInxThexMist

Claims without proof are simply that: Claims. One should have a more solid case than "I heard this on the news and extrapolated ZOMG THE CRUST IS BREAKING" before attempting to get support behind it.

On a side note, you didn't edit to add that, there is no edit notation on the end of your post (The forum software puts one there) so it's just a poor attempt at a jab that makes you look silly

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:10 PM
reply to post by TruthxIsxInxThexMist

To give you a more correct sense of scale: the structural effects of drilling the earth crust for oil are at about the same scale of a mosquito bite on your body, without the inflammation side effects.

[edit on 2009-9-30 by Shirakawa]

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:18 PM
I say never stop questioning, even if you get the same answer over and over. More research should be done on this, drilling may be causing some of the smaller quakes in places that have never had or recorded earthquakes in the past. Look at where the oil drilling is taking place and see if there has been a pick up in earthquake activity in the surrounding area since the drilling started. For the most recent major earthquakes yesterday off of the Samoa islands and Indonesia, I'd say that was a normal process of mother nature both occurring in " the ring of fire" where around 90% of earthquakes take place.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:19 PM
Imho.....our presence and usage of Earth's raw materials are but a microspec in time. What will Earth be like in 5000 years, in 10000? In 100000? Unless we destroy it utterly through nuclear annihilation, there really isn't much we can do to screw it up in our short span of time that wouldn't clear up in a few millenia.

Did dinosaurs worry about climate change with their vast production of methane gas? In the long run did it matter?

No, what we do nowadays will be long forgotten in the millenia to come. Its laughable.


my 2 cents

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:25 PM
Too many earthquakes here is the list from september 29 and 30.

2009/09/30,10:16:09.8,-0.789, 99.961,7.6, 80
2009/09/30,09:29:26.8,-33.21,-179.195,4.8, 35
2009/09/30,09:05:12.7,-16.103,-172.972,5.0, 10
2009/09/30,08:24:58.5,-16.575,-172.685,5.3, 10
2009/09/30,07:32:15.2,-15.256,-172.697,4.9, 10
2009/09/30,07:13:46.9,-16.58,-172.941,4.7, 10
2009/09/30,05:53:57.1,23.106,124.311,4.9, 10
2009/09/30,05:24:51.4,-15.351,-173.38,5.3, 10
2009/09/30,05:08:33.9, 4.951,126.874,4.8, 54
2009/09/30,04:46:22.5,-16.253,-172.383,4.8, 10
2009/09/30,04:03:11.3,-15.647,-173.367,5.0, 10
2009/09/30,03:18:10.4,-15.776,-172.773,4.6, 10
2009/09/30,02:47:27.1,-15.773,-173.104,5.0, 10
2009/09/30,02:39:08.9,-16.2,-172.976,4.7, 10
2009/09/30,02:29:34.3,-16.443,-173.355,5.0, 10
2009/09/30,02:21:31.7, 4.930,126.919,4.9, 35
2009/09/30,01:46:50.5, 3.875,126.633,4.9, 35
2009/09/30,01:39:50.4,-15.414,-173.404,5.1, 10
2009/09/30,01:39:42.4, 4.912,126.732,5.6, 66
2009/09/30,01:30:40.4,-15.512,-172.496,4.9, 10
2009/09/30,01:16:17.9,-15.549,-172.061,4.9, 10
2009/09/30,01:09:29.9,-14.926,-173.737,5.1, 10
2009/09/30,01:05:35.2,-14.979,-173.092,5.2, 10
2009/09/30,00:40:52.4,-15.46,-172.931,5.1, 10
2009/09/30,00:27:53.0,-15.029,-173.137,4.8, 10
2009/09/30,00:22:38.0,-15.38,-173.481,4.9, 10
2009/09/30,00:11:38.0,-15.993,-172.243,5.0, 10
2009/09/29,23:51:43.4,-15.134,-171.944,4.9, 10
2009/09/29,23:32:57.0,-15.538,-173.322,5.4, 10
2009/09/29,23:11:51.5,-15.565,-173.365,5.5, 10
2009/09/29,22:54:07.8,37.023,-104.81,3.4, 5
2009/09/29,22:41:45.9,-15.199,-172.899,4.9, 10
2009/09/29,22:36:17.9,27.835,127.800,5.4, 8
2009/09/29,22:08:30.2,-15.345,-173.387,5.1, 10
2009/09/29,21:51:00.5,-16.174,-172.533,4.9, 10
2009/09/29,21:28:56.8,-17.205,-173.002,5.0, 10
2009/09/29,18:57:58.9,-16.067,-173.125,5.2, 10
2009/09/29,18:46:02.1,-14.953,-173.329,5.0, 10
2009/09/29,18:40:11.3,-15.347,-173.296,5.4, 10
2009/09/29,18:34:29.9,-14.871,-172.493,5.1, 10
2009/09/29,18:29:26.2,-15.948,-173.231,5.0, 10
2009/09/29,18:21:42.7,-16.197,-173.069,5.8, 10
2009/09/29,18:20:27.3,-12.19,-161.6,5.6, 10
2009/09/29,18:08:22.2,-15.467,-172.092,5.6, 10
2009/09/29,17:48:11.3,-15.561,-172.084,8.0, 18
2009/09/29,17:21:44.6,41.578,141.997,4.7, 66
2009/09/29,12:03:19.6,43.503,144.783,4.5, 10
2009/09/29,06:01:14.0,30.939, 83.485,5.0, 10
2009/09/29,03:43:38.3,34.784,-106.754,2.3, 5

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:27 PM
Drilling may cause earthquakes, that's being looked into, and it wouldn't surprise me.
However, the ideas expressed on WHY are faulty.

Oil is rarely located on a fault line, and certainly does not provide "lubrication."

Oil is not in pockets under ground, but instead in saturated porous rock, and usually replaced by a liquid like water.

There are no hollow spots, basically.

Before you raise a question like that, it might be better to take a look at how earthquakes occur, the geology behind them, and the related geology of oil and gas.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:47 PM
I see validity in the OP.

Firstly, i find the meme implanted when black-gold was industrialised as coming from dead dinosaurs as ludicrous; what BS. How can biological matter, composed of microscopic fossil plants (diatoms) & Kerogens, pool together and are 'cooked' up over time to be later dug up as 'fossil fuel'?

A much more plausible explanation, is that oil is abiotic (non-living composition). Basically, the high pressures and temperatures in the Earth's crust, create a thermodynamic reaction leading to an evolutionary bi-product of hydrogen carbons.

The Russians seem to be keen on this abiotic theory...

The claims for each (as evidence of a biotic connection for petroleum) are refuted, with unchallenged evidence published in first-rank scientific journals often as long as thirty or forty years ago.

The continued, egregious claims of such as “evidence” of a biological origin of petroleum are acknowledged to be fraudulent. A recent paper describes very recent analysis of the thermodynamic stability of the hydrogen-carbon system in circumstances most favorable to the evolution of hydrocarbons, and shows that the hydrocarbons which comprise natural petroleum cannot evolve spontaneously at pressures less than approximately 30 kbar, which pressures correspond to the depths of the mantle of the Earth.

In the second instance, this paper describes experimental demonstration of the foregoing theoretical predictions, whereby laboratory-pure solid marble (CaCO3), iron oxide (FeO), wet with triple-distilled water, are subjected to pressures up to 50 kbar and temperatures to 2000 C. With no contribution of either hydrocarbons or biological detritus, the CaCO3-FeO-H2O system spontaneously generates, at the high pressures predicted theoretically, the suite of hydrocarbons characteristic of natural petroleum.


So in answer to the OP, probably not the drilling per se but the continual bleeding of the very lubricant that's created deep within the crust, that may have secondary effects causing earthquakes.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 04:48 PM
Petroleum, or oil, forms from the remains of plants and animals that lived in the ocean. When organisms died and sank to the bottom, they were covered in mud, sand, and other mineral deposits. This rapid burial prevented immediate decay, which would normally occur if organisms remained exposed on the sea floor.
The lack of oxygen in the sedimentary layers caused organisms to slowly decay into carbon-rich compounds. These compounds mixed with surrounding sediments and formed source rock, which is a type of fine-grained shale. As more layers were deposited on top of one another, pressure and heat acting on the source rock compressed the organic material into crude oil.
This rapid burial could have been caused by the world wide flood spoken of by many different ancient cultures. The excess weight of water on the earths crust would have not only have changed its chemical composition, with depth and pressure causing a recrystalization of the rocks, but would also have compressed the rock, reshaping it, pushing it down to the lowest point of gravity. A bit like putting your finger in a bit of plastosine. After a period of time, much like the plastosine, the crust returns back to its original positon. This is called isostatic movement, and would cause catastrophic plate/fault failure. This rapid burial mqay also explain why we have fossils that actually go through the geological layers, rather than being flat as classic geology suggests.
Alternativly, there could be an outside gravitational source that is interacting with the earth. After all, these earthquakes seem to be hapenning in the same hemisphere.
Just a thought.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:06 PM
'Oil in core' for a reason sounds a little odd, as most geological features don't reason, they simply follow the laws of physics and chemistry and stabilize or destabilize into certain forms accordingly. Your idea of voids being destabilizing seems more feasible.

However, I wonder whether we may find the oil extraction is more indirectly linked to increases in earthquake activity. Climate change is happening, ice (glaciers, ice-caps, perma-frost) is melting (faster and more heavily than it has for a long time), running down rivers and into the oceans. Mass is re-distributed via water on an enormous scale, especially from polar regions to warmer regions (e.g. the Pacific), again more quickly and heavily than it has in living memory. An inch or three up on sea levels in an area the size of the Pacific = surely massive forces down on the earths crust under the ocean, and presumably the loss of mass in some of the icier land masses creates movement in other directions. Seems logical to me that hot spots like the pacific rim might be reacting to reflect the increased strains upon them with increased instability.

Thanks for making me think.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:11 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

At certain depths and pressure, liquids remain liquids. The only thing that would affect that is a breach of some kind causing the disolved gasses in the liquid to force its way to normal atmospheric pressure. This is typically what happens in subduction zones because the escaping disolved gases changes the chemical composition of the fluid, thus the viscosity of the fluid too. This is the reason why lava is differnt to magma and why lava is more "runny" than magma.

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 05:16 PM
reply to post by PrisonerOfSociety

Marble is the metamorph form of limestone which is formed through dead marine life, so this oil still comes from the same source.

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