Earthquakes and fracking: Is there a link? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Earthquakes and fracking: Is there a link?

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

University of Oklahoma scientists say they have linked Oklahoma's biggest earthquake to the underground injection of wastewater from oil production.

The 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit near the town of Prague, Oklahoma in 2011.

The study says that wastewater disposal injections and hydraulic fracturing can affect the pressure along fault lines, triggering earthquakes.

East Texas has seen nine earthquakes in just the last year, but EOG Resources Vice President Ernest LaFlure says it's not from fracking.

"The areas where the earthquakes occurred in East Texas are along the Mount Enterprise fault zone, which is a very young fault system that's been active for millions of years and has had great seismicity for a very long period of time and the water disposal sites are not near that fault system" said LaFlure. "So we don't think there's a correlation there."

According to LaFlure, companies can only dispose their waste water at state-approved sites.

"If somebody does put any kind of disposal well—and that's for many different industries—directly into a fault zone, that could cause some lubrication of the fault zone and some seismicity but it's a very rare issue," LaFlure said.

Ben McGee with the U.S. Geological Survey says while fracking may not cause earthquakes, it can contribute to them.

"You have to have a fault present to have movement along a fault," McGee said. "But water or fluid injected into the earth in the vicinity of faults or in faults increase the likelihood that those faults will move."

The bottom line? There has to be a fault present naturally for an earthquake to occur, but McGee says only time will tell as to what kind of impact man actually has on those faults.

University of Oklahoma researches along with U.S. Geological Survey say the findings show a need for increased government monitoring and oversight for thousands of disposal wells across the country.

 

Copyright KLTV 2013. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • TRAFFIC: Stalled vehicle on I-10 WB at the bridge, left lane blocked

    TRAFFIC: Stalled vehicle on I-10 WB at the bridge, left lane blocked

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 8:28 AM EDT2017-08-22 12:28:54 GMT
    Stalled vehicle on I-10 westbound at the bridge. (Source: KPLC)Stalled vehicle on I-10 westbound at the bridge. (Source: KPLC)

    The left lane of I-10 westbound at Calcasieu River Bridge is blocked due to a stalled vehicle. If possible, please find alternate routes. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    The left lane of I-10 westbound at Calcasieu River Bridge is blocked due to a stalled vehicle. If possible, please find alternate routes. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • DeQuincy Elementary students watch eclipse with special telescope

    DeQuincy Elementary students watch eclipse with special telescope

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 5:46 AM EDT2017-08-22 09:46:07 GMT

    While many people across the United States watched today's solar eclipse with special eclipse glasses, some students at DeQuincy Elementary had a different option.  Smiles were on many faces of the third graders at the school, who were able to view the solar eclipse through a special Dobsonian telescope. This was all thanks to a local amateur Astronomer, Blake Gaspard.  Gaspard heard the school was interested in safe activities for the eclipse so he off...

    More >>

    While many people across the United States watched today's solar eclipse with special eclipse glasses, some students at DeQuincy Elementary had a different option.  Smiles were on many faces of the third graders at the school, who were able to view the solar eclipse through a special Dobsonian telescope. This was all thanks to a local amateur Astronomer, Blake Gaspard.  Gaspard heard the school was interested in safe activities for the eclipse so he off...

    More >>
  • Viewing the eclipse around SWLA

    Viewing the eclipse around SWLA

    Monday, August 21 2017 9:41 PM EDT2017-08-22 01:41:38 GMT
    (Source: Wikipedia)(Source: Wikipedia)

    We only saw around 70-percent coverage during the eclipse, but that didn't stop residents and students from getting hyped up about it. At Sam Houston High School, Sara Blankenship's Biology class shifted gears to learn about this major event, a total solar eclipse. The first time we've seen one across the US in a while and 9th grade students like Allison Hull and Ben Martin are excited. “I think it’s really cool because 99 years ago was the last total one which is what ...

    More >>

    We only saw around 70-percent coverage during the eclipse, but that didn't stop residents and students from getting hyped up about it. At Sam Houston High School, Sara Blankenship's Biology class shifted gears to learn about this major event, a total solar eclipse. The first time we've seen one across the US in a while and 9th grade students like Allison Hull and Ben Martin are excited. “I think it’s really cool because 99 years ago was the last total one which is what ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly