Earthquakes on Record-Breaking Pace in U.S. Shale, Study Finds

June 10, 2021, 4:33 PM

The number of earthquakes rattling the U.S. shale patch is growing exponentially as producers pump massive amounts of dirty water from their oil and gas wells back underground.

Tremors registering at least a 2 on the Richter scale quadrupled from 2017 levels to a record 938 last year and are on pace to top that this year, according to a Rystad Energy analysis of data in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico. Though earthquakes have long been linked to activity related to shale production, the report provides more evidence of the connection in the U.S. Southwest, where oil drilling has ...

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