Is Fracking Responsible For Earthquakes In Oklahoma?

As the earthquakes in Oklahoma increase, the debate over the link between seismic activity and fracking rages on.

Oklahoma has recently stolen the title of the nation’s earthquake capital from California. And as the frequency of earthquakes continues to increase, it has many questioning what's to blame. One controversial suggestion is that fracking could be playing a part.

According to Joe Wertz, an energy reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma, there is compelling evidence and studies to indicate that fracking and the procedures behind wastewater disposal may be the culprit. Wertz cites a study by Katie Keranen, a seismologist at Cornell University.

“What Keranen found is twofold. First, she found that wastewater pumped into the ground can travel a lot farther than initially thought and that it builds up pressure all along the way on its path. And this pressure can cause fault lines to slip and trigger an earthquake,” says Wertz.

Many regulators and gas companies disagree. Instead, they assert that it's too soon to collect reliable evidence, and say that any studies presented now are only speculation.

Check out the video below to see more on the potential link between fracking and the earthquakes taking place in Oklahoma.

Video by CBS Evening News.



More in Chemical Processing