Oklahoma Geological Society links earthquakes, waste wells

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Geological Society says it is “very likely” that most of the earthquakes that have shaken the state in recent years have been triggered by the subsurface injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations.

The society released a statement Tuesday following an investigation into dozens of earthquakes recorded in central and north-central Oklahoma. It says that based on seismicity rates and geographical trends following major oil and gas operations that produce a lot of wastewater, the rates of earthquakes are “are very unlikely” to be the result of a naturally occurring process.

Geologists historically recorded an average of 1.5 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater each year. Currently,the statement says the state is recording an average of 2.5 magnitude 3 or greater earthquakes each day.

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