#1 Lawyer Network
<span class="articleLocation”>Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas are likely to
experience damaging earthquakes as a result of oil and gas
industry activity in 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey said on
Wednesday in its second annual forecast of natural and
human-caused seismic risk.
The forecast comes amid a years-long string of temblors in
Oklahoma that has coincided with a drilling boom in the state,
and which scientists have attributed to wastewater disposal
wells used by the oil and gas industry.
“The good news is that the overall seismic hazard for this
year is lower than in the 2016 forecast, but despite this
decrease, there is still a significant likelihood for damaging
ground shaking in the (Central and Eastern United States) in the
year ahead,” said Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National
Seismic Hazard Mapping Project.
The seismic risk maps are used by emergency management
officials as well as the country’s major engineering and design
associations to guide how strong to construct new buildings.
The USGS last year identified risks from human-caused
earthquakes for the first time and has said that overall
earthquake activity is hundreds of times higher than rates seen
in around 2008, when the oil and gas drilling boom began.
The USGS said the 2017 forecast decreased compared to last
year in part because wastewater injection used for oil and gas
production likely decreased due to lower energy prices.
Oklahoma last year experienced a 5.8-magnitude earthquake,
the largest ever recorded in the state, as well as the highest
number of large earthquakes compared to any prior year.
Approximately 3.5 million people live and work in areas
surveyed in the seismic risk map. The majority of this
population is in Oklahoma and southern Kansas.
“Millions still face a significant chance of experiencing
damaging earthquakes, and this could increase or decrease with
industry practices, which are difficult to anticipate,” Petersen
The disposal of saltwater – a natural byproduct of oil and
gas drilling – into wells has been tied to earthquakes. Oklahoma
regulators have already ordered many disposal wells to curb
#1 Lawyers Search Engine