Stanford Geophysicist: Oklahoma’s Earthquakes Are ‘Unrelated’ to Fracking

A Stanford geophysicist who has completed numerous studies on earthquakes in Oklahoma has appeared in a new video, produced by Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Science, to explain what’s causing seismic activity in Oklahoma.   That geophysicist, Mark Zoback, states very clearly that earthquakes in Oklahoma have nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing:

“What’s happening in Oklahoma is unrelated to hydraulic fracturing. It’s unrelated to hydraulic fracturing flowback water. It’s caused by massive injection of produced water.” (marker 2:52)

This isn’t the first time experts have emphasized that that fracking is not the culprit for earthquakes.  As Dr. Matthew Hornbach, a scientist at Southern Methodist University (SMU) said last year about earthquakes in North Texas,

“We’re not talking at all about fracking. In fact, it’s been driving us crazy, frankly, that people keep using it in the press.”

The US Geological Survey (USGS) agrees.  It released a document last year to clear up the misrepresentation in headlines that too often link fracking to earthquakes:

“In the United States, fracking is not causing most of the induced earthquakes. Wastewater disposal is the primary cause of the recent increase in earthquakes in the central United States.”

The National Research Council – part of the prestigious National Academies – has similarly found:

“The process of hydraulic fracturing a well as presently implemented for shale gas recovery does not pose a high risk for inducing felt seismic events.”


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