A small quake rattled the Fort Worth area last night – the latest North Texas quake to occur in proximity to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” sites and their disposal wells.
Fracking is the practice of pumping hydraulic fracturing fluid into wells to break up and extract oil shale and natural gas deposits. StateImpact Texas writes that “while it’s difficult to link any individual quake to a specific cause, North Texas has seen a significant uptick in seismic events since hydraulic fracturing technology opened up the area to widespread oil and gas drilling.”
Some studies indicate that it’s not fracking itself that’s connected to quakes, but disposal of the fracking fluid used to loosen energy deposits; the fluid is usually disposed of by injecting it into underground wells. A National Research Council study “indicates that long-term disposal wells can be linked to increased seismic activity.”
You can read more on the quake at StateImpact Texas.