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Who Heard of Oil & Gas Quakes in Oklahoma?

Posted on 05 March 2016 by Jerry

When we move out from fracking to waste water disposal to the oil industry we see that it is the wastewater disposal in the U.S. of the oil and gas industries that are causing earthquakes in the center of the country. Each year the number of earthquakes has grown in unison with the increase in fracking and the disposal of the wastewater it generates.

The state of Oklahoma had only three earthquakes greater than magnitude-3 in 2011. Magnitude-3 is the level at which earthquakes can generally be felt. Oklahoma had 109 magnitude-3 quakes in 2013 mushrooming to 585 of them only one year later or 2014. The total number of earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2014 was 5,415 at all magnitudes. In 2015 there was a record of more than 900 earthquakes greater than a magnitude-3. In 2016 a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck Oklahoma.

Earthquakes are being felt in Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma. Unfortunately these have become a regular daily occurrence.

Of course the dropping price of oil has put all companies relying on a higher price of a barrel of oil in jeopardy. The oil barons in the region led by Saudi Arabia have consciously let the price fall and refused to cut back on production. They are consciously attempting to force oil companies having higher costs (fracking entrants in the United States) to go bankrupt.

As an example, the companies that are going broke in Oklahoma are under the jurisdiction of Oklahoma regulators that are attempting to stop the rising number and magnitudes of earthquakes. Under a recent plan by these same regulators, Sandridge Energy Inc. was asked to reduce injection volumes at 65 of its wells. This request would also force the company to shut down six wells. Because of its finances, it refused the regulatory request and only agreed to a deal after being threatened with legal action.

There continues to be confusion about the cause of these earthquakes in other countries. Questions among Canadian geologists are still revolving around fracking as a cause of earthquakes in Canada. The largest induced Canadian earthquakes are reputed to be in British Columbia, the largest of which has been measured at around 5.0 on the Richter scale. The Canadians believe there is still evidence that some different phenomena are at work.

Arthur McGarr of the United States Geological Survey has said, “Among the earth science community I don’t think there’s any doubt. The scientists are all on the same page. Wastewater disposal, at least in the U.S., has been the primary cause of earthquakes. In Canada, it’s not clear that things work the same way. That’s still a debated question.”

David Eaton, a University of Calgary geophysicist, has said, “But the evidence which is coming through in these studies is that features that are mappable with seismic imaging are not necessary problematic, whereas features that are very difficult to see with the geophysical technology that we’ve got may actually be the problematic ones.”

Oklahoma and other states have recently eclipsed California in total number of earthquakes but these earthquakes have only caused researchers to once again look at California quakes. California is the third largest oil producer in the continental United States. Certainly some of its quakes over the years have been the result of pumping water into disposal wells like the rest of the nation.

Researchers know that the high-pressure wastewater spreads out from the well sometimes lubricating ancient faults and causing them to relieve some of their pent up pressure as induced earthquakes.   A Santa Cruz researcher, Thomas Goebel has published a 2016 study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters looking at an earthquake swarm in the Tejon Oil Field south of Bakersfield in September 2005.

The oil field had produced three quakes larger than magnitude-4. This was very close to the White Wolf fault that had been responsible for a major California earthquake decades ago. Five months earlier than the September 2005 quakes a new, large wastewater well was opened up only five miles away in the Tejon Oil Field.

The results of his analysis and assessment program were that earthquakes were predicted that matched the performance of the surrounding terrain. A KQED program in February 2016 stated, “The results were a decent match to the record: the pumping would raise the underground pressure by about 1.5 pounds per square inch, enough to push a fault to failure, and the timing was right too. This was cutting-edge scientific work that relied on excellent seismic records, an area of well known geology, and earthquakes of appreciable size.”

It is probable the oil and natural gas industries have caused the high number of earthquakes that have ravaged a number of states. This phenomenon may disappear due to the price pressure of oil having fallen below $30 a barrel. Many U.S. oil companies are going broke and this bodes well for solving the burgeoning earthquake problem.

We need to ask what is being taught in all of the geology classrooms across the country.   If up to this point the teachers and professors have portrayed earthquakes in the normal way they are doing an injustice to their students and misrepresenting their science. Our children need to know this is another instance of human beings having a pervasive effect on their environment. They need to know our greed is causing the earthquakes everyone is feeling.

This is just another example of human beings raping the planet as a result of their all-consuming greed. Now we are causing earthquakes that are shaking up populations all other the world, causing fear and damage amongst their citizens. We need to speak out against these industries and politicians that allow this rape to continue. We must make the difference and stop the ongoing greed that is using up the resources of our planet.

Use the following links to obtain more information or access the source documents that served as the basis of this article.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150618145809.htm

https://www.morningstar.com/news/dow-jones/TDJNDN_2016021616568/to-curb-quakes-oklahoma-regulators-ask-oil-gas-firms-to-cut-water-injections.html

http://time.com/4172564/oklahoma-hit-with-70-earthquakes-this-week/

http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/01/15/scientists-think-fracking-can-cause-earthquakes-but-they-dont-know-how

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/drilling-and-pumping-wells-spawn-powerful-earthquakes/

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/01/oklahoma-earthquakes-shake-scientists-rattle-politicians.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/us/earthquakes-in-oklahoma-raise-fears-of-a-big-one.html

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/spike-in-earthquakes-rattles-oklahoma-oil-gas-industry/

http://fortune.com/2016/02/05/california-oil-earthquakes/

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/02/13/magnitude-5-1-earthquake-recorded-near-fairview-oklahoma.html

http://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/02/18/how-oil-and-gas-production-triggers-earthquakes-in-california/

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Study-Oil-field-operations-caused-California-6808015.php

https://www.rt.com/usa/324061-oklahoma-oil-wastewater-earthquakes/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/07/26-earthquakes-later-fracking-s-smoking-gun-is-in-texas.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oklahoma-quake-idUSKCN0VM0ST

 

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When is late, too late for climate change?

Posted on 20 January 2014 by Jerry

We must stop responding to climate change deniers.  They have had their say and the global scientific consensus rejects their positions.  If the overwhelming preponderance of data is not enough to convince them, we should stop listening to their protestations and assume many of them serve other motives.  It is time to move past them in order to take urgently needed action to save the livability of the planet.

The Nobel Prize winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world’s authority on climate change.  Its reports represent the collaboration of thousands of researchers, the world’s governments and various climate models at the world’s universities.  An early, leaked release of the IPCC’s 2014 final draft report cites the increase of warming on the planet as averaging 2.2% between 2000 and 2010.  That negatively compares to the 1.3% average from 1970 to 2000.

The report states that if the present rate of international foot dragging continues for the next 15 years, it may be too late to control global warming with existing technologies.  There is simply no existing technology that will enable the world to take enough greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere for storage underground.  We will have missed a sure solution to maintain the planet’s livability.

We must remember that climate change accentuates the highs and lows of weather.  The summers become hotter and the winters colder and wetter.  New weather records are being broken each year throwing more and more of the world into serious life threatening weather patterns.  These include the droughts around the world and the changing weather patterns that sent arctic air into North America to produce record breaking cold.

Evidence of global warming abounds. The combined average world temperature over land and the oceans in November of 2013 was a record highest temperature in 134 years. Australia experienced its hottest year on record in 2013.  Russia had its warmest November (2013) since record keeping began in 1891.

Droughts declared “extreme” and “exceptional” covered more than half of the continental U. S. in 2012.  Our oceans are acidifying at an “unprecedented” rate and losing their capacity to take up atmospheric CO2.   This decreases their capability to moderate climate change.  Fresh drinking water scarcity has become a major worry the world over.

In the United States take California as an example.  The governor has just declared the state as in a severe drought emergency.  Enough snow has not fallen on the Sierra Nevada Mountains to produce sufficient water for the various areas of the state whose water supply depends on adequate snowmelt.  The state’s snowpack was 20% of the historical average normally experienced.  Lakes and reservoirs are at record lows.  The water level of Folsom Lake has become so low it is now revealing remnants of a Gold Rush ghost town on its dry lakebed.

California is called the ‘breadbasket’ of the world because of the quantity of food produced by its agricultural industry.  Farmers have already let fields go fallow in anticipation of a deepening crisis.  One report cites “an estimated 200,000 acres of prime agriculture land will go unplanted in Fresno County” this year alone.

But the world’s greatest contributors to climate change have done little to stop it.  Earlier articles on this blog have shown the United States is in a political gridlock that keeps the country only “nibbling” at the problem through the executive actions of President Obama.  Politics and climate deniers have effectively kept the world’s greatest polluter and country from providing the world with the leadership it sorely needs.

We must get beyond the pressures of negative forces to effectively use today’s technologies to stabilize the world’s climate.  We must reject the naysayers and treat their pronouncements as we have treated racist remarks.  Our society no longer tolerates racist comments to be spoken out loud.  This same societal pressure should be brought to bear on climate deniers.  The majority must weigh in hard now on this issue.

Use the following links to gain more information or access source documents used in this article. 

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23950-leaked-ipcc-report-doesnt-let-us-off-the-hook.html  

http://www.stopgreensuicide.com Access this site to see a complete copy of the IPCC draft report.  Unfortunately the accompanying commentary is from a climate change denier.  I would read the New Scientist article for a more balanced view.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/leaked-ipcc-report_n_2300558.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25573712

http://www.nature.com/news/water-risk-as-world-warms-1.14446

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/as-californias-drought-deepens-a-sense-of-dread-grows.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-17/california-governor-brown-declares-drought-emergency.html

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

 

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