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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Geologists told about the threat shale oil

The frequent tremors in the U.S. state of Texas turned out to be indirectly associated with the extraction of shale oil there. To such conclusion the group of scientists from Britain, Canada and the USA, in their research, studied many satellite images. As it turned out, the cause of some earthquakes may be a water injection into oil and gas wells.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

As scholars have noted, the seismic activity in Texas began to rise since 2008, particularly it was noticeable in 2012. Various researchers has long been suspected that this may be due to human actions, but is still sufficient evidence in favor of this assumption had been collected.

In the new study, experts used the information from the satellites and have used special devices, allowing to define, how change the surface earth’s crust in areas where in years past there were earthquakes.

As a result, the specialists, according to them, were able to confirm the fact that due to the pumping of water in deposits of the earth’s surface in these areas rises, and the pressure on the faults in the rocks increases. Taken together, this leads to the fact that the probability of earthquakes increases. In particular, experts have found a direct correlation between the human factor and a number of earthquakes occurred in the period from 2012 to 2014.

According to the scientists, their work, on the one hand, suggests that further production of shale oil and gas can further aggravate the situation with earthquakes, and with another – allows us to understand how these two phenomena are interconnected, thus giving the opportunity to develop methods to reduce this risk.

An article written on the study’s findings were published in the journal Science.


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