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Oklahoma Quakes blamed on Oil and Gas Exploration

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted April 7, 2014

Oklahoma used to just have to worry about tornadoes. Now it has to worry about earthquakes, too.

According to data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the Sooner State now has more earthquakes per year than every state except California, and they link the activity to hydraulic fracturing.

For more than thirty years, the state averaged no more than six earthquakes a year. In 2013, the average was 222. This year, there are already magnitude 3 and higher earthquakes than all of 2013 combined.

Quakes of these size do not generally cause structural damage, but given the dramatic increase in occurrences, the likelihood of larger events also rises.

In mid-March, the state of Ohio put a moratorium on fracking in one location, and no tremors larger than a magnitude 3 were registered.

Diversifying U.S. Oil Production

Though Ohio and California are resisting the unconventional oil boom, Texas is embracing it, so the Eagle Ford Shale is a major area to consider if you’re buying American oil and gas companies. Nearly 35% of the entire American output comes from Texas, and it shows no signs of letting up.

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