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Kansas earthquake, oil production might be related

Updated: Thursday, December 19 2013, 06:05 PM CST

LAWRENCE, Kansas - The Kansas Geological Survey is investigating whether a recent 3.8 earthquake Monday near Caldwell was man-made or caused by natural forces.

"There's still a lot of controversy about that, and I don't think we have a definitive answer. I don't think fracking has anything to do with the earthquake this week near Caldwell," said Jon Callen, Edmiston Oil Company.

Callen, with the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Industry, says hydraulic fracturing is not the problem.

What could be an issue is salt water disposal.

The Kansas Geological Survey agrees.  

Some have asked if injecting water back into the ground is causing small quakes and not fracking.

"The answer is almost certainly no. The amount of energy that goes into a frack job is not sufficient to create an earthquake," said KGS interim director Rex Buchanan.

Buchanan says it's more common for minor quakes near oil production sites to be caused by the disposal of salt water waste. In Kansas, the salt water waste is disposed of in deep wells.

The Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and gas production in the state, is also investigating the issue.

 
Kansas earthquake, oil production might be related


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