Since February 15th, there have been over 25 earthquakes near Guthrie, Oklahoma and over 150 last week. Oklahoma is not known to have earthquakes as it isn’t located near a fault line. Upon checking the USGS(United States Geological Survey) real time map while writing this, I noticed that there were two more an hour ago. One was by Medford, north of Guthrie about 25 miles from the Kansas border.
Monday, the governor of Kansas named a task force to study if oil and gas activities can cause earthquakes, calling it “a matter of public safety.” Some of the quakes picked up by seismographs in Oklahoma are centered near the Kansas border. The Kansas task force will present its findings to the governor in April.
Texas is also now investigating its quakes. In the past few months, dozens of quakes have rattled cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth and north to the Red River. Texas’ Railroad Commission is working with the USGS to find the cause.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is being taken to court for allegedly causing earthquakes. Twenty-eight homeowners from Arkansas claim the company’s injection wells caused thousands of earthquakes. As a result, they claim their homes have been significantly damaged.
Cory McHaga, an attorney for the homeowners stated, “They (Chesapeake) operated four injection wells that were putting the waste water back into the ground and that wastewater is what caused the fault system underneath the towns to fail and that caused the earthquakes.”
Chesapeake has not responded. In 2011, Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission voted to ban the use of wells in some areas, because of earthquakes.