Researchers with the US Geological Survey recently released a study claiming a link between wastewater injection and reported seismicity in the Raton Basin of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. The researchers sought to explain a series of August-September 2011 earthquakes in the region and claimed that there was “strong evidence that [the] earthquake sequence [was] induced by fluid injection in the area.” They came to this conclusion in part because “earthquake rate change” over time appeared “to be solely coming from the area of the wells.”

This is the latest in a series of studies seeking to explain reported earthquakes near areas with oil and gas operations. Previous studies have been conflicted on whether or not such a link can be drawn, and some have conflicted with this new study.

Review our our previous coverage on the topic.


This post was written by Barclay Nicholson (barclay.nicholson@nortonrosefulbright.com or 713 651 3662) and Jim Hartle (jim.hartle@nortonrosefulbright.com or 713 651 5695) from Norton Rose Fulbright’s Energy Practice Group.