Scientists are in the midst of a heated debate concerning the alleged connection between hydraulic fracturing and seismic activity. To date, scientists have been unable to reach a consensus on this issue. The latest study appears to continue that trend. Geologists in Kansas recently released a study suggesting that there is a correlation between oil and gas operations and seismic activity—specifically, the injection of wastewater.
Indeed, Bill Buchanan, the director of the Kansas Geological Survey, testified before Kansas House Energy and Environment Committee that there is likely a link between seismic activity in the state and disposal wells. That said, Buchanan acknowledged that the research on this issue is still ongoing. During his testimony, Buchanan also requested that the state increase the agency’s funding for seismic monitoring.
Kansas has experienced an increase in the number and intensity of seismic activity. Beginning in 2013, at least 115 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or greater have occurred in the state. In contrast, from 1977 to 2012, Kansas only experienced 34 earthquakes of that magnitude or higher.