You are here: Home Online Resources New Mexico News Plus September 16, 2014

September 16, 2014

"Gas Production Blamed For Rise in Colorado & New Mexico Earthquakes" -- Business Insider (Reuters)

The deep injection of wastewater underground by energy companies during methane gas extraction has caused a dramatic rise in the number of earthquakes in Colorado and New Mexico since 2001, U.S. government scientists said in a study released on Monday.

The study by U.S. Geological Survey researchers is the latest to link energy production methods to an increase in quakes in regions where those techniques are used.

Energy companies began producing coal-bed methane in Colorado in 1994, then in New Mexico five years later. The process creates large amounts of wastewater, which is pumped into sub-surface disposal wells.

Scientists have long linked some small earthquakes to work carried out below ground for oil and gas extraction, which they say can alter pressure points and cause shifts in the earth.

The new study focused on the Raton Basin, which stretches from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico.  -- 9/15/2014