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AP: Drilling For Gas, Oil Causes Quakes

From the Gaia worshipping Associated Press:

A gas pipeline is pictured south of Lake Pat Cleburne, Texas, Thursday afternoon, June 11, 2009.

Drilling might be culprit behind Texas earthquakes

By Jeff Carlton, Associated Press Writer

CLEBURNE, Texas – The earth moved here on June 2. It was the first recorded earthquake in this Texas town’s 140-year history — but not the last.

There have been four small earthquakes since, none with a magnitude greater than 2.8. The most recent ones came Tuesday night, just as the City Council was meeting in an emergency session to discuss what to do about the ground moving.

The council’s solution was to hire a geology consultant to try to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is natural gas drilling — which began in earnest here in 2001 and has brought great prosperity to Cleburne and other towns across North Texas — causing the quakes?

"I think John Q. Public thinks there is a correlation with drilling," Mayor Ted Reynolds said. "We haven’t had a quake in recorded history, and all the sudden you drill and there are earthquakes."

At issue is a drilling practice called "fracking," in which water is injected into the ground at high pressure to fracture the layers of shale and release natural gas trapped in the rock.

There is no consensus among scientists about whether the practice is contributing to the quakes. But such seismic activity was once rare in Texas and seems to be increasing lately, lending support to the theory that drilling is having a destabilizing effect.

On May 16, three small quakes shook Bedford, a suburb of Dallas and Fort Worth. Two small earthquakes hit nearby Grand Prairie and Irving on Oct. 31, and again on Nov. 1.

The towns sit upon the Barnett Shale, a geologic formation that is perhaps the nation’s richest natural gas field. The area is estimated to have 30 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas and provides about 7 percent of the country’s supply.

The drilling’s economic impact has been significant, because gas companies pay signing bonuses and royalties to property owners for the right to drill beneath their land. Signing bonuses climbed to around $25,000 an acre at the boom’s peak.

Cleburne agreed to lease the mineral rights in the earliest stages of the frenzy, receiving a modest $55 an acre for 3,500 acres of city land. There are about 200 drilling sites in Cleburne, and it is not unusual to see cattle chewing grass in the shadow of gas pipes.

Cleburne has collected between $20 million and $25 million in royalties since 2001, about $6 million in 2008 alone, Reynolds said. Such riches have allowed the building of parks and sports complexes in the city of 30,000, about 30 miles south of Fort Worth.

"That’s a lot of libraries and police cars," the mayor said proudly. "It’s enabled us to escape the worst part of the recession, enables us to keep tax rates low and lowered unemployment."

Landowners are also getting theirs. Locals call it "mailbox money," occasional royalty checks that arrive from the gas companies. The mayor, a contractor who owns three quarters of an acre, said his most recent check, for three months’ worth of royalties, was nearly $850

None of the quakes caused any damage or injuries, though city officials said they are keeping a close eye on the earthen dam at Lake Pat Cleburne

Cliff Frohlich, a scientist at the University of Texas and author of "Texas Earthquakes," said he believes more than 20 Texas earthquakes in the past 100 years are related to drilling for petroleum and gas

Man, our media master really don’t want us to be able to have any power.


This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, June 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “AP: Drilling For Gas, Oil Causes Quakes”

  1. proreason says:

    What about the Swine Flu?

    Surely there is a link between drilling, excessive CEO compensation, right-wing violence and the Swine Flu.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      And Geo. W. Bush’s immoral tax cuts to the richest 1%…

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Careful, Pro, you’re getting dangerously close to the truth and the Obamabots are everywhere. They will rope you in, and take you to the re-education platz and your next post will read,

      “You people are all a bunch of racist haters!!! You must all die!!!”

  2. caligirl9 says:

    Oh come on you guys.
    Everyone knows this is a consequence of global warming. Get real.
    tee hee hee

    • GL0120 says:

      Didn’t you get the memo?
      Global Warming has been replaced by Climate Change.
      It was getting a bit absurd to say that snowstorms in July and heat waves in January were from warming; with climate change we’re covered no matter what!

    • caligirl9 says:

      Thank you GLO. I stand corrected lol
      I do have a question I’d like for those “climate change” “scientists” to answer.
      Dinosaurs farted. Volcanoes erupted. Somehow the Earth survived.
      What’s different this time?

  3. Colonel1961 says:

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    • Diane says:

      Most people don’t rise to that level of fallacy, Colonel. It requires remembering the past, and we have ample evidence that most voters don’t remember anything that (for instance) Mr. Obama said prior to about last week.

      As to the earthquakes – I’m a California girl, and I currently live within 20 miles of both Bedford and Grand Prairie. I never felt a thing. 2.8? Give me a break. That won’t even knock you out of bed.

  4. jrmcdonald says:

    I guess Saudi Arabia must be doing the Funky Chicken 24/7…

  5. wardmama4 says:

    Ah yes – here we go again – frighten the stupid, illegal and lazy into believing the most idiotic possibility out there and then presto chango – Obamadingdongy will come along with the answer – peddle power!!!

    Yes, you too can have the new engineless car – Zero, did you hear that Zero emissions and you will have the best answer to saving Earth (you know, good old Mother Earth). You eco-conscious hero you. Take a stand, only $45,000 while supplies last.

    Meanwhile – Obamadingdongy takes America back into a 3rd World existence so that when the islime thugs take over – we will all see that those who created the World, civilization and math – will save us and bring us back to greatness.

    Oh, and btw – if you believe any of this bs – can I sell you a nice little piece of land I have?

  6. Rusty Shackleford says:

    From the Al Gore Health and Actual Science Team (AGHAST)

    “Studies” have shown that exhalation of CO2 by athletes is at all-time record highs. “The Team” has submitted numerous reports telling the government that these emissions are excessive and DANGEROUS. The Obama administration is looking into ways to curb these emissions.

    “The Team” also noted the correlation between people going to sleep and the fall of night in the Western hemisphere. “The Team” has suggested that if people stay awake longer, the sun will not set and thus, days will be longer and more productive. “That way”, Says Gore, “We can have fuller, more productive lives, and with the exception of the possibility of more sunburns, people will be happier”.

    “The Team” is currently looking into the potential for more sunburns and is considering a large sunshade to be placed over major population areas, recreation facilities and beaches.

  7. retire05 says:

    Nevermind that much of East Texas (which includes Cleburne) sits on a major fault line, although not as large as the San Andreas fault line of California. But gee, if the earth starts to rumble, it must be the fault of those greedy oil/gas men, right?

    What then explains that San Antonio has experienced slight earth quake tremors in recent years? I don’t see many oil/gas wells in the SA area.

    But the kneepad wearing media must keep up the charade that anything/everything dealing with energy production in the U.S. is dangerous unless it is a contract with Jeffrey Immelt, who drove GE into the ground, to build wind farms that even T. Boone Pickens has pulled out of. Seems those little fellers take years to become profitable. Meanwhile, we continue to fund Saudi Arabia and all other states that have no problem with terrorism against the U.S.

    What the hell, global warming is real, right? I mean, after all, it was 100 degrees here in Central Texas yesterday and it is only, what? June? Whoda thunk it would be hot in Texas in the middle of summer? I’m sure we have never had 100 degree days in June before. THE EARTH HAS A FEVER.

    • platypus says:

      Yeah, the earth has a fever and my bowels are rumbling. They were quiet while algore was quiet.

      Wasn’t it about six months in a row that everytime that blowhard exhaled, there was a freak snowstorm? As I recall, Buffalo got so much snow they had to truck it south.

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