Earthquake numbers declined in 2023 in west Texas oilfields


A crackdown on an oilfield practice of re-injecting oilfield wastewater, very similar to one in Oklahoma some years ago, led to a 10% drop in the number of earthquakes recorded last year in Texas.

It was the first such decline in the frequency of earthquakes in half a decade as the Texas part of the Permian Basin recorded 194 quakes last year. The Texas Seismological Network released the figures but they did not include seismic activity in the New Mexico area of the Permian reported Bloomberg.

The reduction came after regulators asked drillers in 2021 to limit the amount of wastewater disposed of underground, the same steps Oklahoma regulators took some years ago following a spike in earthquake activity in the state’s oil and gas drilling areas.

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