The latest earthquakes in Ohio were mostly triggered by hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly fracking, according to state regulatory authorities on Friday.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on Friday that pumping water, chemicals and fine sands into shale rocks found deep underground was most likely to blame for tremors experienced in Poland Township in March.
The results, which prompted the department to roll out tougher measures for oil and gas firm in the affected areas, follow an increase in the number of earthquake occurrences in locations where intense drilling activities have taken place.
Though most of the earthquakes are triggered by natural tectonic-plate shifts, scientists have linked certain minor tremors to oil and gas activities, which change pressure points and cause imbalances on the earth.
Drilling and fracking activities were put on hold in March near the locations of two earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 in Poland Township, which is located to the northeast of Ohio and 70 miles east of Cleveland.
Last weekend, earthquakes were felt in Oklahoma, which added to several that have rattled the state this year. The incidences have been blamed on oil and gas exploration activities.
“Regarding the seismic events in Poland Township, ODNR geologists believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area,” said ODNR in a statement, reported the Chicago Tribune.
The fresh tough rules require a energy firm to place seismic monitors if it is drilling within three miles of a registered fault or a location which has recently experienced earthquakes or tremors. However, it is undetermined the extent to which drilling will be impacted by the new rules. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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