Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA

Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA

Arts & Culture: It is evident comedian George Lopez is still a little sensitive about the on-again, off-again relationship he’s had with television. Whatever the... By Kiko Martínez 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

Natural-gas production linked to quakes in England, Arkansas, and North Texas, but more study needed

Photo: , License: N/A


Following oil and gas exploration that began in the 1950s, long before fracking of the Eagle Ford got underway, the area southeast of San Antonio started to see minor earthquakes as early as the 1970s, occurring mostly within natural gas fields, Frohlich said.

Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said last week the area has seen more than a dozen earthquakes over the past two decades. “At a 4.8, though, this is of course the largest that we’ve seen,” she said.

Still, even before the Eagle Ford boom spiked drilling permits across the region, there have been number of known gas fields buzzing with activity in South Texas for decades, Frohlich said. Frohlich coauthored a study after a magnitude 4.3 earthquake, the region’s previous record-holder, rattled the region in 1993 and suggested the quake was tied to natural gas production. Both the 1993 earthquake and last week’s occurred across the Fashing gas field, just west of Karnes City, which has been actively exploited since the late 1950s — Houston-based Momentum Oil & Gas most recently announced buying up a swath of new property and wells in the Fashing in May.

“It’s funny, the analogy I make is like smoking,” Frohlich said. “If your grandfather dies of lung cancer, it’s hard to prove smoking caused it, but on the other hand, you can run statistics for hundreds of people and say, ‘Yea, smokers are much more likely to have lung cancer.’ It’s a lot like that.” Looking southeast of San Antonio, historically most of the area’s earthquakes have occurred in active gas fields, Frohlich said. “We’re unaware of any earthquakes that occurred before gas development began in the 50s, and so a logical person would probably conclude it’s related to that,” he said.

Of last week’s earthquake, Frohlich said, “My intuition is that there is a relationship, but it’s hard to prove.” •

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus