Trending
MOST READ
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Lt. Governor Race: the \'Luchadora\' vs. the Tea Party radio host

Lt. Governor Race: the 'Luchadora' vs. the Tea Party radio host

News: A few Saturdays ago, I spent several hours hanging around a Texas Realtors Association conference in San Antonio, trying to catch state Sen. Dan Patrick... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta 9/17/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy Disappear into ‘Eleanor Rigby’

Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy Disappear into ‘Eleanor Rigby’

Screens: “If you’re going to start, you might as well start big,” an ambitious person once said. Ned Benson must have been paying attention, because for his first... By Cameron Meier 9/17/2014
Daniela Riojas’ Photographic Studies in Self-discovery

Daniela Riojas’ Photographic Studies in Self-discovery

Arts & Culture: Daniela Riojas explores ideas of the figure in art, Latin American rituals, letting go of the past, and Jungian archetypes in... By Tom Turner 9/17/2014
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