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A doubly logarithmic graph showing the frequency and energy of earthquakes under the Richter scale. Note that the axis are identical, and that the energy contained rises 10-fold more rapidly than the decrease in frequency of occurance.

Recent earthquake halts waste-water injection operation

Zach Koppang | Shale Plays Media

The Denver Post has reported that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ordered the shutdown of an oil and gas wastewater disposal site after a second earthquake within a month was detected.

The latest earthquake occurred Monday and registered a 2.6-magnitude. Just last month an earthquake with a 3.4-magnitude was detected in Weld County. The cause of both earthquakes is suspected to be linked to a nearby wastewater injection site, a process separate from hydraulic fracturing. High Sierra Water Services agreed to stop injection operations for a period of 20 days while geologists determine the relationship between the injections and the earthquakes.

Related: CU research team studying earthquake activity near Greeley

The order comes at a tumultuous time for the Colorado state government as representatives campaign for upcoming elections. Multiple ballot measures addressing the state’s oil and gas operations and regulations will be a staple of Colorado’s political arena.

Safety concerns and solutions have yet to catch up with the pace of Colorado’s oil production but incidents such as the recent earthquakes are prompting law makers to examine the facts.

Click here to read the full story at The Denver Post.

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