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Earthquakes have shaken up the Permian

According to data gathered from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), over the last two weeks, three earthquakes have rattled the Permian Basin in its oil and natural gas regions.

The information collected from the USGS shows that the earthquakes occurred along the Pecos and Reeves county lines.  The first earthquake hit the Richter scale with a 2.8 magnitude and was recorded near U.S. Highway 285 and Mendel Road, which is just northwest of Fort Stockton.  The reading came at 1 a.m. on March 21st.

The second quake was occurred at 10:30 a.m. on March 28th, and was recorded to be a 2.9 magnitude earthquake.  This one registered near U.S. Highway 285 and FM 1776.

The final and largest earthquake registered a magnitude of 3.3.  It shook the area just southeast of Pecos at U.S. Highway 285 and County Road 108 at 7:16 p.m. last Friday.

The San Antonio Business Journal reports that since 1976, the USGS has recorded at least 19 earthquakes shaking the southern edge of the Permian Basin. According to reports, no damage has been caused or reported during the most recent three.

Earthquakes have been an ongoing issue in the oil and gas industry.  Some researchers believe that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the main cause of the recent spike in earthquakes.  The USGS has recorded 31 earthquakes since New Year’s Day in the Barnett Shale and five in the Eagle Ford Shale.  In the area just north of the Red River in Oklahoma, 650 earthquakes have been recorded by the USGS since New Year’s Day.

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