Fourth-Strongest Quake In Texas History Rattles Nation’s Largest Fracking Region
By Tyler Durden
A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled parts of the Permian basin on Friday. The area is the largest oil-producing region in the US, located in West Texas — and has more fracking operations than anywhere in the world.
The US Geological Survey said the quake struck northwest of Midland around 5:35 pm local time, and three minutes later, a tremor of magnitude 3.3 followed.
It’s the second time in 30 days that a sizeable quake has hit the West Texas region. The last was Nov. 16, when a 5.3-magnitude earthquake hit the area.
“I thought it was the wind until I realized the wind wouldn’t be making the light fixtures sway. Midland will get tremors that are rarely even felt but that was a full blown earthquake,” someone in West Texas tweeted.
I thought it was the wind until I realized the wind wouldn’t be making the light fixtures sway. Midland will get tremors that are rarely even felt but that was a full blown earthquake.
— Wallflower Power ✌️ (@ellawscott) December 16, 2022
On Friday evening, the National Weather Service’s Midland tweeted:
“We just felt an earthquake here at the office! While we don’t actively monitor or track earthquakes … but this would be the 4th strongest earthquake in Texas state history!”
Preliminary data from the USGS reports the earthquake was a magnitude 5.3 centered 12 miles to the NNW of Midland with a depth of 3 miles. This would be the 4th strongest earthquake in Texas state history! #txwx #earthquake
— NWS Midland (@NWSMidland) December 16, 2022
Earthquakes have been linked to fracking operations. Latest data via Bloomberg shows shale oil production in Permian Basin has jumped to a record high.
The USGS wrote in a recent study that a magnitude-five quake that struck West Texas in 2020 resulted from frackers injecting wastewater into wells in the region.