Study: Oil, gas drilling may affect fault zone sensitivity

Oil and natural gas drilling may contribute to making fault zones more sensitive to distant large earthquakes, according to a study conducted by Columbia University researchers. The researchers found that faults near hydraulic fracturing and wastewater injection sites are loaded with more stress when ripples from earthquakes in other parts of the planet pass through. The findings, however, are "rather speculative" and further studies are needed, said Sidney Green, a University of Utah mechanical engineer.

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