Permian Earthquake to Hike Scrutiny of Drilling Waste Injections

The earthquake occurred in an area already under investigation by the Texas Railroad Commission for increasing seismicity.

Liz Hampton, Reuters

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake that rattled the Permian basin in Texas on Monday night is likely to add pressure on oil producers in the region to slow or stop underground wastewater injections that regulators believe may cause the tremors.

The quake, the third-largest to hit Texas this decade, occurred near Stanton and was the latest in a surge of temblors linked to the disposal of wastewater, a byproduct of oil and gas production. Wastewater injection can trigger quakes by changing pressures around fault lines.

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