Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Quake Risk From Fracking Seen Cut With Disclosures, U.S. Says

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. energy companies should report information on waste water from hydraulic fracturing to help officials reduce the risk of earthquakes, the head of the U.S. Geological Survey said.

“We do need help from industry,” Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, said today in an interview in Washington. “There is not good public information on the amount of water being pumped, and the rate at which it’s pumped.”

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources proposed this month creating rules for transporting and disposing of the fluids after concluding quakes last year were probably caused by water from oil and natural-gas drilling, know as fracking, being injected into a disposal well.

Companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. pump millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals underground to break up shale-rock formations and release the trapped gas.

Some drillers voluntarily disclose information on waste-water wells, while others are required to report by state rules, said Kathleen Gohn, deputy congressional liaison officer at the survey, a unit of the Interior Department. The agency has no power to impose additional requirements, she said.

Less than 1 percent of wells drilled to dispose of the water after fracking causes “induced seismicity,” McNutt said today in testimony to a House Natural Resources Committee panel in Washington.

“I’m wondering what would be an acceptable percentage of induced earthquakes, I think 1 percent is probably pretty large,” Representative Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, said during the hearing.

Getting more information would help reduce the quake risk in a year or two, McNutt said.

“It’s a very solvable problem,” McNutt said. “You either have to put the holes in a different place, or pump it at a different rate.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.