A new study by Stanford University researchers has found that one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Alberta, Canada, was likely caused by oil and gas activity.
On November 30, 2022, a 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook the remote Peace River region in northwestern Alberta, a part of Canada’s oil sands region. Although people felt shaking more than 400 miles away, residents and businesses have not reported injuries or damage.
Energy regulators for the region described the earthquake as a natural tectonic event. A rigorous new analysis by Stanford geophysicists suggests, however, that oil industry activity – specifically, disposal of wastewater deep underground – most likely triggered the tremor. Three slightly smaller earthquakes struck the same area again on March 16, less than a mile from last year’s big quake.