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Oil extraction wells in the Monterey shale formation, California.

Since 1999, when fracking was drilled in the states of Colorado and New Mexico, United States, 16 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 3.8 on the Richter scale have been recorded in that area.

Much more than the only earthquake of that magnitude occurred in the previous three decades.

And responsible for this notable increase in frequency, say scientists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is the wastewater management technique of companies that use the hydraulic fracturing method to extract gas or oil.

high pressure water

Fracking is a technique that allows the extraction of oil or the so-called shale gas, a type of unconventional hydrocarbon that is literally trapped in layers of rock, at great depths.