WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota geologist says an earthquake in the western oil patch is not connected to hydraulic fracturing.
The Friday quake about 11 miles southeast of Williston registered at magnitude 3.3 — enough to be felt but not strong enough to cause damage.
Geologist Fred Anderson with the state Mineral Resources Department tells The Bismarck Tribune that the quake was consistent with historical seismic activity in the region. He says speculation that oil field fracking might have caused it isn't plausible.
Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to break up shale rock so oil can be retrieved.