We investigate possible links between seismicity and fluid injection in the Williston basin in the north‐central United States, focusing on the region around the Bakken formation unconventional hydrocarbon play. Here, we show earthquakes are rarer near injection wells in the Williston basin than in the Fort Worth basin of Texas or in central Oklahoma. To identify earthquakes, we analyze seismograms collected by EarthScope USArray temporary stations, deployed on a grid with 70 km spacing. During the September 2008–May 2011 study period, we identified only nine regional earthquakes; of these only three were situated near injection wells. The reason why Williston basin earthquakes are so scarce is unclear. In both the Bakken and Barnett Shale play regions, injection volumes increased significantly in late 2007, and both areas have very low levels of natural seismicity. Oklahoma has experienced much higher rates of apparently induced seismicity than either region, possibly because injection volumes are higher in some wells in Oklahoma.

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