LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Two natural gas companies have agreed to temporarily suspend use of injection wells in central Arkansas where earthquakes keep occurring.

 

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy and Clarita Operating of Little Rock told the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission on Friday that they've stopped operation of the wells near Greenbrier and Guy pending the panel's next regular meeting on March 29.

Clarita's parent company is True Energy Services of Ada, Okla.

The commission says there is likely a link between the wells and the earthquakes. There have been more than 800 quakes in the area in the past six months and a magnitude 4.7 quake – the strongest in Arkansas in 35 years – hit there Sunday.

The high-pressure wells are used to dispose of waste water from natural gas drilling


Buck

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Since when are injection wells considered "high pressure wells".  Injection wells' injection pressures are carefully determined and monitored by state regulators to prevent fracturing of the overlying confining zone and to prevent contamination of drinking water aquifers.

This is a treehugger's dream scenario. 

 

Small clusters of earthquakes happen all the time in places with no hydraulic fracing or injection wells.  They usually go away after a few months to a year. 

 

So when an earthquake cluster happens in an area where there is fracing or an injection well, the nutjobs claim the well causes the earthquake.  The drillers stop whatever they're doing, and the earthquakes eventually go away, exactly the way they do if there's no well activity in the area. 

 

The nutjobs claim "See, this proves that wells cause earthquakes."

 

They ignore the cases where the exact same pattern happens without any wells in the area.  And they ignore the many cases where there is fracing or injecting and no earthquakes happen.  They don't do any statistical analysis of fraced/injected areas vs. "pristine" areas. 

 

The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 produced a devastating earthquake cluster in a nearby area where no one had seen a similar cluster before or since.   It's a pretty good bet there was no deep drilling in the area at the time.  Want to bet that if a repeat of the New Madrid scenario happens, the nutjobs will claim it was due to drilling activity?

 

It's just like the nutjob preacher who was claiming that Katrina destroyed New Orleans because it was a den of Iniquity. 

 

Besides, if the drilling activity did cause the fault to slip, isn't this a good thing?  If the fault doesn't slip now, it will continue to build up energy that will cause a bigger earthquake later when it eventually does rupture. 

Yow, talk about timing!  8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan today.

 

Some discussion about earthquake danger in the US, including Arkansas. 

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/japan-earthquake-us-fault-lines-dang...

 

There was another article suggesting that geologists didn't think the fault that ruptured in Japan could make an earthquake that bug because it wasn't long and straight enough. 

 

By the way, if you want to make a donation of some kind, the best way will be to give cash.  I've got some experience with emergency relief efforts and anything but cash usually ends up being more trouble than it's worth.  The logistics of handling transportation of donated items, figuring out what to do with a small donation of material, etc. are usually more trouble than they're worth unless it's a local emergency.  Even locally, it's often not worthwhile. 

 

Be sure to give to a reputable agency, there are always scammers.  I recommend the American Red Cross.  Be sure to go directly to their web site. www.redcross.org.  I didn't see a "earthquake relief fund" on the Red Cross web site yet, but I suspect they will put one up soon.  I don't like a lot of things about the Red Cross, but they get the relief to the disaster site quickly, and don't waste a lot of money on administrative expenses.  They have the contacts necessary to get things where they need to go.

Well at least Japan just shook a little bit and didn't tip over...
It's lucky that the tidal wave didn't directly hit Guam or it might have tipped Guam over.

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