Posted on July 27, 2011 at 11:14 am
EL DORADO, Ark. — The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission has voted to shut down a natural gas drilling disposal well and ban others in an area where hundreds of small earthquakes have occurred.
The commission met Wednesday in El Dorado. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the commission decided 6-0 to close a well run by Deep-Six Water Disposal Services between Greenbrier and Enola. It then voted 7-0 to ban any future wells in a 1,150-square-mile area around Greenbrier and Guy.
The commission staff says four wells in the area were contributing to the earthquakes. Companies operating three of the wells have shut them down — but the Democrat-Gazette reports that Deep-Six says its well between Greenbrier and Enola isn’t causing the earthquakes.
Commissioner Mike Wells says he’s obligated to keep the public safe
I would enjoy seeing the discussion among geologists about any possibility of these quakes being linked to the New Madrid fault. I'm aware that the center of the New Madrid fault line is hundreds of miles away, but speaking in geologic terms, that is a very short distance. There might be a possibility that the earthquakes near Greenbriar and Guy are actually caused by geologic events unrelated to drilling activity. Such geologic activety might be a very good reason to stop drilling. However, the cause and effect might be reversed in the minds of the public.
The above article states "The commission staff says four wells in the area were contributing to the earthquakes."