(Not Bakken Related)

Anti-Fracking groups have been clamoring the last few days that Arkansas has banned fracking because it is causing earthquakes, but it appears that they had problem reading press releases from the  Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission.

The actual wording of the official document:

The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission (“AOGC”) unanimously voted to approve an emergency order
sought by the Director, Lawrence E. Bengal, to immediately cease all injection operations in the
Chesapeake Operating Inc. (“Chesapeake”) SRE 8-12 1-17 SWD Well in Sec. 17-T8N-R12W, and
the Clarita Operating LLC (“Clarita”) Wayne L. Edgmon No. 1 SWD Well in Sec. 6-T7N-R12W, both in Faulkner County. This emergency order is valid through the last day of the regularly scheduled AOGC hearing beginning on Marcy 29, 2011.

http://www.aogc.state.ar.us/

What did happen? An earthquake swarm near the two injection wells produced enough circumstantial evidence to temporally shut the injection wells down to make sure that they are not the cause of the earthquakes.  Locals appear to agree that the oil companies are to blame for the recent seismic activity.

In my opinion, the epicenters are not indicative of a localized event, and seems unlikely that the wells have anything to do with the quakes, but it is possible that they could be the trigger.
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US2/34.36.-93.-91_eqs.php (This link will probably stop working)
I guess the point of this post is to educate you if you happen to see any anti-fracking rants regarding the subject on the web. Fracking was not banned, and fracking was not taking place near the earthquake epicenters. What really did happen?  The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission shut down two water injection wells, and a few months back they banned the permitting of new injection wells in the area of the quakes.

I have been following this particular topic for quite awhile because conspiracy theorists and the anti-fracking movements tried to link the dead fish, dead birds and earthquakes all to fracking.  All of the events have occurred within about 100 miles of each other, but all appear to be isolated events that just happened to take place in a localized area.

One news article that appears to have done some homework:
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/mar/04/injection-wells-shut-down-quake-concerns-mount/

Filed under: FrackingNatural Gas

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