By June 12, 2015 Read More →

Texas disposal wells not linked to 4.0 earthquake on May 7

Scientists will continue to study data from Texas earthquake

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake in Johnson County on May 7 appears to not be connected to disposal wells in the area, but further study is required according to the Texas Railroad Commission.


Dr. Craig Pearson, Texas Railroad Commission.

The Commission announced Friday that it has completed its analysis of fall-off pressure test results from five disposal wells in Johnson County. The tests were conducted to help determine the effect of injection operations on pressures within subsurface rock formations.

The tests were ordered following a reported 4.0 magnitude earthquake and pursuant to the Commission’s rules on seismicity adopted last year.

The Commission says that expert analysis by its staff seismologist, geologists, and petroleum engineers concluded the test results do not indicate any “bounding faults” in the immediate vicinity of the wells tested.

At this time, there is no conclusive evidence the disposal wells tested were a causal factor in the May 7 seismic event.

“While we can’t say at this time there is a connection, this is the beginning of the process, not the end in analyzing and understanding whether there is any correlation and what, if any action by the Commission may be necessary in the future to protect public safety and our natural resources,” said Dr. Craig Pearson.

The five wells tested are all within 100 square miles of the estimated epicenter of the seismic event, as prescribed in Commission rules addressing seismicity.

The operators of the wells cooperated fully with the Commission in conducting these tests. They are identified as:

  • Bosque Disposal System, LLC
  • EOG Resources, Inc. (2 wells)
  • MetroSaltwater Disposal, Inc.
  • Pinnergy, Ltd.

“We appreciate the cooperation of the operators to voluntarily shut down and collect data that will help us better understand what, if any relationship there is between these wells and seismicity,” said Dr. Pearson.

Commission staff will continue to work closely with seismic researchers and industry to collect, analyze and evaluate seismic data, geological information and oil and gas activity in the region to determine if there is any connection.

Last year, the Commission says it adopted some of the most comprehensive rules on seismicity in the country, which allow the Commission to collect data and information on oil and gas operations relating to seismic events. This data and information will then be used by the Commission when appropriate in addressing issues of seismicity.

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