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Arkansas Earthquakes cause Drilling Moratorium

March 2, 2011, by Ken Jorgustin

faulkner-county-arkansas

Arkansas Earthquake Preparedness News

The shaking in northern Arkansas may subside over the next few weeks, time will tell.

KARK 4 News in Arkansas reports that resulting from the recent magnitude 4.7 earthquake that rattled northern Arkansas, along with approximately 700 other smaller earthquakes during the past year,  all injection drilling will be halted by the two major gas companies in the area, at least until later in March – or further order.

Although geologists don’t know, or aren’t saying, many believe the earthquakes may be a result of injection well drilling in the area, while others believe it is the New Madrid fault zone region becoming active in the area. Arkansas Earthquake Swarms, New Madrid or Natural Gas

The halt on injection well drilling may help geologists better understand what is happening there, whether or not the earthquakes continue.



From KARK 4, ArkansasMatters.com,

Two gas drilling companies face an order by state officials to stop specific operations in Faulkner County amid the investigation into the areas months-long earthquake swarm.

While drilling operations in the Fayetteville Shale Play have not yet been linked to the tremors for certain, Arkansas geologists continue their search for answers.

Lawrence Bengal, the director of the Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission (AOGC) says enough of a link has been found in two specific locations to order Chesapeake Operating, Inc. and Clarita Operating LLC  to immediately cease all injection operations through the last day of the regularly scheduled AOGC hearing in March.

The AOGC is holding a special emergency hearing on Friday morning at 10:30 to consider an emergency application from staff requesting the Commission Order. The meeting takes place in Little Rock at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission building.

At the regularly scheduled AOGC hearing in March, staff may file an application requesting further relief from the Commission.

In December, the commission imposed a temporary ban on new permits for disposal wells. The following month, the board extended the moratorium until July 28th, pending an investigation.