Ohio officials shut down gas production sites over earthquake concerns

Officials with the state of Ohio ordered injection wells shut down after several minor earthquakes occurred on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the injection wells are used to dispose of waste water left over from hydraulic fracturing sites, also known as fracking, which involves blasting water, sand and chemicals underground to break apart layers of rock to release trapped oil and gas for production. There is an ongoing debate that the practice can cause seismic activities as well as leak chemicals into the drinking water.

Ohio regulators previously asked the company operating the Youngstown well, D&L Energy Inc., to stop injecting wastewater after a 2.7-magnitude earthquake Dec. 24.  When a 4.0-magnitude earthquake hit within a five-mile radius of the well the following day, state officials declared a moratorium on all injections. There have reportedly been 11 small earthquakes around the well since March.

The natural gas industry denies there is a connection between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes.

Arkansas regulators in 2011 reportedly declared a moratorium on injection wells in the vicinity of a series of earthquakes, and in 2010 researchers at Southern Methodist University reportedly found a link between injection wells in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and nearby quakes.

The decision also highlights the exportation of fracking waste water from one state to another. More than half of the fluid injected at the Youngstown well came from Pennsylvania, Andy Ware, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, was quoted as saying in the article.

Pennsylvania doesn't prohibit injection wells, but officials there say the state has limited geologic formations that are suitable for them. Pennsylvania has seven wells that can receive waste, while Ohio has permitted 194.

Drilling companies operating in Pennsylvania had been disposing of 95 percent of their liquid waste at treatment plants until April, when the state's governor called on them to stop over concern the facilities weren't adequately removing contaminants before discharging them into waterways, the article said. That move reportedly prompted companies to send their waste water over the state line into Ohio.

Read more gas operations and maintenance news

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

EPA releases coal ash rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the agency will now consider coal ash on the same level as household waste as opposed to hazardous waste. Household garbage and coal ash are both listed in the solid waste category, a stretch from the hazardous waste classification.

Recovery project for Kingston ash spill nears completion

Clean up efforts, from the 2008 Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill, is near completion.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter

Latest News

NCC Report: DOE must develop stronger policy to foster adequate carbon capture and storage

The National Coal Council (NCC) today released a new study in response to a request by Secret...
CASL DOE light water reactors LWR research and development

DOE extends funding for light water reactor research consortium

MHPS to take over thermal power business

Effective April 1, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) will take over the business in the...

Builder projects 18-month delay for nuclear plant in Georgia

Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) said the firms building its new nuclear power plant in Georgia estima...

Alstom to maintain Olkiluoto nuclear island equipment

Alstom was awarded a five-year contract to maintain equipment at the Olkiluoto nuclear power ...
2014 Projects of the Year

Power Engineering Photo of the Day

Capstone Turbine corporation shale oil and gas microturbines Horizon Power Systems

Capstone Turbine Receives Follow-On Order for Fifteen C65s from Horizon Power Systems

Capstone Turbine Corp. received an order for 15 C65 microturbines for shale oil and gas custo...
Yucca Mountain Nevada nuclear spent fuel waste repository DOE application NRC review SER evaluation volumes

NRC publishes last two volumes of Yucca Mountain safety evaluation

The NRC published two more volumes of its safety evaluation on a geologic high-level nuclear ...

Power Engineering Current Issue

12/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 12
1412pe-cover1

Products Showcase

Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Product Listings

Buckman Permeate Protector Program

The Buckman Permeate Protector Program includes...

Power Industry Wire News

Intergraph(R) Releases PV Elite(R) 2015 With New Modeling Capabilities and Other Productivity Enhancements

Intergraph(R) Releases PV Elite(R) 2015 With New Modeling Capabilities and Other Produc...

Utility Execs Explain How to Centralize Crew Management Before and After Storms

Utility Execs Explain How to Centralize Crew Management Before and After Storms

Con Edison 2016 Rate Plan Cites Reliability, Storm Prep, Better Technology

Con Edison 2016 Rate Plan Cites Reliability, Storm Prep, Better Technology

Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) Testing Evidences 20% Reduction With Use of CyberFuels Dynamo(TM) Cetane Booster

Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) Testing Evidences 20% Reduction With Use of CyberFuels ...

Miller Energy Declares Cash Dividends on Its Series B, Series C and Series D Preferred Stock

Miller Energy Declares Cash Dividends on Its Series B, Series C and Series D Preferred ...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>