Friday, January 22, 2016

Learning from the Arkansas earthquakes


"They shut down several major disposal facilities -- permanently," Thompson said, "The industry didn't collapse. The industry adjusted. The industry hauled its water somewhere else."

That, of course, is hilarious, since the 'somewhere else' is Oklahoma.  But the Arkansas earthquakes taught me a lot.  They followed the New Madrid sequence exactly with a thrust zone and then shear wings.  OK is infinitely more complicated, with oblique faults as the starting point.

Had they not possessed such an easy out, they would have stuck to at least a 5 or 6.  It's funny that after the first ban, they went to other areas, with the exact same effect.

There are safe ways to inject, but these don't have high volumes.  The initial injection sites were Cambrian sandstone layers.  These were wonderful, but you needed high pressure, and the pressure kept increasing the more you injected, just as it should.  The first Precambrian wells were amazing, almost no pressure to inject, and with every earthquake, it became better.  Who could resist this?

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