If the state of Arkansas responded and solved its earthquake problem apparently caused by energy industry injection wells, why can’t the state of Oklahoma do the same thing? It’s what News 9 reporter Alex Cameron investigated and reported on this week. He also found the Arkansas response led to the bankruptcy of a small Oklahoma oil and gas company.
It has been nearly four and a half years since Arkansas regulators took action to create a moratorium on new disposal wells around the area where earthquakes were occurring. After peaking at 790 earthquakes in 2011, the moratorium produced a drop of quakes to 98 in 2012. For the past two years, there have been no more earthquakes in Arkansas.
“No more earthquakes,” said Mickey Thompson, former President of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. “That’s enough, I think, for more substantive action in Oklahoma than what we’ve seen.”
He has urged the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma for the past few years to look at the actions of Arkansas in bringing an end to earthquakes. Thompson also believes it is long past time that protecting public safety takes precedence over protecting oil and gas. He also says the voluntary directives from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission just are not enough.
“We have an epic fail on this seismicity issue,” he told News 9. “It’s time for the leaders to lead, and to do some things that may be unpopular with their supporters.”
Watch Alex Cameron’s report.
Watch TV 9