Permian Basin rattled by another strong earthquake

Texas earthquake: 5.3 magnitude quake felt in West Texas Friday afternoon


The Permian Basin was rattled Friday night by yet another significant earthquake following action last week by regulators to control wastewater disposal wells.

A 5.4 magnitude quake was recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey around 5:35 p.m. with an epicenter nearly 14 miles northwest of Midland, Texas. The quake that prompted the Texas Railroad Commission to respond with an order restricting some wastewater disposal wells was also a 5.4 magnitude. It was near the city of Mentone which is about 100 miles west of Midland.

The USGS indicated Friday’s quake was felt northeast in Abilene and Amarillo and as far west as Carlsbad, NM.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas companies drilling in the Permian Basin have been hit with higher costs in the wake of regulatory action taken by the Texas Railroad Commission following the earlier earthquake.

When regulators shut down some wastewater wells, similar to the action taken a few years ago by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, it automatically meant explorers faced higher costs of disposing wastewater from their wells.

Some existing wastewater disposal wells were put on restrictions as Reuters reported.

Click here for Reuters