New Earthquake Swarms In Arkansas | “Powerball Kind of Odds”

Two New Wastewater Injection Wells In The Area, But State Geologist Can’t Quite Seem To Make a Connection
Earthquakes return to Arkansas 2013

The scientific opinion of a geologist depends on where he collects his paycheck

When we first reported on earthquake swarms in Arkansas two years ago, some readers thought we were putting them on. The original report focused on the area around Guy, Arkansas, where up to eleven quakes a day rattled the area. Although this was not the first instance of the phenomenon, it awakened some people to the fact that some gas and oil exploration practices can and do trigger these seismic events. Following the story took us around the world as scientific evidence clearly proved that earthquake swarms and wastewater disposal wells were related. In March of 2013, a University of Oklahoma seismologist reported that Oklahoma’s largest-recorded earthquake – Prague, OK in 2011 – was triggered by injection wells used by the oil and gas industry. For in depth, original CatMap research on injection wells and earthquakes, see Section 1 of our Human Induced Earthquakes report. Earthquakes return to Arkansas 2013In Arkansas, the temporary ending of the story came in 2011 when the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission shut down the four wells in the vicinity of the quakes and place a moratorium on new wells. The operators of the well, Clarita Operating LLC filed for bankruptcy and left the mess to the Arkansas taxpayers. After more than 1300 quakes, they stopped. For a while.This spring, like robins and dandelions, earthquake swarms have returned to Arkansas, with two dozen small to moderate quakes shaking up the area around Morrilton during May. Geographically speaking, this area is north of the original swarms, and as it happens, just outside the previously referenced moratorium. And what should we discover in this area but two new wastewater injection wells.

Could there a relationship? An Arkansas Geological Survey scientist by the name of Scott Ausbrook provided this insight: “The best probability at this point is they are natural, but we can’t rule out the possibility that there may be a relationship.” Then he said, “The chances of so many temblors in the region in such a short time are “Powerball kind of odds.”

Those are big odds, Scott, and it seems strange, after everything that has gone before, that you can’t quite seem to bring yourself to suggest maybe it’s MOST LIKELY the wells. There were no quakes before, and now there are quakes all of a sudden. There were no injection wells before, and now there are new injection wells within eight miles of the epicenter.

The big odds here are really the ones against anyone slowing down the oil and gas pimps in their current global frenzy. If your house happens to be damaged or someone is injured in the process, consider it collateral damage for the greater good. Not your greater good, but someone who lives far away and keeps their money out of the country.

See a first hand description of the 5.7 human-induced Prague, OK quake in our Human Induced Earthquakes document.

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