Chesapeake Suspends Well Operation After Arkansas Earthquakes

Friday, March 4th 2011, 1:40 pm
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas -- Two natural gas companies have agreed to temporarily suspend use of injection wells in central Arkansas where earthquakes keep occurring.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy and Clarita Operating of Little Rock told the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission on Friday that they've stopped operation of the wells near Greenbrier and Guy pending the panel's next regular meeting on March 29.

Clarita's parent company is True Energy Services of Ada, Okla.

The commission says there is likely a link between the wells and the earthquakes. There have been more than 800 quakes in the area in the past six months and a magnitude 4.7 quake -- the strongest in Arkansas in 35 years -- hit there Sunday.

The high-pressure wells are used to dispose of waste water from natural gas drilling.

Danny Games, Sr. Director of Corporate Development for Chesapeake Energy in Arkansas, released this statement with regard to the temporary shutting down of their disposal well in Arkansas:

"While we do not agree with the Commission staff's recommendations, in light of the short timeframe for preparation and difficulty in securing the presence of other experts for testimony, we informed the AOGC yesterday afternoon that we are voluntarily shutting in our salt water disposal well for the next several weeks. We remain confident that the facts and science will lead to a more constructive and satisfactory conclusion to this matter."