East Texas 3.7M earthquake

by TXsharon on May 10, 2012

in earthquakes

At 10:15 today East Texas had a 3.7M earthquake 1 mile west of Timpson, Texas right in the middle of a drilling area.

Event Page

I’ll addHere is a map in a little bit.

For information on drilling induced earthquakes click HERE.

UPDATE:  FYI, Louisiana sends all their drilling waste to Texas for disposal. It’s great for the economy!

Two disposal wells very close to the epicenter. More information about disposal wells in the area HERE.

SHELBY COUNTY SWD  Operator: DAVID G POWELL, INC. (202317)
API #419-31287

and

EQX SWD Operator: ENERQUEST CORPORATION (252059)
API #419-31083

News:

KRGV.com

TIMPSON, Texas (AP) Authorities say a 3.7 earthquake has shaken parts of East Texas.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the tremor struck Thursday morning in an area between Garrison and Timpson, about 24 miles northeast of Nacogdoches.

Gary Patterson of the U.S. Geological Survey in Memphis says survey geologists are baffled by the event. He says, “It’s not where we normally see earthquakes in Texas.”

Timpson City Secretary Tanya Windham says she initially thought a nearby train had derailed and it “shook the whole city hall” for about 15 to 20 seconds.

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss says the shifting earth cracked concrete and brick support columns and window panes but did no significant damage.

There were no reported injuries.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Ann May 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I wonder what an earthquake like that does to the casing in the wells. Even a crack could cause containment issues.

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Nate Spin May 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

We’re about 2 miles south of Timpson, we felt it. Sounded like someone was shaking our house… What fun…
We had another one about a year ago, but I can’t find anything on the net about it.

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TXsharon May 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I hope you didn’t get any damage to your home!

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Nate Spin May 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

No damage.

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Oilfield Hand May 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Yeah, there sure are TONS of wells in Timpson. (sarcasm)

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Jana May 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Shelby County has in excess of 2000 wells drilled with, 1517 drilled between 01/01/2000 – 05/10/2012 according to a quick search of the Texas Railroad Commission Website, while not quite the enormous amount drilled here in the Barnett or West Texas, there are quite a few as you can see on the map posted. I would still have my water tested if it came from a well or an aquifer near those injection wells, no sarcasm, completely sincere.

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Don Young May 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Are there any disposal wells in the vicinity of the epicenter?

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TXsharon May 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm

With just a very quick look, I found two right near the epicenter.

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Ger May 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Incredible and East Texas isn’t even on a fault zone. No other explanation, has to be fracking. Studies have proven the links between fracking and earthquakes.

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TXsharon May 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Texans don’t have earthquake insurance and our homes are not built to withstand even small quakes. Who pays and who profits?

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Nate Spin May 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

As far as I know, East Texas is on a fault line, my parents knew about it when we moved here 15 years ago.

I just googled “east texas fault line”, check page 7 of this pdf:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/books/landscapes/publications/txu-oclc-9138707/txu-oclc-9138707.pdf

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TXsharon May 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

It might not be a good idea to inject a lot of mass into the earth near a fault line. Think?

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Melanie May 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

What is being disposed of in these disposal wells? How are the companies disposing of this waste? In what amounts? Is there active fracking going on in the area? How far from the epicenter?

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TXsharon May 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

The wells are for disposal of flowback and produced water and liquid waste from drilling and fracking. They inject the fluids down into the formation. There is quite a bit of activity in the area. Those are just the first two injection wells I located with a quick look.

According to the event page the epicenter is 31.901 N and 94.422 W. I updated the post with screen shots showing the location of the two injection wells I saw and you can see they are close. There may be more.

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TXsharon May 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I saw in a news report that there was a gas leak in that area at the same time as the earthquake. It was unrelated, of course.

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Andy Mechling May 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Please keep in mind that these so-called “disposal” wells often are used for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) or “Pressure Support” for nearby production wells drilled into the same formation.

EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program specifically allows for Oilfield wastes (Class II injection wells) to be injected into subterranean formations for either disposal or for EOR.

Guess which one they choose?

The truth seems to be that activities at these UIC wells are not really as easy to differentiate from fracturing, well completion, flowback, and workover activities as some would have us believe.

In any case, I would enjoy entering into a discussion of this topic with someone who knows more about it than I do. I sure do have some questions.

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M Crumbliss May 17, 2012 at 8:16 am

My editor sent me a note about this and asked me to follow up since I wrote an article a few weeks back. It never occurred to her or to me that this was anything else BUT a fracking quake once I looked at the map. Anybody want to do an interview? We’ll publish it. It is cRazY that this is going on. The evidence is overwhelming, so much so that it was hard to keep this article from being a small book. http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112514882/shaken-stirred-or-fracked/

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Thinking Engineer May 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

There is a history of small earthquakes in this area, believe it or not. These earthquakes have been happening long before any oil and gas “fracking” took place. Remember this when environmentalists start blaming these earthquakes on fracking. In 1957 and 1964 there were two series of similar earthquakes in East Texas and along the TX/LA line. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/texas/histor​y.php

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TXsharon May 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

Injection/disposal wells cause earthquakes. Pumping fluids near a fault is not a good idea. This has nothing to do with environmentalists.

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Oil worker May 17, 2012 at 9:22 am

There is little…if ANY new well work going on in the Timpson area, which means there is no “fracing” going on. East Texas is a natural gas producing field and all the oil companies are going after oil these days due to the price of oil vs nat gas.

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TXsharon May 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

There are two disposal wells very close to the epicenter. Louisiana ships their fracking waste to TX for disposal.

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Katy May 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

So two injection wells injecting water at less than 1.98 km cause earthquakes at 5.1 km. Interesting use of the logical fallacy: “correlation proves causation.” Smells alot like a case I read about in Parker county.

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Brian May 18, 2012 at 12:45 am

The weight of the disposed waste water alone could cause stress on the existing fault in that area. There is gravity all the way down to the center of the earth, you know.

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TXsharon May 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Katy, Katy, Katy… you know, of course, that those two injection wells are not the only ones in that area.

The case in Parker County is not over yet.

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Anonymous May 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

“The number and strength of earthquakes in central Arkansas have noticeably dropped since the shutdown of two injection wells in the area”
Source: redOrbit (http://s.tt/19pkD)

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