Saturday, December 31, 2011

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake hits Ohio 31st Dec 2011: Friday 5 p.m 30th Dec D&L halts operations at Youngstown brine well

YOUNGSTOWN

The small earthquake that shook Youngstown on Christmas Eve had a depth shallower than originally reported, prompting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on Friday to order D&L Energy Inc. to cease operations at a nearby brine-injection well.

The magnitude 2.5 earthquake, officially the 10th since March 17 to occur within two miles of the brine-injection well on Ohio Works Drive, had a depth of 11,000 feet, said Andy Ware, deputy director at ODNR. It was the shallowest depth of any of the quakes.

That is only about 2,000 feet below the bottom of the D&L injection well, which ceased operations as of 5 p.m. Friday.

“They want us to [backplug] it now,” said Ben Lupo, owner and CEO of D&L.

Injection wells accept brine water from well drilling, including fracking, a process in which water, chemicals and sand are blasted into rocks thousands of feet below the ground to unlock oil and natural gas.

The state first told The Vindicator on Nov. 24 that D&L eventually would have to halt operations at the Youngstown well site to backplug the bottom 250 feet of the well.

The state suspects that brine has entered the nearly impermeable Precambrian formation underground. That formation is more than 9,000 feet below the ground. Read More