AUSTIN – The Railroad Commission today announced it has completed its analysis of fall-off pressure test results from five disposal wells in Johnson County. The tests were ordered following a reported 4.0 magnitude earthquake which occurred in the area on May 7, 2015, pursuant to the Commission’s rules on seismicity adopted last year.
Expert analysis by the Commission’s staff seismologist, geologists, and petroleum engineers concluded these results do not indicate any bounding faults in the immediate vicinity of the wells tested. At this time, there is no conclusive evidence the disposal wells tested were a causal factor in the May 7 seismic event. The tests were conducted to help determine the effect of injection operations on pressures within subsurface rock formations.
The five wells tested are all within 100 square miles of the estimated epicenter of the seismic event, as prescribed in Commission rules addressing seismicity. The operators of the wells cooperated fully with the Commission in conducting these tests. They are identified as:
Bosque Disposal System, LLC
EOG Resources, Inc. (2 wells)
MetroSaltwater Disposal, Inc.
“We appreciate the cooperation of the operators to voluntarily shut down and collect data that will help us better understand what, if any relationship there is between these wells and seismicity,” said Dr. Craig Pearson. “While we can’t say at this time there is a connection, this is the beginning of the process, not the end in analyzing and understanding whether there is any correlation and what, if any action by the Commission may be necessary in the future to protect public safety and our natural resources.”
Railroad Commission staff will continue to work closely with seismic researchers and industry to collect, analyze and evaluate seismic data, geological information and oil and gas activity in the region to determine if there is any connection.
Last year, the Commission adopted some of the most comprehensive rules on seismicity in the country, which allow the Commission to collect data and information on oil and gas operations relating to seismic events. This data and information will then be used by the Commission when appropriate in addressing issues of seismicity.
To view the test data of the wells tested, please CLICK HERE.
About the Railroad Commission
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov