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Old 04-25-2015, 02:37 PM
 
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Those quakes have been well established as too deep to be a fracking/drilling related issue. The Ozarks are once again progressing westward. They did this at 2 to 4 million year intervals (well proven) which, by the way, is a brief time geologically.

It's 1811 all over again. Maybe not the bootheel of Missouri this time, but the onset of these quakes and their frequency is just like what happened in Missouri and southern Illinois just before the big New Madrid.

Oklahoma has had quakes greater than magnitude 5 in the past 150 years. That's not fracking babe. That's the Ozark plateau getting pushed westward. Plan accordingly. JMJ
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:42 PM
 
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Most of the reported earthquakes in the last few years have occurred along the Humbodlt fault zone, immediately east of the Nemaha Ridge. This parallels I-35 from around El Reno north into Kansas an then toward Kansas City and associated features go all the way to Wisconsin.

The single largest earthquake in Oklahoma was centered along the Wilzetta (sp?) fault, which runs WSW to ENE from north of OKC to around Prague
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
Those quakes have been well established as too deep to be a fracking/drilling related issue. The Ozarks are once again progressing westward. They did this at 2 to 4 million year intervals (well proven) which, by the way, is a brief time geologically.
But an OSU geologist says it's not known where all this waste water goes after it's injected back into the ground.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Pawnee Nation
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Just thinking a bit out of the box, I suppose, but the brine is rich in chemicals, aren't they? Aren't they recoverable? If we can convert sewage into drinking water, why can't we convert the brine into basic chemical compounds and distill the water?

I understand it is cheaper to just dump stuff. It's a lot of trouble to "handle it." I suppose an analogy could be found in trash. Most of my life we have taken trash (glass, cans, plastics, waste food stuff) put it in barrels, hauled it to a big hole in the ground and piled it on everyone else's trash. It's created toxic pits that contaminate groundwater and make it unsuitable for anything else. With a lot of effort all that stuff can (and in my opinion) be separated. Glass should be reused as glass, metal should be able to be re-refined and used, food stuff can be composted into rich soil, etc.

It's expensive. It's a lot of trouble. But wouldn't it be worth it? Maybe we should eliminate the word "dispose" from our language substituting words like "reuse," "recycle," and "recover." Apply them not only to trash and sewage, but to oil field waste.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:00 AM
 
Location: C-U metro
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The disposed water is often high in sulfur which is corrosive and not very valuable. The best ways to treat the water I have heard is to send it through filtration and RO units. It's highly expensive and finicky since the individual chemical species often aren't identified. The well may have been treated with antibiotics/poisons for bacteria and that can complicate disposal of the remnant. Another way is to boil off the water but the issue is the carcinogenic aromatic compounds that wind up in the water phase (BTEX) can vaporize as well. So you boil off the water and then try to burn it to get rid of the small (often less than 1%) amount of hydrocarbon in it in a thermal oxidizing unit.

Its a lot of dollars and some companies would rather just send it back down hole. There are a number of universities looking into this and some of the new technologies are promising. At this point, I don't know of any that are economically viable yet.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:59 PM
 
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Goodpasture,

In most cases the brine is full of fairly common salts, like NaCl (table salt) KCl, etc. there are sufficient sources of these chemical available that DON'T need to be purified to make using these impracticable.

There are a few wells somewhere around Medford, that contain sufficient Iodine salts so that the brine is produce so for the Iodine.
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Originally Posted by StillwaterTownie View Post
The state of New York recently temporarily banned fracking there, due to potential concern over health issues, so it not just about earthquakes. But I assume most Oklahomans, most of all in areas, such as Tulsa, where none of the earthquakes have been centered, pretty strongly agree with Republican legislators that fracking should not be banned or restricted much in cities. After all, Oklahoma is a poor state always needing a source for decent paying industry.

Further, since the earthquakes have been staying well below record breaking levels, they aren't causing much trouble. Earthquakes are so weak, most people have grown tolerant and complacent toward them. Only a handful of activists are trying to raise more cause for alarm.

Many of these earthquakes have been taking place well out in the middle of nowhere, where not many people live, such as Medford, so there's not too many people complaining to legislators or the governor. However, legislators representing the Stillwater and Guthrie, not so thinly populated areas, have been getting a lot of complaints, leading to Rep. Cory Williams calling for a moratorium on fracking in counties affected by earthquakes. But that is just political show. He can't really do anything, about it, but it gives him cover with a "I told you so", in case a record breaking earthquake happens.

Ironically, the Republican legislator who represents Cushing where the famous oil tank farm is, voted for the bill not allowing fracking ban. I have no idea how strong of an earthquake those huge oil tanks can stand.
I think a lot of people are not actively speaking out, but now the study is done, feel like there is ammunition to change things. I think at least in areas (LIKE Cushing) where there have been so many quakes local citizens should be allowed to protect themselves. The damage has been 'minor' but it accumulates. My sil has has to have her foundation adjusted every few months. The front of my house is easing downward.

Earlier, before the big swarm, a quake threw the door frame out of whack, and it and the door had to be replaced, not a trivial repair. Before that could be done I kept a heavy table in front of it by the door when I closed it since the wind could blow it open. If the profit of oil companies is judged more important than the safety of citizens, then there is something terribly wrong.

Since the guy who represents Cushing is in their pocket, is it any wonder people aren't sending a lot of complaints his way? But there are a LOT of people who are fed up with the quakes and also fed up with the way the ones who are supported by big oil and don't care.

Since there is now a connection, I still say the companies should pay for full quake insurence on each and every occupied building in the area affected. It's the least they could do.
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat2k View Post
It's the wastewater/produced water disposal wells that are being fingered as the culprit for Western Oklahoma's earthquakes. This is a different well than an oil or gas production well. Rather than treating the water aboveground and making it clean for discharge, production companies are allowed to put the water back underground in a disposal well. It appears that some of these disposal wells are either poorly designed (for high pressure and high flow) or the geology was not known which could cause problems.

I'm sure that the legislators will be more concerned about this as insurance agencies have been warning that they will increase homeowners insurance rates across the state due to the earthquakes. Apparently, the I-35 corridor is more earthquake prone than Southern California. Once insurers change the building code requirement for OKC to look like Southern Cal and new home/apartment costs double, it will get a lot of attention.
All new construction should be meeting socal standards now in this area. Remedial fixes should be done on the more risky of the non code norm. If the oil companies want to have their way, they should pay for this as well. They certainly have the money.

But at some point, the insustry gold standard for quakes, socal's, is going to be used and there will be at least *some* remedial work required. Home owners aren't the ones fraking and disposing, so it shouldn't be their responsibility.

If your house is frame construction, ONE foundation, it is one of the safer forms, but if its a house which has grown over the years with more than one sort of attached foundation, its not going to be a good place to be with a big quake.

And the sensible rules about how to do things inside like bolting tall things to a solid beam and not putting things above where you sit or sleep to fall on you should be promoted out in the open. Maybe if more people thought about quakes really doing damage, then they'd not give the big oil crowd such a pass.
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Old 04-26-2015, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
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It's been especially crazy risk taking to drill or frack for oil around Cushing, due to the huge oil tank farm there and the fact there is a fault line just to the southwest of there. And so what happened? Earthquakes of 4.0 or slightly more happened there last year. At least one of the oil companies penetrated the basement level. That's against regulations. So Oklahoma Corporation Commission had to tell them to stop. So I wonder how strong of an earthquake can those oil tanks withstand before collapsing? What a mess that would be. Earth scientists have estimated the Big One to come may be as much as 6.5 to 7.0 in magnitude. I just don't understand all this flirting with risk taking, unless it due to greed on the part of the oil companies and apathy on the part of the people. I'll admit I've been so apathetic toward the seriousness of the situation that I still haven't strapped my hot water tank to the wall.

By the way, I sure hope the billions of dollars of property owned by the state of Oklahoma is well insured against earthquakes. Also the Oklahoma rep for Cushing, Lee Denney voted in favor of the bill that prevents cities from banning fracking. The rep and senator who represent Stillwater voted against it.

Last edited by StillwaterTownie; 04-26-2015 at 04:35 PM..
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Old 04-26-2015, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
18,040 posts, read 14,346,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinbrookNine View Post
Those quakes have been well established as too deep to be a fracking/drilling related issue. The Ozarks are once again progressing westward. They did this at 2 to 4 million year intervals (well proven) which, by the way, is a brief time geologically.

It's 1811 all over again. Maybe not the bootheel of Missouri this time, but the onset of these quakes and their frequency is just like what happened in Missouri and southern Illinois just before the big New Madrid.

Oklahoma has had quakes greater than magnitude 5 in the past 150 years. That's not fracking babe. That's the Ozark plateau getting pushed westward. Plan accordingly. JMJ
But I don't think ever in recorded Oklahoma history has a earthquake greater than 5.0 happended and was followed by swarms and swarms of earthquakes for years. I wouldn't be surprised that scientists have never seen anything like it for an area that had been so inactive for many years. Many Oklahomans who have always lived here never recalled experiencing an earthquake until that record breaking 5.6 quake in 2011 or its 4.7 foreshock.
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