The Permian Basin has been rocking and rolling the past few days, including a fairly big shimmy (4.5) NW of Big Spring, near Lenorah, just yesterday. Lenorah, in Martin County, is a long horseback ride from Gardendale, NW of Midland, in Ector County, where a number of 4.0's lately have required the Railroad Commission to shut down SWD wells injecting below the Strawn formation. This is a different area.
Martin County is a BIG part of the Midland Basin HZ tight oil boom and lots of oil from Martin County gets shoved down to Corpus for exporting to Asia. Man, are they starting to make lots of water up there in that county, and nearby Howard and Borden Counties. Whoa Nellie.
Assholes on social media who don't even live in Texas, or day traders of E&P stocks on Twitter, and all of the Permian Basin tight oil industry, naturally, think this concern is all sort of funny stuff. They call these shimmy's things like "hiccups," "no more than falling off a toad stool," "much to do about nothing," "produced water is good lubrication for faults" and the best one of all..."if its not breaking anything, who cares?" The former jefe at DrillingInfo made that stupid remark not long ago
But lots of people from that country ARE getting concerned, including my very oily, very good friend from Midland who sent me this, below, about yesterday's event near Big Spring:
Here is a Railroad Commission GIS map with the Lat/Long coordinates of yesterday's epicenter. Within a three mile radius of that epicenter are 13-15 SWD wells shoving, God knows how much, produced water down in the ground.
As to the dumb remark about these seismic events not breaking anything, how about all these nearby vertical Spraberry wells or worse, those deeper, HZ Wolfcamp laterals? How long will it be, if it already hasn't happened, which I can almost guarantee it has, before casing gets parted in a HZ lateral and Shale R Us, LLC sues Waterworld SWD, Inc. for $20MM, then Waterworld SWD countersues Shale R Us because its their water that caused the earth to move. Who is actually guilty of contributory negligence? What if a vertical well splits casing in a 4.5 earth fart and puts oil and nasty salt water into a groundwater aquifer? How long will it be before the State of Texas and the TRRC get sued for allowing all this shit to happen in the first place?
I can tell you one thing, pardnor: if you are a share holder in Waterworld SWD, Inc., or any other SWD facility in the Permian Basin, no amount of liability insurance is going to cover your ass when shit starts to hit the fan about earthquakes.
And if you think this produced water disposal stuff is a big nothing burger, is not going to get worse, or does not pose a threat to Permian Basin tight oil production and America's ability to keep exporting oil, you have stepped outside your mind.
There's a lot of water associated with those shaley carbonate wells...