Two natural gas drilling waste injection wells in Faulkner County will be shut down permanently. The wells are currently inactive due to an Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission moratorium.
The AOGC placed a moratorium on the underground wells, which hold non-reusable hydraulic fracturing fluid, in early March because of earthquake activity in the area. Since the wells have been closed, residents have noticed a decrease in the number of earthquakes.
According to a notice on the AOGC website, the company who owns the wells, BHP Billiton, agreed to "immediately and permanently cease all disposal operations in both disposal wells, and to properly plug both disposal wells by September 30, 2011."
Sam Lane, a Greenbrier resident currently involved in a class action lawsuit against BHP, Chesapeake Energy and Clarita Operating for damages associated with earthquake events, said the moratorium really made a difference, an opinion supported by U.S. Geological Survey authorities.
"You talk to anybody in town and they'll tell you the earthquakes have dropped dramatically since they shut them down," he said.