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Ohio Utica Shale

USGS wants more information on injection well volumes

By Bob Downing Published: March 24, 2012

U.S. energy companies should report information on waste water from hydraulic fracturing or fracking to help federal agencies reduce the risk of earthq2uakes like those that have hit the Youngstown area in the last year.

"We do need help from industry," said Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"There is not good public information on the amount of water being pumped and the rate at which it's pumped," she told Bloomberg News.

Some states including Ohio require that volumes of wastes being injected are reported, and some drillers voluntarily provide such data, USGS officials said.

The agency has no authority to impose additional reporting requirements.

Less than 1 percent of injection wells trigger earthquakes, McNutt told a congressional committee.

Getting more information would help reduce the quake risk in a year or two, McNutt said.

"It's a very solvable problem," she said on Thursday. "You either have to put the holes in a different place or pump it at a different rate."

The Youngstown quakes have been linked to an injection well in Youngstown Township that was volntarily closed on Dec. 30. A dozen quakes have been linked to the well.


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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

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ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

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