Top Texas Shale Producers Hit by Quake-driven Well Disposal Closures: Report

ConocoPhillips, Diamondback, NGL Energy Partners, Coterra and Chevron have disposal wells in areas where the Texas Railroad Commission is shutting deep injection wells or is likely to reduce disposal volumes.

Liz Hampton, Reuters

Some Texas shale oil and gas producers could lose as much as half of their wastewater disposal capacity in key operating areas of the top U.S. oil field under a growing state crackdown to stem a surge in earthquakes, energy consultancy Rystad said on Jan. 6.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the state’s oil industry, in December suspended deep disposal wells in four oil-rich counties in West Texas amid a spike in tremors. Saltwater typically produced with oil and gas production often is shunted into wells drilled specifically to handle the wastewater.

West Texas experienced nearly 2,000 magnitude 2.0 or higher earthquakes in 2021, nearly double the prior year’s levels, according to Rystad. The earthquakes have not caused major damages.

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