RRC investigating earthquakes near Odessa


AUSTIN (Nexstar)- On Tuesday evening, earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.4 and 3.6 occurred in Texas Railroad Commission’s Gardendale Seismic Response Area just north of Odessa.

RRC said it deployed two field inspectors Tuesday evening to six salt water disposal well sites in the area to inspect operations and another inspector Wednesday. 

The RRC enforces some of the country’s most stringent regulations on oil and gas disposal wells in areas of seismicity as part of its critical mission of protecting public safety and the environment. As such, the RRC says it will maintain inspectors onsite to monitor area injection activities. RRC’s seismologist and staff say they are continuing to investigate the earthquakes and will take action, as necessary.

As a result of previous earthquakes, the agency in September requested operators of 76 wells in the Gardendale area take measures, such as reducing daily injection volumes of produced water into saltwater disposal wells and providing injection data, which will help RRC staff further analyze seismicity. The RRC will continue working with operators on this important front. A notice to operators can be found here.

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