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Chesapeake shuts 2 wells amid Texas quake study

JAY F. MARKS Published: August 15, 2009
Chesapeake Energy Corp. has shut down two saltwater disposal wells as research continues into whether such wells are to blame for recent earthquakes in North Texas.

The tremors that began on Halloween barely have been perceptible to people and not nearly powerful enough to cause significant property damage, but they still have drawn the attention of scientists from the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University.

Preliminary tests did not yield any concrete results, but Chesapeake opted to shut down a disposal well near a fault line at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

"Even though the research is inconclusive, Chesapeake decided to shut in that particular well simply as a precautionary measure to allow (company) geoscientists time to study the preliminary report,” spokeswoman Julie Wilson said in a statement released Thursday.

Chesapeake also ceased operation of another disposal well near Cleburne, site of additional earthquakes in June.

Company officials indicated they would continue working with researchers to determine whether there is any correlation between oil and gas activities and the Texas earthquakes.