Kind of a slimy week in the U.S. (No, I’m not taking about Rush Limbaugh, but be my guest.) This is about oil. Black oil. Texas Tea.
On Tuesday, a scientific study reported by National Geographic’s Daily News, showed Oklahoma’s largest earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9, may well have been tied to fracking: wastewater injection from oil and natural gas production, raising new concerns about oil company practices.
On Wednesday, Halliburton’s witness testified during the ongoing BP trial.
Arkansas’s Faulkner County Judge Alan Dodson said in a LIVE interview, on Channel 7 News at 6:00, that the oil flowed into the storm drain system/drainage ditch, under Highway 365 and under Interstate 40. Emergency responders managed to stop the flow at all locations.
An Exxon spokesperson issued a written statement Friday evening. It read:
ExxonMobil Pipeline Company is responding to a crude oil spill near Mayflower, [AR]. We are working with emergency responders and local authorities to respond to the incident and are establishing an information line for community support.
We regret that this incident has occurred and we apologize for any disruption or inconvenience this has caused.
The matter is under investigation. We will provide updated information as soon as it becomes available.
(The Pegasus Pipeline was down for a week of maintenance in mid-December of 2012, possibly a starting point for determining what caused Friday’s spill.)
As for the Oklahoma earthquake Geology study:
Advanced methods of oil and gas drilling create massive amounts of toxic wastewater. For example, hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, uses high-pressure water to unlock natural gas from shale formations. Drillers also use water to force oil from wells that cannot be captured through traditional methods, part of a practice known as “enhanced oil recovery.” (See related interactive: “Breaking Fuel from the Rock.”)
The use of such methods has exploded in the United States in recent years, contributing to the domestic boom in shale gas and oil production. Much of the wastewater that emerges as a byproduct is pumped into wells beneath the earth’s surface for disposal.
Not a good week for the oil industry. Not a good week for the environment. And not too good week a for us humans, either.