Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Strong Quake Raises Crude Concerns in OK

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Comment | More

Another strong earthquake in central Oklahoma has renewed concerns about wastewater injection wells there, and raised questions about the safety of the country’s largest crude oil storage facility.

The 5.0 earthquake occurred Sunday (Nov. 6), about a mile west of Cushing, OK, the site of a massive oil tank farm where several energy companies store crude. According to reports, many buildings in Cushing sustained minor damage, and some schools in the town were closed Monday. One retirement home was evacuated.

Tank Farm Concerns

Cushing’s crude oil tank farm is reportedly the largest such facility in North America. Recent reports put the total volume of crude stored at Cushing at 58.5 million barrels. The town of less than 8,000 residents bills itself as the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World,” as pipelines including the Seaway Pipeline, Keystone Pipeline, Pony Express Pipeline and Centurion Pipeline flow through the facilities there.

Cushing tank  farm
Cushing photos: roy.luck, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cushing’s crude oil tank farm is reportedly the largest such facility in North America.

No damage to the oil storage facilities was reported, but at least one company temporarily suspended operations in order to ensure its tanks and other assets were safe. Magellan Midstream Partners told NPR Monday (Nov. 7) that it shut down its facilities, found no damage, and anticipated starting back up Tuesday.

In 2015, Reuters reported that one tank farm operator, Phillips 66, had updated its protocols for its Cushing facilities to take into account the possibility of damage from seismic activity.

Induced Seismicity

Seismic activity in Oklahoma has skyrocketed over the past eight years. In 2008, the state recorded just two earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher; in 2015, the number was 889. Over the past year, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has shut down dozens of wastewater injection sites, as evidence linking wastewater injection in the Arbuckle formation to the increase in quakes.

USGS seismic forecast 2016
United States Geological Survey

Earlier this year, the United States Geological Survey accounted for “induced seismicity”—earthquakes caused by human activity—in its annual earthquake forecast for the first time.

The sites in question are Class II injection wells, where wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations is injected deep into the ground.

Earlier this year, the United States Geological Survey accounted for “induced seismicity”—earthquakes caused by human activity—in its annual earthquake forecast for the first time. The highest likelihood of induced quakes was projected to be in north-central Oklahoma, where Cushing is situated.

Fewer Quakes, Higher Magnitude

While the total number of quakes has seemingly slowed in 2016—according to USA Today, there have been 572 quakes so far this year, which puts the state on pace for a decrease from 2015 numbers—the magnitude of the quakes has alarmed some.

Cushing monument

Cushing bills itself as the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World,” as pipelines including the Seaway Pipeline, Keystone Pipeline, Pony Express Pipeline and Centurion Pipeline flow through the facilities there.

An earthquake in Pawnee, OK, in September was measured at 5.8, making it the strongest quake in the state’s history. Oklahoma, according to USA Today, has seen only six quakes of magnitude 5.0 or higher in recorded history, and three have taken place this year.

Nearby Spill

Last month’s pipeline breach and crude oil spill on the Seaway Pipeline also occurred just outside Cushing. The cause of that failure has not been disclosed yet; after the Oct. 23 spill, the pipeline operator conducted repairs and anticipated restarting in early November. An investigation into the cause is ongoing, according to Seaway Crude Pipeline Company LLC, a partnership between Enbridge Energy and Enterprise Products Partners.

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Environmental Protection; Health & Safety; Infrastructure; Latin America; North America; Oil and Gas; Safety

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.


Advertisements
 
SAFE Systems, Inc.

 
Induron Coatings, Inc.

 
Fischer Technology Inc.

 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.

 
WEFTEC Show

 
AWWA (American Water Works Association)

 
Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.

 
KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.

 
ABKaelin, LLC

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us