Drilling Down

ODNR OKs Injection Activity at Vienna Well

VIENNA, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has given the go-ahead for an Oklahoma company to begin operations of a Class II injection well next to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

An order signed Sept. 7 by Richard Simmers, chief of ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, authorizes Oklahoma City-based KTCA Holdings LLC to begin accepting wastewater from drilling activities at the well site. The order becomes permanent after 30 days.

The well — formally known as the B&J well — was once owned by KDA, a Warren-based development company that sold its interests after ODNR shut down the company’s operations. Last year, a storage tank at one of KDA’s wells in Vienna Township leeched into a private pond, polluting the water and a nearby stream.

The B&J well was never activated, but it was sold to KTCA Holdings.

According to Simmers’ order, the B&J well “is not in violation of the law, does not jeopardize public health or safety, and is in accordance with good conservation practices.”

However, activists have raised concerns about injection wells and their ties to earthquakes. In 2011, a 4.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the Mahoning Valley was linked to an injection well in Youngstown. More recently, officials suspect a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma was triggered by injection well activity.

Under the order, KTCA must comply with 14 stipulations, according to ODNR documents.

These conditions include limiting surface injection pressure to 1,795 pounds per square inch; the installation of a Murphy switch that automatically shuts down the pump if injection pressure exceeds that limit; continuous monitoring of injection pressures and well casings and the immediate shut down of the well if a leak is detected.

Also, the owner will agree to immediately suspend operations should ODNR detect seismic activity that poses a risk to increasing seismic activity at the site.

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Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.