Gloria Douglas loves the quiet.
She should enjoy it while it lasts.
The resident of Wyngate Manor Mobile Home Park, Route 7, Brookfield, rhapsodized about what her little piece of Heaven has been like since Highland Field Services curtailed activity at the injection well site north of Wyngate.
“When it’s warm, you can leave your windows open,” Douglas said on March 23. “You hear the little peepers (frogs) out. Oh, the peace and quiet.”
Highland has not been using the injection wells to dispose of gas and oil drilling waste water since October, so Douglas’ peace and quiet has not been imposed on by the sounds of injection, brine trucks using the dirt injection well roads, or the construction that went on to build two wells.
Jim Hennessy of Merwin Chase Road, who, with Douglas, is a member of Brookfield Citizens Against Injection Wells, told the township trustees March 2:
“It’s been very dead down there, not even a pickup going back there, but they are running a generator at night with lights on it. It’s been awful quiet. It would be nice to know what they’re up to.”
That generator powers electrical controls, according to an inspection report provided by the state.
Hennessy frequently talks of fears that the quiet is the calm before the storm.
Adam Schroeder, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, said one of the two wells on the site is operational, but as of March 11 was not being used.
The second well has not been operational since a partial cave-in, some 7,000 feet underground in January 2019.
“An inspection report indicates that they expect to inject again in late spring or early summer,” Schroeder said.
Highland spokesman Ron Boulware said the energy industry is “experiencing a slowdown in drilling and low market prices. Water recycling is often reduced when these conditions prevail, and that tends to increase the need for disposal. As a result of these conditions, Highland Field Services expects increased activity at its Brookfield location this spring.”
Highland expects to work on the shut-in well this summer. However, if the restrictions prompted by the coronavirus continue, “they could impact those plans,” Boulware said.
Oil and gas operations and related disposal services are considered essential services in Ohio and Pennsylvania, he said. “As such, all other operations will continue as normal, with all necessary precautions taken to protect our workforce and the public in general.”
Highland injected 80,157 barrels of waste water from August to October, Schroeder said.
Citizens Against Injection Wells had filed an appeal protesting state approval of the injection well that has since been shut down, but withdrew it last summer due to a lack of funds, Hennessy said.