Oil, Earthquakes and the Rush to Save Oklahoma


  • Rush is on to find new way to dump water and stop quake surge
  • ‘Everybody thinks they’re going to get rich,’ a Tulsa man says

Brian Kalt’s got a pretty funky plan to stop the surge in earthquakes in Oklahoma and save the state’s reeling oil industry.

The key is to come up with an alternative to dumping drillers’ waste water right back into the ground, so Kalt’s little company will extract the salt particles, release the purified water into rivers and, then, to defray costs and make the scheme economically viable, sell the salt for use on snowy roads and in industrial machinery. (With a little more scrubbing, it could even be served on kitchen tables.) Kalt says he’s already signed tentative deals with salt companies and is, naturally, excited about his innovation.

“This is the silver bullet,” he says.

There are very few spots across America’s vast oil patch right now that have a buzz to them, a sense that their business is hot or about to take off. The niche market for dirty-water disposal in Oklahoma — measured at about $3 billion — is definitely one of them.



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