disposal wells

StateImpact Oklahoma
5:06 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Oil Companies Shut Down Wells Near Earthquake Swarm

A disposal well in northwestern Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After a swarm of earthquakes recorded near the town of Crescent, which peaked with a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Monday, state regulators asked a pair of oil companies to limit activity at three nearby disposal wells.

Monday’s quake caused light damage. Multiple people reported feeling it in Arkansas, more than 400 miles away

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:40 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

State Authorities Broaden Disposal Well Regulations in Earthquake-Prone Regions

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities are expanding regulations on disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state. The orders, known as directives, were issued this week and broaden restrictions issued nearly four months ago.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:19 pm
Thu July 16, 2015

Years After Earthquake, Oklahoma College Still Shaken by Cracked Budgets and Broken Buildings

Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen of St. Gregory's Monastery traces cracks in the walls of the monk's workshop, which was damaged in a 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck the nearby city of Prague in November 2011.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma appears to be accelerating, and the state is responding.

Lawmakers have scheduled capitol hearings and oil and gas regulators will soon issue stricter guidelines on disposal wells linked to the shaking. Future earthquakes are a big concern, but one Oklahoma institution is still dealing with the damage one quake caused nearly four years ago.

St. Gregory’s University is an Oklahoma earthquake icon. When the 5.7-magnitude quake struck near the city of Prague in November 2011, one of the school’s century-old, Tudor Gothic-style towers collapsed. Another started spitting bricks.

The earthquake is Oklahoma’s largest recorded with modern instruments. It’s also the largest earthquake anywhere that scientists have linked to disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry. Two people were injured. None at St. Gregory’s.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
4:32 pm
Fri July 10, 2015

Emails Reveal Fallin Didn’t Want To Face Connection Between Quakes, Oil Industry

Oil-field workers tend to American Energy-Woodford's Judge South well in November 2014 well shortly after the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered it temporarily shut-in.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In November 2011, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck near Prague, Okla., causing significant damage and injuring two people. Right away, the possibility that the disposal of wastewater by injecting it deep into the earth — part of the hydraulic fracturing process — was to blame came up.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:32 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

State Seismologist Austin Holland Leaves Oklahoma For USGS Job In New Mexico

Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As Oklahoma’s earthquake swarm developed over the past few years, State Seismologist Austin Holland’s work days got a lot longer. That’s the main reason Holland is leaving his position in Oklahoma to be a supervisory geophysicist at the Albuquerque Seismic Lab.

From The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies:

“I have averaged about 80 hours each week for the 5 1/2 years I’ve been here,” Holland said Monday in an emailed statement. “I want to change my work-life balance, and this opportunity is a good way to do that.”

Since Holland came to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the state has seen a rapid increase in earthquakes, some of which have been linked to disposal wells used for produced water from oil and gas activity.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:05 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Man-Made Earthquakes: Fact or Fiction?

The team at Reveal produced a nifty video on Oklahoma’s earthquake surge that shows, with entertaining visuals, the science of “induced seismicity” — the scientific mechanism that explains how disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry can trigger earthquakes.

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Environment
8:07 am
Mon June 22, 2015

Report: Oklahoma Quakes Linked To Oil And Gas Wastewater

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:39 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

New Research Links Oklahoma’s Earthquake Surge to Oil and Gas Disposal Wells

Oil-field workers lining up a section of pipe at a disposal well plug-back operation in Grant County, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The vast majority of Oklahoma’s recent earthquakes occurred in areas where the energy industry pumped underground massive amounts of waste fluid byproducts of oil and gas production, scientists write in a new paper published Thursday.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:12 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Plug-Back or Prove It: Oklahoma’s Anti-Earthquake Orders in Action

Oil-field workers use sledgehammers to unstick a pipe at the George saltwater disposal well near Wakita in northwestern Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Two burly ben armed with sledgehammers take turns bashing a khaki-colored steel flange fastened to a pipe in the middle of a soggy, gravely lot near Wakita in northwestern Oklahoma.

The tangle of valves and fittings, called the Christmas tree, has to come off before Jay Storm’s crew can start their work in earnest.

“Everything is a little seized up this morning, so we’re having to manually try to get a couple different components separated by hand,” says Storm, completions supervisor for Tulsa-based Eagle Energy Exploration.

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Environment
5:45 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

As Oklahoma Agency Pointed to Natural Causes, Staff Suspected Quakes Were Linked to Oil

The Oklahoma Geological Survey on April 21 acknowledged Oklahoma’s ongoing earthquake surge is “very likely” triggered by wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry, a formal recognition that comes after years of scientific research that reached similar conclusions.

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