disposal wells

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Researchers studying Oklahoma’s energy industry-linked earthquake surge and state regulators eager to quell the shaking have circled the wagons around a specific class of wells companies fill with wastewater and other fluid byproducts of oil and gas production.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Phillips 66, a refiner with 700,000 barrels of storage capacity in Cushing, Okla., “has overhauled how it plans for earthquakes, a sign U.S. energy companies are starting to react to rising seismicity around the world’s largest crude hub,” Reuters’ Liz Hampton reports.

The changes include new protocols for inspecting the health of crude tanks, potentially halting operations after temblors, and monitoring quake alerts.

A report released the oil and gas industry suggests only 0.5 percent disposal wells throughout the U.S. have been linked or suspected as a possible cause of earthquakes, the Tulsa World reports. “However, a spokeswoman for the group acknowledges that many of the studies cited in the report use models rather than actual wells, making such figures ‘speculative.’”

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities on Tuesday ordered cutbacks at disposal wells in north-central Oklahoma.

The restrictions come after a barrage of earthquakes near the town of Medford.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about Interim Studies at the State Capitol and Governor Fallin still waiting to pick a new Labor Commissioner to replace Mark Costello who was murdered several months ago.

The trio also discuss a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups against energy companies for their practice of using waste water for injection wells and Sapulpa Republican Representative Mark McCullough announces he is resigning.

Russell Lee / Library of Congress

An upsurge of earthquakes linked to the oil and gas industry continues to rattle Oklahoma, but new research suggests most of the significant earthquakes recorded in the state over the last century also were likely triggered by drilling activity.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

State oil and gas regulators on Friday expanded limits on disposal wells near Cushing, Oklahoma. The shutdowns and volume limits come amid renewed worry about earthquake activity near one of the country’s largest crude oil storage hubs.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Marjo Operating Co. Inc. is the first oil and gas operator to challenge regulatory actions issued by state regulators attempting to curb an ongoing surge of earthquakes linked to the industry.


A group of state energy officials, researchers and industry experts issued a report Monday offering guidance on how to handle earthquakes triggered by oil and gas activity.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

State oil and gas authorities on Friday limited activity at five disposal wells after a string of earthquakes recorded near the city of Cushing.

A wave of small quakes has struck near the city in recent days. On Friday morning, a magnitude 3.8 to 4.1-magnitude temblor was recorded. No damage has been reported.