disposal wells

Science Advances

Scientists may have a promising seismic forecast for Oklahoma over the next few years: A lot less shaky with a smaller chance for damaging earthquakes.

Newly published research bolsters a growing body of scientific findings linking the state’s earthquake boom and the underground injection of large amounts of wastewater from oil and gas production, but suggests the shaking could taper off after 2016.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Attorneys are asking a judge in Pawnee County to approve a class-action lawsuit against oil and gas companies after the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the area in September.

The action was brought on behalf of Pawnee resident James Adams. If a judge approves, other residents could join the lawsuit against oil and gas companies operating wastewater disposal wells in the area.

American Geophysical Union

Wastewater injection into clusters of high-rate disposal wells likely triggered a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck western Oklahoma in February 2016, new research suggests.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say Oklahoma oil and gas regulators should “consider a moratorium” of waste-fluid disposal in its most seismically active areas.

The suggestion was made in the federal agency’s annual review of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s oversight of disposal wells, which Energy Wire’s Mike Soraghan obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request:

Another earthquake shook Oklahoma today. It measured 3.1 on the Richter scale, and struck just after 7 a.m. near Stroud, 65 miles from Oklahoma City.

That’s one of more than 500 this year, compared to California’s 156. Scientists have linked Oklahoma’s sharp increase in earthquakes in recent years to the underground injection of wastewater during oil and gas production.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young checks in with Joe Wertz, KGOU’s StateImpact reporter, about Oklahoma’s earthquake trends.

This Week in Oklahoma KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the state Supreme Court striking down the controversial opt-out provision of the Workers' Compensation Law passed by the GOP legislature in 2013, a delay in the acceptance of procedures to could put executions on hold for the next two year and more injection wells get shut down after a fault line was recently discovered through the 5.8 quake which hit Oklahoma earlier this month.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Federal and state regulators on Monday expanded and modified emergency orders limiting oil and gas activity at wells near a fault line that produced Oklahoma’s strongest earthquake on record.

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Oklahoma on Saturday, prompting Gov. Mary Fallin to declare a state of emergency. On Wednesday, officials said it was the strongest quake in the state’s history.

The quake followed a string of thousands of smaller tremors that have raised questions about the impact of drilling for oil and gas, and the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. Geological Survey is upgrading the strength of an earthquake that shook the state on Sept. 3 to 5.8 magnitude. That change makes the Labor Day weekend temblor the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma. The quake is the latest in a seismic surge researchers say has largely been fueled by the oil industry practice of pumping waste fluid into underground disposal wells.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Federal regulators have shut down 17 wastewater disposal wells in the Osage Nation of northeastern Oklahoma following a weekend earthquake that matched the state's strongest on record.

Because the wells are located on tribal land, Oklahoma regulators have no jurisdiction over oil- and gas-producing facilities in the region. Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Matt Skinner told The Associated Press that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notified the state Tuesday that 17 wells were ordered closed.

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