disposal wells

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.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After one of the strongest earthquakes ever to hit Oklahoma struck Saturday, state regulators ordered oil and gas companies to shut down all their wastewater disposal wells in a 725-square-mile area around the site of the quake's epicenter near Pawnee.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is still experiencing an unusually large amount of shaking, but the rate of earthquakes recorded in 2016 is down from last year.

The slowdown is likely due to reductions in the amount of waste-fluid the oil industry is pumping into disposal wells, which are thought to be causing most of the shaking.