hydraulic fracturing

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator for the first time will issue guidelines designed to reduce earthquake activity linked to hydraulic fracturing. To date, the state’s earthquake response has centered around curtailing earthquakes linked to wastewater injection wells. Hydraulic fracturing — the well-completion technique known as “fracking” — is known by researchers to trigger earthquakes, both in Oklahoma and in oil and gas fields around the world . But scientists and officials believe the...

A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands. In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight. Skavdahl made it clear what he was — and wasn't — considering...

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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

SandRidge Energy has agreed to shutter some disposal wells in earthquake-prone northern Oklahoma in a settlement that avoids legal action by state oil and gas regulators. Financially strapped SandRidge had defied directives from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to voluntary shut down disposal wells in shaky areas near the towns of Byron, Cherokee and Medford. The commission had prepared a court filing to force SandRidge to comply with the directives, but in a settlement announced Wednesday...

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A string of widely felt earthquakes is rattling residents and seismologists, who are warning that parts of Oklahoma could be primed for more severe shaking. More than 5,700 earthquakes shook the state in 2015 — a record year of seismic activity in Oklahoma. The New Year is off to a shaky start. The recent earthquake outbreak started with a pair of early-morning quakes near Edmond on Dec. 29 , 2015 and New Year’s Day . The 4.3 and 4.2-magnitude temblors woke many residents and knocked out...

Fourteen Edmond residents filed a lawsuit Monday against a dozen oil and gas companies, “claiming their saltwater disposal wells were in part to blame for earthquakes that hit central Oklahoma in recent weeks,” The Oklahoman ‘s Paul Monies reports . The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, said the companies acted negligently and their use of disposal wells constituted an “ultrahazardous activity.” The nine homeowners said disposal wells operated by the companies “caused or...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript CORNISH: With the way things have been going in Oklahoma, this didn't come as a surprise. The state opened 2016 with a 4.2-magnitude earthquake this morning. There have been at least a dozen earthquakes in the state just since Tuesday. Now, for all of 2015, Oklahoma saw more than 800 earthquakes at magnitude 3.0 or greater. This is not the way it used to be. Regulators and researchers say the rise in quakes is due to oil...

Oklahoma City residents woke early New Year's Day to a magnitude 4.2 quake. Earlier this week, a magnitude 4.3 quake struck the same area. The state isn't historically known for earthquakes, but NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce told our Newscast unit that Oklahoma "has recently seen a dramatic rise in seismic activity." Here's more: "If you think of a U.S. state associated with earthquakes, it's probably California. But really, you should think Oklahoma. In 2015, Oklahoma hit an all-time high, with...

A strong earthquake that woke scores of residents in the Oklahoma City area before dawn Tuesday is shaking regulators and state lawmakers. The 4.3-magnitude temblor recorded 5:39 a.m. near Edmond was felt as far away as Wichita, Kan., and was blamed for an outage that left 4,400 customers without electricity for an hour. The widely felt quake caps a record year for earthquakes in Oklahoma. As of this writing, 5,647 quakes have been recorded in Oklahoma in 2015. Edmond quake damage from viewer...

Al Jazeera America’s documentary on Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry-linked earthquake surge airs Dec. 13. The doc includes an unfettered interview with former state seismologist Austin Holland on his last day at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, during which he details industry pressure and conflicts of interest by state officials tasked with studying the shaking.

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