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Corporation Commission Issues New Disposal Well Regs After More Than 100 November Quakes

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.

Regulators are ordering five oil companies to reduce the amount of waste fluid pumped that’s into disposal wells — a type of well scientists have linked to Oklahoma’s earthquake boom.

Sandridge, Kirkpatrick, Primexx, Union Valley Petroleum Corporation, and Special Energy Corporation will all reduce volume injected by at least 25 percent. The restrictions apply to nine wells located within a ten-mile circle of concentrated shaking. The OCC says the zone is centered around a 4.1 magnitude earthquake that occurred Nov. 7.

Matt Skinner of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission says additional restrictions could be coming as quakes continue.

“We’re still looking at that situation. This in no way should be be considered a final step,” Skinner said. “Nor should it to be considered to be a final answer to the entire Medford issue.”

Credit Oklahoma Corporation Commission
Oklahoma Corporation Commission

So far, more than 100 small earthquakes have been recorded there near Medford this month.

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Joe was a founding reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma (2011-2019) covering the intersection of economic policy, energy and environment, and the residents of the state. He previously served as Managing Editor of Urban Tulsa Weekly, as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Oklahoma Gazette and worked as a Staff Writer for The Oklahoman. Joe was a weekly arts and entertainment correspondent for KGOU from 2007-2010. He grew up in Bartlesville, Okla. and studied journalism at the University of Central Oklahoma.
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