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Oklahoma Corporation Commission takes action after Cushing earthquake; Some say it’s not enough

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OKLAHOMA - The Oklahoma Corporation Commission announced on Tuesday their response to the 5.0 earthquake Sunday night in Cushing.

The plan covers a total of 58 disposal wells that inject into the Arbuckle formation.

They ordered all Arbuckle disposal wells within 6 miles of the quake’s epicenter to cease operations.

Wells within 10 miles must reduce their volume by 25 percent of their last 30 day average.

And, wells within 15 miles are limited in volume to their last 30 day average.

Bob Jackman is a Tulsa geologist who has been outspoken about our recent earthquakes.

“These are historical towns that are being devastated by man made earthquakes by the oil companies,” Jackman said.

He said the OCC’s action after the Cushing earthquake is just not enough.

“It’s inadequate, it’s sad, it’s infuriating,” Jackman said.

“We certainly agree that larger action has to be taken, and that’s what we’re working on,” said OCC spokesperson Matt Skinner.

Skinner said it’s important to note this plan is just an initial response and operators are being warned work is underway on a broader plan that will encompass a greater area and more Arbuckle disposal wells.

“It’s simple, stupid. Stop injecting, stop the disposal wells and you will stop the earthquakes,” Jackman said.

Jackman said all disposal wells that inject into the Arbuckle formation need to be completely shut down, and he believes that would stop the shaking within a year.

“This is very frightening, and we should demand that they are stopped immediately, period,” Jackman said.

Four of the wells within 6 miles of the epicenter were already shut down a year ago in response to several smaller earthquakes in Cushing.

Jackman said that’s evidence the baby steps aren’t working.

“The epicenter of this earthquake was in an area that was supposed to be controlled,” Jackman said.

“There is no off switch, not in terms of you throw a switch, and it turns off. This is going to be a gradual process. You just have to keep moving forward,” Skinner said.

Skinner said the more comprehensive plan by the OCC will probably be announced in a few weeks.