OCC orders disposal well to stop operations following series of earthquakes

HENNESSEY, Okla. – After several earthquakes were recorded on Thursday morning, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is taking action.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 3.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded northwest of the town of Fairview.  The earthquake occurred around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.

A short time later, the USGS recorded a 3.2 magnitude quake near the town of Dover. In the same general area, a 2.8 magnitude earthquake occurred.

Following the earthquakes, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division has directed a disposal well in the area to stop operations.

The Choate SWD #1 was one of two wells in the area that already had its wastewater injection rate reduced in October of 2017. The other well stopped disposal into the Arbuckle formation in December. Now, the Choate SWD #1 is being told to stop wastewater injection altogether.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has also ordered other wells in the Enid area to reduce their wastewater disposal rates. The directive applies to those Arbuckle disposal wells within 10 miles of recent earthquakes in the area.

Officials say seven disposal wells that are injecting daily volumes of above 2,000 barrels per day into the formation should reduce their volume by 25 percent.

Eight other wells below 2,000 barrels a day will be restricted to their last 60 day average. This is in addition to a 40 percent reduction that was imposed in 2016.

Officials estimate that the directive will result in a reduction of about 3,350 barrels per day.

Credit: Oklahoma Corporation Commission