OCC: Some wastewater disposal wells told to stop operations after earthquakes

Oklahoma Disposal Well Site

CRESCENT, Okla. – Due to recent earthquake activity in the Crescent area, certain oil and gas wastewater disposal wells will be forced to stop operations.

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division issued a directive for specified oil and gas wastewater disposal wells to cease operations. Other wells are also being told to reduce disposal well volumes.

Under the directive, three currently operating disposal wells will cease operations. One other disposal well will not be allowed to resume operations.

The directive specifically applies to disposal wells that inject into the Arbuckle formation.

For Arbuckle disposal wells operating within three to 10 miles, average daily volumes above 500 barrels per day will be reduced by 20 percent.

Researchers are in broad agreement that wastewater disposal into the Arbuckle formation in Oklahoma poses the largest potential risk for induced seismicity.