Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Oklahoma to shut or limit some fracking-disposal wells after magnitude-5 quake

The State of Oklahoma "plans to shut some disposal wells and reduce the volume of others as its initial response to Sunday’s earthquake near the oil hub of Cushing," Sheela Tobben and Jessica Summers report for Bloomberg News.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said its order would cover a 700-square-mile area, but didn't say how many wells would be affected. The agency has issued broader orders in the last two years.

"The region, previously not known for intense seismic activity, began having a significant number of earthquakes in 2009, the same year area oil companies began using fracking to shatter deep rock layers to extract oil and gas," Bloomberg reports. "Fracked wells produce large quantities of wastewater, which drilling companies inject into ultra-deep disposal wells."

The Oklahoman reports that the 5.0-magnitude quake damaged about 40 buildings in Cushing, a town of about 7,800 that is the main delivery point for West Texas intermediate crude, the market barometer for U.S. oil. 

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