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Regulators Order Disposal Well Reductions And Stoppages After Several Earthquakes Near Enid

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

State regulators late Friday ordered reduced volume reductions or shutdowns for oil and gas wastewater disposal wells in the vicinity of an earthquake epicenter from earlier in the day. 

Several earthquakes, including one of magnitude 4.2, one 3.7 magnitude and one 3.5 magnitude, were recorded in northern Oklahoma by the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

The quakes were recorded southeast of Enid, about 95 miles north of Oklahoma City. There were reports of the earthquakes being felt in Tulsa.

No injuries or damage were reported, according to Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Induced Seismicity Department ordered wastewater disposal wells injecting into the Arbuckle formation within 3 miles of the epicenter to cease operations. Operators of wells 3 to 10 miles from the epicenter are to reduce their disposal volume to no more than half of their most current 30-day average.

Thousands of earthquakes have been recorded in Oklahoma in recent years, many linked to underground injection of wastewater from oil and gas production.

There are about a dozen active disposal wells within a 10 mile radius of the earthquakes, said Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesperson Sarah Terry-Cobo.

The 4.2 magnitude quake was recorded about 11:45 a.m., about 90 minutes after the magnitude 3.7 and 3.5 quakes, in addition to at least six other tremors ranging from 2.0 to 2.7 magnitude.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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