Oklahoma regulators work to ensure earthquakes don't return

Feb 28, 2017

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma continues to see a drop in the frequency of earthquakes in the state, after fracking regulation was put in place to quell the seismic activity.

But, as The Wichita Eagle reports, regulators are working to ensure that the number of earthquakes doesn’t rise again in the Sooner State.

Two years ago, Oklahoma was experiencing five earthquakes a day. Now, that number has fallen to less than one. But oil activity is ramping up once again, and the state wants to make sure the rise in drilling isn’t accompanied by additional seismic activity. To that end, Oklahoma is limiting the amount of wastewater companies can pump back into underground disposal wells.

Last week the Oklahoma Corporation Commission set out the new restrictions in detail. The new rules will apply to about 650 wells, and will work in addition to those already in place, which cover a 15,000 square-mile region of central and western Oklahoma.