State and federal regulators say 32 disposal wells in northeastern Oklahoma must shut down because they are too near a newly discovered fault line that produced the state’s strongest earthquake on record.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said Monday that 27 wells under its jurisdiction would cease operations, along with five wells in Osage County, which is covered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules.
In a standard energy field practice, wastewater from oil and gas production is injected deep into the earth. The high pressure has been blamed for triggering an increase in earthquakes.
Regulators shuttered wells within 10 miles of the new fault.
In a related story, four small earthquakes have rattled parts of central Oklahoma.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s website reports the four quakes struck midday Monday, all with magnitudes lower than 3.0.
The first magnitude 2.8 earthquake occurred around 2:30 p.m. more than 8 miles northwest of Pawnee. Another 2.8-magnitude tremor happened in the same area roughly two hours later. Other minor quakes struck outside Edmond and Chickasha, magnitudes 2.7 and 2.5 respectively.
And, ConocoPhillips has announced that it will be conducting more layoffs.
ConocoPhillips says they have been conducting targeted workforce reductions in certain areas of their business to align with its organizational capacity with future activity levels since July.
The Bartlesville location is expected to have approximately 90 layoffs. The company has around 1,400 employees.