Earthquake
8:18 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Oklahoma Begins Work On Reducing Oil Field, Earthquake Risk

The Oklahoma Geological Survey has begun work on plans to reduce the risk of oil-field work causing earthquakes.

Map showing an earthquake from April 16.
Map showing an earthquake from April 16.
Credit U.S. Geological Survey

The Tulsa World reported Saturday that a summary report says the risk of oil-field caused earthquakes is small — and can be reduced further with "appropriate industry practices" involving injection disposal wells.

Oklahoma Geological Survey research seismologist Austin Holland says the wells inject waste fluids into the ground and are not hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — which is a process used to release minerals from beneath the earth's surface.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner says that until the study is complete it is impossible to say if new oil-field rules will be developed. But Skinner says the final report will be "center stage" as commissioners consider possible new rules.

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