The U.S. Geological Survey says at least four earthquakes have rattled central Oklahoma, including a 4.3-magnitude temblor near Langston.
The earthquake struck shortly after noon Saturday about five miles southwest of Langston. Earlier, a 3.2-magnitude quake was recorded about 6:30 a.m. in about the same area near Langston. No damage or injuries were reported following either quake.
Oklahomans rattled by a surge of earthquakes on Thursday packed a contentious town hall meeting in Edmond and demanded answers and action from public officials.
There was booing and shouts for regulators to impose a moratorium on wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry, which scientists have linked to Oklahoma’s exponential increase in earthquake activity.
An oil company seeking to build a disposal well in earthquake-prone Logan County has agreed to record additional pressure and volume measurements to get a permit from the state’s oil and gas regulator.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Thursday voted 2-0 to approve the disposal well for Kansas-based Slawson Exploration. Commissioner Dana Murphy abstained from the vote “saying she wanted to wait until more seismic data was available,” The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports:
As earthquakes continue to shake the state and researchers study links to drilling, Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator has changed the way it approves permits for injection wells.
Oil and water have long mixed in Oklahoma and other petroleum states. In the early days of the U.S. oil boom, drillers were focused on finding ways to separate water from the oil they were pumping to the surface.
The Cushing oil hub is crowded with hulking oil tanks, miles of pipeline and countless pumps, compressors and other equipment used to ferry around the roughly 80 million barrels of crude stored there.
Oklahoma has experienced a swarm of earthquakes, which seismologists say might be triggered by disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry, and it’s not hard to imagine the havoc a little earth-shaking might have on the high-profile oil hub.
Oklahoma has never been known as earthquake country, with a yearly average of about 50 tremors, almost all of them minor. But in the past three years, the state has had thousands of quakes. This year has been the most active, with more than 2,600 so far, including 87 last week.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Mary Catherine Sexton has been rattled enough. This fall her neighborhood in the northeastern part of this city has been shaken by dozens of minor earthquakes. "We would just have little trembles all the time," she said.