The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has expanded its regulatory actions on saltwater disposal wells in the area around Cushing Oklahoma. The action follows a series of strong earthquakes in the Cushing area over the last several weeks.
The OCC plan now calls for operators of 4 wells to shut them down and 9 other wells to reduce the amount of salt water being injected underground by 25%.
Operators of 13 other wells were put on notice that further orders may be forthcoming in the future that will impact their current operations.
Those wells that were ordered shut down were within 3 miles of recent earthquake activity. Cushing is home to the nations largest crude oil storage tank facility and dozens of pipelines criss-cross the area moving crude oil and other products through the tank farm and onto various refineries.
A recent scientific study sparked the need for extra actions by the Commission. The report warns that the faults located under Cushing were moving because of increasing amounts of saltwater injection from ongoing oil and natural gas production and that the projections showed the area could be hit by a quake the size of 5.6 in magnitude or greater. That is the level of earthquake that hit the Prague area in 2011 and caused extensive damage and some injuries.