Oklahoma's energy regulator would require additional reporting and tests on wastewater disposal wells in the state under several prosed rule changes. The state, like Texas, is looking at connections between disposal wells and a rising number of earthquakes, a link several researchers have previously established. On Tuesday, the Texas Railroad Commission at a regularly scheduled meeting heard more than 30 people, most from the Azle area, describe their experiences with a swarm of small quakes and implore the agency's three members to at least temporarily stop wastewater injection at disposal wells in the region. The commissioners did not take any action at the meeting, but are hiring a seismologist and promised to investigate the problem. The agency regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is considering proposed rules that would require disposal well operators to record daily injection volumes and well pressures, as well as require testing of the wells mechanical integrity every six months. The Oklahoman newspaper said in a report last week that "the additional data could help researchers looking at possible links between disposal wells and a spate of earthquakes in Oklahoma."
-- Jim Fuquay