OCC responds to Manchester earthquake

February 19, 2021 | Headlines

OKALHOMA CITY— In response to the 4.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred in the Manchester area this morning, the Induced Seismicity Department (ISD) of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has directed operators of specified disposal wells in the area to cease operation or reduce volume.

The following applies to area oil and gas wastewater disposal wells that inject into the Arbuckle formation:

·        Arbuckle disposal wells within 3 miles of the earthquake’s epicenter: Cease operation.

·       Arbuckle disposal wells within 3 to 10 miles of the earthquake’s epicenter: Reduce disposed volume to no more than 50 percent of most current 30 day average.

It is estimated that these actions will reduce disposed volumes by about 7,000 barrels a day.

Researchers are in broad agreement that disposal into the Arbuckle formation in parts of Oklahoma can raise risk of induced seismicity. Commission ISD directives since 2015 limiting or eliminating such disposal are among the actions credited with the sharp decrease in Oklahoma’s seismicity rate since 2015.