Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Oklahoma Corporation Commission Updates its Induced Seismicity Directives

On July 17, 2015, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division (OGCD) announced that the scope of the current disposal well directives will be extended to 211 more disposal wells located in the Arbuckle formation.

On March 18, 2015, OGCD promulgated new directives for oil and gas companies operating waste disposal wells within areas of interest for induced seismicity. These areas of interest are defined as zones of concentrated seismic hazard including earthquake swarms. According to the directives, operators are required to demonstrate that their disposal wells do not inject waste fluids into the crystalline basement rock of the Arbuckle formation. If this occurs, the disposal wells must be plugged back by their operators. The directives also specify that, after April 18, 2015, all disposal wells which do not comply with the plugging criteria must reduce their volumes by 50% to continue operations.

Further information on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s action for mitigating induced seismicity is available at: or

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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