Thursday, August 6, 2015

Oklahoma Corporation Commission Issues a New Plan to Reduce Volume of Underground Wastewater Injections

On August 3, 2015, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission released an Oil and Gas Disposal Well Volume Reduction plan in response to earthquake activities that occurred on July 27-28 in Northern Oklahoma. The Commission’s plan imposes a 60 day-period within which oil and gas companies must reduce the volume of their wastewater that is injected into subsurface wells. The Commission expects a total volume reduction of 38% or about 3.4 million barrels of the daily average of the total volume based upon the data in the 2014 Annual Fluid Injection Report.

On July 28, 2015, the Commission announced that, following the seismic activity in the Crescent area, two companies operating located near the reported area each closed one of their wells on a voluntary basis. The volume of wastewater injected into a third well was reduced by 50%.

The Commission recently updated its induced seismicity directives aimed to mitigate the risk of induced seismicity in Oklahoma. The scope of these directives was extended to 211 more disposal wells located in the Arbuckle formation.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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