Monday, November 2, 2015

The Kansas Corporation Commission Extends Seismic Monitoring Period in South Central Kansas

On October 29, 2015, the Kansas Corporation Commission ordered an extension of the monitoring period for disposal wells in Harper and Sumner counties that inject more than 5,000 barrels of wastewater per day into the Arbuckle formation.  

In March 2015, the Commission issued an order to reduce the volume of wastewater injections in certain areas of Harper and Sumner counties deemed seismically-sensitive. Those areas experienced 127 recorded earthquakes in 2014 while only 4 earthquakes were recorded in 2013. According to the Commission, said earthquakes are associated with the increase of injection wells and wastewater injections in both counties. As part of this order, the Commission implemented a well monitoring period to analyze seismic data and provide for recommendations for further actions assessing risks of induced seismicity.

Before expiration of the order, the Commission staff filed a Motion to Extend Monitoring Period on September 14, 2015, claiming that “the initial results of the Commission’s Order were encouraging but inconclusive.” The Commission concluded that the monitoring period will be extended until March 13, 2016.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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