November 2015 – OKLAHOMA – State officials say Oklahoma has a new claim to fame. According to them, The Sooner State is now the top earthquake area in the world. The Grant County community, north of Enid, is the largest to be rattled by a string of earthquakes. The Corporation Commission is cracking down on injection well operations in Medford. At least a dozen earthquakes shook Oklahoma Tuesday alone. Since Saturday, Medford has really been shaking. Now, a plan is put in place to help put an end to these.
The earthquakes in Medford are getting stronger and lasting longer. “This is an area that traditionally has had no seismicity until very recently,” says Matt Skinner with the Corporation Commission. It’s shown just in the last few days. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission believes the reason for the earthquakes, is disposal well injecting into the Arbuckle formation. “We’ve had somewhere in the area of 20 earthquakes since Saturday morning there maybe even a little bit more as I speak,” he says.
Barbara Bush of Medford knows all too well, she tells us the quakes are getting more and more frightening. “We’ve been concerned and we’ve become complacent almost my kids were here from Dallas my son and his wife they were scared to death they were ready to leave the house,” she tells us. She says she does not know what it will really cost her, and her property. “How are we going to know that until down the road? I mean we have constant shaking.”
So, new measures to cut back on the quakes will be phased in. The Corporation Commission says the first step is volume cutback on injection wells. All wells within 0-3 miles of the epicenter of the cluster of earthquakes will be cut back by 50% of the average volume. Then, wells 3-6 miles will be cut back by 25%. Skinner warns, it must be done in two phases. “There is a theoretical risk that the change in pressure can actually cause more earthquake activity,” he says. There have been similar volume cut back in other parts of the state to help put a stop to these earthquakes, including Cushing. –KTUL