The number of earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater near oil and gas disposal wells in Oklahoma should continue to decline over the next few years as a result of state regulations reducing wastewater injection volumes, according to new research from Stanford University.
Articles from Earthquakes
Next-day natural gas romped higher in Monday’s trading as wintry conditions and below normal temperatures brought buyers off the bench and sent next-day prices higher by double-digits. The NGI National Spot Gas Average rose a stout 30 cents to $2.75.
An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit near the crude storage and transportation hub of Cushing, OK, on Sunday and spawned at least six aftershocks, but no damage was reported to energy-related infrastructure in the city.
Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Oklahoma last February was likely caused by nearby oil and natural gas disposal wells, noting that injected volumes of wastewater had increased seven-fold over the last three years.
The Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) said it has hired Jacob Walter as its new lead seismologist, a post of increasing importance as the agency is tasked with analyzing continuing seismic activity in part attributed to oil and gas activities.
Four days after the largest earthquake in Oklahoma state history struck Pawnee County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered the shutdown of 17 disposal wells in neighboring Osage County.
As regulators in Oklahoma scramble to figure out what caused a swarm of earthquakes outside an “area of interest” targeting wastewater injection wells, one researcher said there is a possibility the temblors were caused by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations.
The number of large earthquakes to rattle Oklahoma has declined so far this year, but experts aren’t sure how much of the decline should be attributed to actions taken by state regulators, operators, a drop in wastewater injection, or a combination of all of those factors.
A series of earthquakes recorded late last month in western Pennsylvania could be linked to a Hilcorp Energy Co. site where the company was stimulating two horizontal wells near the epicenter, state researchers said this week.
Oil and gas activities are probably linked to at least 59% of induced earthquakes that rattled Texas over the past four decades, according to a report published online Wednesday by researchers with the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and Southern Methodist University (SMU).