Experts say a recent surge in earthquakes in the Yukon area have been clustered around a fracking site. Now the oil company, Citizen Energy, has cut back its operations.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has had guidelines in place relating to fracking and earthquakes for the past year. According to those guidelines, oil companies have to cut back or stop operations if earthquakes are a magnitude 2.5 or greater.
Martin Saenz moved to this home in rural Yukon for the peace and quiet but ever since Citizen Energy erected this fracking operation across the road it's been anything but. In addition to the noise and light in recent days he's been feeling as many as two or three earthquakes a day.
“They don’t last very long, but you feel them then they just go away,” he says.
Because of those earthquakes, Citizen Energy has had to reduce volume on several stages of the frack and most recently by 50 percent. According to the Corporation Commission such action typically works in quickly managing earthquakes believed to be caused by fracking.
“Most of the time it’s not quite instantaneous, but it’s a very short period of time. Unlike what we’ve seen so many times with earthquakes caused by disposal wells when you’re talking about a decline over a long period of time.”
Skinner says earthquakes caused by fracking are also usually smaller and less than four percent of fracking operations cause earthquakes. The Yukon earthquakes have all been below a 3.0 magnitude.