New Rules Require More Data From Oklahoma Injection Wells

Friday, September 12th 2014, 5:45 pm
By: News 9

New regulations are taking effect Friday, requiring injection well companies to provide more information to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC).

Researchers have been monitoring the so-called swarms for months, and now, the OCC is stepping up its efforts to try and find out why.

“We're moving huge amounts of data every week,” said OCC Spokesman Matt Skinner.

Now, they'll add even more data to the system. The OCC requires daily reports from Arbuckle wells that inject into the deepest formation in the state.

Those well companies are going from a monthly report of pressure and volume to a daily report with information collected every hour.

“Even a possible correlation between seismic activity in that area, or one seismic event in that area and what the well is doing at the time,” explained Skinner. “There's nothing too small now. All well operations within those areas are being gone through with a fine-toothed comb.”

While researchers continue to comb through data, Oklahomans will just have to brace for the next earthquake.

“I've got my fingers crossed that we don't have a big one, but if we do, don't panic, because it's mother nature and we can't do a thing about it,” Edmond resident Jim Frazier said.

The new rules also require wells injecting more than 20,000 barrels of wastewater a day to be tested for mechanical integrity once a year, compared to once every five years.

Skinner said the new rules were fully supported by the oil and gas industry at a rulemaking session.