EDMOND, Okla. — Cutting back and changing formations: the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is taking action following last week's cluster of earthquakes in Edmond.
"We have been very fortunate in the Edmond area; there haven't been many quakes since we took the actions last year,” said OCC spokesman Jim Palmer.
Palmer says last year, the commission made a 40% reduction in the amount of wastewater injected into wells within a 10-mile radius. In the coming weeks, they'll be increasing that amount substantially.
"The actual result of the plug backs combined with the previous reductions in injections that we took will result in an overall reduction of 95% of all injections,” Palmer said.
It's a plan that affects eight wells but focuses primarily on three. For years, the Dahl, Maccoon and Wishon wells have been injecting into the Arbuckle formation, a long favored spot for wastewater disposal due to its depth and ability to soak up water. However, it has since gained a reputation for causing earthquakes, prompting officials to move into a different formation.
"They're moving into the Wilcox Formation, which is two layers up I believe,” said Palmer. And the Wilcox is not a problem area as far as earthquakes are concerned.”
But, Palmer stresses, anything can happen and no action the commission takes is a guaranteed solution.
It will take at least two weeks to conduct the plugging and not every well will be done at the same time.