Study Outlines Progress on Earthquake Research

10/28/2014 4:24:00 PM

Contact: State Rep. Mark McBride
(405) 557-7346

OKLAHOMA CITY – A legislative study held today at the Oklahoma State Capitol outlined the progress of research into the increased incidence of earthquakes in Oklahoma.

State Rep. Mark McBride said the experts recommended limiting high volume injection wells in basement rock, a process that correlates with what the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is already doing.

“The Oklahoma Corporation Commission currently checks proposed injection wells to see if there is a risk for causing earthquakes,” said McBride, R-Moore. “We agree that there is a need to examine high volume injection wells in basement rock. Those wells don’t represent a large portion of the wells in Oklahoma, so it could be a way to focus our efforts to ensure we get to the bottom of whether or not there is a connection between these wells and earthquakes.”

Currently, there is no scientific evidence that there is a correlation between the injection wells and seismic activity. 

“One thing we talked about is the possibility that either the current drought or just the large number of fault lines in the state have a lot to do with the seismic activity, not necessarily injection wells,” said state Rep. Colby Schwartz, R-Yukon. “We have to take every possibility seriously until the science can show us what is happening here.”

The oil and gas industry is currently providing a ton of data that is giving scientists the ability to get to the bottom of the question, McBride said.

“The study reassured us that the Corporation Commission and governor’s Coordinating Council are working hard to research and oversee injection wells in Oklahoma,” McBride said.