Energy & Environment

Oil company challenges Oklahoma’s policy to reduce earthquakes

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An Oklahoma oil company is challenging the state’s limits on drilling wastewater injections that came in response to a sharp increase in earthquakes.

Marjo Operating Co., Inc. is now the first company to formally object to the actions of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which are intended to slow the earthquakes that the state believes are caused by underground disposal of wastewater near faults, according to the Oklahoman.

{mosads}The limitations on injections started earlier this year when the state officially agreed with years of scientific evidence that wastewater was causing earthquakes.

Oklahoma has seen nearly 700 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher so far this year, an increase of about 300-fold over 2008, when the oil and gas drilling boom began.

In an administrative filing, Marjo said the 38 percent reduction mandated for one of the injection wells it uses in Payne County would significantly harm its drilling operations.

“We’re just asking them to take a look at our circumstances on an individual level, rather than the blanket action they took,” Bill Huffman, an attorney for the company, told the Oklahoman.

Marjo is challenging the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s authority to limit activity at injection wells that it has already approved and which have active permits.

Tags earthquakes oil Oklahoma
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