OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 13 — Oklahoma regulators have closed down more wells in the state in response to recent earthquakes. A 5.8-magnitude earthquake near Pawnee, Oklahoma on September 3rd, and a series of smaller aftershocks in Oklahoma led to the discovery of a new fault line and stoked fears among some scientists about activity along other unknown faults that could be triggered by oil and gas wastewater that’s being injected deep underground.
The Pawnee quake damaged more than a dozen buildings and slightly injured one man when part of a chimney collapsed. It shook several states, including nearby Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas, and was reportedly even felt more than 1,000 miles away in places like Florida and Nevada, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
As of today, here is a recap of quakes experienced by the state:
Oklahoma, United States has had: (M1.5 or greater)
- 10 earthquakes today
- 62 earthquakes in the past 7 days
- 171 earthquakes in the past month
- 2,514 earthquakes in the past year
Today’s Earthquake Map for Oklahoma – September 13, 2016.
One of the U.S. states with a significant amount of shale oil and natural gas, a study from the USGS found the disposal of oil and gas-related wastewater is the “primary reason” for an increase in seismic activity in central states like Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has issued a declaration of a state of emergency for the county impacted by the Pawnee quake and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Division said it was now enacting further restrictions on shale activity.
In response to the Sept. 3 quake, the state agency said it was nearly doubling the size of a so-called area of concern. Combined with areas under the authority of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state government said it also ordered the closure of 32 wells.