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Oklahoma oil, gas regulator modifies earthquake guidelines

Posted at 11:26 AM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 18:19:24-05

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has developed new requirements for oil and natural gas operators in the event of an earthquake.

The commission announced the new protocol Tuesday for operators in the newest and largest areas of oil and gas development, known as SCOOP and STACK in central and southern Oklahoma.

The guidelines say operators must have access to real-time seismic readings and must take action such as reducing the volume of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, after a magnitude 2.0 earthquake, rather than magnitude 2.5.

Operators must also pause operations for six hours after a 2.5 magnitude quake, rather than a magnitude 3.0 quake.

The new protocol does not address wastewater injection, which is linked to more and stronger earthquakes and has separate requirements for reducing or pausing activity following temblors.

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