Oklahoma earthquakes: After new regulations, state's shakes calm down a bit

Posted at 1:31 PM, Nov 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 06:10:38-05

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Associated Press statistical analysis shows a dramatic drop in Oklahoma earthquakes since late May, when the state limited wastewater injections into energy wells.

And a new study says the state is on its way back to calmer times that prevailed before a huge jump in man-made earthquakes.

In parts of Oklahoma, the state ordered a 40 percent volume reduction in injection of saltwater -- waste from hydraulic fracturing -- that scientists generally blame for the massive increase in earthquakes.

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An AP analysis of U.S. Geological Survey data of earthquakes magnitude 3.0 or larger shows that before the new rules went into effect, Oklahoma averaged 2.3 quakes a day in 2016. Since then the average dropped to 1.3 a day, though some were large and damaging.

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