Oklahoma regulators have ordered two disposal wells near Cushing to be shut and cut volumes at three more disposal wells after analyzing seismic activity data.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division (OGCD) ordered American Energy-Woodford to reduce volumes at its Calyx 35-2 and Clay wells last Friday.
American Energy was also asked to shut and plug back its Louis 6-3 well and shut its Wilson 11-15 well.
FHA Investments was ordered to reduce volume at its FHA 1-15 well.
“As a result of an analysis of disposal well and seismicity data in the Cushing area, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division is implementing a plan to change the operation of certain disposal wells in the Cushing area,” the commission said.
The plan may be altered as more data is made available, the commission added.
The order follows a directive issued earlier this year by the OGCD that asked operators to prove that disposal wells are not disposing
below the Arbuckle formation.
“There is broad agreement among seismologists that disposal below the Arbuckle poses a potential risk of causing earthquakes, as it puts the well in communication with the solid “basement” rock,” the OGCD said in the directive.
According to Natural Gas Intel Daily, all five wells affected by the latest order sit within a 10 mile radius of Cushing and have been classified by the OGCD as “wells of interest” because they target the Arbuckle formation.
The commission also voted on Tuesday to delay new disposal well approval decisions, citing concern about seismic activity near proposed well sites in Payne, Logan and Pawnee counties, NewsOK said.
A report published last year by the Oklahoma Geological Survey that alleges wastewater disposal wells used during hydraulic fracturing may have triggered some earthquakes in the state.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Oklahoma is the fifth largest crude producer in the United States, excluding offshore areas, and is home to the Cushing oil terminal.