Nine disposal wells to shut down after 5.1 magnitude earthquake

Nine disposal wells to shut down after 5.1 magnitude earthquake

PRAGUE, Okla. (KFOR) — The state is taking action following the latest string of earthquakes to rattle Oklahoma. The largest was a magnitude 5.1 near Prague late Friday night. Disposal wells around the epicenter are now being ordered to shut down.

“[My son] was in the bed and it moved with him in it. My daughter slept through it,” said Stacia Stanberry who lives two miles from the epicenter.

Friday night’s earthquake caused a ruckus in Stacia Stanberry’s home.

“Some of our canned goods fell and hit the floor, antique butter dishes things like that just crushed on the floor,” said Stanberry.

Even her refrigerator moved about four inches away from the wall.

Miles away, the quake was also felt by Kathy Bryan who was watching TV when the ground began shaking.

“It scared to me to death. It scared her, she started barking and if I can’ve barked I might’ve,” said Bryan.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said there’s a likely culprit for all the rattling.

“We are fairly confident, you know, that there is a possible link from disposal wells in the Arbuckle region,” said Trey Davis, with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

OCC found nine operations still active in parts of Lincoln County, Pottawatomie County, and Seminole County, near the epicenter.

“We don’t know that they contributed to the earthquake, but we assess the risk and we you know, our goal is to mitigate the risks that it doesn’t happen,” said Davis.

So, those wells will gradually shut down over the next two weeks.

“We don’t want changes in pressure. We want to do that gradually so that we mightn’t trigger, potentially trigger, you know, another earthquake,” Davis said.

Corporation Commission Officials said if there are more earthquakes, they’ll take more action as needed.

We also followed up with OCC about the Edmond quakes from a few weeks ago.

“We went through the same process a couple of weeks back with the earthquake in Edmond and we didn’t find any activity that might suggest any link to the Edmond earthquake,” said Davis.

The Commission clarified that the nine wells near Prague were active and operating at a reduced volume as opposed to the wells near Edmond.

Out of an abundance of caution, they said they’re shutting the wells in Prague down.

The state seismologist said it’s possible we can feel strong aftershocks in the coming weeks.

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