The Edmond Sun


February 18, 2014

OGS: 99 percent of quakes are near injection wells

EDMOND — About 99 percent of the earthquakes occurring in Oklahoma the past few years are located within nine miles of a certain type of injection well, a state agency reported Tuesday.

During recent days, weeks and months, parts of Edmond and Logan County have been shaken by earthquakes strong enough to damage the Logan County jail and several homes. Quakes have been felt in the Arcadia Lake and Jones area.

Tuesday, the Oklahoma Geological Survey released a position statement dated Feb. 17.

It begins noting the significant increase in seismic activity in the state since 2009. Most of the quakes are not strong enough to be felt, but those that are draw interest from citizens.

“This statement communicates what, in the opinion of the OGS, the data currently tells us and outlines our plans for monitoring future activity and conducting research to better understand Oklahoma seismicity,” the authors wrote.

Since 2009, earthquake activity in Oklahoma has been about 40 times higher than in the previous 30 years, the authors stated. While more than 90 percent of these earthquakes are too small to be felt, they are recorded by the OGS network.

Based on reported “felt” quakes before creation of the OGS network, this recent level of activity is significantly greater than the past 100 years. Even a 100-year time frame is not statistically representative in geological terms, the authors stated.

Most of the historical and more recent earthquakes are located on or near the Nemaha Ridge, the Ouachita-Arbuckle-Wichita Mountain front and other major geological structures, the authors stated.

Implied fault movements for the majority of the earthquakes appear to be consistent with natural stresses in Oklahoma, the authors stated.

Regarding the possible relationship between recent earthquakes and oil and gas activities, the authors made the following observations:

• It has long been recognized by scientists that both fluid injection and withdrawal in the subsurface can trigger earthquakes by altering conditions on naturally occurring faults near failure;

• Fluid injection associated with oil and gas activity including enhanced oil recovery, hydraulic fracturing and waste water disposal has occurred for a long time in Oklahoma. More than 100,000 wells have been hydraulically fractured here since 1948;

• About 4,000 active saltwater disposal wells exist in the state (about 30,000 nationally). Recognized occurrence of triggered seismicity related to these wells are rare;

• About 80 percent of the state is within 9 miles of an Underground Injection Control Class II water disposal or enhanced oil recovery injection well. For this reason, identifying possible induced or triggered seismicity requires more scientific evidence than simply identifying spatial correlations. During recent years, about 99 percent of the earthquakes in the state have occurred within 9 miles of this type of well;

• A direct link of the Jones earthquake swarm to the oil and gas activity cannot be established at this time.

Research into the cause of the earthquakes will continue on several fronts, the authors stated. Future studies could include activity in the vicinity of Prague, Jones, Arcadia Lake, in Love County and other appropriate studies.

The Oklahoma Geological Survey is increasing its resources in the area of earthquake seismology, providing additional capability to not only improve the agency’s monitoring and reporting of earthquakes, its primary duty, but also to better understand key concepts within the context of Oklahoma seismicity and to communicate them to the public. | 341-2121 ext. 108


Text Only
  • earth day 7.jpg Central community learns about water conservation

    Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
    Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
    During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • pic 2.JPG Energy secretary touts CNG fleet conversion

    Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the state is leading the way in converting its fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.
    And, he adds, the state is working to get federal officials engaged in moving its fleet of vehicles in Oklahoma to use CNG.
    Teague made those statements Tuesday during a visit to Champion CNG, 13915 N. Harvey Ave. in Edmond. The visit also coincided with Earth Day.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amber waves turning gray as farms lose younger generation

    Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his 25-year-old son Kelsey announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando.

    April 21, 2014

  • Jolley says Oklahoma common sense needed in Congress

    The conservative values that persuaded voters to elect state Sen. Clark Jolley to the state Legislature 10 years ago have not changed, he said. Jolley will bring the same values to Washington, D.C., if voters elect him to the Congressional 5th District, he said.
    More people today are moving to Oklahoma from Texas than vice versa, Jolley said. State government is solving problems, he added. So what the federal government needs is a lot of Oklahoma common sense solutions, said Jolley, R-Edmond.

    April 21, 2014

  • Edmond up 15 percent in sales tax revenue

    City sales tax receipts for April continued a positive with an increase of 6.03 percent over the same period two years ago, City Manager Larry Stevens said last week.
    The amount received in April 2014 represents sales tax collections from the last half of the month of February and the first half of March according to the office of City Finance Director Ross VanderHamm.

    April 21, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Kaiser joins Thunder ownership group

    Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a new partner in The Professional Basketball Club LLC, which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder Chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement Friday. Kaiser is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.
    “We are honored to welcome George Kaiser as a member of the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Bennett said. “George is a well-respected and important Oklahoma business leader, as well as one of the state and nation’s top philanthropists. His commitment to successful business and community leadership is in true alignment with that of the Thunder.
    “I also appreciate the commitment and leadership provided by Tom Ward as a member of our ownership group from the beginning,” Bennett added.

    April 18, 2014

  • Food Bank’s Leadership Council applications now available

    The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma invites young professionals to submit applications for the nonprofit’s first-ever Leadership Council. The Leadership Council connects young professionals interested in getting involved in their community and state through engagement with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. These dedicated individuals, aged 24 to 35, will volunteer their time and creativity to raise awareness about the issue of hunger and increase the visibility of the Regional Food Bank and its mission of “Fighting Hunger … Feeding Hope” in Oklahoma.

    April 18, 2014