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Oklahoma officials team up to study earthquakes

Regulators and geological surveys from 10 states, including Oklahoma, are working together to study the possible connection between increased seismic activity and injection wells.
BY JAY F. MARKS, Business Writer Modified: April 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: April 29, 2014
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Two national groups based in Oklahoma City are building a multistate coalition to look into the possible connection between earthquakes and injection wells used by the oil and natural gas industry.

Regulators and geological surveys from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Ohio gathered in Oklahoma City for part of two days last month to share expertise and studies related to their unexplained increase in seismic activity, said Gerry Baker, associate executive director of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

The commission organized the coalition with the Ground Water Protection Council.

Baker said geology varies across the country, but officials still have plenty of research and experience to share, especially since representatives from Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, Colorado and California have joined the conversation on induced seismicity.

“It’s a good knowledge base,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to learn from each other rather than having to reinvent the wheel.”

2013 sets record

Oklahoma has experienced a rising number of earthquakes, with 2013 bringing more quakes than any other year in recorded state history.

Studies by the Oklahoma Geological Society, U.S. Geological Society and others are ongoing, without any consensus.

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