The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has directed a wastewater disposal well to reduce its volume of injection after more than a dozen earthquakes rattled part of northwest Oklahoma since Friday.
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded three quakes Monday, including one near Covington now rated magnitude 4.5 after a preliminary rating of 4.3. Magnitude 3.3 and 2.8 quakes were also recorded Monday in the area about 55 miles north of Oklahoma City.
"Because of strong earthquake activity in the Covington/Douglas area of Garfield County, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division (OGCD) has directed a wastewater disposal well in the area to reduce disposed volume into the Arbuckle formation from 17,000 barrels a day to 5,000 barrels a day. This is an on-going situation, and further actions are possible."
Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg says there are no reports of injury or severe damage. Damage typically begins with magnitude 4.0 or stronger earthquakes, but Honigsberg notes that the area is very rural.
Many of the thousands of earthquakes in Oklahoma in recent years have been linked to wastewater injection by oil and natural gas producers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.