Frequent Earthquakes Spur State Investigation Of Water Disposal Well

Sunday, February 16th 2020, 7:58 pm

Investigators said a water disposal well near Quinton was shut down Friday to find out if it is the cause of a string of unusual earthquakes.

Residents said those earthquakes have wreaked havoc on their town. 

"I've lived here for 40 years and we've never had an earthquake. Ever," resident Vickie Adcock said. ?

Adcock, and her nephew James McKibben, said they have lived in Quinton for most of their lives. They've never felt an earthquake until this month. ?

"The whole entire trailer started shaking,” Adcock said. “The windows, stuff fell off the shelves and we jumped up and I screamed, 'Oh my God. What is that?' We had six [earthquakes] that night right in a row.”

"I didn't know what to think about it. It freaked me out a little bit," McKibben said.

According to Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner, there have been about a dozen earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or more in the past month.

"In fact, Quinton has been a very quiet area,” Skinner said. “Suddenly, in the past few months, it’s lit up.”

The OCC has been looking for wells that could have a connection to the earthquakes.

"[The well] is permitted for the Simpson Formation, which is one formation above the Arbuckle. The Arbuckle being the layer of rock that is linked to a lot of earthquake activity in Oklahoma," Skinner said.

Skinner said the investigation comes after the OCC reviewed WaterBridge's logs. Skinner didn't specify exactly what led them to investigate but said they will be looking at the well's operation closely.

"In this case, the criteria is simply, ‘Is there anything there that looks to be an anomaly or is anomaly that we need to look at more closely?’" Skinner said.

Skinner said the OCC has shut down a number of disposal wells in the state --- which has greatly decreased the amount of earthquakes.

?He said WaterBridge is sending waste water to other disposal wells. The closure has not affected residents. 

The investigation is ongoing and the shut down of the well is indefinite, according to Skinner.

We reached out to WaterBridge Resources LLC, who are based out of Houston, Texas. We have not heard back. ?

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