Encana halts Oklahoma well completion following quake by Liz Hampton, July 25, 2019, Reuters in Financial Post, Last Updated July 25, 2019
Oklahoma following two earthquakes within a day in the same area, the state’s oil and gas regulator said on Thursday.
The company paused operations for 12 hours after a 3.2 magnitude quake hit late Wednesday in Kingfisher, a county about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Oklahoma City. A second quake measured at a 3.9 magnitude struck while operations were paused, prompting the company to stop activity at the well.
A spokesperson for Encana did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Several years ago, Oklahoma suffered a spike in earthquakes that authorities tied to the underground disposal of saltwater, a byproduct of oil and gas production. Some earthquakes, such as the two that occurred on Wednesday, may be linked to well completion activities, authorities have said.
Limits on disposal wells adopted by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) and oil companies have reduced the frequency of those temblors, with the state experiencing less than one earthquake of magnitude 3.0 or higher per day on average this year, compared with more than two a day of the same strength in 2015.
Last year, the state regulator developed a protocol to address earthquakes that could be linked to well completion activity.
The Induced Seismicity Department of the OCC said it held a meeting with the company on Thursday to discuss mitigation measures following the quake.
Swarm of more than two dozen earthquakes halts Kingfisher oil operation by Cassandra Sweetman, Oklahoma News4, July 25, 2019
A swarm of earthquakes hit Kingfisher County in numbers officials haven’t seen in years.
More than two dozen quakes were tracked by the Oklahoma Geological Survey west of Kingfisher between Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Many in the area didn’t feel them, but there were a couple that had the Oklahoma Corporation Commission concerned.
“The whole idea is to reduce the chance of a felt earthquake,” said Corporation Commission spokesperson Matt Skinner. [Seems the frac quake mitigation isn’t working!]
The first was a magnitude 3.2 located within five kilometers of a well site in the middle of a well completion operation, owned by Encana.
“It just, boom, 3.2,” Skinner said. “You’re going to feel that, and so they immediately shut down for 12 hours.”
A few hours later, a 3.9 quake hit nearby. Encana made the decision to cease operations indefinitely.
“If they see activity, of course, they can take action at an earlier stage,” Skinner said, “but they have to take action at a 2 in magnitude.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Encana said in a statement:
“Encana immediately shut down operations on our wellsite after the occurrence of the first seismic event yesterday evening. The wellsite will be shut down until we’ve had a chance to do a thorough technical review. We have had significant experience with this type of event, and we have a plan in place and will work with the OCC on its safe implementation. The operating procedures that we follow, which are required by the OCC, help us manage the occurrence and magnitude of induced seismicity. In addition, these procedures help us ensure the safety of our employees onsite and also those in the surrounding community. “
If the company wants to continue operations on that site, they’ll have to first have technical talks with the OCC to get the go-ahead.
4.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rattle Kingfisher County by News9.com, July 25th 2019
KINGFISHER COUNTY, Oklahoma – Several earthquakes rattled homes overnight Thursday north of the Oklahoma City metro.
The USGA reported at least three earthquakes in Kingfisher County.
The biggest quake had a 4.0 magnitude and took place just before 1 a.m.
There are currently no reports of damage.
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