The state of Oklahoma is looking to tighten regulation on fracking wastewater injection operations, in a bid to find out more about the possible link between oil and gas drilling and the series of earthquakes in the past couple of years. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has approved new rules that would require fracking companies to record the volume of injected wastewater and the pressure at which it is injected underground on a daily basis and they should be ready to provide this information upon request.
Before the rules can be implemented the proposal needs to be approved by the Legislature and will need to be signed by the governor, News OK reported.
Currently, fracking companies are required to collect such data once a month and are expected to submit data annually. But according to the commission, many operators voluntarily gathered data more frequently and some of them have provided the data when needed. The new rules will allow for quicker collection of data and a more detailed analysis in the event of an earthquake.
Proposing the new rules was a joint effort by the industry, the state's Geological Survey and the commission, said Commissioner Dana Murphy. The commission hopes that by offering scientists thorough data they will be able to determine whether an earthquake was in any way linked to wastewater injections.