HOUSTON (Reuters) – Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator on Tuesday released new requirements aimed at reducing the risk of earthquakes from hydraulic fracturing in shale regions in central and southern areas of the state. The new protocol, issued by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), comes in addition to existing rules that apply to a 15,000 square mile area targeted by the regulator for its high rate of temblors from wastewater injection. The new requirements are aimed at completion activities in the SCOOP and STACK shale producing areas, where drilling is picking up as U.S. oil prices have climbed above $60 a barrel this year. The state in recent years saw a surge in earthquakes due to the injection of saltwater produced from oil and gas drilling activities into disposal wells. In 2015, there were 903 magnitude 3.0 or higher earthquakes, versus just 41 temblors of that intensity five years […]

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