Kansas Regulators Curb Disposal Well Operations to Reduce Earthquakes
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has ordered drilling operations in two counties to cut back on a practice that may be causing earthquakes. The Kansas Corporation Commission issued the order Thursday. It requires drillers in five areas in Harper and Sumner counties in south-central Kansas to reduce the amount of water they inject into underground wells as a part of their businesses. The process is commonly part of the hydraulic fracking technique used to reach previously inaccessible oil and gas deposits. More than 200 earthquakes have been recorded in Kansas since 2013 in an unprecedented spike in seismic activity. Many have been in the two counties. Interim Director Rex Buchanan of the Kansas Geological Survey has said there is a strong correlation between the injection-well process and the dramatic increase in earthquakes.