Oklahoma Residents Sue 12 Energy Companies Following Earthquakes

January 14, 2016

A group of Edmond residents has filed a lawsuit against 12 energy companies, claiming that their saltwater disposal wells were partly to blame for earthquakes in central Oklahoma in recent weeks.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction to stop the use of 16 disposal wells operated by the companies.

The Oklahoman reports that the lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma County District Court Monday. Nine homeowners claim that the companies acted negligently and their use of disposal wells constituted an “ultrahazardous activity,” and contributed to the earthquakes of magnitudes 4.3 and 4.2 in the Edmond area on Dec. 29 and Jan. 1 that damaged their homes. No injuries were reported.

Some of the companies named in the lawsuit include affiliates of Devon Energy Corp. A spokesman for the company said it could not comment on pending litigation.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission asked operators of five nearby injection wells las week to reduce disposal volumes in response to the Edmond-area earthquakes.

The commission said that none of the disposal wells in Edmond were the type of high-volume wells, which inject more than 25,000 barrels of saltwater per day, that were targeted in previous regulatory directives in areas of increased earthquake activity.

According to the commission, Devon’s Harvey 1-11 and Pedestal Oil’s C.J. Judy agreed to suspend operations.

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