ENID, Okla. — Earthquakes in 2017 have decreased significantly in Oklahoma this year compared with the last few years, United States Geological Survey records show.

There have been 135 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma so far this year, according to the USGS. At this same time last year on June 30, 2016, there had been 401 magnitude 3.0 or higher quakes. The year before, by June 30, 2015, there had been 465 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes.

Wastewater injections were linked to many of these earthquakes, according to state seismologists. The significant decline in earthquakes of magnitude 2.8 or greater came as a result of regulatory restrictions.

The lower amount of earthquakes are linked to the targeted shutdowns of wells, said Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. “Researchers agree that the actions taken by the OCC have reduced seismicity,” he said.

Additionally, Skinner said the regulatory agency is planning ahead to keep the numbers down.

“Looking ahead, we have restricted future volumes as well, so as the activity is now picking up, we will not see a drastic increase in volumes disposed into the Arbuckle in the 15,000 square mile AOI (Area of Interest),” Skinner said.

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