More earthquakes hit Oklahoma — concern rises as wastewater injection continues

Local damage in Edmonds homes over here

A 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck north Oklahoma City early on New Year’s Day, the latest in a series of temblors in the area in recent days that has prompted state regulators to call for more restrictions on oil and gas operators.

No injuries and only minor damage were reported with the quake, which struck at 5.39am on Friday near Edmond, about 16 miles north-east of Oklahoma City…

The city of Edmond reported about 4,400 power outages in the area shortly after the quake, but it was not clear if the two were related and power was restored within a few hours.

The temblor is the latest of at least a dozen since Tuesday, when a 4.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded.

Oklahoma has become one of the most earthquake-prone areas in the world, with the number of quakes magnitude 3.0 or greater skyrocketing from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 800 in 2015.

Many of the earthquakes are occurring in swarms in areas where injection wells pump salty wastewater – a byproduct of oil and gas production – deep into the earth. As a result, state regulators have begun reducing the volume or shutting down disposal wells in response.

…the Edmond area has not previously been associated with the activity.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission issued a statement on Friday saying its Oil and Gas Division staff would have blah, blah, blah – to say on Monday.

Remember, folks. This is Oklahoma. Politicians oppose pretty much any policies not called for in the Old Testament. My experience in the oil industry suggests a few more buck$ will magically appear in campaign funds, decisions about sanity and safety will be pushed back until a disaster the size of a world-class tornado occurs. Even then, change will be managed county-by-county. Back-slappers with full wallets still rule Oil Country.

Sheila the runaway sheep could set new record

Sheila the runaway sheep

A Tasmanian sheep farmer has rescued a very woolly beast, estimated to be carrying about 30kg of wool, that had been trapped by the roadside.

Derek Turvey, a Buckland farmer, received a call from a neighbour last Saturday to tell him a passerby had found the sheep stuck in a culvert.

The locals had seen the runaway sheep,carrying a substantial amount of wool on its back, over the past two months in a eucalypt plantation.

“We knew it was there somewhere but we just couldn’t find it in the plantation,” Turvey told Guardian Australia…

Turvey, who runs about 2,000 sheep on his property, thinks it might be one of his that wandered off a number of years ago. His farm borders the plantation in the bushland of south-eastern Tasmania and he says it is easy to lose track of the odd lost animal.

“There’s always a few that go missing and turn up later on, but this one was quite a bit later on,” he said.

The animal was dubbed Sheila and it will be shorn on Monday morning along with a couple of other stragglers…

“You’ve got to use a totally different technique to get the wool off them because the weight of the wool pulls the skin,” he said. “Instead of sitting it up and shearing it you have to lay it on the floor and gradually roll it over.”

He is hoping the end product might beat the Tasmanian record of 23.5kg – currently held by Shaun who was found in the midlands in 2014 – but it will not be worth much.

“It’s worth very little because the machine they use to process wool just isn’t designed for wool of that length,” he said…

Shaun hadn’t been shorn in six years and while the wool was not worth much at market, several offers in the thousands of dollars came in from overseas…

Still, might be carded and spun the old-fashioned way into some amazing yarn. And, eventually, sweaters. Lots of sweaters. 🙂