Vacant disposal wells may or may not be shut down in Oklahoma.
“Disposal wells must meet the same standards, regardless of whether or not they are operating,” Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said, adding these standards include filing injection reports and passing mechanical integrity tests. “So long as they meet the required operating standards, they can be unused. If they do not meet the standards, they must be plugged.”
There are about 4,500 disposal wells in Oklahoma, he said.
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At any one time, about 3,200 disposal wells are in operation — some only come on every couple of years, and some just dispose for a month or two and shut off for a year, Skinner said.