"We are looking at these wells and going over them with a fine-tooth comb… looking for anything that might trigger seismicity," Skinner said. "We can't leave anything to chance because something is happening here that no one understands."
The rules taking effect next month require well operators to make daily reports on volume and pressure of wastewater injection instead of monthly reports, as previously required.
Many wells must have seismic monitoring equipment, and testing of certain large disposal wells now must take place annually, instead of every five years. Regulators also can require testing of any well, large or small, at any given time.
Regulators are deploying inspectors to wells and monitoring whether pressure and volumes of wastewater injections are within regulatory limits. So far this year, regulators temporarily shut down at least 10 wells. One remains closed.
"If a well has a minor infraction or anomaly, it is no longer minor. They are shut in until they are fixed," said Skinner.
While the state increases scrutiny, action in the courts already has begun. On Aug. 4, a woman from Prague, Oklahoma, sued New Dominion and Spess Oil, blaming them for injuries she suffered when a fireplace in her home broke apart in a series of earthquakes magnitude 5.0 and larger that struck Prague in November 2011.
A spokesperson for Spess declined comment on the lawsuit, and New Dominion did not respond to interview requests.