Corporation Commission meetings are usually pretty dull, but the Sept. 11 technical conference on wind energy was standing room only. It was lively — and theatrical.Continue Reading
Insufficient rains and increasing demand put enormous pressure on Oklahoma’s water resources both on the surface and underground. But it’s also hard to overstate the role evaporation plays in the drought.
The oil and gas industry has been part of the problem, storing tens of millions of gallons of water needed for the hydraulic fracturing process in large, open pits, leaving it to be ravaged by evaporation until the water is needed.
As The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board’s J.D. Strong says the industry has to change its ways “to help the state meet its Water for 2060 goal of using no more water in 2060 as was used in 2012.” Continue Reading
A 5.3-magnitude quake that struck Colorado in 2011 was likely caused by wastewater injection, according to a new paper published in the Bulletin of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. The study “adds more detail to a growing body of work seeking to establish and explain the connection between human activity and seismic events, known as induced quakes,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
An Oklahoma City attorney who challenged the constitutionality of a bill that changed the effective tax rate levied on oil and gas drillers asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday to dismiss his lawsuit.
From The Oklahoman‘s Rick Green:
Jerry Fent, of Oklahoma City, told the court that “upon further consideration and for the benefit of those herein and hereout” he was filing for the lawsuit to be dismissed, with prejudice, meaning it could not be refiled. He said he still has a separate lawsuit pending against an income tax reduction measure.
Water supplies in southwest Oklahoma are in danger of drying up as four years of drought drag lake levels to record lows. Some communities are scrambling to supplement their current water sources, while others look for new sources — in Texas.Continue Reading
The City of Tulsa “has been buying out homeowners and limiting development near the Arkansas River to help prevent flooding from severe storms,” and there are drought-minded efforts to push for more water conservation, the AP reports.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has stepped up monitoring and inspections of disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state as regulators, scientists and energy companies gather new information on the links between earthquakes and oil and gas production.
Officials with the Corporation Commission — the state’s oil and gas regulator — are focusing on a small fraction of the roughly 12,000 injection wells where oil and gas waste is pumped deep underground, said the agency’s Tim Baker. Continue Reading
A state representative from north-central Oklahoma on Tuesday questioned whether the state was properly inspecting oil and gas wells and had the rules necessary to prevent contamination of water supplies. Continue Reading
At last week’s energy conference, Gov. Mary Fallin announced the formation of the group, which is “designed to help researchers, policymakers, regulators and the oil and natural gas industry study the state’s ongoing earthquake swarm,” The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.
Last week, the city council in Duncan discussed moving to Stage 4 water rationing, which would limit outdoor watering to just one day per week. Now, officials in Lawton are instituting tougher city-wide water restrictions. Continue Reading