The team at Reveal produced a nifty video on Oklahoma’s earthquake surge that shows, with entertaining visuals, the science of “induced seismicity” — the scientific mechanism that explains how disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry can trigger earthquakes.
Gov. Mary Fallin signed controversial legislation in May outlawing municipal bans on fracking and other oil and gas activities. Officials in some communities are re-examining their local drilling ordinances to comply with the law, which goes into effect later this summer.
One city in southeastern Oklahoma, however, isn’t budging.
Oklahoma’s highest court says a woman who claims oil and gas disposal wells triggered a 5.7-magnitude earthquake that caused injuries to her leg can seek damages in a lower court, the Associated Press reports.
A story detailing how University of Oklahoma officials sought a $25 million donation from an oil executive while scientists at the school formulated a state agency’s position on oil and gas-triggered earthquakes is under fire from both the university president and the billionaire oilman.
A federal judge in Wyoming this week delayed the start of new rules for fracking on federal lands, issuing a temporary stay to give the federal government more time to explain how it developed the rule, The Hill and Casper Star-Tribune report.
The Hill’s Timothy Cama says the ruling is a setback for the Obama administration’s “first major attempt” to regulate fracking. The new, “long-anticipated” rules apply only to oil and gas operations on federal and tribal land, which comprises less than two percent of the land in Oklahoma, but could affect some Oklahoma wells, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs oversees energy production in Osage County in consultation with the Osage Nation. Continue Reading
State environmental regulators shuttered a landfill near Tecumseh in May “after years of ongoing problems” that included multiple fires, dead animals and pools of standing blood, The Oklahoman‘s Brianna Bailey reports. Continue Reading
University of Oklahoma officials sought a $25 million donation from oil billionaire Harold Hamm while scientists at the school formulated a state agency’s position on earthquakes triggered by oil and gas activity, Mike Sorgahan with EnergyWire reports. “They came up with a position that squared with Hamm’s, saying most of the hundreds of earthquakes rattling the state are natural and not caused by the oil industry.”
The vast majority of Oklahoma’s recent earthquakes occurred in areas where the energy industry pumped underground massive amounts of waste fluid byproducts of oil and gas production, scientists write in a new paper published Thursday.
May 2015 was Oklahoma’s wettest month on record. The historic rainfall washed away an economically draining drought that haunted parts of the state for five years. For many wheat farmers in southwestern Oklahoma, however, the record rainfall is too much, too late.
Oklahoma might see a surge of wind projects in the next 18 months as developers rush to install projects before tax incentives expire at the end of 2016, the Tulsa World’s Michael Overall reports.