Oklahoma is synonymous with energy. It’s a major oil and gas state and one of the country’s leaders in wind power. But Oklahoma has been slow on solar energy, and experts say that’s because of state policy — not the sun.
After a swarm of earthquakes recorded near the town of Crescent, which peaked with a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Monday, state regulators asked a pair of oil companies to limit activity at three nearby disposal wells.
Monday’s quake caused light damage. Multiple people reported feeling it in Arkansas, more than 400 miles away
Oklahoma City’s Devon Energy Production and Arkansas-based Stephens Energy Group agreed to shut down the two wells nearest the shaking. Stephens also agreed to cut by half the amount of waste fluid pumped into a third well, says Corporation Commission spokesperson Matt Skinner. Continue Reading
Oklahoma is expected to add an additional 1,440 megawatts in wind energy, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.
The 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck near Prague, Okla., in November 2011 mortally wounded two century-old towers at St. Gregory’s University — a small catholic university and monastery that has become one of the most visible illustrations of Oklahoma’s earthquake surge. Continue Reading
A moratorium on disposal wells proposed by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club and one state lawmaker “could create economic and environmental problems throughout the state,” representatives of the oil and gas industry say, The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.
After months of debate, drafting and deferring, the Stillwater City Council on Monday approved a stricter oil and gas ordinance.
The council unanimously approved the new rules, which were crafted with the input of residents, the energy industry and Senate Bill 809 — legislation that goes into effect in August preventing municipalities from enacting ordinances that ban fracking and other oil and gas activities, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:
The ordinance applies only to new wells. It imposes a 660-foot setback from the property line of “protected use” properties, including homes, churches, parks, schools, libraries and hospitals. It also forbids new structures being built within 400 feet of oil and gas wells put in after the ordinance becomes effective. Continue Reading
Oklahoma oil and gas authorities are expanding regulations on disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state. The orders, known as directives, were issued this week and broaden restrictions issued nearly four months ago. Continue Reading
The Norman City Council has approved a months-long update to the city’s oil and gas ordinance, which was written to comply with a new state law forbidding local governments from banning drilling, fracking and other oil and gas activities, The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.
The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma appears to be accelerating, and the state is responding.
Lawmakers have scheduled capitol hearings and oil and gas regulators will soon issue stricter guidelines on disposal wells linked to the shaking. Future earthquakes are a big concern, but one Oklahoma institution is still dealing with the damage one quake caused nearly four years ago.
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.