State oil and gas authorities are finalizing legal action to force a “financially strapped” Oklahoma energy company to abandon disposal wells suspected of contributing to earthquakes.
Sandridge Energy has been defying directives from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to shut down six disposal wells in north-central Oklahoma. Commission staff are finalizing a legal filing that, if approved, could modify permits and halt operation of the wells.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Erin Ailworth on Monday explored possible reasons for Sandridge’s defiance, which was first reported by EnergyWire’s Mike Soraghan.
Sandridge’s refusal to comply is a closely watched challenge to the state’s authority. The company’s earthquake conundrum is one that more drillers could face this year if oil prices continue to languish at low levels. Some of those, like Sandridge, need disposal wells to keep producing crude. Continue Reading
Faults are often revealed “when a series of earthquakes fire off with epicenters in a linear pattern,” The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.
A strong earthquake that woke scores of residents in the Oklahoma City area before dawn Tuesday is shaking regulators and state lawmakers. Continue Reading
No immediate reports of injuries or major damage, but the 4.3-magnitude temblor is blamed for a power outage that affected thousands.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
Bruce Prescott, Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists
Oklahoma Gas and Electric, the state’s largest electricity utility, wants regulators to approve new fees for customers who install solar panels. The request is now in the hands of Oklahoma’s three-member Corporation Commission, which has to weigh the real cost of reliable electricity and put a fair value on power from the sun.
Judge Jacqueline Miller “also said the commission should direct OG&E to provide further evidence of the costs distributed generation customers impose on the grid in its upcoming rate case,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
Chesapeake Energy's Oklahoma City headquarters.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Chesapeake Energy, seeking millions of dollars for landowners who leased land to the Oklahoma City company, our partners at StateImpact Pennsylvania report.
From Marie Cusick:
The Oklahoma City-based driller is one of the most active in Pennsylvania. It was an early adopter of fracking and touts itself as the nation’s second largest producer of natural gas. It’s also been widely accused of unfair business practices – including using below-market gas prices, making improper deductions from royalty payments, and misreporting gas production data.
Kane spokesman Jeff Johnson says the lawsuit could affect more than 4,000 Pennsylvania landowners who signed leases with the company.
“It could conceivably be in the tens of millions of dollars,” he said.
Al Jazeera America’s documentary on Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry-linked earthquake surge airs Dec. 13. The doc includes an unfettered interview with former state seismologist Austin Holland on his last day at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, during which he details industry pressure and conflicts of interest by state officials tasked with studying the shaking.
This is Duke Energy Renewable’s first project in Oklahoma, while Google inked a deal to “buy 200 megawatts of electricity from RES Americas’ Bluestem wind farm to be built in Beaver County,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma.
President Obama and delegates from nearly 200 nations are gathering in Paris to hammer out an agreement to rein in global climate change
World leaders are acknowledging their countries’ contributions to climate change, and are making commitments to improve the environment. But there’s an army of Republicans pushing against Obama’s Paris plan, and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is one of its generals.