OG&E Spokesman Randy Swanson tells StateImpact the state’s largest utility is disappointed in the Corporation Commission’s decision. “We’ve still got to get this done,” he says.
The 36th annual Oklahoma Governor’s Water Conference in Norman included the usual fare: updates on regional water plans, drought mitigation, and experts from other states sharing their water insights. But Gov. Mary Fallin came with a new idea to save water — and reduce earthquakes.
Fallin told the crowd Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry injected 1.5 billion barrels of wastewater from fracking into the ground last year, a process scientists have linked to the state’s earthquake swarm.
Researchers studying Oklahoma’s energy industry-linked earthquake surge and state regulators eager to quell the shaking have circled the wagons around a specific class of wells companies fill with wastewater and other fluid byproducts of oil and gas production.
Once it’s injected, these disposal wells transport waste fluid from the surface deep underground, often into the Arbuckle formation.
This formation is popular — and poorly understood. But scientists, state officials and the oil and gas industry are in a rush to figure it out, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth and Paul Monies report in a pair of stories. Here are some key questions about the Arbuckle formation: Continue Reading
Phillips 66, a refiner with 700,000 barrels of storage capacity in Cushing, Okla., “has overhauled how it plans for earthquakes, a sign U.S. energy companies are starting to react to rising seismicity around the world’s largest crude hub,” Reuters’ Liz Hampton reports.
The changes include new protocols for inspecting the health of crude tanks, potentially halting operations after temblors, and monitoring quake alerts. Continue Reading
Oklahoma Corporation Commission issues new oil-field restrictions after a series of widely felt earthquakes near Fairview. Continue reading
Oklahoma’s lakes weren’t built to last forever. Over time, dirt and debris are slowly filling them in. Right now, there’s no good way to solve the problem, but cities that rely on Waurika Lake are turning to costly and complicated efforts to save their water supply from silt.
A report released the oil and gas industry suggests only 0.5 percent disposal wells throughout the U.S. have been linked or suspected as a possible cause of earthquakes, the Tulsa World reports. “However, a spokeswoman for the group acknowledges that many of the studies cited in the report use models rather than actual wells, making such figures ‘speculative.’”
Bison on the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oklahoma live a quiet life. Most come into contact with humans just once a year. November is a noisy time when fur flies, calves whine and hooves stomp. The chaotic scene is critical to keeping the herd healthy. Continue Reading
As SandRidge Energy struggles with $4.6 billion in debt and a faltering stock price that’s threatening its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the Oklahoma City oil and gas company is facing another problem: Earthquakes and new regulations designed to slow the shaking:
The Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports:
SandRidge Energy Inc.’s most important assets are at the epicenter of Oklahoma’s ongoing earthquake problem. The driller’s precarious financial position, combined with the risk it faces from temblor swarms near its wastewater injection wells, could cause the company to become insolvent if regulators shut down its disposal wells.
Some Oklahoma oil and gas producers were silent, but “there was no shortage of political reaction,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.