Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

“Oklahoma Corporation Commission Rejects $1.1 Billion Rate Hike Proposal By OG&E”

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.


This morning the Oklahoma Corporation Commission rejected a plan by the state’s largest utility that could’ve raised monthly utility rates by nearly 20 percent over the next half-decade. Oklahoma Gas & Electric made the $1.14 billion request in order to pay for upgrades that would put coal-fired power plants in compliance with the federal Clean Air Act.

Read more at: kgou.org

Fallin Directs Officials to Discuss Alternatives for Quake-Linked Wastewater

Gov. Mary Fallin speaking at the 2013 Governor's Energy Conference in Tulsa, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin speaking at the 2013 Governor's Energy Conference in Tulsa, Okla.

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.

Continue Reading

A Popular, But Poorly Understood Oklahoma Rock Layer is Keeping Earthquake Secrets

Jay Storm, left, the completions superintendent for Eagle Energy Exploration, and a service company worker oversee the plug-back of the George No. 1 saltwater disposal well.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Eagle Energy Exploration disposal well site in May 2015, where workers plugged-back an Arbuckle disposal well regulators said was drilled too deep.

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

Oil Company Makes New Quake Plans After Shaking Near U.S. Storage Hub in Oklahoma

Tanker trucks unloading oil at a Phillips 66 terminal in Cushing, Okla., home to the largest commercial crude oil storage in the U.S.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Tanker trucks unloading oil at a Phillips 66 terminal in Cushing, Okla., home to the largest commercial crude oil storage in the U.S.

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

Southwest Oklahoma Cities Turn to Dredging as Silt Slowly Strangles Lakes

Dave Taylor, director of the Waurika Lake Master Conservancy District, checks on one of the water pumps at the lake's pump house, which send water to communities like Lawton and Duncan.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Dave Taylor, director of the Waurika Lake Master Conservancy District, checks on one of the water pumps at the lake's pump house, which send water to communities like Lawton and Duncan.

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.

Continue Reading

“Oil Industry Study Indicates Few Oklahoma Wells are Linked to Earthquakes; USGS Geophysicist Thinks Percentage is Larger”

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.’”


However, the peer-reviewed paper that was cited uses computer simulations of wastewater-injection rates within a set radius of a specific swarm of earthquakes. The parameters don’t cover all of Oklahoma but only 89 wells within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of a swarm near Jones from 1995 to 2012. The state has about 3,200 disposal wells. “A lot of these studies do use models like that, and so a lot of it is kind of speculative,” said Katie Brown, spokeswoman for Energy In Depth, noting that the national figures cited in the report are culled from other peer-reviewed studies related to each state’s seismicity and wastewater wells.

Read more at: www.tulsaworld.com

Why Quakes and Shaky Finances Could Crumble an Oklahoma Energy Company

An oil and gas operation in the Mississippi Lime formation in northwestern Oklahoma

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An oil and gas operation in northwestern Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime formation.

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.

Continue Reading

“Oklahoma Politicians Slam Pipeline’s Denial By the Obama Administration”

Some Oklahoma oil and gas producers were silent, but “there was no shortage of political reaction,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports.


The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association said Obama’s rejection was a “continuation of the administration’s war on fossil fuels.” Arnella Karges, the association’s executive vice president, said five supplemental State Department environmental reviews found the Keystone XL pipeline would have “minimal environmental impact.”

On Twitter, Boone Pickens said the Keystone XL saga has been a “national embarrassment and a failure of leadership.” Arnella Karges, the association’s executive vice president, said five supplemental State Department environmental reviews found the Keystone XL pipeline would have “minimal environmental impact.”

On Twitter, Boone Pickens said the Keystone XL saga has been a “national embarrassment and a failure of leadership.”

Read more at: newsok.com

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education