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Shane Matson, with BlueJacket Energy, addresses Osage Nation members, oil and gas producers and staff from federal regulatory agencies during the Osage Minerals Council’s Oil and Gas Summit Wednesday at the Osage Casino Hotel in Skiatook.
Sarah Terry-Cobo / The Journal Record

Leaders of the Osage Nation want to develop oil and gas on their land in northeastern Oklahoma. The tribe's Minerals Council told attendees at a conference Wednesday in Skiatook they’re ready for another energy boom. The Osage Nation can’t approve drilling on its own land. That authority rests with the federal government. Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear wants to develop a plan to pay for infrastructure that could help the oil and gas industry produce more. He said royalties will benefit children...

Monthly wastewater injection into disposal wells in the Arbuckle formation from 2000 to July 2016. A team of Stanford scientists found earthquake rate changes follow changes of the injection rate with a time delay of several months.
Science Advances

Scientists may have a promising seismic forecast for Oklahoma over the next few years: A lot less shaky with a smaller chance for damaging earthquakes. Newly published research bolsters a growing body of scientific findings linking the state’s earthquake boom and the underground injection of large amounts of wastewater from oil and gas production, but suggests the shaking could taper off after 2016. In a paper published in the journal Science Advances , Stanford University geophysicists...

Donald Trump campaigning at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From board rooms to drilling rigs, much of the U.S. fossil fuel industry has been counting down the days until President Barack Obama turns over the keys of the White House. Donald Trump doesn’t officially take the wheel of the nation’s energy policy for a couple of months, but Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry says its prospects have already improved under the president-elect. On the campaign trail, Trump wooed energy state voters and industry leaders. He promised to restore coal mining jobs...

A drilling rig in northwestern Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime oil and gas play.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma legislators are under pressure to fund teacher raises and pay for health insurance coverage, workers comp, criminal justice initiatives and state prisons from a pool of money that could be $600 million short of what’s needed. Some energy executives appear to be responding with a proactive warning: Don’t try to fix the budget by raising the industry’s taxes or cutting its incentives. Many of the methods used to help fill 2016′s $1.3 billion budget hole were one-time fixes, meaning...

Earthquake damage at a home in rural Pawnee County, September 3, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Attorneys are asking a judge in Pawnee County to approve a class-action lawsuit against oil and gas companies after the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the area in September. The action was brought on behalf of Pawnee resident James Adams. If a judge approves, other residents could join the lawsuit against oil and gas companies operating wastewater disposal wells in the area. Attorneys will argue wastewater pumped into wells in and around the town in northeastern Oklahoma helped trigger...

A rig hand on a Triad Energy horizontal drilling operation near Alva, Okla. Company CEO Mike McDonald says he likely wouldn't have drilled the well with out a tax break Oklahoma's House Speaker has proposed making permanent.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Energy industry experts say Oklahoma’s oil and gas plays could soon become the hottest in the country due to several geological factors that make it a good place for commodities. The so-called STACK play is favored by many drillers, because it has many rock layers to extract petroleum from. Those layers are stacked on top of one another, and could mean could mean oil wells in Oklahoma are more productive than in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo...

Graphic showing stress change after the 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck near Fairview in February 2016.
American Geophysical Union

Wastewater injection into clusters of high-rate disposal wells likely triggered a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck western Oklahoma in February 2016, new research suggests. The earthquake near Fairview produced a large blast of seismic energy that spawned a series of widely felt aftershocks. The quake is now considered one of the largest ever linked to the oil industry practice of pumping toxic water produced during drilling into underground disposal wells, U.S. Geological Survey research...

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say Oklahoma oil and gas regulators should “consider a moratorium” of waste-fluid disposal in its most seismically active areas. The suggestion was made in the federal agency’s annual review of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s oversight of disposal wells, which Energy Wire’s Mike Soraghan obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request: State officials from Republican Gov. Mary Fallin on down previously have rejected activists...

A Devon Energy disposal well near Stillwater, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson both say energy policy needs to be included in the national political debate, but they disagree on a transmission line project that would move wind energy from the Oklahoma panhandle to western Tennessee. Fallin currently chairs the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and Hutchinson takes over that role next year. Both spoke Monday at the group's annual conference in Little Rock. Fallin says she supports the Plains & Eastern Clean...

Mona Denney surveys earthquake damage inside her home near Pawnee, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. Geological Survey is upgrading the strength of an earthquake that shook the state on Sept. 3 to 5.8 magnitude. That change makes the Labor Day weekend temblor the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma. The quake is the latest in a seismic surge researchers say has largely been fueled by the oil industry practice of pumping waste fluid into underground disposal wells. Like many Oklahomans, Sherri Laird was in bed when the earthquake hit. “My husband and I had to hold onto...

Donald Trump at a campaign stop at the Oklahoma State Fair in September 2015.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Donald Trump is wooing energy-state voters by promising a presidency that will champion coal, promote drilling and free frackers from federal regulations limiting oil and gas development. If the Republican candidate’s energy platform sounds like it was written specifically for fossil fuel companies, that’s because an Oklahoma oil billionaire helped craft it. Donald Trump delivered his first major speech on U.S. energy policy at a petroleum conference in the capital city of one the country’s...

Gary Matli, a field inspector supervisor for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, checks on a Craig Elder Oil and Gas disposal well located east of Guthrie, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The oil and gas industry practice of pumping waste fluid into disposal wells is likely responsible for Oklahoma’s exponential surge in earthquake activity. State officials initially were reluctant to publicly acknowledge the link, which was made in numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers . That changed in 2015. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, is now more frequently ordering plug-backs and issuing quake-related shutdowns and volume limits at disposal...

A disposal well in northwestern Oklahoma operated by Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is still experiencing an unusually large amount of shaking, but the rate of earthquakes recorded in 2016 is down from last year. The slowdown is likely due to reductions in the amount of waste-fluid the oil industry is pumping into disposal wells, which are thought to be causing most of the shaking. And there are two big reasons for those fluid volume cutbacks: Increased regulation, and a decrease in oil and gas activity, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Robert Williams tells USA...

Wind turbines at dusk
Samir Luther / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahoma remained No. 4 in the U.S. in installed wind power capacity during the second quarter of 2016, but a national industry group expects the state to move up the ranks by the end of the year. No new wind farms have been completed in recent months, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association, but more than 1,100 megawatts are currently under construction, The Oklahoman’ s Paul Monies reports : Oklahoma has 5,453 megawatts of wind capacity installed, after adding 270...

Customers pump gas at the OnCue Express at Interstate 35 and S. Fourth Street in Moore.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A new study from JP Morgan Chase found that low gas prices led most consumers to spend their money on restaurants and retail, rather than increasing savings or paying down debt. Oklahoma City’s drop - as a portion of income – was three or four times greater than many other large metro areas, even when regional price differences are factored in, The Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports: Oklahoma City ranked in the top 10 metros with an average decline of 1.2 percent in fuel spending between...

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