energy

A group of state energy officials, researchers and industry experts issued a report Monday offering guidance on how to handle earthquakes triggered by oil and gas activity.

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

While the research connecting Oklahoma’s earthquake surge to oil and gas activity is built on algorithms, statistical analysis and computer models of fluid flow and seismic energy, monitoring compliance with regulatory actions designed to stop the shaking relies on muddy, manual fieldwork.


The oil boom that burst forth in western North Dakota seven years ago had both positive and negative effects on the region. While the increase in wealth and new opportunities for young people were welcomed, they brought along with them increased crime and congestion.

But this fall, the town of Alexander, N.D., is celebrating one unexpected upside of the oil boom: the Alexander Comets.

The Comets are a six-man football team (the school is still too small for an 11-man team). This is the students' first season playing, and the town's first season in 28 years.

Pope Francis during a 2014 visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
European Parliament / Flickr

In a 184-page encyclical assigning moral responsibility to the fight against climate change, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out its addiction to fossil fuels.

Gov. Mary Fallin speaking at the 2013 Governor's Energy Conference in Tulsa, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Executives of oil and coal companies pushed Gov. Mary Fallin to “pay more attention” to their industries in public remarks, according to state emails obtained by Greenwire.

The emails, obtained through the Oklahoma Open Records Act, detail internal discussions as Fallin’s prepared for the 2013 Governor’s Energy Conference, Manuel Quiñones and Mike Soraghan report.

A map from the Corporation Commission details the quake-related disposal well actions issued on Sept. 18, 2015.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission

State oil and gas authorities on Friday limited activity at five disposal wells after a string of earthquakes recorded near the city of Cushing.

A wave of small quakes has struck near the city in recent days. On Friday morning, a magnitude 3.8 to 4.1-magnitude temblor was recorded. No damage has been reported.

pumping gas
futureatlas.com / Flickr Creative Commons

Gasoline prices across parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma are at some of their lowest levels in more than a decade, aiding consumers but worrying segments of the economy that rely on oil prices being high.

The Oklahoman reported Thursday that prices could fall to around $1.70 for a gallon of regular gasoline in Oklahoma by the end of the year, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said nationwide prices could reach an average of $2.03 per gallon in December.

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

While the research connecting Oklahoma’s earthquake surge to oil and gas activity is built on algorithms, statistical analysis and computer models of fluid flow and seismic energy, monitoring compliance with regulatory actions designed to stop the shaking relies on muddy, manual fieldwork.

TURN DOWN THE VOLUME

A lesser prairie chicken photographed in New Mexico.
Larry Lamsa / Flickr

A Texas federal judge on Tuesday overturned endangered species protections for the lesser prairie chicken.

U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t properly consider a voluntary conservation plan established for Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico before listing the bird as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) speaks to an audience Sept 2, 2015 at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio traveled to Oklahoma City Wednesday to preview his national energy strategy.

The junior Republican Senator from Florida’s plan centers on expanding the oil and gas industry and rolling back regulations championed by President Obama.

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