The quakes have also strained state agencies, which are struggling to keep up with the ongoing swarm while simultaneously developing a longer-term plan to analyze and address factors that might be triggering the earthquakes.
State lawmakers on Tuesday questioned regulators, academics and anti-fracking activists at a capitol hearing examining Oklahoma’s surge of earthquakes. The interim House study centered on oversight of injection wells, which scientists have linked to the quakes.
Oklahoma’s earthquake surge and possible links to oil and gas activity have been studied in scientific papers, discussed at heated town-hall meetings and explored regulatory hearings.
The quakes are now triggering some rumblings at the state Capitol.
About 4,000 earthquakes have shaken Oklahoma this year, data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey show. Most of the quakes have been small — roughly 10 percent were 3.0-magnitude or greater, the threshold at which seismologists say the temblors are likely perceivable.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has stepped up monitoring and inspections of disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state as regulators, scientists and energy companies gather new information on the links between earthquakes and oil and gas production.
Officials with the Corporation Commission — the state’s oil and gas regulator — are focusing on a small fraction of the roughly 12,000 injection wells where oil and gas waste is pumped deep underground, said the agency’s Tim Baker.
Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy will host a meeting to discuss the implementation of SB1456, the distributed electrical energy bill approved by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Mary Fallin earlier this year.
Murphy had called for inclusion of distributed generation in a notice of inquiry on wind generation approved by the commission Tuesday.
Commissioners Patrice Douglas and Bob Anthony, however, wanted to address the issues separately.
Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator filed a contempt complaint this week against the company overseeing a hydraulic fracturing operation in an oil field where 20,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled.
The spill could be the state’s largest related to fracking, says Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner.
The complaint, which accuses the operator of failing to prevent pollution, a violation of state oil and gas rules, directed Blake Vernon, the president of Blake Production Company, to appear before an administrative law judge on Sept. 10.
Voters want to see the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which currently oversees all other electrical generating facilities in the state except for electricity created by wind, to regulate wind energy as well, with 72.4 percent in support.
Results from the latest SoonerPoll indicate that likely Oklahoma voters, who in other polling typically oppose more regulation, believe there is not enough regulation of wind energy development or oversight of wind tax subsidies in the state. Slightly more than two-thirds (68.4%) of Oklahomans support more...
Oklahomans rattled by a surge of earthquakes on Thursday packed a contentious town hall meeting in Edmond and demanded answers and action from public officials.
There was booing and shouts for regulators to impose a moratorium on wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry, which scientists have linked to Oklahoma’s exponential increase in earthquake activity.
An oil company seeking to build a disposal well in earthquake-prone Logan County has agreed to record additional pressure and volume measurements to get a permit from the state’s oil and gas regulator.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Thursday voted 2-0 to approve the disposal well for Kansas-based Slawson Exploration. Commissioner Dana Murphy abstained from the vote “saying she wanted to wait until more seismic data was available,” The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports: