Corporation Commission

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities on Tuesday ordered cutbacks at disposal wells in north-central Oklahoma.

The restrictions come after a barrage of earthquakes near the town of Medford.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma regulators, agency officials and lawmakers at a capitol hearing on Friday gave a mixed review of the state’s response to earthquakes linked to oil and gas production.

The Senate Energy Committee meeting underscored the ongoing challenge of predicting and preventing potential disaster while preserving the economically vital industry that could cause it.

Russell Lee / Library of Congress

An upsurge of earthquakes linked to the oil and gas industry continues to rattle Oklahoma, but new research suggests most of the significant earthquakes recorded in the state over the last century also were likely triggered by drilling activity.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging Oklahoma oil and gas officials to issue more regulatory actions to stem the surge of industry-linked earthquakes.

An EPA review that concluded Sept. 29 recommends the Oklahoma Corporation Commission “implement additional regulatory actions … including further reduction of injection volumes,” EnergyWire’s Mike Soraghan reports.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Marjo Operating Co. Inc. is the first oil and gas operator to challenge regulatory actions issued by state regulators attempting to curb an ongoing surge of earthquakes linked to the industry.

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.


Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Wastewater spills worsened as drilling boomed in major oil- and gas-producing states,a new year-long investigation from the Associated Press shows. Those states, including Oklahoma, rely on the oil and gas industry to self-report such spills and rarely fine or punish companies, the AP’s John Flesher reports.


Linda N. / Flickr

Oklahoma Gas and Electric is proposing a new “demand charge” be levied on customers who install rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines.

The suggested rate structure was filed with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which has to approve so-called “distributed generation” tariffs for OG&E and Public Service Co. by the end of the year, The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports. OG&E says the new billing structure will eliminate the “subsidization” of solar customers by traditional customers:

The subsidization issue was one used by OG&E and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma to push for Senate Bill 1456, which passed in 2014.

The utilities said distributed generation customers still rely on the grid for electricity when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Under current billing options, some fixed costs are captured in the kilowatt-hour energy charges that vary by customer usage. The utilities claim rooftop solar users aren’t paying their fair share for poles, transformers, transmission lines and other fixed costs at the times of the day when they’re getting most of their electricity from solar generation.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities on Monday ordered the operators of 23 disposal wells in two counties to reduce the amount of wastewater pumped underground.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After a swarm of earthquakes recorded near the town of Crescent, which peaked with a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Monday, state regulators asked a pair of oil companies to limit activity at three nearby disposal wells.

Monday’s quake caused light damage. Multiple people reported feeling it in Arkansas, more than 400 miles away