Oil & Gas Regulators Team Up With OK Agencies To Study Earthquakes

Thursday, May 1st 2014, 6:36 pm
By: News 9

Geologists and Oil and Gas regulators from several states are teaming up with Oklahoma agencies to study earthquakes and their connection to injection wells. The coalition recently met for the first time.

The coalition is called "States First," and its goal is to proactively research recent earthquakes and injection wells in multiple states to find common ground.

"It's really advantageous to the state's to get together and share information from Ohio all the way to Texas," said Mike Paque, Executive Director for the Ground Water Protection Council.

In order to take a deep look into induced seismicity, national agencies, such as the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission recently formed the State's First initiative where groups from across the US talk about earthquakes and why they may be happening.

"The hope is that when the work group or after they get into a number of technical sessions that the states that are looking to make some changes will have the best amount of information available," Paque said.

Scientists and state regulators met here at the Ground water council to go over charts, maps and exchange ideas.

Kim Hatfield of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association says the joint-research will show there are multiple reasons behind the uptick in earthquakes.

"Now we have an increase in activity, it's easy to say ‘Oh well, that must be the oil business' because it happened near an oil field well we produce oil in 70 of 77 counties, so it's hard to do anything in Oklahoma that's not near an oilfield," said Kim Hatfield, OIPA Regulatory Chair.

Bringing the best of the best from various fields is the aim for the new coalition. The coalition plans to expand the group to add more scientists and more states, such as California and Illinois.

All the agencies plan meet up again in Biloxi, Mississippi on May 18.