Oklahoma has long been known for the wind sweeping down the plains.

Nowadays, however, the state is becoming better known as the leader in seismic activity.

This leaves the public asking how all of the shake, rattle and roll is related to the oil and gas industry.

In an effort to help rural landowners gain a better understanding of issues stemming from the oil and gas industry, specialists with Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and Oklahoma State University will share information at two seminars in Woods and Alfalfa counties.

Both of the “Oil and Gas Issues for Rural Landowners” seminars will take place Thursday.

The first seminar will be 1-4 p.m. at the Northwest Technology Center, 1801 S. 11th Alva.

The second will be 6-9 p.m. at Alfalfa County Fairgrounds, 520 W. 5th, Cherokee.

The seminars are free and open to the public.

“The oil and gas industry has certainly seen highs and lows in recent years, but one thing that remains constant is the fact rural landowners will always be at the center of oil and gas development,” said Shannon Ferrell, extension agricultural law specialist.

“These half-day workshops will introduce a number of resources available to help manage the issues faced by landowners when their property is used for oil and gas development.” 

Todd Halihan, a professor with OSU’s Department of Geology, will be a featured speaker at both seminars.

His presentation, “Oklahoma Earthquakes: Discussing Science to Inform Policy,” will take a look at the science behind induced seismicity and injection wells, as well as illustrate some of the issues and decisions being made in an effort to reduce seismicity in the state.

Ferrell said it is important for rural landowners to know their rights when it comes to oil and gas exploration, even when they do not own the minerals underlying their property.

Other topics on the agenda include understanding and negotiating mineral leases; negotiating surface estate agreements such as surface use agreements, pipeline easements and drilling fluid application agreements; and managing environmental risks of oil and gas production on your property.

In addition, participants also will gain insight on creating an environmental baseline for their property; finding professionals to help evaluate and manage oil and gas production risks; and understanding issues related to oil and gas production, including discussion of water use and seismic activity.

“Agricultural land has long been used for growing wheat and raising cattle, and these rural landowners can expect to remain an integral part of the oil and gas industry as well,” Ferrell said. “This seminar is just one way we can help them become more informed of their rights as they relate to this industry.”

For information about these seminars, call Woods County OSU Extension Center at (580) 327-2786.

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