A research grant from Oklahoma Energy Resources Board will be used on a new digital system for collecting wastewater disposal well data in the state.
OERB, a member of Gov. Mary Fallin’s Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity, has stepped up to provide technology improvements at Oklahoma Corporation Commission, according to a press release from Fallin’s office.
“This is why I created the council,” Fallin said. “It proves that we have assembled the right group of industry representatives, agencies, regulators and researchers to address Oklahoma’s rise in earthquakes.”
The grant will establish “a standard format for disposal well operators to submit data” to OCC, while assisting the agency, said Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague, who heads the council.
The project is part of an ongoing collaborative effort by the state’s oil and natural gas producers, Oklahoma Geological Survey and Ground Water Protection Council, according to the release.
“Through the OERB grant, the oil and natural gas industry is providing the critical funds necessary to revolutionize the way we collect and analyze data,” Teague said.
The grant will be used to begin the first phase of the project immediately, according to the release.
A second phase, funded by GWPC with a grant from U.S. Department of Energy, will expand the online system to provide detailed, real-time information to researchers across the country, the release states.
“This project is the first of its kind and other states are watching Oklahoma closely, with great interest,” GWPC Executive Director Mike Paque said. “It will provide an unparalleled level of information.”
OCC Oil and Gas Conservation Division Director Tim Baker said emergency funding from Fallin and the new grant from OERB and GWPC will enable OCC to add badly needed equipment and staff.