Rule would place burden on operators of vertical wells
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission will consider a rule proposed by Devon Energy that would require vertical drilling operators to take action to reduce environmental impact of horizontal drilling prior to and during the drilling process.
The rule will need to receive two out of three votes to progress to the state Legislature for consideration.
Matt Skinner, public information officer for the OCC, said currently well hits are required to be reported only if there is pollution, but the commission began urging the reporting of well hits that do not involve pollution in 2017 so the OCC could collect data.
Since then, the OCC has received 49 reports of incidents that did involve pollution and 74 reports of incidents not involving pollution, Skinner said.
Mike Cantrell, president of the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance, said the organization is against the rule, which would affect smaller oil and gas companies more than large ones.