OERB Research Grant to Modernize Wastewater Reporting System

Funding will be used to purchase new system to better collect, analyze data.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Governor Mary Fallin’s Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity today announced a research grant from the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) that will create a new digital system to collect data on wastewater disposal wells in the state.

OERB, which is a member of the coordinating council, stepped up to help provide much-need technology improvements at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

“This is why I created the council,” said Fallin. “It proves that we have assembled the right group of industry representatives, agencies, regulators and researchers to address Oklahoma’s rise in earthquakes.”

Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague, who heads the council, said the OERB grant will establish a standard format for disposal well operators to submit data to the Corporation Commission, while assisting the agency in collecting and analyzing disposal well data.

The project is part of an ongoing collaborative effort by Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas producers, the Oklahoma Geological Survey and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC).

“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,” said Teague.

The OERB grant, which was approved Feb. 9 by the group’s board of directors, will be used to begin the first phase of the modernization project immediately.

The second phase, funded by GWPC with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, will expand the online system to provide detailed, real-time information to researchers across the country.

GWPC Executive Director Mike Paque said the new system will provide Oklahoma regulators and earthquake researchers with a more extensive and efficient handling of data on disposal well operations in the state.

GWPC, a non-governmental entity based in Oklahoma City, will take the lead in developing the new system.

“This project is the first of its kind and other states are watching Oklahoma closely, with great interest,” said Paque. “It will provide an unparalleled level of information.”

For more information, visit www.earthquakes.ok.gov.

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