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Energy and Environment

Oklahoma Reaches Agreement With Sandridge Energy Over Disposal Wells

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The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says it has reached an agreement with Sandridge Energy over its disposal wells in hopes of reducing earthquakes, many of which have been felt here in Wichita.

The plan was announced Wednesday and calls for Sandridge to reduce the volume of wastewater injected into certain areas by more than 190,000 barrels a day.

“That is quite a significant cutback. It represents about 40 percent of their total volume for that area,” says Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner.

He says the affected area is in northwest Oklahoma, close to Kansas. The plan calls for Sandridge to remove seven wells from disposal operations. The company must also convert some wells from disposal to research operations.

“This opens the door to be able to get data that researchers have said they've needed for a long, long, long time, as to what's actually happening underground,” Skinner says.

The agreement didn’t come easily, though. Skinner says Sandridge was only willing to change its operations when the state notified the company that it was planning to file a court case.

Kansas wells operated by Sandridge were put under similar restrictions with a legal order last spring.

The company filed an intervention in April of 2015 preserving their right to appeal the order, citing negative impacts to its economic interests.

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