oil

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Saltwater injection. Fracking. Enhanced oil recovery.

News of protests in recent months against oil- and gas-related activity in the Flint Hills has drawn fresh attention to these and other terms — as well as some confusion.

File Photo / Kansas News Service

Kansas’ energy-regulating agency is trying to determine why permits were issued for half a dozen wastewater wells whose operators didn’t accurately inform nearby residents of their rights to protest the wells.

The deficiencies were discovered by a resident of Matfield Green in Chase County who objects to the wells, into which companies can pour hundreds or thousands of barrels of oil- and gas-related wastewater per day.

Cindy Hoedel wants the Kansas Corporation Commission to shut down the wells and make the companies in question redo the application process.

Kansas Geological Survey

The governments of Douglas County and Lawrence are calling for changes to Kansas regulations amid an energy company’s proposal to pump wastewater into wells in rural Eudora.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

The fight over an oil-related waste disposal well in Kansas’ Flint Hills has broadened into a campaign to protest similar wells across several counties and lobby lawmakers for regulatory changes.

Last month residents of Chase, Morris and other counties known for their rolling topography, open pastures and tallgrass ecology lost their effort to block operation of a saltwater injection well near Strong City and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Residents of the Flint Hills on Wednesday took a fight against an oil company to Kansas energy regulators as part of their broader battle to stem wastewater disposal in the area.

They fear that a request from Quail Oil and Gas to jettison up to 5,000 barrels a day of brine near Strong City and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve brings a risk for earthquakes or contamination of local groundwater — claims that the company disputes. 

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has created seismicity guidelines that new oil and gas operations in two areas of the state must follow.

The affected area includes land from the north-central part of the state, east of Oklahoma City, all the way to the Texas border. The new operations are expected to account for the "vast majority" of new oil and gas activity in the state. Scientists have linked Oklahoma's sharp increase in earthquakes to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production.

Tim Evanson, flickr Creative Commons

Thirteen states including Kansas are asking a federal appeals court to review the Environmental Protection Agency's recent regulations on the oil and gas industry.

The EPA made a final ruling on emission standards affecting new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas operations. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked for judicial review of one of the three new rules, specifically the rule that relates to regulating emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas.

Sean Sandefur

Oil production in Kansas fell sharply last year. According to the Kansas Geological Survey, oil production in the state dropped more than 8 percent in 2015.

Last year's steep decline in production and oil prices has been hard on those who work in the industry as well as those who receive royalties from mineral rights.

Tim Evanson, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Geological Survey has determined there is a connection between oil and gas production and earthquakes.

A pressurized tank manufacturing company in Garden City is laying off 80 workers because of lower oil prices.

The layoffs at Palmer Manufacturing and Tank are part of 245 jobs the company is eliminating in three states.

Spokeswoman Cathy Lyttle says customer orders have dropped because of low oil prices and fewer new wells starting in the country.

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