SandRidge Agrees to New Reduction of Injection Wells in Northern Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission announced Wednesday that SandRidge Energy has agreed to a plan to reduce the volume of wastewater being injected in the Medford and Cherokee/Byron areas and convert some wells from disposal to research operations. The agreement ends a dispute that began in December when the Corporation Commission asked SandRidge and other injection well operators to reduce operations in a move to see if the action would also bring about a decline in a surge of stronger earthquakes in northern Oklahoma.

SandRidge initially balked at the request but now has agreed to do so.

“Under the plan, SandRidge has agreed to remove 7 wells from disposal operations, and cut back its total volume for the areas in question by 40 percent, or approximately 191,000 barrels a day,” said Tim Baker, Director of the Oil and Gas Conservation Division at the Commission. “Of the 7 wells that will stop disposal, 3 will cease operations entirely, while the remaining four will be used as monitoring wells in an Oklahoma Geological Survey research project. Also, a well that has been unused will be given to researchers, making for a total of five wells dedicated to research.”

Baker inidicated that for the first time, the agreement will mean researchers will have data that shows what is happening underground in real-time when it comes to disposal and seismicity.

“This OGS project will be in the forefront of the effort to learn not only more about what can be done about the current earthquake issue, but also what can be done to better identify and manage future risk,” he added.

The Corporation Commission was prepared to take legal action against SandRidge last week when the company said it wanted to resume discussions.

“I think the result is superior to the plans originally issued,” said Baker. “There is still a very significant cutback in volume, and the company has agreed to provide resources for this critically needed OGS research program.”

Under the agreement, the reduction in volumes will be made before Friday, Jan. 27, 2016. As outlined by the commission, SandRidge Energy has 48 wastewater injection wells in the area. The wells being shut in or remaining shut in are the Harley, Bailey, Dotty, Sidney, Presley at two sites. Two others, the Tatum Rose and the Diamondback will start cutting back operations by 7 percent on a daily basis starting as of Tuesday, Jan. 19 and continuing until they are shut in or have zero injections by Feb. 2, 2016.


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