Florida Utility Seeks Legislative Approval to Make Profits from Shale Gas Investments in Oklahoma


In Florida, a State Senate committee has given approval for Florida Power and Light Company to make profits off shale gas exploration in Oklahoma. The approval came two years after Florida’s largest utility was allowed by the Florida Public Service Commission to invest $191 million in the Woodford Shale gas project in southern Oklahoma. The investment was made in a project with PetroQuest Energy Inc. based in Louisiana.

But the approval was challenged and the Florida Supreme Court agreed the Public Service Commission overstepped its authority in allowing FPL to become the first regulated electric company nationwide to use customer money to invest in shale gas exploration out of its territory.

Eventually, FPL refunded $24.5 million to its customers and the Oklahoma shale gas project was turned over to the utility’s sister company, NextEra Energy Resources. NextEra Energy is still getting natural gas production in the Woodford.

NextEra happens to be the owner of wind farm operations in Oklahoma. Last year, it paid $323 million for the Seiling I and II Wind Energy Centers in Dewey and Woodward Counties. It had previously done wind farm construction around Blackwell.

NextEra is considered one of the world’s largest generators of wind power and has 117 wind farms in 20 states and Canada.