Kingfisher county sued by oil and gas association over water line fight

The water pipeline fight in Kingfisher County has escalated into a lawsuit filed this week by the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association against Kingfisher County.

It came after the commission in May banned temporary water pipes in ditches alongside county roads. The lines carried treated and new water to oil and natural gas wells where it was used in fracking.

“We’re asking the Supreme Court to declare the Kingfisher County permit invalid and instruct them that it is beyond their jurisdiction,” said Chad Warmington, president of the association in an interview with the Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth.

The lawsuit contends the actions of the county commissioners violates the state law giving the Oklahoma Corporation Commission the jurisdiction over oil and natural gas operations.

“We also want some guidance letting them and other counties know those are issues that are exclusively Corporation Commission jurisdiction,” added Warmington. “We feel that’s pretty clear, but guidance would be helpful in working with other counties.”

Since the adoption of the new ordinance last spring, oil and gas firms had to obtain 90-day permits. They also carried out talks with county commissioners but when they proved fruitless, the lawsuit was filed.

“We didn’t feel there was any other avenue to explore,” said Warmington.

Under the new county ordinance, only fresh water can be carried in the pipes. Treated water is banned because the county considers it dangerous.