Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Blog Urges Transparency in Oil Wastewater Disposal Business in Oklahoma

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Blog Urges Transparency in Oil Wastewater Disposal Business in Oklahoma

Article excerpt

Bruce Langhus and his colleague Marian Smith want to help oil and gas operators and investors get a better return on saltwater disposal wells. As a certified petroleum geologist, Langhus operates Odin Oil and Gas, and their new blog, the Salt Water Disposal Institute Investors' Guide, is aimed at identifying potential public perception problems and educating those in the industry about how to deal with protests against those wells.

In Oklahoma, saltwater disposal wells are an essential part of the oil and gas business. If operators can't dispose of the wastewater that resides underground with petroleum products, then oil and gas production will come to a screeching halt. In the United States, operators produce about 252 million gallons of oil daily. Langhus estimates that about 4.2 billion gallons of wastewater is produced daily.

"Nobody wants that stuff gurgling down the bar ditch in Oklahoma," he said.

In 2012, wastewater disposal came under heightened scrutiny in the state. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission continues an ongoing investigation for a suspect who intentionally dumped thousands of gallons of wastewater and chemicals on a county road near Fay in August. Weeks later, nearly a dozen Garvin County residents appeared at an OCC hearing to protest a proposed saltwater disposal well near Pauls Valley. Langhus provided expert witness testimony at the hearing. The operator, CAVU Resources, later withdrew its intent to drill the disposal well, due in part to costs to upgrade nearby roads.

Langhus has 45 years of experience in the industry and said in recent years, there is more of a regulatory emphasis on environmental protection. Decades ago, companies would self-police pollution, he said.

"Nowadays the federal and state agencies have a much more proactive standpoint, and I think that is all a good thing," he said. "It is always better to prevent a problem than to correct one."

He said his company works with clients across the country, including in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota, as well as in Eastern states. …

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