Governor Fallin signs Shale Reservoir Development Act
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Published: 13-Apr-2011

The bill by Rep. Mike Jackson of Enid and Sen. Cliff Branan of Oklahoma City, also known as the 2011 Shale Reservoir Development Act, modernizes Oklahoma oil and gas statutes to accommodate technological advances associated with horizontal drilling in shale reservoirs.

 “This legislation is an important step in bringing state oil and gas laws up to date with innovations needed to keep Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry competitive. House Bill 1909 will help Oklahoma to more effectively compete against other shale plays around the country, and help ensure that drilling dollars stay home in Oklahoma,” Fallin said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK. 

 “Through the use of these technologies, our oil and gas producers can reach and produce even more of Oklahoma’s vast oil and natural gas resources in ways that are efficient, safe and environmentally compatible.”

 The bill signing was the culmination of a collaborative effort of small and large oil and natural gas producers as well as royalty owners.

 “Reconciling transformative technology in horizontal drilling, much of which was developed right here in Oklahoma, with over 100 years of vertical well case law and rule makings, was no small task,” Oklahoma Secretary of Energy Mike Ming said. “But recognizing the importance of the issue to protect the rights of all affected parties, these groups rolled up their sleeves and got the job done.”

 Joining in praise for H.B. 1909 was Dana Murphy, chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. She praised Fallin and others involved in the pro-energy bill, saying is was a result of meeting challenges with a “can-do” attitude.

 In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Murphy commented, “When Governor Fallin first took office, she issued a challenge to officials and agencies to tell her what could be done, rather than what couldn’t. This is a perfect example of that. While I held town hall meetings around the state to gather input on this issue and did other work on the matter before the Governor took office, her support of the idea that we could bring this about was vitally important.”

 Murphy continued, “I am pleased and proud to have been part of this nine-month-long collaborative effort to ensure that Oklahoma’s natural resources continue to be developed while protecting all mineral owners’ and other stakeholders’ rights.

 “It was an honor to serve as the facilitator and coordinate this effort with industry, mineral owners and others to make this bill a reality. Attorney John Reeves and mineral rights expert and attorney Terry Stowers deserve special recognition for all their hard work in this matter.”

 Murphy said the bill will help all of Oklahoma, and thanked Jackson and Branan for sponsoring the measure. 

 “This isn’t ‘just’ an oil and gas matter,” Murphy said. “Keeping Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry competitive with other states and protecting stakeholders means millions of dollars for Oklahoma schools, roads, and many other things as production of our shale gas resources grows. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is working hard to make certain the agency is ready to deal efficiently with the cases I anticipate will be filed at the Commission as a result of this legislation."

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