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Science Cafe OSU, Potential Impacts of Oil and Gas Exploration: Costs & Benefits

Serving campus and communities with information and resources


The potential costs & benefits associated with hydraulic fracturing can be grouped into three main categories: (1) Environmental; (2) Financial; (3) Community & landowner issues. Learn basic facts about state & federal environmental laws that have implications for industry, communities, & consumers.


Dr. Larry Sanders, Dr. Dave Shideler, Dr. Chad Penn, Dr. Todd Halihan, and Dr. Gina Peek have been collecting data to study the correlation between oil/gas production over the past 10-12 years to road/bridge expenses, water use, economic activity, jobs, drilling mud disposal, earthquakes and injection wells, and housing - all by county level. In 2015 they hope to package this information to begin a discussion on potential positive/negative impacts of oil/gas activity, then in the next stage of research begin examining the statistical links that may suggest causation. Aspects of this will be used to infer benefits and costs of hydraulic fracturing in Oklahoma.

Frequent Questions

  1. Can landowner be compensated for reduction of property value due to oil activity on their property? Can landowner be compensated for “inconvenience” or “annoyance” due to oil activity on their property?
  2. I would like more information on the concerns of methane leaks ‒ how that is going to impact us.
  3. Do you have a say as a land owner if a company puts a tank battery on you?
  4. If one company has a well and another wants to do seismic measuring, who has the rights?
  5. What about regulations on the number of pipes being laid?
  6. What about spacing between tank batteries?
  7. What kind of connection is there between hydraulic fracturing producing more oil & gas, and gas prices at the pump?
  8. Are there mechanisms, outside of government, to publicly fund research? i.e. crowdsourcing?
  9. Can you provide information about other states/communities’ laws regulating oil/gas industry (and/or hydro fracking) ‒ specific legislation we can use to model legislation for Oklahoma?
  10. If the known, demonstrated, inferred reserves have doubled or even tripled, how much if any of it, did we know about but couldn’t access until recently?
  11. Why don’t solar & wind get the same tax breaks?
  12. How do I know that some company isn’t under my house from a mile away?
  13. What if damage ends up being more than paid amount?
  14. What law states surface owners have the right to gas from a well?  I read the company is supposed to run a line to the owner’s house. The owner would pay the same rate that gas sells for at the same rate it is sold at the closest municipality.
  15. Is there any research on the effects of oil and gas operations on wildlife and the changes to the area impacted?