HB 1909 signed by Governor

Oklahoma's Gov. Mary Fallin signs energy reform bill

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a new law that modernized Oklahoma's oil and natural gas regulations to reflect technological advances in the industry.

BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Oklahoman
Published: April 14, 2011

Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed into law an energy reform measure that changes the state's oil and natural gas laws to account for technological advances in the industry.

Oklahoma's Gov. Mary Fallin signs energy reform bill

The law, known as the 2011 Shale Reservoir Development Act, modernizes Oklahoma statutes involved with regulating 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.” Fallin said. “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.

“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.”

Money for state

The bill was created by a stakeholder committee led by Oklahoma Corporation Commission Chairwoman Dana Murphy that spent nine months working on language for the proposal.

“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.”

Law receives praise

Oklahoma Energy Secretary Mike Ming said the new law is an important one for the state.

“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,” 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.”

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Mike Jackson, of Enid, and Sen. Cliff Branan, of Oklahoma City, who are both Republicans.

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