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Evaluating the Impacts of Oil and Gas Activity:Hydraulic Fracturing in Selected Oklahoma Counties

The purpose of this study is to provide basic information for Extension professionals and local public managers about oil and gas activities in Oklahoma. Fourteen counties were selected to evaluate the impacts on a variety of physical and economic factors. Specifically, the study provides (1) production activity by county, (2) a summary of such physical factors as highway expenditures and water use, (3) estimates of economic impacts and (4) analysis of well activity and hydrofracturing fluid and drilling mud disposal. While the headlines are focused on earthquakes, there are many other important dimensions to the questions related to increased oil and gas activity, more recently through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.


Faculty at Oklahoma State University studied recent oil and gas activity and the impacts in selected Oklahoma counties for the study period of 2000-2012. Based on the results of the study, it can be concluded that this is a complex story with limited, generalized results. Coincidence is not causation. However, patterns do emerge that can assist in public planning and response to problems and opportunities arising when a local area is subjected to petroleum activities, such as hydraulic fracturing.


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