Speaker Hickman’s proposal aims to boost oil and gas technology

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure authored by House Speaker Jeffrey W. Hickman opening more opportunities to use new and advanced drilling technology in Oklahoma passed a vote of the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday (February 10).

In an effort to ensure the energy industry continues to thrive in Oklahoma, House Bill 2177 allows oil and gas developers to obtain permission from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to join units for drilling extended lateral-horizontal wells across multiple units outside of shale formations. This method is currently limited to the Marmaton Formation in Oklahoma and has proven effective in those shale plays since the adoption of the 2011 Shale Reservoir Development Act.

“The energy industry is one of the largest employers in Oklahoma and a crucial part of our economy,” said Hickman, R-Fairview. “Oklahoma is the fourth fastest growing economy in the nation and is the place to be for developing new technology in energy. This legislation ensures we remain on the cutting edge of technology to enhance opportunities to develop energy production in Oklahoma.”

H.B. 2177 is the latest bill introduced by Hickman that seeks to keep energy production and jobs in Oklahoma. In the words of a House staff release, the measure intends to “champion of economic growth and pro-energy policies.”

Last year, Speaker Hickman took the lead on energy issues with a bill that secured competitive gross production tax incentives. The law was designed to make Oklahoma a more appealing drilling location in the region, made even more critical by recent declines in oil prices.

The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association and the Coalition of Oklahoma Surface and Mineral Owners have been working closely together in the development of H.B. 2177 and support the legislation, which now moves to the House floor for consideration.