September 30, 2022

Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission

Lawrence Bengal holds a degree in Geology from the University of Wisconsin and has over 40 years experience within the public and personal sector. Mr. Bengal has held positions as a researcher with the Illinois State Geological Survey; as a project manager with a geologic and mining consulting company .; as an independent consulting geologist: and as Supervisor of the Illinois Oil and Gas Division. He currently is the Director of the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission and as a Commissioner on the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.

Mr. Bengal has previously served because the Governor’s representative for Illinois and currently is the Governor’s representative for Arkansas to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), where he has served as IOGCC Commission Second Vice Chair and Vice-Chair, Chair of the Environmental Committee, Chair of the IOGCC Carbon Capture and Geologic Storage Task Force and currently is Chair of the IOGCC-GWPC State Oil and Gas Regulatory Exchange. Mr. Bengal has testified before us Senate and House Committee’s regarding regulatory frameworks for geologic storage of CO2 and other oil and gas matters. Mr. Bengal may be a recipient of the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission E.W. Marland Award honoring outstanding state regulators.

Bans Fracking Disposal Wells

The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission has voted unanimously to ban disposal wells for unconventional gas drilling wastes during a region that has been inundated with earthquakes. the choice requires the immediate closure of 1 disposal well and prohibits the development of latest wells during a 1,150 square-mile radius. Operators have also closed a further three disposal wells on their own initiative, the Associated Press reports.

Earthquakes became unusually common in some areas of Arkansas where increased unconventional gas related drilling is happening . Residents insist that there’s a correlation between the quakes and therefore the area’s wastewater disposal wells. After monitoring many earthquakes, the most important a magnitude-4.7 in February, investigators began confirming the connection.

For Commission director Larry Bengal, the dramatic reduction in seismic events was enough evidence to justify the ban.

In April, gas industry giant Chesapeake Energy as well as spokesman said the corporate disagreed with the alleged relation.

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