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Oil and Gas Roundup — March 21

March 21, 2013
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas news from around the state, nation and world:

Texas guar gum plant will produce gel for fracking process
A plant near Lubbock, Texas, will produce a gel from guar gum to be used in the fracking process, company officials said.  Guar gum is a product of the guar bean, a product widely fed to cattle, and is used in food including ice cream and salad dressings.
Spenko Solutions in Brownfield, Texas, will produce the fracking gel from guar gum provided by nearby company West Texas Guar. The gel acts as a lubricating agent in the fracking process.
The fracking gel the company produces could be made from other products, but officials explained making it with guar gum means there are no hazardous chemicals involved in the process.
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Ohio has approved 575 Utica permits, 272 wells drilled
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has, through March 16, approved 575 Utica shale permits in eastern Ohio.
Of that total, 272 wells have been completed and 77 are in production.
A total of 34 drilling rigs are working in Ohio.
A total of eight permits were approved in the last week: three in Carroll County, one in Columbiana County, three in Harrison County and one in Washington County.
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California bills could delay fracking
Fracking for oil and natural gas in California could slam to a halt, at least temporarily, under legislation circulating in Sacramento.
One bill calls for a moratorium on the practice until the state conducts a sweeping study of fracking’s benefits and risks, including the potential for groundwater contamination.
Another piece of legislation would allow fracking while the state conducts such a study. But the same bill would slap a moratorium on fracking if the study were not finished by 2015. The proposals come as the use of hydraulic fracturing spreads across California. The process has touched off a boom in U.S. oil and natural gas production.
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N.Y. dairy farm with gas leases urges end to drill ban
As a five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York nears an end, a dairy farm and a Norwegian energy company will try to persuade an appeals court to overturn drilling bans in two upstate towns.
Attorneys for the dairy farm, Cooperstown Holstein Corp., and Norse Energy Corp. (NEC) are scheduled to make their arguments today challenging rulings from last year that upheld bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield. The case is before the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Albany.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is poised to decide whether to allow the practice, known as fracking, in the next few weeks as the moratorium draws to an end. Fracking already has been banned in more than 50 New York towns, while dozens more have moratoriums in place or are considering bans, according to Karen Edelstein, a geographic information-systems consultant in Ithaca.
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