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Oil and Gas Roundup — May 17

May 17, 2013
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas news from around the state, nation and world:

Feds to require disclosure of fracking chemicals used on public land

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Thursday it will require companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations. The new fracking rule replaces a draft proposed last year that was withdrawn amid industry complaints that federal regulation could hinder an ongoing boom in natural gas production.
The new draft rule relies on an online database used by Colorado and 10 other states to track the chemicals used in fracking operations. FracFocus.org is a website formed by industry and intergovernmental groups in 2011 that allows users to gather well-specific data on thousands of drilling sites.
Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to split open rocks to allow oil and gas to flow. Improved technology has allowed energy companies to gain access to huge stores of natural gas underneath states from Wyoming to New York, but has raised widespread concerns about alleged groundwater contamination.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called the proposed rule a "common-sense update" that increases safety while also providing flexibility and improving coordination with states and Indian tribes.
Current regulations date back to the Sony Walkman era, Jewell said.
"As we continue to offer millions of acres of America's public lands for oil and gas development, it is important that the public has full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place," she said.
But environmental groups said the proposal was weaker than last year's plan and represents a nearly complete capitulation to industry, which had lobbied heavily against the earlier rule. Interior's Bureau of Land Management has held at least 11 meetings this year with industry groups as well as fracking opponents.


Shale gas training needed to meet demand, IHS says

IHS research has shown that a shale gas revolution is underway in the US, capable of revitalising the petrochemical industry; encouraging more than US$ 217 billion in new downstream capital investments and generating a crude oil production capacity increase of more than 52 billion bpd over the next six years. This investment is creating new jobs and attracting people to the industry. However, many of these individuals lack the specialised training and skills required to compete.
For this reason, the IHS has announced plans to provide new public courses designed to educate both new and seasoned professional on current industry fundamentals.
The IHS Professional Training and Education Program: Chemical and Energy Series now includes new, three day, open education courses aimed at providing attendees with the basic framework needed to understand and cope with changing dynamics. The 2013 public courses will launch in Houston in June, and follow in London, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Sao Paolo, Frankfurt, Houston (additional session), Beijing, and San Francisco/Santa Clara, California.


Official: British government ready for fracking

LONDON (UPI) — There's nothing standing in the way of new drilling plans for shale gas resources in the country, British Energy Minister Michael Fallon said.
The British government last year lifted a ban on hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas resources in light of new risk controls. Fracking operations were suspended after Cuadrilla Resources in 2011 reported alleged minor tremors associated with natural gas operations in the country.
Fallon addressed the first meeting of a multiparty group on unconventional oil and gas before the House of Commons. The group includes representatives from industry, consumer groups and non-governmental organizations.
He said the government since December has created the right mechanisms to move forward with shale gas development.
"We announced fracking could resume with robust regulation last December and there is nothing now stopping licensees from bringing on new drilling plans," he said.


Pipeline set to deliver fracked gas to Manhattan despite protests

Right now fracking in New York is banned.  But pumping fracked gas into New York is very much allowed.  And the next pipeline to pump that gas to Manhattan and throughout the city is already under construction on the West Side.  Despite thousands of signatures opposing the pipeline, it’s scheduled to go into service later this year.
Floating in the Hudson River, just a few yards away from the West Side Highway, most runners ignore the barge as they head out for their evening run.
Clare Donohue says she’s not surprised. She only found out about the project by chance.
“I accidentally went to a community board meeting, I thought they were talking about fracking and found out it was a presentation by Spectra Energy and right away I thought it was a really bad idea,” said Donohue.
That idea?  Build a 30-inch pipeline going from New Jersey, through Staten Island, and ending here in the West Village. And the buzzword that most people say brought the issue to their attention… fracking.
The pipe would bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania here to New York.



Drilling rigs boom in Texas — and across the U.S.

In case you were wondering whether there was really an oil Renaissance happening in Texas, the state has 838 drilling rigs – about 47 percent of all U.S. rigs and 26 percent of drilling rigs worldwide.
The Texas rigs are mostly operating in five fields across the state, according to the latest Baker Hughes Rig Count.
The Permian Basin in West Texas has 397 rigs, the Eagle Ford in South Texas has 234, the Granite Wash in the Panhandle has 44, the Barnett Shale in North Texas has 31 and the Haynesville Shale in East Texas has 19.
Neighbors continue to see an enormous amount of oil and gas activity as well. Oklahoma has 190 drilling rigs, Louisiana has 106, New Mexico has 77 and Arkansas has 15 rigs, according to Baker Hughes.


 
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