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Oil and Gas Roundup — August 8

August 08, 2013

A roundup of oil and natural gas news from around the state, nation and world:

Oil and gas helped fuel record year for Oklahoma tax revenue

Over the last 12 months, the state has collected $11.3 billion in tax revenue — an all-time high, State Treasurer Ken Miller said Monday.

The record tax receipt — $12.6 million higher than the previous record set in December 2008 — is an indication that Oklahoma has recovered from the Great Recession, Miller said.

One of the tax sectors that showed the most growth over the last was gross production taxes on oil and natural gas, Miller said. The state is benefitting from high oil prices and rebounding natural gas prices, which concerned state revenue officials last year.

Read more from State Impact:

Federal officials defend hydraulic fracturing safety — again

The Obama administration is once again stepping forward to attest to the safety of hydraulic fracturing. The U.S. Energy Department recently released a study that for a year tracked specially marked fluids used in fracking 8,000 feet underground at a drilling site in western Pennsylvania. None of the drilling fluids ever came within a mile of the water table located a few hundred feet below ground that supplies drinking water.

This is the same finding as in previous studies. It is hardly surprising; fluids don’t seep up. Now that the imprimatur of the Obama administration is on this research, perhaps some environmentalists will end their demagoguery.

The fact that the Obama administration considers it just another heavy industry that has been made safe with appropriate regulations is never mentioned.

A good example came in May, when Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced rules for fracking on federal and Indian lands. In her news conference, she dismissed environmental critics. “I know there are those who say fracking is dangerous and should be curtailed, full stop. That ignores the reality that it has been done for decades and has the potential for developing significant domestic resources and strengthening our economy and will be done for decades to come.”

Read more:


Column: Don't fracture unity on energy

America's newfound abundance of oil and natural gas is a result of hydraulic fracturing — hence, the opposition from environmentalists. As the Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas website states, this abundance "displaces the market for clean energy."

Displacing the market for renewables is bad news for the Obama administration — which has allocated nearly 100 billion taxpayer dollars for so-called green energy projects. Obama's EPA has repeatedly, unsuccessfully, attempted to tie hydraulic fracturing to water contamination.

If it can be found to be unsafe, and therefore banned, America's domestic oil and gas will be kept in the ground, jobs will be lost and energy costs will soar — then renewables can come in as the solution with newfound cost parity.

But, it is not just about oil and gas. Coal was the first target of the Obama administration's attack on energy. The White House pushed for a cap-and-trade bill that would have artificially raised the price of energy. Even with Democrats in control of both houses, thanks to an uprising of the American public in the Summer of 2009, cap and trade never passed.

Undaunted, the Administration has continued to push crippling energy policies through executive order, regulatory action, and bureaucratic bumbling. The result has been thousands of jobs lost in coal country where the real unemployment rate hovers around 20%.

Americans are beginning to wake up.

Read more:


Continental reports record oil production

Continental Resources Inc. boosted its oil and natural production by 12 percent in the second quarter, when it totaled 12.3 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Officials said it was the 13th consecutive quarter of record production for the Oklahoma City-based oil producer. 

Continental reported net income of $323 million, or $1.75 a share, for the quarter. The company earned $405.7 million, or $2.26 a share, in the same period of last year.

Continental reported adjusted net income of $246 million, or $1.33 a share, beating analysts' estimates by 8 cents a share.

“Continental continues to deliver exceptional oil growth while maintaining capital discipline,” CEO Harold G. Hamm said.

Continental's production continues to be driven by its operations in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota and Montana, which accounted for 65 percent of the company's total in the quarter.

Read The Oklahoman article:

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