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Oil and Gas Roundup — August 29

August 29, 2013
TOPICS: In the news
GE poised to make impact in oil industry, official says

TULSA — Former Oklahoma Energy Secretary Mike Ming is excited about the impact his new employer will have on the oil and natural gas industry.

Ming said GE, one of the oldest companies in the United States, is poised to make its mark as an innovator. Technology from its other segments will be adapted to benefit all aspects of the oil and gas industry.

“For a company like GE to commit itself to the space is really pretty telling,” Ming said Tuesday at the Tulsa Pipeline Expo. “It's going to fit a need.”

He said many people still don't know GE, which was founded in 1892 by Thomas Edison, is in the oil and gas business, but that division employs more than 43,000 people in 100-plus countries. GE Oil and Gas has about 800 employees in Oklahoma.

Read the full Oklahoman story:

New oil and gas chief named at Energy Department

A natural gas industry veteran is set to oversee oil and natural gas issues at the Energy Department.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Tuesday appointed Paula Gant to be the next deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas, putting her in charge of the department’s research on hydraulic fracturing and in the middle of a big debate over exporting U.S.-harvested hydrocarbons.

Gant has spent the last seven years working on federal and state regulatory issues for the American Gas Association and was a vice president of government affairs for Duke Energy Corp. before that.

She takes the Energy Department job as the U.S. experiences a surge in oil and natural gas production, with companies using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to unlock previously unrecoverable resources.

Public unease about the fracturing process has spurred calls to ban the practice in some areas and greater federal regulation.

That means Gant’s office “has a full plate,” said Mark Brownstein, associate vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

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Working through Tuscaloosa shale’s complexities

BATON ROUGE, La. — It’s been three years since energy companies began leasing hundreds of thousands of acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, hoping to cash in on the mother lode: 7 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

But the expected economic surge that oil and gas industry members and public officials envisioned has yet to materialize. The formation’s complexities — including a softer rock that won’t easily release the oil it hoards — have been difficult to solve. And competition from other, easier-to-crack shales around the country have drawn oil companies’ attention and resources.

“I don’t think we have a rig running in Louisiana,” said Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.

But that is expected to change, and fairly soon.

Goodrich Petroleum Corp. recently bought Devon Energy Corp.’s two-thirds share of 277,000 leased acreage and seven wells in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Most of those leases are in Louisiana, where the formation stretches across the middle of the state into eastern Mississippi. After the purchase, Goodrich President Robert Turnham Jr. said the company believes it has cracked the Tuscaloosa’s code.

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Dallas hearing showcases gap between facts and ‘fractivists’

The City of Dallas sits on the edge of the Barnett Shale in North Texas, and many Dallas residents are eager for their city to share in the job and wealth creating bounty that has resulted from energy production elsewhere in the region.

According to a study commissioned by Dallas neighbor Fort Worth’s Chamber of Commerce, the Barnett Shale energy industry has added over $11.1 billion in annual output and 100,268 jobs in the region in recent years.

The City of Dallas has been working for more than a year to update its natural gas drilling regulations, commissioning a Gas Drilling Task Force to make recommendations and engaging various stakeholders along the way. As part of this ongoing process, the Dallas City Plan Commission met yesterday to discuss proposed changes to the city’s natural gas drilling ordinance.

This meeting drew a number of anti-energy activists who came armed with information that has, naturally, been disproven and debunked across the country.

City Plan Commissioners were regaled with various spurious claims.

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Polands shale gas hopes buoyed by promising test output

REUTERS — Lane Energy Poland, an oil and gas exploration company controlled by ConocoPhillips, is extracting some 8,000 cubic metres of shale gas per day at a test well in northern Poland, an amount unseen in Europe to date, the Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Poland, whose hopes for shale gas faded after three international firms quit after disappointing drilling results, has been looking for signs of bigger quantities of the unconventional gas, which could help it reduce its reliance on Russia.

Lane Energy started production testing at its well in the northern city of Lebork in July.

The daily amount of gas being produced there still does not qualify as commercial production, but is the largest obtained in any shale gas well so far in Europe, the newspaper said.

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