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Oil and Gas Roundup — Jan. 29

January 29, 2014
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas industry news from around the state, nation and world:

Natural gas big winner in Obama SOTU address

While standing by his "all of the above" energy strategy on Tuesday night, President Obama gave a big hat tip to natural gas production. 

Obama credited natural gas as one of the top factors in bringing the U.S. closer to energy independence for the first time in decades.

"The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades," Obama said during his fifth State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

"One of the reasons why is natural gas, if extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change," Obama said.

In a fact sheet accompanying the speech, the White House called on Congress to establish "sustainable shale gas growth zones."

"My administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and job growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, and our communities," Obama said.

Obama added he would work with Congress to create jobs by building fueling stations, as the administration plans to propose new incentives for medium and heavy-duty trucks to run on natural gas, or other alternative fuels.

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Halliburton honors longtime employee in Oklahoma

DUNCAN — Opal Wilson wasn't sure what to expect when she was recognized as Halliburton's longest-serving employee.

The company staged a celebration Friday at the Duncan Golf and Tennis Club, where officials announced the company will rename its finance center after her.

“I'm still in shock over that,” the Duncan resident said Tuesday afternoon.
Wilson has been working at Halliburton since 1953, when she got her start as a billing clerk at age 18. Her responsibilities have changed over the years, but her employer hasn't. “It has never occurred to me to look for another job,” Wilson said.

Halliburton, founded in Duncan in 1919, is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, with more than 75,000 employees in about 80 countries.

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Noble Energy touts use of deep groundwater wells to help oil, ag industries coexist

Many water needs in the region have been met by buying supplies from farmers and ranchers, but a Noble Energy manager said Tuesday the oil and gas industry could and should stop being a part of that problem, and explained what his company is doing to get water.

The large energy developer is looking to use deep groundwater wells — drawing “non-tributary water” — to meets its needs down the road, said Ken Knox, senior adviser and water resources manager for Noble, during his presentation at the Colorado Farm Show in Greeley.

Farmers and others who pump groundwater typically draw water that’s less than 100 feet below the Earth’s surface — water that’s considered to be “tributary,” because it’s connected to the watershed on the surface and over time flows underground into nearby rivers and streams, where it’s used by farmers, cities and others.

Wanting to avoid water that’s needed by other users, Knox said Noble is looking to have in place about a handful of deep, non-tributary groundwater wells that draw from about 800 to 1,600 feet below the Earth’s surface.

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3rd CNG-vehicle fueling station opens in W. Va.

IGS Energy has opened its third compressed natural gas fueling station for vehicles in West Virginia.

The Charleston station that opened Tuesday joins Ohio-based IGS Energy fueling stations in Jane Lew and Bridgeport. IGS also has a station in Dublin, Ohio, and is opening another in May in Girard, Ohio.

Surging production has the gas industry seeking out new markets for its products, and companies are focusing more on the transportation sector. They tout natural gas as a cheaper, cleaner alternative to gasoline and diesel.

Maribeth Anderson, with Chesapeake Energy, said motorists can now drive natural-gas-fueled vehicles from Charleston to Pittsburgh, at a cost of about $2 per gallon.

Shale gas changing energy picture: IEA chief economist

DAVOS, Switzerland — The exploration of shale gas is a revolution, and is changing global energy picture, chief economist of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Birol said several major changes were seen in global energy landscape. Roles of actors in the energy sector were changing.

"For many years, America had the role of being an energy importer. But now, its role changed and it is becoming an energy exporter," he said, "America, because it produces a lot of shale gas and shale oil, does not need much Canadian oil and gas. So, Canada has to turn to Asia, especially to China, to export its energy."

Despite the fact many people were concerned about the environmental effects of shale gas, the new source of energy was coming in the energy picture and changing the game in the energy world, Birol said.

"These concerns can be minimized or nullified if companies take necessary measures, if there are regulations," he said.

Birol attributed the global energy system changes to shale gas and shale oil revolution, plans of many countries including those in Europe and Japan to renounce nuclear power, as well as the fact that many countries now want to use energy more and more efficiently.

These changes were also reshaping the global financial and economic system, he said adding future energy demands would come from three major sources: China, India and the Middle East.

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