Canada-owned oil sands mine in Utah to begin producing in fall
Mining by Cecilia Jamasmie. Canada’s U.S. Oil Sands (TSX-V:USO) is fine tuning details to begin production at its mine in eastern Utah, the first commercial oil sands operations in the United States, after receiving final regulatory approvals from local officials late last week.
While the mine had already been approved for construction, the Calgary-based company recently submitted a proposal to expand it. The Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining approved that plan, but ThinkProgressreported it did so on the condition that the company submits a comprehensive strategy to monitor air and water quality.
Environmentalists who have been fighting the project called the decision a victory, despite the fact that both the company and Utah authorities have argued there would be little risk to water contamination from the mine, since the operation doesn’t have any connection to a groundwater source.
Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Communications Director Robert Dillon writes us that, "Reuters senior energy market analyst John Kemp today weighed in against a plan to raid the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to pay for three years of a six–year highway bill." Following is the article:
SPR oil sales would be a mistake before strategy review is concluded: John Kemp
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not an ATM,” Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee warned the Senate this week. “It is certainly not the petty cash drawer for Congress.”
The senator from Alaska was criticising a proposal to sell 101 million barrels of crude from the government’s stocks to offset a shortfall in funding in the highway trust fund, used to pay for repairs to roads and bridges.
“Others are potentially looking to our Strategic Petroleum Reserve as nothing more than a piggybank,” Murkowski admonished her colleagues in a floor speech delivered on Wednesday.
There is nothing new or particularly surprising about Congress raiding pots of apparently surplus assets to pay for short term spending priorities.
Between fiscal 1993 and fiscal 2005, almost $6 billion worth of raw materials, previously considered critical, were sold from the national defence stockpile and the revenues used to meet spending needs elsewhere.
The stockpile sold a range of materials from aluminium oxide and chromium to cobalt, iodine, platinum group metals and tin.
Sale receipts were used to pay for everything from armed forces readiness to the provision of military equipment to foreign countries, a hospital trust fund and a memorial to the veterans of World War Two.
In Washington, where legislators are always looking for ways to spend money without raising taxes, seemingly under-utilised assets and unspent funding offer an irresistible target.
Recycling funding from old and outdated programmes to meet new and pressing requirement is not necessarily wrong.
Some of the oil stored in the SPR may be surplus to current requirements as a result of the U.S. shale revolution.
But it would be a mistake to sell SPR oil before Congress has conducted a proper debate about the stockpile’s future role in energy security.
NET IMPORT COVER
The United States is obliged to hold stocks equivalent to 90 days net imports in government or private stocks as part of an agreement with its partners in the International Energy Agency concluded following the Arab oil embargo in 1973-74.
As recently as 2005, U.S. government stocks were equivalent to only 55 days worth of net imports, which were then running at 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
But thanks to shale, net imports have fallen to just 5 million bpd, while the stockpile has remained largely unchanged, pushing up the amount of import cover enormously.
At the end of 2014, the SPR’s was storing almost 691 million barrels of crude in giant salt caverns along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Stocks were equivalent to 137 days’ worth of net imports of crude and refined products.
In theory, the United States could sell up to 240 million barrels of crude and still comply with the requirement to hold stocks equivalent to at least 90 days worth of net imports.
If all those barrels could be sold at the current market price of around $50, the government could raise up to $12 billion from the sale of surplus oil.
Crude from the SPR has been released on only three occasions since it was established in the 1970s.
The first drawdown came in response to the beginning of Operation Desert Storm when the U.S. and its allies moved to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991.
The second drawdown was ordered in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And the third came in June 2011 in reaction to unrest in Libya and other Arab countries disrupting oil supplies.
The amount of crude released on each occasion was relatively small.
As a matter of law, the SPR was established to counter any “severe energy supply interruption” which could have a major adverse impact on national security or the national economy.
But its real purpose has been to protect the United States and its allies from attempted political blackmail by oil-exporting countries.
In 1973, Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab countries cut oil production and banned the sale of crude to the United States in protest U.S. support for Israel.
In the event, the embargo was short-lived and not very effective. But the SPR was meant to ensure the United States could never be threatened in this way again by ensuring there was always enough crude on hand to enable the country to withstand an attempted economic siege.
The SPR’s effectiveness should be measured not by the number of releases or their volume but by the fact it has so rarely been needed.
Never again has there been a serious attempt to cut oil supplies to the United States to alter the country’s foreign policy.
The federal government has spent a total of $20.7 billion buying oil for the SPR over the last four decades at an average price of $29.70 per barrel, according to the Department of Energy.
The replacement cost of the oil is probably somewhere between $35 billion (at today’s price of $50 per barrel) and $105 billion (at the recent high of about $150).
The SPR looks like a fairly cheap insurance policy, especially since costs are basically sunk (most of the oil was originally purchased in the 1980s).
AN EFFECTIVE OIL SHIELD
While there have been occasional calls for Arab countries to wield the “oil weapon” to influence U.S. policy, there have been no serious attempts since the 1970s.
How much of this has been due to the deterrent effect of the SPR rather than other changes in the oil market and the Middle East is impossible to say.
A new generation of Arab leaders took power after 1973 much closer to the United States. Iran’s revolution fundamentally altered the key relationships between Washington, Riyadh and Tehran and pushed the U.S. and Saudi Arabia closer together.
The rise of competing oil supplies from outside the Middle East, including from the North Sea, Alaska, the U.S. Gulf and the Soviet Union, radically changed the balance of power between OPEC and the consumer countries in the 1980s and 1990s.
And since 2008, the shale revolution has almost doubled indigenous oil supplies within the United States and given the country a much higher degree of energy independence, or at least self-confidence.
But the SPR has likely played a deterrent role. The SPR has acted as an effective “oil shield” which has given the U.S. government more freedom and confidence to face down threats and turmoil in the Middle East and other exporting regions.
STRATEGIC REVIEW NEEDED
It would be a mistake for Congress to use the SPR as a source of short term funding. Raiding a one-off asset to pay for highway maintenance and other recurrent expenditure makes no sense.
There does need to be a proper debate about the future of the SPR. Everyone agrees on this point, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government Accountability Office (the congressional spending watchdog).
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve must be modernised for the 21st century,” Murkowski told her Senate colleagues this week. “Its size, its geographic disposition, the quality of the oil it stores ... these are all issues that merit further attention but we need to have a deliberative process ... what we do not need is a spur-of-the-moment deal”.
The Department of Energy is already conducting a review. But the strategy rethink should precede any sales, not the other way around. In the 1990s, the sale of formerly critical materials from the defence stockpile came only after the Department of Defense concluded they were no longer needed, not as a revenue raising measure.
There is a legitimate debate to be held about the future size, shape and role of the SPR. In the meantime, however, Congress should resist the temptation to make a short-sighted raid on the nation’s emergency crude reserves.
7-24-15 Northern Pipelines, Economies, Alaska Native and Canadian Aboriginal People Are Interdependent
Write us here to request a free, email alert subscription
Northern Pipelines, Economies, Alaska Native and Canadian Aboriginal People Are Interdependent
Alaska Natives, Canadian Aboriginals and Northern economies depend on oil and gas development and the transportation systems moving the resources to market.
Transportation systems like pipelines require rights of way. Rights of way and subsistence hunting and fishing and agricultural areas very often overlap proposed pipeline routes.
All stakeholders care about the safety of pipeline operations. For sure, all stakeholders wish to maximize their own income streams. Without access to natural resources, natural resource companies cannot survive.
Without the revenue provided by natural resource companies, rural, regional and even national economies would have difficulty sustaining their citizens' ways of life. We could think of this economic cycle of life as, "mutually assured sustainability".
Some legal gladiators, like environmental groups, however, may have multiple goals of minimizing ecological effects of (or flat out stopping) development, fund raising, member recruitment and crisis management as a key to attracting new and greater levels of contributions.
However, one should carefully note that the total disapproval of a project that environmental activists oppose may enrich their far-away NGO coffers while impoverishing citizen stakeholders in all directly affected rural, regional and national economies.
This excellent Calgary Herald story by James Wood demonstrates the a laudable appreciation of both developers and traditional peoples to create sustainable models of cooperation and development.
In Alaska, we are encouraged by Alaska Native Corporation relationships with Shell's Arctic OCS program--and other natural resource projects. But, as above, we note that environmental activists seeking destruction of the project could seriously diminish the entire future economy of Alaska, with negative impacts, as well, on the national treasury and national security interests in the Arctic.
Calgary Herald by James Wood. The head of the Assembly of First Nations told a Calgary business crowd Wednesday the energy industry must do a better job on safety and protecting the environment if it wants to earn the trust of Canada’s aboriginal people.
Perry Bellegarde, speaking at a Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon, said First Nations are watching the recent spill of bitumen from a state-of-the-art Nexen pipeline south of Fort McMurray.
“They have the best technology in place. What happened? That shouldn’t happen,” said Bellegarde, who comes from the Black Bear First Nation ....
First Nation opposition has been a major factor in stalling Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to connect Alberta’s oilsands to Kitimat, B.C., for shipment to Asia. Resistance by aboriginal groups could also hamper TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East line to the Atlantic coast.
Bellegarde noted there is a vast difference of opinion among individual First Nations toward pipelines, with some interested in the economic potential of the projects and others fiercely opposed.
“If the industry can assure people there are systems in place — better systems — they will be more open to transportation, to the pipelines,” he said.
Bellegarde said the oilpatch needs to engage with indigenous people, suggesting a system in which resource companies must demonstrate their commitment to aboriginal economic development and employment before development permits are issued.
“We’re not opposed to development, but we want to make sure the footprint’s not like this,” he added, holding his arms wide.
Greg Stringham, vice-president with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, was in attendance for Bellegarde’s speech at the Hyatt Regency and said it was “inspiring.”
Blaine Favel, another former FSIN chief who is now the executive chairman of Calgary-based One Earth Oil and Gas Inc., told the chamber crowd that “the old way of doing things can’t work anymore when it comes to energy issues.”
With files from Deborah Yedlin, Calgary Herald and The Canadian Press.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (NGP Photo), yesterday issued the following response to the Interior Department’s approval of two conditional permits to Shell to resume its exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea:
“Today’s approval by the Department of Interior of the permits Shell needs to resume drilling in the Chukchi Sea is good news for Alaska and our country. However, it is not the final regulatory hurdle Shell faces and it is important that the agencies continue to work in good faith and in a timely fashion to complete the remaining regulatory requirements.
“With an estimated 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources and active exploration by countries like Russia, it’s critical that the United States set the standard for responsible development in the Arctic. America will only truly assume that role when it actively engages in developing its resources.
“My attention remains focused on ensuring exploration proceeds safely this season and that Alaskans benefit from the development of our resources through revenue sharing.”
"Investment In Arctic Is Paramount", by Anne Seneca, President, Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska
Politico: House GOP launches fresh salvo at EPA on endangered species
By Elana Schor
House Natural Resources Committee Republicans say EPA is snubbing their request to testify next week on whether it abided by Endangered Species Act rules that the GOP hopes will provide a new weapon against the Obama administration’s power plant emissions rules.
The House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop’s species protection probe began in the spring, when Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe admitted that EPA had not sought FWS input on the upcoming climate regulations despite evidence that the expected retirement of a Florida coal-fired power plant would eliminate a warm water habitat for some manatees.
To view full story online:
Today's relevant energy links from Consumer Energy Alliance:
Norman Transcript: Industry official responds to oil and gas regs *Tommy Foltz Quoted
Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Tommy Foltz reacted to a decision by the Stillwater City Council this week to pass a new oil and gas ordinance that has been the subject of debate since January.
Tulsa Public Radio: New Stillwater Drilling Rules Also Being Questioned *Tommy Foltz Quoted
Stillwater imposes new rules on oil and gas drilling, but there are those who aren't sure it will meet the legal test under a new state law.
Tulsa Public Radio: Tulsa Morning News *Tommy Foltz Interview
Alaska Dispatch News: Investment in Arctic is paramount *Anne Seneca LTE
Shannyn Moore’s July 19 column on Shell’s offshore program was nonsensical gibberish. As Unalaska Mayor Shirley Marquardt commented to ADN after the incident: “So many things like this happen in the marine industry in Dutch Harbor and people just go, ‘Oh they were lucky.’ But when it’s Shell, people who have no marine experience whatsoever or have never been to Dutch Harbor say, ‘See they don’t know what they were doing.’ ” Moore’s litany was an unnecessary and incomprehensible diversion from a real and meaningful issue: the importance of increasing the nation’s investments in the Arctic.
Consumer Energy Alliance: Consumer Energy Alliance Welcomes New Member: West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is pleased to welcome the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) as its newest affiliate member. Chartered in 1915, WVONGA is one of the oldest trade organizations in the state, and is the only association that serves the entire oil and gas industry. The activities of its members include construction, environmental services, drilling, completion, gathering, transporting, distribution and processing.
Wall Street Journal: Western oil companies will face competition in Iran
European and U.S. oil-and-gas companies drawn to Iran as sanctions ebb can expect to encounter not only opportunities, but also capable Iranian companies offering tough competition or joint ventures.
Washington Times: Nonsensical 'fractivist' pipeline hysteria
The anti-fracking movement has moved beyond the realm of the petty and unseemly into the ridiculous. Led by Yoko Ono, the avant-garde artist and widow of musician John Lennon, fracktivists are trying to stop construction of pipelines that would carry natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the Utica Shale region in Ohio to markets in New York and New England.
Washington Examiner: Obama climate pledge on 'very shaky legal ground,' critics say
Republicans and industry officials contended the Obama administration's climate pledge heading into global negotiations was on "very shaky legal ground"
Bloomberg: Oil Drillers Retreat from Shallow U.S. Gulf in Turn to Shale
Energy producers are retreating from the search for oil and natural gas close to shore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as drilling budgets shrink and exploration migrates to land-based shale fields.
Bloomberg: Glut of gas heading south as shale boom reaches Florida
A glut of cheap natural gas trapped in the U.S. Northeast will be heading south by the end of the year, radically changing the price differences between the regions.
Bloomberg: Analysts: Gas pipelines to shrink price gap between Northeast, Southeast
New pipeline capacity in the Northeast is expected to bring more natural gas from the Marcellus Shale play to the Southeast, prompting the price difference between the two regions to narrow over the next three years, analysts predict.
The Hill: First attempt to advance Senate highway bill falters
A Senate bill that would sell off a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to fund highway projects failed to advance . Another vote is expected today.
Sioux Falls Argus Leader: PUC: No new pipeline testimony on tribal stewardship
South Dakota utility regulators won’t allow testimony on tribal land stewardship next week in the latest round of Keystone XL pipeline hearings.
Aberdeen News: PUC sets final processes for TransCanada hearing
The state Public Utilities Commission rejected most of the limits that TransCanada wanted on opponents for the permit hearing next week on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Oil & Gas Journal: Study examines methane emissions from gas facilities
Natural gas transmission and storage facilities in the U.S. released 1,503 gigagrams per year of methane emissions, according to a Colorado State University study. The figure is 27% lower than a government estimate but statistically similar, according to the study.
Huffington Post: Dear Mr. President: Prove Your Climate Rhetoric and Stop Arctic Drilling
Dear Mr. President: I've often been struck by your soaring rhetoric on combating climate change, transitioning to clean energy sources, and protecting the natural environment. Clearly on some level you get it, as you've demonstrated in speech after speech. That's why I don't understand how you could even consider approving Shell's dangerous plan to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this summer — and why I'm imploring you to stop this reckless and short-sighted project.
E&E News: Crude exports not in House energy proposal
The House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced a bipartisan energy bill that did not include a repeal of the ban on crude exports. A subcommittee markup is planned for today.
Associated Press: Wilmington the latest to oppose offshore drilling
Wilmington has become the latest city in the Carolinas to oppose offshore drilling for oil.
Wilmington City Council voted unanimously to oppose both seismic testing to find oil and natural gas, and the actual drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast.
The Roanoke Times: Cutler: Industry attempting to bypass review procedures
“Now, think what might happen if (a) legislation under active consideration now by the U.S. Congress (H.R. 2295, S. 411, S. 1196) were to pass that gives the secretary of the Interior (instead of the Congress, as is currently the case) the power to issue oil and gas pipeline rights of way through national parks and (b) another person with Jim Watt’s world view were to be appointed secretary of the Interior?”
Akron Beacon Journal: Oil company mergers are down, federal agency reports - Drilling – Ohio
The second quarter of 2015 exhibited the largest amount of oil companies' merger and acquisition (M&A) activity by value since fourth-quarter 2012. The announced merger between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group in early April accounted for $84 billion of the $115 billion quarterly total.
Oil & Gas Journal: Comment period on Colo. gas proposal extended
The Bureau of Land Management has given the public until to submit comments on a preliminary environmental assessment of Gunnison Energy and SG Interests' proposed natural gas project in Colorado. The project would entail up to 25 gas wells on five well pads.
Durango Herald: Colorado faces clean-air rule from EPA
A final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency is expected in the coming days, aimed at a 30-percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions nationwide by 2030. The proposal is state-based, with a target of 35 percent proposed for Colorado.
San Antonio Express-News: HF, HB 40, and concerns about liability
In late 2014 the citizens of Denton voted to ban fracking in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. The proponents felt that fracking was a dangerous and polluting practice that does not belong in their community. Many other cities in the nation have passed similar ordinances.
San Antonio Express News: Engineering to the rescue in the Eagle Ford
Engineering and innovation can save the Eagle Ford Shale amid six-year low oil prices, participants at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference said . More than 3,000 oil industry professionals are at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio for the conference until . And with oil prices hovering around six-year lows, many of the conference's panels are focused on technology to improve productivity and efficiency.
Akron Beacon Journal: New power plant seen as game-changer in Ohio
A big change is coming to Ohio: Coal is on the way out and cleaner-burning natural gas is moving in. That switch was behind the ceremonial groundbreaking southeast of Canton in tiny Carroll County, where a new, $899 million natural gas-fired power plant is being built in the heart of Ohio’s Utica Shale.
Times Leader: New Ohio well rules in place
Ohio Rep. Jack Cera believes new state Department of Natural Resources rules will help prevent accidents at Marcellus and Utica shale drilling pads, such as those in Monroe County that displaced residents and killed thousands of fish last year.
Columbus CEO: Anxiety hits Ohio’s industry. Columbus CEO. First was the shale oil and gas boom
Eastern and southeastern Ohio saw a surge in lease activity, pipeline projects and hiring. New wealth trickled through the economy to car dealers, hotel operators and restaurants. Now, Ohio’s shale country is an uncomfortable place, with elements of the boom still in place, and some companies facing what can only be described as a bust.
NorthCentralPa.com: Even Higher Energy Taxes Threaten Pa. Jobs
Shale development in the Commonwealth continues to benefit our economy and environment. From providing regional building trades unions with thousands of good-paying jobs to delivering consumer savings for families and improving air quality, these clear benefits touch all corners of Pennsylvania.
|Calgary Herald by Alicjaa Siekierska. Carbon & dust emissions from oil sands activity stimulates forest growth.|
-Congressman Rob Bishop
* * *
|BP Hires Vets|
Commentary: Today, 2-term Ohio Governor John Kasich announced his presidential bid (Photo credit: LA Times). He began his term with a multi-billion dollar deficit and now enjoys a $2 billion surplus.
But Kasich's embrace of Medicaid could put more pressure on the budget every year as federal support diminishes.
Aside from freedom itself, energy production is the basis of wealth and prosperity in America.
Kasich has many admirable qualities: good family man, plain talking, faith, patriotic and more....
But some of our readers will detect in his presidential announcement a turn toward populism reminiscent of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's (NGP Photo) anti-industry rhetoric. After all, big oil has fewer voters than everyone else who enjoys Kasich's income tax decrease and the beneficiaries of increased Medicare subsidies.
And his failed push for higher Ohio energy taxes could be a troubling characteristic of a new president, a propensity that could lead to a further weakening of America's job force, wealth, national security and future prosperity.
Weak energy production on federal land will serve as “a pillar in President Obama's energy legacy of failure,” the top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee said.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) slammed the Obama administration over a Friday report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that shows energy production on federal and Indian lands increasing just 0.2 percent in 2014.
Bishop said the government should encourage more energy production on those lands, especially given the prospect of Iranian oil entering the market after sanctions on the country are lifted.
“The government's report on energy production on federal lands is astonishingly dismal,” he said in a statement. “The EIA found minuscule growth in oil and natural gas production on federal land — less than a percentage point — the same week that the President welcomes Iranian oil to the market with open arms.”
The EIA reported an overall decrease in energy production on federal land in 2014, primarily in natural gas offshore and in Wyoming. That decrease was offset by a 5.7 percent increase in fossil fuel production on Indian land and a 7 percent rise in oil production, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, North Dakota and New Mexico.
The small increase in federal land production comes as energy extraction on private land is booming. According to an April Congressional Research Service report, production of oil (an 89 percent increase since 2010) and natural gas (37 percent increase) on private land has surged even as federal land production has fallen.
“Producers operating on private and state lands are powering our energy economy, but we deserve better from the federal government,” Bishop said.
“The Obama administration should be expanding access to federal lands and offshore waters and opening up American oil markets — not only for the sake of our economy but for the sake of national security.”
CEA's Energy News Links:
Washington Examiner: Fight over Atlantic drilling wells up *CEA Mention
The governors of all those states want offshore drilling. So, too, do most of their federal lawmakers. That's certainly true. A May poll by industry group Consumers Energy Alliance found 85 percent of the state supports offshore drilling, viewing it as a potential boon to the economy.
ShaleMag: Energy Day *CEA Mention
With the need for students to be knowledgeable in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more important than ever, the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF) are hosting the fifth annual Energy Day on Saturday, October 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston.
Associated Press: Obama plans Alaska trip for climate change conference
The White House has confirmed that President Obama will travel to Alaska next month for a climate change meeting. White House spokeswoman Hallie Ruvin in a statement says the president on Aug. 31 will visit.
MSNBC: Why Shell had the worst week ever
This should have been one of Shell’s best weeks ever. Instead, it shaped up like the corporate equivalent of “The Hangover Part III.” And a happy ending is nowhere in sight.
Fuel Fix: Shell-contracted drill ships begin final Arctic journey
Two Arctic drilling rigs have sailed away from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, beginning the final leg of their journey to the Shell’s drilling sites in the Chukchi Sea. The Noble Discoverer left Dutch Harbor on Thursday, and the Transocean Polar Pioneer followed suit on Friday. Both will take about a week to reach their destination: Shell’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea.
Alaska Dispatch News: Cold receptions for Shell in Lower 48 ports mean opportunity for Alaska
A dynamic event is underway in Arctic Alaska today: one that, if successful, could have a profound effect on our state's economy. Shell Alaska is preparing to drill for oil this summer in Alaska's offshore continental shelf. To date, Shell has expended over $7 billion in gearing up for their effort. They anticipate substantially advancing their delineation effort by the end of this year's drilling season.
UPI: TransCanada uses legacy to explain touted benefits of Keystone XL
The shipment of the 1 billionth barrel of oil through the Keystone oil pipeline system shows commitment to U.S. energy security, TransCanada said.
Reuters: Canada provinces agree to strategy on pipelines, climate change
Canada's provinces reached a long-sought deal on Friday over an energy plan for the country, agreeing broadly to curb greenhouse gas emissions while also promoting the use of pipelines.
Washington Examiner: Bills on tap from House, Senate energy panels
The energy committees of both chambers of Congress expect to offer draft energy bills before the August recess, committee leaders said. The bills are expected to cover oil and natural gas infrastructure expansion, energy efficiency and other concerns.
Fox News: EPA 'secret science' under the microscope as GOP lawmakers seek ban
The Environmental Protection Agency for years has issued costly clean air rules based, in part, on two '90s-era studies linking air pollution with death. But, critics say, the same agency has stymied efforts to access the data behind them. The transparency concerns have Republican lawmakers on a new campaign to end the use of what they dub "secret science."
Roll Call: Iran deal may give Americans a break at the gas pump
The tentative deal designed to limit Iran’s nuclear program led to a quick — though modest — decline in oil prices, raising the possibility American drivers may see a prolonged break from high gasoline prices and creating an opening for Republican lawmakers to step up efforts to end a ban on exporting oil produced in the U.S.
Roll Call: API: Iran deal another signal for U.S. to end crude-exports ban
The congressional campaign against the ban on crude oil exports is gaining momentum after the U.S. and other countries reached a tentative nuclear deal with Iran, according to the American Petroleum Institute. "By lifting self-imposed sanctions, we can give U.S. producers access to global markets and protect our competitive edge," said Eric Wohlschlegel, a spokesman for API.
Fox News: As US energy output surges, Republicans lead effort to lift decades-old oil export ban
Congressional Republicans are leading a bipartisan effort to lift a decades-old ban on oil exports, arguing the recent surge in domestic-energy production and other factors have pushed the embargo past its prime.
CNN: Super-charge the solar power boom
There's a solar power boom in America. But so far, not enough Americans are seeing the benefits of clean energy.
Associated Press: More unused oil, gas wells linger without permanent seals increasing risk
Five years after the Obama administration promised to move swiftly to permanently plug unused oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico, even more shafts are lingering for longer periods with only temporary sealing, an investigation by The Associated Press shows.
Fuel Fix: Schlumberger CEO: New technology appetite growing amid oil downturn
The CEO of Schlumberger says American oil producers are purchasing a lot more new technology in this year’s oil downturn than in previous rough patches, with new tools making up almost a quarter of the company’s revenue. That’s because the oil bust happens to intersect with a change in what the oil companies want to get out of new technology.
The Oklahoman: Investors keep funding oil, natural gas development
A survey this month from the Federal Reserve of Kansas City found that energy companies reported that private equity was more available than it had been in recent months, while financing from banks and other sources were less available. “They’re still confident in the long-term prospects for the oil industry.
The Oklahoman: A quiet milestone that's worthy of celebrating
But it also makes sense to use more of the cleaner natural gas, along with policies that encourage the development of renewables, the conversion of more vehicles to compressed natural gas and the facilitation of natural gas exports. Most of these aren’t on the agenda of our garden-variety environmentalist. Let him tilt at his windmills. We’ll celebrate the gas milestone.
MIT Technology Review: Where is the global shale revolution?
The United States is not alone in having massive shale gas resources: shale formations rich in gas can be found all over the world. But so far no other country has come close to replicating the U.S. boom that has led to relatively cheap natural gas and helped curb yearly carbon dioxide emissions.
OilPrice.com: Can U.S. Nuclear Plants Operate For 80 Years?
The nuclear industry in the United States has been at a standstill for several decades. After an extraordinary wave of construction in the 1960s and 1970s, the nuclear industry ground to a halt. A confluence of events killed off new construction, including high interest rates, cost overruns, delays, and the Three Mile Island incident that scared the public and turned it against nuclear power.
The Hill: Court dismisses Oklahoma lawsuit against Obama climate rule
A federal judge on Friday dismissed Oklahoma’s second lawsuit against the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants.
Houston Chronicle: Oil industry critical of planning offshore drilling rules
The oil industry is taking aim at an Obama administration plan to better safeguard offshore exploration, arguing the Deepwater Horizon-inspired proposal imposes costly and "ill-advised" mandates that could make some wells impossible to drill.
Bloomberg: Analysis: Saudi Arabia oilfield is a Bakken competitor
Oil production in the Bakken Shale costs nearly six times as much per barrel as the Ghawar oilfield in Saudi Arabia. This makes the Saudis a formidable competitor, although production is affected by the country's budget concerns, which seek a market price of at least $89 per barrel.
The Union: HF and the California drought
There are certain measures being considered in California that would ban fracking or at least keep the water from being put back into the water supply. Groups like the Natural Resource Defense Council and Environment California are working to get voters motivated and to put pressure on the state’s legislators. Get involved or even send a letter to your representative and urge them to deal with this fracking issue.
Imperial Valley News: Toward cheaper water treatment - HF matters
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” produces a lot of wastewater. Drilling one well requires millions of gallons of water that’s injected into the ground to loosen rocks and release oil. While some is reused, much of the produced water is discarded into deep injection wells, and clean water is purchased again and again.
The Denver Post: Stop the EPA's carbon power grab, Colorado
When the U.S. Supreme Court remanded the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards recently, it set a clear precedent that costs matter and that the EPA does not have a blank check on the wallets of energy consumers. The EPA's claim that the $10 billion pricetag was "irrelevant" failed to withstand judicial review.
Durango Herald: Gas overtakes coal
Energy companies in Southwest Colorado say hydraulic fracturing and looming carbon-pollution regulations are responsible for natural gas overtaking coal for the first time. The Energy Information Administration’s monthly report for April revealed this week that natural gas surpassed coal as the primary source of electrical power generation in the United States. The monumental moment marks the first time ever that natural gas has powered more electrical generation than coal.
Reuters: Okla. regulators expand scrutiny of disposal wells
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has issued a directive expanding the state's earthquake "areas of interest" with regulations for 211 disposal wells. Well operators will need to show they are not performing water injections under the Arbuckle formation, while some will need to reduce the depth of their wells. The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association said the directive would lead to positive results.
Observer Chronicle: The Texas town that banned HF (and lost)
Denton Law enforcement Sgt Scott Jenkins warns protesters at the web-site of a new fracking properly. When a Texas town voted to ban fracking within city limits, it was a shock to the oil-pleasant condition. But the reaction from the Texas legislature and power business has people questioning what electricity they have remaining. The hydraulic fracturing has started out yet again in Denton, and so also have the protests.
San Antonio-Express News: Permian's pancaked rock layers make it the U.S. oil patch king
In West Texas, the king of the U.S. oil fields is proving to be the safest investment for explorers.
Midland Reporter-Telegram: Permian Basin petroleum contraction continues
The Permian Basin petroleum industry continues to contract amid crude prices that are sharply lower than year-ago levels.
Big Ten Network: Northwestern researchers drill into HF
It’s been driving rapid job creation and an investment boom for a few years now in the Midwest. And experts say it has the potential to make the U.S. energy-independent within the next couple of decades. You and other researchers at Northwestern have spent several years now examining the shale gas production process and how it can be improved. And they recently shared a few ways in which the environmental effects can be mitigated in a study published in the June issue of the scientific journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
The Courier Journal: Kentucky wins a battle, but War on Coal ongoing
Kentucky has won a battle in the War on Coal. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decision said the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act when it issued burdensome new regulations on power plant emissions.
The Columbus Dispatch: ODNR sets rules for HF well pads
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on Thursday that it is implementing new rules for the construction of horizontal well-pad sites. Horizontal well pads are used for fracking, when a well is drilled vertically but then goes horizontally underground, allowing for more than one well.
Athens Messenger: Athens County and Ohio deserve better HF regulation
And guess which of Ohio’s 88 counties is going to be getting the most — Athens County. This is made possible by the opening of an injection well at Torch by S&H Partners. It will more than double the amount of wastewater brought into Athens County to something in excess of 6 million gallons a year.
Pennsylvania Business Daily: Lawmakers call on Wolf to end pursuit of higher taxes
State Reps. Jeff Wheeland (R-Dist. 83) and Garth Everett (R-Dist. 84) vehemently called on Gov. Wolf to end his quest for higher taxes and cooperate with legislators to create a realistic budget.
Tribune-Review: Public being misled on projected use of shale tax funds, critic of Gov. Wolf argues
The Wolf administration and its allies are misleading the public by implying a proposed severance tax on natural gas would exclusively fund education, the president of an industry group said Friday.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Put kids first, not gas companies
The venerable Pennsylvania Republican, portrayed so vividly in the movie “Lincoln” by Tommy Lee Jones, was a man ahead of his time. He helped establish tax-financed public education in our commonwealth — a massive expansion of government at a time when many believed government had no obligation to educate its citizenry.
Scranton Times-Tribune: House returns to budget impasse
The House returns to session Tuesday as the stalemate over the state budget starts to resemble trench warfare.
York Daily Record: Rep. Gillespie: Natural gas impact fee stands to help York County
York County is in the process of receiving more than $420,000 in revenue from the collection of an impact fee on natural gas drilling activities in the Marcellus Shale. Pennsylvania's abundance of natural gas and the fees required by Act 13 of 2012 are the reasons we as a county stand to benefit, even though we are not part of the formation. The four-year total distributed to York County comes to more than $1.5 million.
Bradford Era: Bill looks to Marcellus Shale drilling for economic boost
Looking to parlay the Marcellus Shale drilling boom into even greater economic gains, one state representative has announced new legislation promising a decade of tax breaks to Shale adjacent businesses willing to give Pennsylvania a try.
Times Herald-Record: HF studies show the fight must continue
Just because fracking is prohibited in New York is no reason to let your guard down. Those who want to keep their skills sharp should consider some news from California where protecting the water supply is an honest-to-goodness crisis. According to a study just conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology, fracking in the state consumes about 2.6 billion gallons of fresh water each year, an impressive amount at any time, a sure attention-getter in the fourth year of a drought with no end in sight.
Albany Bureau: E. Rochester lawyer challenges NY HF ban
A legal challenge to New York’s ban on large-scale hydraulic fracturing has been hidden in plain site since May. East Rochester attorney David Morabito quietly filed a lawsuit two months ago against the state Department of Environmental Conservation, challenging the agency’s decision to prohibit him from fracking on land he owns in Allegany County.
Fox 8: Geologist: Samples show signs of shale in Walnut Cove
John Skvarla, the secretary of N.C. Commerce Department, pushed for more spending on shale-gas exploration during a state energy-panel meeting this week after state geologists said samples recently taken from Walnut Cove property indicated unconfirmed signs of shale gas, according to conservationists and commerce officials.
Valley News: Prehearing on Valley Green Natural Gas Proposal Slated for Concord
The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has set a prehearing conference for late this month to review a proposal to provide natural gas to customers in Hanover and Lebanon via a pipeline. If approved, the franchise petition before the Public Utilities Commission would grant Valley Green Natural Gas authority to provide regulated natural gas service in the two municipalities.