SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will resume issuing oil and gas leases next year for federal lands in California after a new study found limited environmental impacts from fracking and other enhanced drilling techniques, the agency said Thursday.
The move will end a halt that has stood since a federal judge ruled in 2013 that the federal agency failed to follow environmental law in allowing an oil extraction method known as fracking on public land in Monterey County.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC has filed a revised Arctic offshore drilling plan with federal regulators but says the company hasn't decided whether to return to waters off the coast of northwest Alaska in 2015.
The revised exploration plan submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Anchorage calls for two drilling vessels to operate simultaneously in the Chukchi Sea rather than one in the Chukchi and one in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north Coast.
The presence of two vessels is required so one can drill a relief well in the event of damage from a blowout.
Since assuming key energy and climate roles inside the White House late last year, John Podesta and Dan Utech are getting passing grades on accessibility from industry trade lobbies. But the slow pace of action leaves the groups uncertain about the future of the U.S. energy boom.
Industry officials told EnergyGuardian that the White House has been open to hearing their arguments about goals, such as expanded offshore drilling, and criticisms, notably delays surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard and potentially tougher ozone standards.
The non-profit group Sky Truth has created a global interactive map displaying natural gas flaring – in the U.S. showing concentrated activity in the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Marcellus Shale plays -- while environmental advocate Earthworks has released a report entitled Up in Flames that contains extensive statistics, stating, for example, that flaring in the Bakken increased five-fold between 2010 and 2013, according to National Journal.
Sen. Mary Landreiu, D-La., is calling again for the Interior Department to open up new offshore areas to oil and gas exploration, following a lease sale held Wednesday for western Gulf of Mexico tracts.
Landrieu, who is facing a tough re-election battle against Republican front-runner Rep. Bill Cassidy, made the call after the sale brought in nearly $110 million to the government in high bids on 81 tracts.
As part of its attempt to get more out of shale, BP has tapped industry veteran David Lawler, who’d worked most recently at Oklahoma-based Sandridge Energy Inc., to run a new unit devoted to its onshore business in the Lower 48 states, The Hill reports.
The federal government has sold more than 400,000 acres in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast for oil and gas exploration and development, an official with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Wednesday.
The acreage represents a fraction of the 21.6 million acres the agency had offered as part of the Obama administration's five-year program to aggressively develop resources on the Outer Continental Shelf. Offerings since 2012 in the western Gulf attracted buyers for about 60 million offshore acres, adding about $2.3 billion to the U.S. Treasury.
Wednesday's sales, if approved, will bring in about $110 million, the agency's western Gulf of Mexico Deputy Director Michael Celata said.
Plants would no longer be exempt from air pollution regulations when they’re starting up, shutting down or malfunctioning, under a new regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, The Hill reports.
A series of major energy and environmental regulations will be published by federal agencies between June and August, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules limiting power plant carbon emissions, the Interior Department’s rule protecting streams from mountaintop removal coal mining, and the Obama administration strategy for cutting methane emissions, The Hill reports.
A group of senators - 17 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders - has written to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, asking her to stop Royal Dutch Shell or anyone else from drilling in the Arctic, Reuters reports.
The reaction in Washington to this week’s oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara has been muted, National Journal reports, despite wishes expressed by environmentalists that the incident generate backing for policies moving the country away from fossil fuels.
A website set up by Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to collect grievances about federal regulation and bureaucracy has received complaints about a wide variety of the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending regulations, E&E reports.
Mississippi electric power cooperatives are backing away from a deal in which they would take 15 percent ownership of the Kemper County coal plant that will use carbon capture technology, because they said the power it generates would end up being too expensive, E&E reports.
A stronger dollar combined with the drop of only 1 oil rig in Baker Hughes’ weekly count sent crude prices sliding Friday. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude lost 1.6 percent, or $1, to settle at $59.72 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent was $1.17 , or 1.8 percent, lower, at $65.37, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Standard & Poor’s thinks oil companies that have managed to survive the slide in crude prices by borrowing more money may start running into trouble in the coming months, particularly if the price stays in the $50 range, FuelFix reports.
A new analysis concludes that wells in Mountrail and McKenzie counties in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale are productive enough to remain profitable even with oil prices around $60 a barrel, FuelFix reports.
With oil prices dramatically lower than a year ago, AAA predicts that more than 37 million people will travel more than 50 miles over the Memorial Day weekend - the most since 2005, The New York Times reports.