Feds to resume leasing for fracking in California

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.


Shell files revised Arctic offshore drilling plan

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.

White House photo

Oil, gas groups give WH mixed reviews under Podesta

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.


Environmental groups focus on flaring

National Journal

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.


US rig count down 17 to 1,896

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell 17 this week to 1,896.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,564 rigs were exploring for oil and 330 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.

Senate Democrats

Landrieu pushes again for offshore drilling, revenue

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.


BP names Lawler to lead its US onshore unit

The Hill

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.


US government sells 400,000 acres offshore Texas

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.


Tech advances lure drillers to revisit fracked wells


Technology advances are bringing new life to wells sunk within the past three years as shale drilling sees what’s being called a re-fracking boom, Reuters reports.


Interior Department holds Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale

New Orleans, August 20, 2014, 9:00 am

Interior Department Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announces results of lease sale 238 for the Western Planning Area in the Gulf of Mexico. 


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