AZLE, Texas (AP) — Earthquakes used to be almost unheard of on the vast stretches of prairie that unfold across Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
But in recent years, temblors have become commonplace. Oklahoma recorded nearly 150 of them between January and the start of May. Most were too weak to cause serious damage or endanger lives. Yet they've rattled nerves and raised suspicions that the shaking might be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, especially the wells in which the industry disposes of its wastewater.
Now after years of being harangued by anxious residents, governments in all three states are finally confronting the issue, reviewing scientific data, holding public discussions and considering new regulations.
High Sierra Water Services has to stop putting oil and gas wastewater into one of its injection wells near the site of tremors including a 3.4 magnitude earthquake, according to an order from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Platts reports.
The 9 percent increase in U.S. oil and gas reserves in 2013 was down to independents like Anadarko Petroleum active in the country’s shale plays, not the major oil companies, according to an analysis by EY, FuelFix reports.
Vietnam and China have traded accusations about who is responsible for a vessel-ramming incident that took place in the South China Sea Monday, as the fight over a Chinese oil rig drilling in disputed waters continues, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Transocean Partners, a Scotland-based master limited partnership spinoff from Transocean Ltd. that already has a share in two deepwater drillships operating under contract with Chevron, hopes to raise $350 million in an initial public offering, FuelFix reports.
Reports filed with Oklahoma regulators say more than 2,600 oil and gas wells were completed in the state last year, when companies also applied for more than 4,000 permits for the second year in a row, The Oklahoman reports.
Finding solar imports from China and Taiwan were being sold too cheaply on the U.S. market, the Commerce Department has imposed a new round of duties, more than doubling for some Chinese products while Taiwanese producers face having to pay an extra 44 percent, Reuters reports.
The proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants includes an incentive for development of regional systems for carbon trading, and top air regulators from Western states held a closed-door meeting last week to discuss the idea, Bloomberg reports.
A district court has rejected a ban on fracking imposed by the city of Longmont, in a ruling celebrated by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, but a coalition of environmental groups says it will appeal, E&E reports.
Pemex said it lost more than $4 billion in the second quarter on higher costs and taxes, despite an increase in revenue, Reuters reports, noting that the Mexican state-run oil company anticipates 2014 will see its lowest output in more than 20 years.
Representatives from the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management were not invited to a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing Thursday where complaints were aired about their “bullying” tactics across the West, most recently in New Mexico, where ranchers charge their water rights are being violated by moves to erect fences to protect the habitat of the meadow jumping mouse, E&E reports.
At the current rate of work, it would take 30 years to repair and replace utilities’ aging natural gas pipelines around the country, but compressing that to 10 years would create more than 300,000 jobs and slash methane emissions, according to a report from the BlueGreen Alliance, FuelFix reports.
The U.S. produced more than 149 million gallons of biomass-based diesel in June, up more than 4 million from May, and the six month level was more than 70 million higher compared to last year, according to Environmental Protection Agency data, although average monthly production was down following the expiration of a tax credit at the end of December, Platts reports.
Ontario-based Algonquin Power & Utilities, following a rejection of its bids for Gas Natural, has written to the board warning that it will present its case to the company’s shareholders, Gannett’s Great Falls Tribune reports.