DENTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas community that sits on what's believed to hold one of the biggest natural gas reserves in the U.S. could become the first city in the state to ban hydraulic fracturing, with Denton City Council members set to vote Tuesday night on a citizen-led petition.
Industry groups and state regulators warn that such a ban ban could be followed by litigation and a severe hit to the city economy. The City Council is holding a public hearing Tuesday night, with a vote to follow.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — States where hydraulic fracturing is taking place have seen a surge in earthquake activity, raising suspicions that the unconventional drilling method could be to blame, especially the wells where the industry disposes of its wastewater.
Fracking generates vast amounts of wastewater, far more than traditional drilling methods. The water is pumped into injection wells, which send the waste thousands of feet underground. No one knows for certain exactly what happens to the liquids after that. Scientists wonder whether they could trigger quakes by increasing underground pressures and lubricating faults.
GUTHRIE, Oklahoma (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded seven small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma in a span of about 14 hours.
The temblors are part of an increase in earthquakes across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas that some scientists say could be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, and especially the wells in which the industry disposes of its wastewater.
NEW YORK (AP) — Halliburton said Friday it is entering its first joint venture in China that will use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to unleash energy.
The Houston company, which provides drilling services to oil and gas operators, said it will create the joint venture with an affiliate of SPT Energy Group. The venture will focus on hydraulic fracturing and production enhancement services in Xinjiang, China.
Exxon Mobil Corp. accused Pennsylvania's attorney general of using a criminal case against the company over a waste water spill as part of a larger effort to stop hydraulic fracturing in the state, The Wall Street Journal reports.
New American Petroleum Institute Vice President Louis Finkel protested a number of anti-hydraulic fracturing measures set to appear on ballots across the nation, calling the process "irresponsible," The Hill reports.
Oklahoma has experienced twice the number of earthquakes this year as California, and some communities and environmental groups are concerned that the state's surge in hydraulic fracturing may be playing a role, Bloomberg reports.
Saying Europe could reap one tenth of its energy needs from hydraulic fracturing in shale, European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger urged Germany to keep an open mind on fracking in light of recent recommendations that raise concern on the safety of the process, Reuters reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study explains how just four wells forcing massive amounts of drilling wastewater into the ground are probably shaking up Oklahoma.
Those wells seem to have triggered more than 100 small-to-medium earthquakes in the past five years, according to a study published Thursday by the journal Science. Many of the quakes were much farther away from the wells than expected.
Combined, those wells daily pour more than 5 million gallons (19 million liters) of water a mile or two underground into rock formations, the study found. That buildup of fluid creates more pressure that "has to go somewhere," said study lead author Cornell University seismologist Katie Keranen.
Following a court ruling backing the power of New York communities to ban fracking, lawyers are speculating that a future legal challenge could come from a landowner challenging the loss of valuable rights known as takings, E&E reports.
China processed 10.3 million barrels of oil a day in September, a record analysts -- who say companies are replenishing their stockpiles -- attribute to the drop in crude prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Oil prices gained early Tuesday on news of record demand in China in September. Crude increased 55 cents, bringing the U.S. benchmark to $83.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent hit $85.95, Reuters reports.
Monday’s settlement for November natural gas futures on the Nymex – down 9.6 cents to $3.67 per million British thermal units – represents an 11-month low, and analysts told Platts a mild weather forecast for the month will likely reinforce the sluggish trend.
Despite recent improvements in the numbers, oil and gas firms still have more deaths from explosions and fires than any other private industry and carelessness is still a problem, according to E&E’s review of federal statistics.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex. and chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has sent a second letter to Administrator Gina McCarthy about the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants, this time demanding a full cost analysis in the face of what he calls “the flaws and deficiencies in EPA’s modeling,” The Hill reports.
The reduction in the federal investment tax credit that’s due to take effect at the end of 2016 will drive a wave of consolidation that will leave six to 12 major players in the solar industry, an analyst predicted at the start of the Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas, Bloomberg reports.
Tesoro Logistics is getting into the natural gas business, picking up assets from QEP Resources in Colorado, Utah and North Dakota in a deal with a $2.5 billion price tag, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Taking the first formal step in the process to limit strontium in drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a preliminary determination to regulate levels of the substance and will take public comment on the matter, The Hill reports.