Hydraulic Fracturing/Fracking

Report: Natural gas drillers find new technology to address concerns

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Environmental complaints about drillers and fracking – including methane emissions, burning excess gas by flaring and water contamination – are being addressed by advances in technology, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Energy-environment drilling program underway in Pa.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An uncommon partnership between oil and gas companies and some environmental groups has accepted its first application for a certification program aimed at promoting voluntary but tough new standards in addition to existing government regulations on drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

The Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale said Thursday one drilling company, which was not identified, has submitted an application to be certified. Director Susan LeGros said an independent audit of the company is scheduled for early June.

Pennsylvania court weighs gas drilling rules

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania appeals court appeared skeptical of gas drilling rules that would limit what "trade secrets" the industry must share after a spill.

Pennsylvania is trying to update 20-year-old laws to oversee the drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale. But the state's high court last year threw out much of the industry-friendly regulations passed in 2012, which would have limited local oversight of drilling operations.

In Commonwealth Court arguments Wednesday, President Judge Dan Pellegrini asked whether drilling companies alone should know what chemicals are "in the secret sauce" used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process. Millions of gallons of fluids are forced into the earth in fracking to break through the shale. Under the existing law, companies must disclose the chemicals involved, but can make exceptions for what they deem trade secrets.

NY ban on fracking waste proposed by Democrats

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Shipping hydraulic fracturing waste product into the state for treatment or disposal would be banned under legislation introduced Tuesday by Democrats in the state Senate.

The four bill released by the minority conference Tuesday would also ban the waste from being used to melt ice off roads and bar treatment facilities and landfills from accepting the byproduct.

Fracking involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure to extract oil and gas from rock formations.

Oil

Out-of-control North Dakota oil well plugged

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Officials say an out-of-control oil well in northwestern North Dakota has been plugged.

Williams County Emergency Manager Mike Hallesy says the well located near Tioga was under control on Tuesday.

Denver-based Emerald Oil Inc. reported to state regulators on Friday that the well was out of control. Officials say an unknown amount of oil, gas and other liquids was contained on site.

GE breaks ground on new Okla City tech center

Source: 
FuelFix

General Electric was set to break ground in Oklahoma City Monday on a new technology center, where it intends to work with partner Devon Energy to improve drilling equipment and technology, FuelFix reports.

Oil

Tioga well continues leaking oil days after spill

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — An oil well near the town of Tioga continued to leak oil, gas and fracking fluid on Monday, days after authorities learned about the problem, a local official said.

Williams County emergency coordinator Mike Hallesy said he was notified Friday evening of the spill in the western North Dakota's oil patch and that the leak hadn't stopped.

The Department of Mineral Resources said the incident occurred at the Ron Burgundy 3-23-14H well, around eight miles northwest of Tioga. The well is owned by Denver-based Emerald Oil.

Texas regulators await new info before tackling tremors

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The panel that regulates the Texas oil and gas industry is waiting for more information before will accept that there are any links between increased seismic activity and drilling activity — especially hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, its executive director told lawmakers on Monday.

The Texas Railroad Commission was reviewing how it regulates wells used for storing wastewater from drilling, Milton Rister, the commission's executive director, told the Texas House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity.

Rister declined to offer specifics and gave a warning to the lawmakers.

Green groups question Pennsylvania's gas drilling report

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection thinks it is doing a good job regulating the biggest gas drilling boom in the nation, but environmental groups say that a new state report is far too optimistic.

The DEP report issued this week claims that Pennsylvania is a "world class leader" in regulating oil and gas production and balancing economic and environmental needs.

That's hardly the case, said Delaware Riverkeeper Maya K. van Rossum.

Rules for NC fracking could wait 3 more months

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some North Carolina lawmakers want to give a state panel three more months to finalize regulations for energy exploration like fracking before the rules reach the legislature next year for final review.

A study committee recommended on Thursday a bill to extend the deadline for the panel developing oil and natural gas rules from Oct. 1 to Jan. 1. The measure also would streamline the process once rules are settled before they can be implemented. Lawmakers have the chance to reject those rules.

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