Hydraulic Fracturing/Fracking

Texas city could be first in state to ban fracking

DENTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas city that sits on top of the Barnett Shale, believed to hold one of the largest natural gas reserves in the U.S., could become the first area in the state to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing.

A recently adopted temporary ban is in place until September, but fracking opponents want to make that permanent through an ordinance that would prohibit the practice in Denton.

Operators would be allowed to continue extracting energy from the 275 wells in Denton that have already undergone fracking, but not reinitiate the process on old wells.

Deal reached on Connecticut fracking waste bill

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state Senate on Monday endorsed a bipartisan compromise on how to handle the possibility of waste coming to Connecticut from hydraulic fracturing operations in other states.

The legislation creates a moratorium on the waste being stored or disposed in the state until the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection adopts regulations on the matter. Under the bill, DEEP would have until July 1, 2017, to submit its proposed regulations to the General Assembly's Regulations Review Committee.

Michigan to require fracking disclosure

Source: 
Detroit Free Press

New rules governing hydraulic fracturing in Michigan will require drillers to perform baseline water testing as well as disclosing the chemicals they use in their process, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Energy Dept. welcomes fracking chemical disclosure

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that it welcomes the decision by oil and gas industry supplier Baker Hughes to disclose all chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluid. But Halliburton, a major competitor in the field, isn't committing to such disclosure.

Deputy Assistant Energy Secretary Paula Gant said that Baker Hughes' move "is an important step in building public confidence" and the department "hopes others will follow their lead."

Baker Hughes: Months to implement chemicals disclosure policy

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A major supplier to the oil and gas industry says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for trade secrets. The move by Baker Hughes of Houston is a shift for a major firm; it's unclear if others will follow suit.

The oil and gas industry has said the fracking chemicals are disclosed at tens of thousands of wells, but environmental and health groups and government regulators say a loophole that allows companies to hide chemical "trade secrets" has been a major problem.

A statement on the Baker Hughes website said the company believes it's possible to disclose 100 percent "of the chemical ingredients we use in hydraulic fracturing fluids without compromising our formulations," to increase public trust.

Major oil & gas firm to list drilling chemicals

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A major supplier to the oil and gas industry says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for trade secrets. The move by Baker Hughes of Houston is a major shift; it's unclear if other firms will follow suit.

Environmental and health groups have criticized the industry for not disclosing all of the chemicals used in drilling.

Fracking foes challenge Ohio earthquake assurances

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A citizens' group isn't taking the word of state regulators that new permitting guidelines will protect public health after earthquakes in northeast Ohio were linked to the gas drilling method of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Youngstown-based Frackfree Mahoning Valley says the science behind the finding is suspect and new permit conditions won't prevent future quakes.

Dayton says he can't impose frack sand moratorium

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton says he lacks authority to impose a two-year moratorium on silica sand mining in southeastern Minnesota.

Mining opponents delivered a moratorium petition to St. Paul Tuesday as part of an Earth Day rally at the Capitol.

The petitions also call for creation of tough state-level regulations to protect air and water quality from the mining of silica sand, which oil and gas drillers use for hydraulic fracturing.

Quality over quantity key to shale success, say indy drillers

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Smaller companies who get the most out of prime acreage are the biggest winners in the shale boom, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Fracking foes cringe as unions back Marcellus, Utica drilling boom

PITTSBURGH (AP) — After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.

That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking."The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families," said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic regional manager for the Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, which represents workers in numerous construction trades.

Martire said that as huge quantities of natural gas were extracted from the vast shale reserves over the last five years, union work on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and West Virginia has increased significantly. In 2008, LIUNA members worked about 400,000 hours on such jobs; by 2012, that had risen to 5.7 million hours.

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says total employment in the nation's oil and gas industry rose from about 120,000 in early 2004 to about 208,000 last month. Less than 10 percent of full-time oil and gas industry workers are represented by unions.

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