Natural Gas

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No 'pause' in LNG export reviews, DOE official says

The Energy Department has not stopped processing liquefied natural gas export applications, even as questions continue to be raised about the possible impact to domestic prices from additional approvals, a key official said on Monday.

"We're continuing to move forward on these things," said Christopher A. Smith, the department's principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil fuel, at a forum in Washington. "As it has been in the past, it's been our job to make sure we're moving this process expeditiously...we have no pause to announce," he added.

Gas boom shrinking Texas community


Freeport LNG is buying out residents in the tiny Texas town of Quintana to make room for an LNG export facility, FuelFix reports.

PG&E pleads not guilty in fatal pipeline blast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday to a dozen felony charges stemming from alleged safety violations in a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that leveled a suburban neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As survivors of the blast looked on, attorneys for California's largest utility entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to 12 felony violations of federal pipeline safety laws.

Federal Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero noted prosecutors' request to increase the maximum fine PG&E could face to more than $6 million, if the court decides the company somehow benefited financially or saved money as a result of criminal misconduct.


Halliburton posts $622M in 1st-qtr net income

DALLAS (AP) — Halliburton made money in the first quarter on rising revenue in the Middle East and Asia, and the CEO said Monday that he sensed an upturn in the North American market.

Earnings and revenue topped expectations and Halliburton reversed course after a loss a year ago, when results were hurt by charges related to the huge 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Quality over quantity key to shale success, say indy drillers

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.

Alaska legislature approves advancing gas line project

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill setting the state's participation in a major liquefied natural gas project.

The House voted 36-4 on the measure Sunday. The Senate later voted 16-4 to agree to the House changes.

SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, would set state participation at about 25 percent in a project also being pursued TransCanada, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., and the North Slope's major players. It would allow the project to move to a stage of preliminary engineering and design and cost refinement.

McClendon subsidiary renting rigs from Chesapeake for Utica exploration


A subsidiary of American Energy Partners, the company run by shale pioneer Aubrey McClendon, is renting seven rigs from his former firm Chesapeake Energy to drill for gas in the Utica Shale, Bloomberg reports.

Alaska House Finance tackles gas line amendment

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The House Finance Committee is nearing the end of its work on a bill aimed at advancing a major liquefied natural gas project.

The committee did a relatively light rewrite on the bill, after powering through amendments late Thursday. Co-chair Bill Stoltze planned to bring the bill back for discussion before it's sent to the floor.

SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, would set state participation in the project at about 25 percent. It's also aimed at moving the project into a phase of preliminary engineering and design.

Report: Pennsylvania forests impacted by drilling

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A small portion of Pennsylvania state forest land has been impacted by shale gas drilling, but many questions remain about how to manage the politically sensitive issue that is opposed by many residents, according to a new report.

The 268-page Department of Conservation and Natural Resources report issued this week concluded that "shale-gas production on state forest lands is neither benign nor catastrophic" and that there are clearly impacts and trade-offs.

"The question is what trade-offs are acceptable," the report said.


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