Natural Gas

A look at Ukraine's fast-growing Russian gas bill

MOSCOW (AP) — The amount Russia says it is owed by Ukraine's cash-strapped government for natural gas has ballooned as if by magic — from $1.7 billion at the beginning of April to a staggering $35.4 billion, according to a letter sent by President Vladimir Putin this week to 18 European leaders.

Oil

ND posts 951K barrels of oil daily in February

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota oil drillers produced an average of about 951,000 barrels of oil a day in February.

The Department of Mineral Resources says February production was up from an average of about 935,000 barrels daily in January.

Ohio geologists link small quakes to fracking

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation's strictest.

A state investigation of five small tremors last month in the Youngstown area, in the Appalachian foothills, found the injection of sand and water that accompanies hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Utica Shale may have increased pressure on a small, unknown fault, said State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers. He called the link "probable."

While earlier studies had linked earthquakes in the same region to deep-injection wells used for disposal of fracking wastewater, this marks the first time tremors in the region have been tied directly to fracking, Simmers said. The five seismic events in March couldn't be easily felt by people.

Oil

US rig count up 13 to 1,831

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 13 this week to 1,831.

The Houston firm said in its weekly report Friday that 1,517 rigs were exploring for oil and 310 for gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,771 active rigs.

EU working on plan to help Ukraine pay for Russian gas

Source: 
Reuters

European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Austrian radio Friday he sees "no reason to panic" about EU gas supplies that come from Russia, adding that he was working on a plan to help Ukraine pay for its share of Russian gas, Reuters reports.

Natural gas prices jump on supply worries

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Natural gas for May delivery soared 1.5 percent on Nymex Thursday, climbing 6.9 cents to settle at $4.655 per million Btu, on worries that in the increase supplies reported in weekly data from the Energy Information Administration came in far lower than expected, The Wall Street Journal reports.

US threatening tougher sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is warning Russia that it could face tougher economic sanctions because of its actions in Ukraine but so far other economic powers are showing a reluctance to go as far as the United States.

Lew delivered his warning Thursday to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, telling him that the Obama administration was willing to impose "additional significant sanctions" if Russia escalates the Ukraine situation. Treasury said in a statement that Lew described Russia's annexation of Crimea as "illegal and illegitimate."

Oil

Michigan bars indicted energy companies from auctions

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has barred two energy companies under criminal indictment from participating in oil and gas lease auctions.

DNR Director Keith Creagh says Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Encana Corp. can't participate in auctions until Michigan charges against them are resolved. The state also won't execute Encana's pending lease and will refund the company's money.

Chevron renews joint venture with YPF, to spend $1.6B on Argentina shale

Source: 
FuelFix

Chevron will continue to drill in Argentina's Vaca Muerte shale formation, having renewed a joint venture deal with state-owned YPF and intending to spend $1.6 billion there, FuelFix reports.

Lawsuit against Ohio fracking lease gets green light from judge

Source: 
The Columbus Dispatch

An Ohio judge has ruled that a couple challenging a fracking lease for Antero Energy have legal standing to pursue their lawsuit against the state and the Colorado firm intending to drill for gas around Seneca Lake, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

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