Special Notice Today

This is an energy webpage, and on the foundation of energy is our society prospered and secured.  

We also believe that energy along with all other personal, family, local and national issues depend for proper resolution and good outcome on reliance upon God, His Son and the Holy Spirit.

Accordingly, we observe the National Day of Prayer today.  Readers interested in participating may refer to this web page (where local prayer events are listed), and this one, featuring a streaming prayer webcast today.  -dh

Shell stops adding Russian investment, CFO says
Europe's biggest oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, is shutting down all further investment in Russia because of the turmoil in Ukraine, which Western governments have blamed on Russia. "I don't think we'll be jumping into new investments

[in Russia] anytime soon," said Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry. The company previously suspended planning for a shale gas project in Ukraine. The Moscow Times/The Associated Press (4/30), The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (4/30), Platts (4/30)

Today's energy clips from Energy In Depth:


History of natural gas changing energy markets goes back a ways. Wall Street Journal. In 1886, a Pennsylvania state geologist, in an official review, declared natural gas “the fuel of the future”, offering 40% reduction in the cost of manufacturing compared with coal, and used by “3,000 families, 34 iron and steel mills, 60 glass factories, and 300 smaller factories and hotels.” In fact, natural gas, it is explained, is so cheap that it is putting coal companies out of business.
Hydraulic fracturing boosts U.S. oil and gas deals. USA Today. Buoyed by hydraulic fracturing and foreign investment, the U.S. oil and gas industry got off to a notably strong start this year, says a report Wednesday. The industry has had more mergers and acquisitions in 2014′s first three months than in any first quarter in more than a decade, according to a quarterly analysis of deals worth at least $50 million each by PwC US, a consulting firm commonly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Shale Revolution Lures Trading Houses to U.S. Energy Assets. Bloomberg. Merchants from Vitol Group, the largest independent oil trader, to a company backed by billionaire Paul Tudor Jones are amassing physical energy assets in the U.S. at an unprecedented rate as shale output revives stagnant fuels markets. Castleton Commodities International LLC, financed in part by hedge fund managers Tudor Jones and Glenn Dubin, acquired Texas gas wells in February. Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. is buying JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Changing Global Oil Dynamics. Houston Chronicle/Fuel fix. The contribution of hydraulic fracturing to oil production a decade ago was negligible; a result of which was not only the aforementioned 62-year low in US oil production, but a corresponding record high in oil and product imports. We were reliant on the rest of the world (and specifically Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria) to meet 60% of our needs. Not the healthiest situation for energy security, especially when your 4th largest supplier insists on calling the President of your country ‘the devil’. However, in the last half a decade we have seen surging production.
Induced seismic & microseismic monitoring application for drilling. Energy Global. Hunter Communications has teamed with Nanometrics, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of seismology systems and instrumentation, to develop an induced seismic and microseismic monitoring application via satellite for oil and gas drilling sites where hydraulic fracturing is employed.
CSX train carrying oil derails in Virginia. Reuters. “With this event, regulators could try to expedite the process, and they’ll likely err on the side of the more costly safety requirements in order to reduce the risk of these accidents in the future,” said Michael Cohen, vice president for research at Barclays in New York. Tougher rules could drive up costs for firms that lease tank cars and ship oil from the remote Bakken shale of North Dakota, which relies heavily on trains. It could also boost business for companies that manufacture new cars, such as Greenbrier Companies and Trinity Industries.


Effect on water not properly monitored, report finds. CBC. A new report commissioned by Environment Canada says there's little information about the effects of shale gas development on the environment. The report by a panel of 14 international experts concludes "data about potential environmental impacts are neither sufficient nor conclusive."
What experts say we don’t know about shale gas. Globe and Mail. When it comes to understanding the hazards associated with the shale gas boom in Pennsylvania, Bernard Goldstein doesn’t mince words. “We’re racing ahead without seriously thinking through how best to do this,” said Dr. Goldstein, a professor of Environmental and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh and one of the authors of a new report on the environmental impacts of shale gas extraction in Canada.
Shale gas safety put to the test. Lancashire Evening Post. The county council is to spend £30,000 on examining the likely impact on residents should the controversial drilling process get the go-ahead. But Eve McNamara, from the pressure group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, accused the authority of “just paying lip service” to safety concerns.
N.B. Green Party to seek release of consultants’ shale contracts. Canadian Press. New Brunswick’s Green Party leader says he will ask a judge Thursday to force the provincial government to make public the contracts of consultants hired to examine shale gas royalties. David Coon says he filed a request for copies of the contracts under the Right to Information Act in February 2013, but Finance Minister Blaine Higgs refused to release them.
Mexico sets out oil and gas reforms. Financial Times. Just as investors began to develop the jitters over delays to Mexico’s sweeping reform plans, the government set out its legislative blueprint on Wednesday for opening up the oil and gas sector to private investment for the first time in 76 years. The package of 21 laws, drafted after extensive consultations with the conservative National Action party (PAN), implements amendments to the constitution agreed last year and is expected to sail through Congress – unlike reforms to the telecommunications sector and electoral processes, which have hit snags.


Moratorium on drilling to expire in Carson. Los Angeles Times. An effort to extend a moratorium on all oil drilling in the city of Carson failed Tuesday night after the five-member City Council failed to reach the four-fifths supermajority needed to keep the ban in place. The temporary ban, passed last month, was initially sought by the council to allow the city more time to study the potential effects of oil extraction techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing and acidization.
Environmentalists say state has withheld required information. Bakersfield Californian. A prominent environmental group accused state oil regulators Wednesday of failing to comply with public disclosure rules contained in an interim version of California's new hydraulic fracturing law. The accusations are part of the Center for Biological Diversity's efforts to build support for a proposed hydraulic fracturing moratorium that on Wednesday cleared the state Senate Environmental Quality Committee. The legislation, Senate Bill 1132, would disproportionately impact Kern, by far California's top oil-producing county.
Hydraulic Fracturing stirs debate in San Benito County. Santa Cruz Sentinel. In November, voters in San Benito County voters could go to the ballot on one of the first county-wide bans on hydraulic fracturing in California. With a population of just 55,000, the county is one of the smallest in the state. But it already has become a vanguard in the debate over the controversial oil and gas extraction technique, thanks to a small band of opponents who are helping to change how the rest of the state sees their home.
Hydraulic fracturing: find an indisputably clean method. Redwood Times, Op-Ed. When a city like Carson, home to one large oil refinery and next-door neighbor to another, with two major freeways and the site of both a Cal State campus and a major league soccer stadium, slaps a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing because of environmental questions, you know extraction of California’s vast oil and gas reserves is no sure thing.
Carson officials lift moratorium on Occidental project. Daily Breeze. City Council members have abandoned their once-united opposition to new oil drilling in the face of powerful interest groups and strong political pressure spawned by fears that a ban here would set off similar action across the state. After six hours of deliberation, the council voted 2-2 early Wednesday morning to reject a temporary ban on new oil and gas production for the next 10 months.


Colorado coalition reactivates to battle initiatives. Denver Post. Business and political leaders across the state are reactivating a powerful electoral coalition to defeat a dozen proposed ballot initiatives they argue will harm the Colorado economy by hampering oil and gas activity in the state. Coloradans for Responsible Reform, which has successfully fended off several high profile ballot initiatives since 1994, will campaign against measures designed to give local governments greater control over drilling and other business activities.


How Much Activity Will Remain Unregulated in Illinois? Huffington Post Chicago, Op-Ed. Hydraulic fracturing has begun in Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn's Department of Natural Resources issued a permit for a test well at a site where oil extraction is planned. The well isn't subject to Illinois hydraulic fracturing rules due to loopholes in the law passed last year. By utilizing methods that require a lower volume of water, and exploiting other loopholes, oil frackers can avoid new regulation.

Billionth barrel of oil produced from Bakken’s shale formation. Associated Press. Oil drillers targeting the rich Bakken shale formation in western North Dakota and eastern Montana have produced 1 billion barrels of crude, data from the two states show. Drillers first targeted the Bakken in Montana in 2000 and moved into North Dakota about five years later using advanced horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques to recover oil trapped in a thin layer of dense rock nearly two miles beneath the surface.

Shale advocates to hold rally in Harrisburg next week. State Impact. Pennsylvania’s main gas industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, is organizing a major rally at the state Capitol next week. The MSC is busing in supporters from across the state on Tuesday, May 6th. The group is expecting between 2,500 to 3,000 participants.
Pennsylvania farmer: New York has 'nothing to fear' about hydraulic fracturing. Albany Business Review. Pennsylvania dairy farmer Jim Van Blarcom, has had natural gas wells on his land since 2008. "We've had no water problems," the 63-year-old said. "I did enough homework and talked to enough people. I have six grand kids, have a lot of cows and a lot of pigs and I need good water the same as anyone."
The Deer Lakes lease will be good for the county. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, LTE. I am writing in support of the efforts to drill Marcellus Shale wells near the Pittsburgh International Airport and Deer Lakes Park. I am in favor of developing oil and natural gas in the United States. What better way to make our country energy independent especially from countries who consider us the enemy?
Findlay approves airport drilling. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Some Findlay residents are upset the approved plan for natural gas drilling at Pittsburgh International Airport doesn’t include moving a well pad farther away from their neighborhood. Supervisors voted 3-0 on April 23 to approve the Consol Energy plan to drill up to 60 Marcellus Shale and Upper Devonian wells from six pads on about 8,800 acres of airport property.
White introduces two new bills. Harrisburg Times. An area legislator wants local gas drillers to follow the example of a Texas company that recently agreed to release a list of its hydraulic fracturing chemicals. The Houston-based Baker Hughes, a major supplier to the oil and gas industry, said last month it will disclose 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for those deemed proprietary or "trade secrets," which has long been a major point of contention between industry and environmentalists.
North Huntingdon group looks to raise drilling awareness. Tribune-Review. Jen Miller knows there's really no way to stop Marcellus shale drilling from taking place in North Huntingdon. But she is among a handful of people working to make sure residents at least get all the information they can about what is about to happen in the township. “We attended a lot of meetings to try to convince the commissioners to vote against allowing drilling in our parks, but that didn't happen,” said Miller of North Huntingdon. “So we formed a group to begin gathering information and resources to try and help people understand more about what's going on.”


Core jobs in Utica shale play up 79 percent from 2011. Columbus Business First. Core shale-industry jobs in Ohio’s Utica shale play increased 79 percent in two years, according to the latest review by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Employment in industries like well drilling and pipeline construction – the core jobs in the oil and gas industry – reached 13,055 in the third quarter of 2013, up from 7,292 in the same period of 2011, according to the report.

Shale employment climbing in Ohio, report shows. Columbus Dispatch. Ohio’s shale-energy work force grew by more than 4,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the prior-year quarter. The numbers demonstrate continued growth for a part of the economy that is still small in relation to other sectors.

Regulations, higher taxes not factors in BP America decision to abandon Utica shale. Crains Cleveland Business. It's not you, or your governor. It's the rocks. That's BP America's message to Ohioans who might wonder whether it really was the company's drilling results, or the fear of higher taxes and more regulations, that led the company to abandon its position in the Utica shale.

Ohio shale wells: 2013 fourth quarter production released. Farm and Dairy. The report lists 397 wells, 352 of which reported production results. Forty-five wells reported no production, as they are waiting on pipeline infrastructure. The 352 wells produced 1,439,308 barrels of oil and 43,124,803 Mcf (1,000 cubic feet) of natural gas.

Rex Energy Reports First Quarter 2014 Operational and Financial Results. Akron Beacon Journal. The report lists 397 wells, 352 of which reported production results. Forty-five wells reported no production, as they are waiting on pipeline infrastructure. The 352 wells produced 1,439,308 barrels of oil and 43,124,803 Mcf (1,000 cubic feet) of natural gas.

20 science faculty support charter amendment. WKBN. Twenty science faculty at Youngstown State University have joined together to endorse the Youngstown Charter Amendment (Community Bill of Rights) to ban hydraulic fracturing and injection wells within the city. Spearheaded by geology professor Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, the professors coming from scientific disciplines including hydrology, biology, chemistry, and physics, among others, have added their name to a list of supporters of the Youngstown Charter Amendment that will appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

U.S. EPA asked to remove ODNR as authority over injection wells. Alliance Review. A petition has been filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting the ODNR be removed as the primary agency responsible for regulating oil and gas Class II injection wells. Theresa Mills of the Center for Health, Education and Justice (CHEJ) spoke at Kent Presbyterian Church Monday night as a guest of the Kent Environmental Council to explain why.

Energy presents check to Belmont County EMA for upgrades. WTOV- XTO. New technology capabilities have been made possible at one Belmont County agency, thanks to XTO Energy and a donation worth thousands of dollars presented to officials Wednesday morning. A $15,000 check was handed to the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency by an oil and gas company hoping to give back to the community through the implementation of new technology.


Australian firm puts more Eagle Ford wells into production. San Antonio Business Journal. Australia’s Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd. says it put eight net new wells into production and started 15 more during the first quarter in Eagle Ford Shale. At the end of the quarter, the company had 111 net wells in production across its 80,200 South Texas acres, known as the Sugarkane Field.
Shale activity and other factors drive M&A activity to 10-year high. San Antonio Business Journal. Activity in the Eagle Ford Shale and other U.S. shale plays helped drive mergers and acquisitions in the oil-and-gas industry to their highest first-quarter deal volume in more than a decade, according to new data from consulting firm PwC US. For the three months ended March 31, oil-and-gas companies launched 43 deals with values greater than $50 million, accounting for $19.8 billion in activity. That compares to 41 deals in the first quarter of last year. PwC only includes deals over $50 million, which it categorizes as large transactions, in its quarterly tally.
Thousands turn out for Texas Eagle Ford Shale Expo. Corpus Christi Caller. More than 2,000 people in the oil and gas industry swapped ideas Wednesday during the final day of the Texas Eagle Ford Shale Expo 2014 at the American Bank Center.
Study cites ozone fears if standards tightened. Houston Chronicle. A new environmental study shows that if standards get any tougher, the San Antonio-New Braunfels area likely won't meet federal clean-air standards for ozone in a few years. The report for the first time takes into account drilling and production in the Eagle Ford Shale, the massive oil and gas field south of San Antonio, and adds it to more well-known air pollution sources such as commuter cars and power plants.
Cut In Funding Followed Early Release of Air Quality Study. Houston Press, Blog. The Alamo Area Council of Governments — a state council that oversees 13 counties in the San Antonio area — learned this the hard way when the agency, which had been contracted by the TCEQ to conduct a study on the impact drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has had on air quality, released the information to the San Antonio-Express News before the report was given to TCEQ.