A study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that surfactant chemicals extracted from samples of hydraulic fracturing fluids are no more toxic than common household products. The researchers’ November 12th statement noted that the chemicals identified in the fracking fluids are also found in consumer products, including toothpastes, laxatives, detergents, and ice creams. Continue Reading
The Department of Energy has issued the two final authorizations (here and here) for Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P., and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC (Freeport), to export domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement (FTA). The agency determined that, with record domestic production at 75.05 Bcf/d, the facility’s projected export rate of 1.4 Bcf/d would not increase domestic energy costs and was therefore consistent with the public interest. Continue Reading
In the final days before the November election, the Republican (then minority) staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a report outlining the domestic economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing, entitled Setting the Record Straight: Hydraulic Fracturing and America’s Energy Revolution. The report espouses the benefits of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and asserts that, without the private sector’s significant investment in oil and natural gas development, the economy would still be in recession. Continue Reading
The EPA’s inspector general, Arthur Elkins, Jr., has rejected Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) appeal for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to drop its review of the agency and the states’ ability to manage potential threats to water resources from hydraulic fracturing. In his October 16th letter responding to Sen. Inhofe, Mr. Elkins noted that, while inspectors general (IG) report their findings to Congress and their agency heads, they do not take direction from either in deciding what to review. He added that the Inspector General Act does not require IGs to explain why they should be allowed to continue their work, and that, in his opinion, interference by Congress or the agency is contrary to the statute. Continue Reading
The team at Fracking Insider is honored to work alongside a number of distinguished veterans, including our own fearless leader, John Wittenborn (USAF Ret.), and we are proud of the veterans in our families as well (Thanks Pop!). In honor of Veterans Day, the veterans in our lives, and all the men and women who served, Fracking Insider humbly compiled the following resources for helping veterans find jobs in the oil and gas industry. Giving a veteran a job is not a bad way to say thanks.
Also, don’t forget to check the job boards for those companies in the oil & gas industry that made the 2015 list of the top 100 Military Friendly Employers®:
- Baker Hughes (ranked #3!)
- Fugro (USA)
- Devon Energy
- Patterson-UTI Drilling Company, LLC
- Berkshire Hathaway Energy
- BP America, Inc.
- Chesapeake Energy Corporation
- Sunoco Logistics
Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 37 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate to ask. Continue Reading
The final mid-term election of a presidency typically represents the last election of consequence for the President, and the point where Presidents demonstrate an increased willingness to take actions that are politically unpopular or controversial.
While Presidential pardons are perhaps the most notable of these politically unpopular lame-duck actions, the President’s monument designation authority is certainly the most closely watched among land-use industries like the oil & gas industry because it can be used to restrict large areas of public land from all future development. Continue Reading
Virginia recently announced a special joint review process between the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (“DMME”) and Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) of applications to use hydraulic fracturing in the commonwealth’s Coastal Plain. The Coastal Plain provides about half of the freshwater used by Virginia residents, and one company has already proposed drilling in the Northern Neck area.
The joint review process, as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding, will begin with an analysis of the potential cumulative environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. The DMME will conduct an environmental impact assessment following any drilling permit application as it has usually done; the DEQ will review the assessment and will also have the authority to conduct its own assessment on a case-by-case basis. The DMME and DEQ will work to reach an agreement on each permit; if they are unable to do so, the Secretaries for Natural Resources and for Commerce and Trade will make the final decision.
With assistance from Catherine Wilmarth
The Department of Energy (“DOE”) has announced that it will no longer be issuing conditional approvals of export licenses for liquefied natural gas (“LNG”). DOE will instead wait until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has approved environmental reviews for the projects, including rehearing requests, allowing DOE to focus its efforts on the applications of projects that are more likely to reach completion. Continue Reading
A recently released study has found that artificial earthquakes resulting from the use of disposal wells for produced waters and other oil and gas wastewaters are less intense, and in general about sixteen times weaker, than naturally occurring earthquakes. The peer-reviewed paper included analysis of eleven earthquakes occurring between 2011 and 2013 in Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas that are suspected of being caused by the use of injection wells. Continue Reading