International news for oil and gas professionals
It was one of those "don't know whether to laugh or cry" moments in early June when Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called for the Justice Department's antitrust division to investigate whether Chesapeake Energy Corp., ConocoPhillips, and others conspired to reduce natural gas production.
The European Commission has shown welcome flexibility in its push to centralize safety regulation of offshore oil and gas activities (OGJ, Feb. 6, 2012, p. 26). Its next move toward enhanced offshore safety should be to rethink the need for centralized regulation.
Hydraulic fracturing, as currently used by the oil and gas industry for unconventional natural gas projects, poses little risk for inducing earthquakes that can be felt by people, the National Research Council (NRC) said in a recent report.
Small earthquakes appear likelier with higher underground injection volumes associated with wastewater disposal and carbon capture and storage projects than from hydraulic fracturing to recover oil and gas from tight shales, experts told the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement should modify some existing practices in evaluating offshore safety and environmental systems (SEMS) programs' effectiveness, a National Research Council committee report recommended.
Voluntary conservation agreements already in place in New Mexico and Texas have kept the US Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the dunes sagebrush lizard as an endangered species, the US Department of the Interior announced on June 13.
The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed air-quality updates to its annual standards for particulate matter, also called soot, involving fine particles 2.5 µm or less in diameter (PM 2.5) to a range of 12-13 µg/cu m. The current annual standard is 15 µg/cu m.
Disruptions to supply and ever-increasing demand were the two main energy stories of 2011, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012.
During a Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries conference in Vienna, the producer group decided to leave its official production ceiling at 30 million b/d.
Brazil's state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has approved its 2012-16 business plan with investments totaling $236.5 billion and averaging $47.3 billion/year.
The US Geological Survey released a new global estimate for potential oil and gas reserve additions in conventional discovered fields outside the US.
Statoil Australia Oil & Gas AS will take a farmout from PetroFrontier Corp., Calgary, on PetroFrontier's four exploration permits and two exploration permit applications in the southern Georgina basin in Northern Territory, Australia.
The US Bureau of Land Management's proposed rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public lands could impose costs of up to $1.6 billion/year upon society, the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) said in a full economic analysis released June 13.
Three institutional investor groups called upon the oil and natural gas industry to reduce methane emissions from unconventional oil and gas activities, citing concerns about hydraulic fracturing.
Natural gas production from shale, coalbed methane, and tight sands is expected to support 1.4 million US jobs by 2015, said a new study released by IHS Global Insight.
US President Barack Obama made clear on June 15 his determination to continue emphasizing government spending and discouraging resource development in pursuit of energy-industry jobs.