Shale Development Using Fracking is pushing $890 Billion in new US Oil & Gas investments over the next 12 yrs

HBW Resources: Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Below is a summary prepared by Bo Ollison, HBW Resources’ Senior Director of Policy, of publicly available activities currently underway at the federal, state and international levels that could impact the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas development.  HBW Resources is monitoring these activities to ensure that responsible and feasible policies based on sound science are advanced.

Highlights

  • Rampart Energy announced that it will conduct 3-D seismic testing on 120 square miles of state lands located southwest of the Prudhoe Bay Alaska oil fields
  • The Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas will be one of the nation’s most prolific regions for natural gas production according to a new report from the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. says it will invest $80 million this year to drill about 50 natural gas wells in south Arkansas
  • Oil and gas companies that are hydraulic fracturing off the Southern California coast must report chemicals discharged into the ocean under a new rule released by federal environmental regulators
  • Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development launched a new website called StudyFracking.com
  • According to China’s Land and Resources Ministry, the country’s shale gas production went up by more than five times last year, totaling 200 million cubic meters in 2013 compared to 30 million in 2012.
  • IMG Midstream plans to build natural gas power plants in Pennsylvania, most are 20 megawatt natural gas power plants, with a capital cost ranging between $15 million and $20 million
  • Some Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny and Washington, have seen large royalties come in from allowing companies to drill for natural gas in their parks and on other public lands. Washington County has received about $10 million from drilling companies since 2007 and has used the money to help build infrastructure and public amenities
  • Lebanon County commissioners will have some tough choices to make when it comes to distributing the county’s share of Marcellus Shale drilling fee funds
  • For the 11th month in a row starting in November 2012, the U.S. took the top spot again in September as the No. 1 petroleum producer in the world
  • The Eagle Ford Shale drew $8.8 billion in upstream oil and gas deals in 2013, the largest value in the country and oil and gas companies are expected to spend between $23 billion and $30 billion in the Eagle Ford
  • Powered by extensive Marcellus and Utica shale processing and pipelining infrastructure, the Wheeling (WV) Metropolitan Statistical Area saw construction investments grow from $60.3 million in 2012 to $1.72 billion in 2013
  • Wyoming regulators have given the green light to a natural gas processing facility planned for Douglas
  • Net gas production across six significant gas-producing basins rose by about 221,000 Mcf/d in December
  • The U.S. oil and gas industry is projected to invest $890 billion over the next 12 years, according to a report on infrastructure investments
  • According to S&P, exports of refined products have surged by more than 60% to about 1.7 million barrels a day since 2010
  • World Well Stimulation Materials Market” reports that global demand for well stimulation materials is expected to register double digit annual growth through 2017
  • Poland Oil & Gas Report Q1 2014,” reveals that shale gas is likely to start contributing to Poland’s gas output in 2019
  • ExxonMobil officially launched the world’s first chemical unit that processes crude oil in Singapore
  • French oil giant Total is on the verge of becoming the first major oil company to explore for natural gas and oil in shale rock in Britain

States
State Legislative Update: Please see the linked spreadsheet for an updated listing of state legislation dealing with hydraulic fracturing.

Alaska
An Australian energy company is jumping into the race to develop Alaska’s potentially valuable oil shale resources on the North Slope. Rampart Energy announced that it will conduct 3-D seismic testing on 120 square miles of state lands located southwest of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. Those leases are owned by Royale Energy Inc., a San Francisco-based oil and gas company. In May 2013, Royale and Rampart reached a joint venture agreement allowing Rampart to earn ownership of the lands by exploring the area. The Rampart-Royale venture is the second industry effort to explore the rock formations that geologists say were the source of the North Slope’s prolific Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk oil fields. For more information, please contact us.

Arkansas
The Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas will be one of the nation’s most prolific regions for natural gas production, with reserves that can be economically extracted through 2050, according to a study released. The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin analyzed the basin’s production history as well as areas that have not yet been drilled. The assessment showed that the Fayetteville has 38 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas reserves. Of that, 18 trillion cubic feet will be feasible to extract at natural gas prices around $4 per million British thermal units, the researchers said.

A Denver-based energy company says it will invest $80 million this year to drill about 50 natural gas wells in south Arkansas. Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. says the wells will be drilled in the McKamie Patton and Dorcheat-Macedonia fields, which are located in Columbia and Lafayette counties. Arkansas Business reports infrastructure projects and saltwater disposal wells will account for an additional $4.5 million of planned capital. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

California
Oil and gas companies that are hydraulic fracturing off the Southern California coast must report chemicals discharged into the ocean under a new rule released by federal environmental regulators. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the requirement in the federal register, and will become effective March 1. The move comes after a series of stories by The Associated Press last year revealed at least a dozen offshore frack jobs in the Santa Barbara Channel, and more than 200 in nearshore waters overseen by the state of California. The new EPA rule applies only to new drilling jobs on nearly two dozen grandfathered-in platforms in federal waters off the Santa Barbara coast, site of a 1969 oil platform blowout that spilled more than 3 million gallons of crude oil, ruined miles of beaches and killed thousands of birds and other wildlife.

Colorado
Colorado’s fight over fracking is far from over, with an industry-back group creating a new website to answer questions about the technology. Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), which is backed by two of the state’s largest oil and gas companies, launched a new website called StudyFracking.com “aimed at answering Coloradan’s more important questions about fracking.” The website allows users to type in questions about fracking, also called hydraulic fracturing, and links to page with answers drawn from “academic, scientific and government research,” the group said in its announcement. CRED it backed by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy Inc. The two companies have said they plan to spend a total of about $4 billion in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg Basin this year.

A Boulder company that counts oil and gas operators among its customers and cited Lafayette’s ballot measure to prohibit fracking as a major reason behind its decision not to relocate to that city has opened a new office in Louisville. XetaWave, a maker of long-range radios and wireless technology platforms, began its expansion into a 17,000-square-foot building in the Colorado Technology Center over the weekend. Founder and CEO Jonathan Sawyer said the Lafayette Community Rights Act, which was passed by voters in November and bans all new oil and gas drilling within city limits, puts a business like his in questionable legal territory. For more information, please contact us.

Florida
The Florida House of Representatives’ House Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Agriculture passed House Bill 71, the “Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclose Act”, which creates the “Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act”; directs DEP to establish online hydraulic fracturing chemical registry; requires service providers, vendors, & owners or operators of wells on which hydraulic fracturing treatments are performed to disclose certain information; provides exceptions; authorizes DEP to adopt rules.  The Subcommittee also passed House Bill 157, the “Pub. Rec./Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act”, which provides an exemption from public records requirements for trade secrets contained within information relating to hydraulic fracturing treatments obtained by DEP’s Division of Resource Management in connection with the division’s online hydraulic fracturing chemical registry; provides procedures & requirements with respect to the granting of confidential and exempt status; provides for disclosure under specified circumstances; provides for future review & repeal of the exemption; provides statement of public necessity; provides for contingent effect. Both pieces of legislation were sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R, District 76) and were approved with 8-4 votes. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

New Jersey
proposed natural gas pipeline through the Pinelands met a narrow defeat, when the state Pinelands Commission failed to deliver a majority vote needed to approve the plan. The 7-7 vote blocked a proposed memorandum of agreement with the state Board of Public Utilities, which backed the plan to have South Jersey Gas build the new fuel supply to re-power the aged BL England coal-fired generating station in upper Cape May County. The tie vote is a rebuke to Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, which strongly backed the project and forced the recusal of one skeptical commissioner, environmental law professor Edward Lloyd. South Jersey Gas had a preferred route from Maurice River Township eastward along the road shoulders of highways through a Pinelands forest area zone — where the Pinelands management plan has banned such pipelines for more than 30 years. The memorandum of agreement would have enabled an exception to that rule.

New York
New York’s newly released energy plan calls for increased use of renewable energy and clean technology and anticipates reduced utility bills and a more flexible distribution grid, but takes no position on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the fertile Marcellus Shale. While the proposal of the State Energy Planning Board calls for expanding the use of natural gas, instead of oil, for heating and power generation to reduce emissions of climate-changing carbon dioxide, it also notes that state officials are reviewing health and environmental concerns regarding fracking. The shale formation extends from southern New York to West Virginia and has made abundant, low-cost natural gas available to New York through pipelines from gas fields in Pennsylvania. But New York has had a moratorium on fracking since the state launched an environmental review in 2008. The board’s long-term plan, which was supposed to be completed in September 2012, was released Tuesday for a 60-day public comment period. Six public hearings will be held around the state, and a final version is expected to be adopted in the spring.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz approved legislation to ban hydraulic fracturing on all lands owned by Erie County. “Protecting our land and water resources is important to preserving our heritage,” said Poloncarz in a statement on his decision to approve the local law. The Erie County Legislature passed the fracking ban in December by a 9-2 vote. The ban also received overwhelming support in public hearings leading up to the vote.

Ohio
Ohio has confirmed six cases of water contamination from oil and gas drilling since 2010, but none from fracking. There were 190 complaints of mishaps making water undrinkable in wells and springs made to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which regulates drilling statewide, and 14 are ongoing. ODNR spokesman Mark Bruce said none of the confirmed complaints came from fracking, but from traditional vertical wells. For more information, please contact us.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is looking to add new lucrative Utica shale leases at Piedmont Lake. The district manages more than 6,600 acres of property at Piedmont Lake, and most of it is not under lease for drilling in the Utica shale. Officials said the district is preparing to begin negotiations with interested companies and it is the intent of the district to restrict oil and gas development to those areas that will minimize the impact on the lake and recreational activities. The district has been contacted repeatedly in recent months by oil and gas development companies seeking to negotiate for the rights to access the Utica shale at Piedmont Lake that lies in Belmont, Guernsey and Harrison counties, officials said. The district will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the James Carnes Center near St. Clairsville in Belmont County on the district’s plans to begin negotiating a lease on public-owned property at Piedmont Lake. Comments may also be sent by email to piedmontcomments@mwcd.org. The district had previously agreed to leases for property it owns at three other lake regions: Clendening Lake in Harrison County in 2011, Leesville Lake in Carroll County in 2012 and Seneca Lake in Guernsey and Noble counties in 2013. Those leases produced $77.4 million in signing bonuses for the district. That money has enabled the district to pay down its debt and to begin to upgrade its recreational facilities. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Shale-oil drilling is increasingly focusing on eight counties in eastern Ohio, including Columbiana, and those areas are seeing some of the biggest gains in sales-tax receipts. But those same counties aren’t seeing substantial increases in their work force levels yet, as the industry awaits further exploration and infrastructure to accommodate oil and gas being produced via horizontal hydraulic fracturing. Those are some of the conclusions reached in the latest “Ohio Utica Shale Gas Monitor,” a new study released today by the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. The report reviewed sales-tax receipts, employment statistics, well permits and other data to determine the impact of horizontal hydraulic fracturing in eastern Ohio. “We’re still another year, 18 months out” from bigger economic impacts, said Ned Hill, dean of the college and one of the authors of the report. The report identifies eight counties in eastern Ohio as “strong” in terms of shale activity: Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison, Guernsey, Belmont, Noble and Monroe. The report noted that employment in counties with the strongest fracking activity is “relatively flat,” though Hill said hiring is taking place in metro areas such as Canton, Akron and Youngstown, where related services are basing their operations. “Through the second quarter of 2013, employment growth among the residents of shale country has again stagnated and even declined a bit,” according to the report. “Employment among residents in the strong shale counties has decreased by 0.8 percent or by about 4,300 persons employed. Employment in moderate counties has increased slightly, by 0.5 percent in [the first quarter] and 0.4 percent in [the second quarter]. Employment in weak counties decreased slightly in 2013, and in nonshale counties it has increased.”

A top lobbyist for Ohio’s oil and gas drilling industry urged state lawmakers to support a package of tax revisions, HB 375, advanced as an alternative to an earlier plan by Republican Gov. John Kasich. At a packed hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, Ohio Oil and Gas Association executive vice president Tom Stewart expressed support for a tax bill introduced last month. The proposal would raise the severance tax rate on horizontally drilled wells by 1 percent, then 2 percent, while rolling back similar taxes on traditional wells. The plan would exempt drilling companies subject to the new tax from Ohio’s main business tax, called the Commercial Activity Tax, and makes other adjustments.

A Vallourec Star subsidiary is in the final stages of deciding if it will invest $81.5 million for the construction of a steel-pipe threading facility at the former Genmak Steel building and an additional 67,500 square feet nearby in the city’s Ohio Works Business Park. The facility would employ 84 full-time workers by early next year, according to VAM’s 10-year, 75-percent real- property tax abatement application. It listed an estimated annual payroll of $2.9 million on one part of the application and $3.7 million on another.

The Ohio Environmental Council has created a free shale gas resource guide for anyone interested in information about shale gas fracking. The guide was developed especially for residents and public officials in eastern Ohio. It includes information about leases and landowner concerns, truck traffic and road maintenance agreements, chemical disclosure, emergency response, water testing, and potential public health effects. For more information, please contact us.

Pennsylvania
Technically, the Marcellus Shale wasn’t the motivation behind IMG Midstream’s plan to build natural gas power plants in Pennsylvania. The startup, based in Yardley, Bucks County, came up with the idea of building the plants after talking to small, shallow gas producers who were having trouble getting their gas to buyers, edged out of interstate pipelines by Marcellus production. Don Clayton, a managing director with IMG, said he heard the concerns from a number of natural gas drillers in West Virginia. So, he thought, why not create a market for them? The company wants to use local gas to make electricity that would be sold to the grid and fed back to local utilities. “It’s similar to a farm-to-table concept,” said Ron Kiecana, another managing director at the company. “We want to keep the gas in the community and generate it for local consumption.” IMG, which is backed by New York-based private equity firm Bregal Energy, has a dozen plants in development, according to Mr. Kiecana. Most are 20 megawatt natural gas power plants, with a capital cost ranging between $15 million and $20 million. Two of those are planned for southwestern Pennsylvania: the Bayles Energy project in Greene Township, Greene County, and the Red Glen Energy plant in Chartiers Township, Washington County. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

The Lebanon County commissioners will have some tough choices to make when it comes to distributing the county’s share of Marcellus Shale drilling fee funds. Thirteen applications totaling more than $210,000 were filed by municipalities and organizations for grants from the fund that is financed with money paid to the state by natural gas drilling companies. Unfortunately, that is nearly $37,000 more than is currently in the county’s fund. The state first distributed proceeds from Marcellus Shale drilling in 2012, and the county’s share of the more than $200 million collected was $113,000. All counties receive a portion of the Marcellus Shale pie, with those in the western part of the state that have wells in or near them receiving a larger share. With its first year of funding, the county distributed $42,500 to the agricultural land preservation program and $10,000 to the Envirothon educational competition, both of which are administered by the Lebanon County Conservation District. Last year, the county’s allocation was similar to what it received in 2012, and the county increased the fund account to about $173,000.

The Allegheny County Health Department is celebrating a legislative victory that will allow them to more effectively monitor air and water pollution. The County Council passed a law that requires companies performing hydraulic fracturing within the county to notify the Health Department as each phase of the process begins. Jim Thompson, deputy director of environmental health, said there are four different phases in the hydraulic fracturing process, and each poses unique environmental risks. The phases are: clearing of the well sites, commencement of drilling, commencement of fracking, and completion, which involves burning off gas that is a safety hazard or is not fit to sell. “If a particular well pad … is in close proximity to a sensitive population, it gives us a chance to review that and determine whether or not we want to set up additional monitoring to ensure public health or other safeguards that we have available to us,” Thompson said. Thompson said most fracking occurs in areas where they do not currently monitor air and water quality. He said having the information about what is happening at each site and when will help the department monitor the effects of each phase fracking on the surrounding environment. For more information, please contact us.

Washington County Commissioners unanimously approved a proposal by Range Resources Corp. to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale beneath 135 acres for which the county owns the mineral rights under the Washington County Airport. The airport is located in North Franklin and South Franklin just west of Washington. The county is part of a coalition of land owners in the airport vicinity known as the 10,000-acre Penn Gas Lands. Some of the owners are leasing with Range Resources and others are entering into leases with EQT, so the motion the commissioners unanimously approved included the names of both energy companies. The lease calls for land owners to receive $6,400 per acre, and when production begins, a royalty of 18.25 percent. The drilling is planned for under, not above, ground so it won’t impact flight operations.

Some Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny and Washington, have seen large royalties come in from allowing companies to drill for natural gas in their parks and on other public lands. Washington County has received about $10 million from drilling companies since 2007 and has used the money to help build infrastructure and public amenities, including fishing piers, playgrounds and walking trails, , said Lisa Cessna, the executive director of the local planning commission. Challenges may arise from permitting drilling activities, yet “the end result is going to outweigh the negatives,” Cessna said. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Eight Democrats seeking the nomination to challenge Gov. Corbett’s bid for a second term spent a debate mostly agreeing on the topic of sustainable energy while also showing some differences in style. Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region that covers much of Pennsylvania was a steady topic in the forum at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where the crowd was not friendly to that industry. One candidate, Mechanicsburg pastor Max Myers, drew cheers when he called for a moratorium on natural-gas drilling. “It’s been evident that the natural-gas industry really believes they own Pennsylvania,” said Myers, the only Democrat in the race to support a full moratorium. Five of the candidates – U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former Department of Environmental Protection Secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger, former Department of Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski – supported a moratorium in public parks and forests. One candidate, state Treasurer Rob McCord, was skipped on that question, but also supports a limited moratorium. Only Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz opposed a moratorium.

Range Resources agreed to postpone its challenge of South Fayette’s zoning regulations on oil and gas drilling, deciding that a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that overturned statewide drilling rules left too much unclear. Clifford Levine, representing Range Resources and Cuddy Partners LP, was scheduled to argue before the township’s zoning hearing board and challenge drilling regulations South Fayette adopted in November 2010. But just before the hearing was to begin, he and township solicitor Jonathan Kamin agreed to table the challenge indefinitely until state courts decide what remains of Pennsylvania’s Act 13, which had overruled many local drilling regulations until the state Supreme Court threw out parts of the law in December.

Pennsylvania is overhauling environmental regulations for drillers and changing the way the industry operates above ground. The rules proposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection would set new standards for running temporary pipelines, dealing with spills and storing wastes. Many of the new requirements were set by the state’s drilling law, Act 13 and will update Chapter 78 of the state code. Drillers would also be required to search for abandoned wells within 1,000 feet of the path of the well bore. The DEP says it would help build a database of the hundreds of thousands of old wells that have not been plugged and can become pathways for pollution. Companies would be responsible for plugging old wells if they are impacted during fracking. For more information, please contact us.

The use of water reclaimed from acid mines in hydraulic fracturing is a step closer to reality in Pennsylvania. The state Senate appropriates committee voted 16-9 to send SB 411 to the full senate. Proponents say the bill would prevent fresh water from being wasted on fracking, while easing acid mine drainage pollution across the state. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Texas
The unrelenting pace of drilling and development will continue in South Texas this year, with oil and gas companies expected to spend between $23 billion and $30 billion in the Eagle Ford Shale. A new report from the research and consulting firm GlobalData calls the Eagle Ford “an even larger resource than initially thought” and says the industry remains enamored of the field, which has emerged as one of the country’s hot spots for crude oil production. It pegs 2014 spending at $30 billion as companies do everything from drilling wells to building pipelines and processing plants. Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie anticipates $23 billion in spending, down from around $28 billion in industry investment in the field last year.  But Wood Mackenzie says the decline in spending isn’t due to waning interest. Instead, operators are getting more efficient.

A new study from the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) at The University of Texas at Austin forecasts that one of the nation’s most productive shale gas basins, the Fayetteville Shale, will continue to be a major contributor to U.S. natural gas supplies for years to come, with economically recoverable reserves of 18 trillion cubic feet (tcf) through 2050. Drawing on production data from all of the individual wells drilled in the Fayetteville Shale from 2005 to 2011, the new assessment estimates technically recoverable gas reserves for the region at 38 tcf, of which 18 tcf will be economically feasible to recover at natural gas prices near $4 per million cubic feet. (For perspective, current U.S. natural gas prices are below $4 per mcf, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States consumed about 25 tcf of natural gas in 2012.)

Texas oil and gas regulators, under fire for their slow response to a series of earthquakes that may be linked to natural gas drilling, decided to begin searching for an in-house seismologist. It was a shift for the Texas Railroad Commission, which has been doubtful of any connection and slow to investigate the earthquakes near Azle, Texas. David Porter, the commissioner who faced an angry crowd last week at a town hall meeting on the quakes, made the proposal at a meeting of the three-member commission in Austin. “It is imperative that the commission remain engaged and involved in gathering more evidence and data into any possible causation between oil and gas activities and seismic events,” Porter said. He asked the commission’s executive director, Milton Rister, to begin a nationwide search for a seismologist.

Gulf Coast Western LLC has secured around 3,500 acres in Wilson County, where it plans to drill horizontal wells in the Buda Limestone starting this quarter. The company plans to drill 10 wells initially. The Buda Limestone lies just below the Eagle Ford Shale, and is a longtime target that is attracting renewed interest from drillers. The company plans to use Kaler Energy Corporation of San Antonio as its operator for the Buda wells. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Penn Virginia’s sale of nearly all of its Eagle Ford Shale natural gas midstream assets to an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners for $100 million does not pose any competition concerns, the U.S. government said. In an early termination notice under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, the Federal Trade Commission said neither it nor the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division intend to take enforcement action against the deal. The assets involved in the deal include a natural gas gathering and gas lift system including about 119 miles of pipelines and associated facilities located in Gonzales and Lavaca counties, Texas, Penn Virginia said when announcing the sale December 16.

Compressco Partners L.P. is deploying 18 natural gas-driven compressor packages in the Eagle Ford and other domestic shale plays to provide so-called “gas lift” services. Gas lift technology involves injecting natural gas into horizontal well sites to boost oil and liquids production. For more information, please contact us.

Sugar Land-based Santrol, a leading supplier of the “frac sand” used in oil-and-gas hydraulic fracturing, has opened its seventh distribution terminal in the Eagle Ford Shale. The rail-served facility is located in Southon, ten miles southeast of downtown San Antonio, on U.S. Highway 281. The facility will distribute frac sand to the oil-rich north and central portions of the Eagle Ford. Santrol currently operates 50 frac sand terminals, all located in active U.S. oil-and-gas plays. In addition to the Southon site, its Eagle Ford operations include a pair of terminals in Alice and one each in Gardendale, Gonzales, Pleasanton, and Victoria. All of the South Texas terminals are served by rail, except Victoria, which is accessible by barge. Rail access is vital to the company since the company ships in its quartz-based sand from the Midwest. As the Eagle Ford drilling expands, Santrol likely will open additional locations, said Tom McCoy, director of terminal management for Fairmount Minerals, Santrol’s Chesterland, Ohio based parent company.

The Eagle Ford Shale drew $8.8 billion in upstream oil and gas deals in 2013, the largest value in the country, according to a new PLS report. The shale play in South Texas also was the site of the year’s largest energy deal, with Devon Energy’s $6 billion Eagle Ford land grab announced in November, the Houston-based research firm noted. In West Texas, unconventional regions of the Permian Basin were targets of the second-largest disclosed value of deals, a total of 7.5 billion.  Other high-value regions included, in order of disclosed deal totals:

  • Rockies conventional plays, $5.5 billion
  • Gulf of Mexico shelf, $4.2 billion
  • Bakken Shale, $2.9 billion

These multibillion-dollar numbers notwithstanding, 2013 brought the lowest total deal value in global upstream oil and gas since 2008. Upstream companies, which produce and explore for oil and gas, spent $138 billion to expand their assets and buy other firms in 2013, according to PLS. That’s a 49 percent drop from 2012, when the industry recorded $271 billion in value-disclosed deals. The decline largely occurred in North America, where the land grab that characterized the early U.S. shale boom has waned. The disclosed value of upstream oil and gas deals in North America totaled $62.9 billion in 2013, down from$143 billion the year before.

West Virginia
Powered by extensive Marcellus and Utica shale processing and pipelining infrastructure, the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area saw construction investments grow from $60.3 million in 2012 to $1.72 billion in 2013. “I see another 5-10 years of construction like this,” said Keith Hughes, business manager at Ironworkers Local No. 549 in Wheeling. “It has been tremendous for our area and we appreciate all of the work we are getting.”

Wyoming
Wyoming regulators have given the green light to a natural gas processing facility planned for Douglas, overriding environmentalists’ air quality concerns. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality issued a key permit to operators Access Midstream Partners and Crestwood Midstream Partners, clearing the way for construction at the companies’ proposed Converse County Natural Gas Processing Plant. The project would separate liquid natural gas products from gaseous methane. Proponents say the facility, which will be capable of processing up to 120 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, will help keep drillers in the region from flaring away excess gas. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

National
Net gas production across six significant gas-producing basins rose by about 221,000 Mcf/d in December compared with the previous month, according to the US Energy Administration’s monthly drilling productivity report. The report, which measures activity in five shale gas plays as well as the Permian Basin, found that month-over-month gas production grew in three of the plays studied and declined in three. The Marcellus Shale led the increase in gas production, increasing by about 261,000 Mcf/d in December to 13.46 Bcf/d compared with the previous month. Gas output in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas saw a 107,000 Mcf/d increase in December to just over 6 Bcf/d. Bakken Shale gas production saw a more modest increase of about 30,000 Mcf/d to surpass the 1 Bcf/d production mark, ending at about 1.01 Bcf/d in December. Meanwhile, gas production in the Haynesville Shale play fell by 136,000 Mcf/d to 6.50 Bcf/d in December. Gas production fell 33,000 Mcf/d in the Niobrara Shale to about 4.36 Bcf/d, while gas output in the Permian Basin fell by about 5,000 Mcf/d to about 5.06 Bcf/d. For more information, please contact us.

The U.S. trade deficit fell to a four-year low in November, the Commerce Department announced, riding the tide of diminished oil imports and increased sales of refined petroleum products. It’s why the oil and gas industry increasingly favors lifting decades-old bans on energy exports, citing a once-unthinkable vision of the US producing a surplus of energy. The U.S. produced 6.5 million barrels of oil per day in 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). That is expected to rise to 9.6 million barrels of oil per day in 2019, largely on account of new drilling techniques that tap oil in low-permeability rock formations. Production will level off at or above about 7.5 million barrels per day through 2040, EIA projects. The new oil and gas production helped lower the trade gap by 12.9 percent to $34.3 billion in November.

The U.S. oil and gas industry is investing confidently in infrastructure the near future, according to a report on infrastructure investments. Those investments, of a projected $890 billion over the next 12 years, will pump the national economy with hundreds of thousands of jobs along with the ripple effects of a workforce with more spending money.  “It’s a time of optimism for the industry,” said James Fallon, director of downstream energy consulting at IHS Global Inc., which did the study. The investments will break down into an especially strong year this year, carrying over from a “banner year” in 2013, and will sustain at annual investments of at least $80 billion in midstream and downstream infrastructure until 2020. The report noted developing shale formation areas, such as the Bakken in North Dakota and Eagle Ford in Texas, will require more extensive investments in gathering and support facilities because they are not historic production regions. That issue is ever present in the minds of Bakken industry players as flaring of natural gas, which often occurs because of a lack of a pipeline hookup to transport the gas, becomes a top problem. The study, based on information directly and indirectly from producers, also predicted the pipeline infrastructure in 2015 will “have almost no resemblance” to the infrastructure in place in 2005. It said pipelines will be the primary mover of oil and gas despite other methods increasing in popularity as of late. Investments in crude pipelines increased from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $6.6 billion last year. The IHS report called 2013 a “milestone year” for investment in crude-dedicated railcars and loading or unloading facilities.

U.S. natural gas production has been forecast to hit a fifth consecutive annual record high in 2015, while net imports of the fuel next year will drop to their lowest in nearly 30 years as output from shale fields grows, the EIA said. In its January Short-Term Energy Outlook which extends to 2015, the EIA said it expected marketed natural gas production in 2014 to rise 1.45 billion cubic feet per day, or 2.1 percent from 2013’s estimated record-high levels, to 71.66 bcf per day. EIA also forecast production will increase again in 2015 to 72.58 bcf per day, up about 1.3 percent from its 2014 forecast. EIA said rising production in the Marcellus shale play in Appalachia has driven much of the recent production growth, more than outpacing declines in offshore Gulf of Mexico and Haynesville shale output. For more information, please contact us.

President Barack Obama signed legislation expediting the permitting process for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in the Bakken Shale basin in western North Dakota. The legislation sailed through the House and Senate with only one dissenting vote. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Streamlining Act authorizes the Miles City, Montana BLM office to process oil and natural gas production permits on federal lands in western North Dakota, which the legislation’s sponsors say will help address the backlog and delays. Currently, it takes federal officials up to nine months to process permits in North Dakota. The Senate passed the bill unanimously, and the House passed the bill by vote of 415-1, with Obama signing it on December 26.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data on international energy production for the month of September, here are some highlights: 1. for the 11th month in a row starting in November 2012, the U.S. took the top spot again in September as the No. 1 petroleum producer in the world. Also, for the 11th straight month, total petroleum production (crude oil and other petroleum products like natural gas plant liquids, leased condensate, and refined petroleum products) in the U.S. during the month of September at 12.86 million barrels per day (bpd) exceeded petroleum production in No. 2 Saudi Arabia (12.03 million bpd). During the 2004 to 2008 period before America’s shale boom started, Saudi Arabia was routinely producing 20-30% more petroleum than the U.S. But when the shale revolution started in 2009, there was a surge of nearly 50% in the supply of petroleum produced in the U.S. surpassed Saudi Arabia by the end of 2012 to become the world’s No. 1 petroleum producer.

Natural gas futures surged the most in 16 months on speculation that government data will show a record decline in U.S. stockpiles of the heating fuel as cold weather boosts demand. Gas gained 5.5 percent, the largest increase since Sept. 11, 2012. An Energy Information Administration report may show that supplies fell 303 billion cubic feet last week, surpassing the biggest-ever drop of 285 billion on Dec. 13, according to Citi Futures. MDA Weather Services predicted below-normal temperatures in the eastern U.S. from Jan. 18 to Jan. 27. “Traders are focusing on the fact that we’re probably going to see a record storage withdrawal,” said Tom Saal, senior vice president of energy trading at FCStone Latin America LLC in Miami. “The market’s not ready to give up on winter yet.” For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Power plants fueled by natural gas release about 40 percent less carbon dioxide than coal-fired plants, according to a new analysis from scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA scientists’ study was accepted for publication in “Earth’s Future,” a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The study only looked at pollution that could be measured from the stacks at the power plants. It did not address greenhouse gases or other pollutants that leak into the atmosphere when natural gas is produced or coal is mined. For more information, please contact us.

Exports of refined products from the U.S. have risen sharply in recent years, another byproduct of the shale boom that has reshaped energy markets. Access to lower-cost crude from shale plays like Eagle Ford in Texas and North Dakota’s Bakken have given domestic refiners an edge over international competitors, Standard & Poor’s said in a report. Meanwhile, several nations have yet to unleash their own vast shale reserves, potentially throwing another wrench into energy prices. The U.S. is the only country so far to see a high level of shale oil and gas production. The shale boom has proven to be a positive development for refiners looking overseas to Europe, Japan, China, Latin America and other regions. According to S&P, exports of refined products have surged by more than 60% to about 1.7 million barrels a day since 2010. S&P added that while not as significant, more fuel-efficient automobiles are pushing domestic fuel demand lower and thus freeing up oil to be refined into products for export. Revenues, operating expenses and credit metrics of certain U.S. refiners have strengthened, S&P explained, especially for refiners located close to shale plays. The report also said the “rising tide” of U.S. exports is putting pressure on various Caribbean refiners to cut back or close operations. In some markets, like low-sulfur diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, American refiners are taking market share from some European competitors.

The chairman of the panel that led the Obama administration’s inquiry into the safety of hydraulic fracturing said the oil and gas industry is hurting itself by withholding information about the chemicals used in the process. “The industry, by saying, ‘We’re going to hold something back,’ is paying a cost,” said John Deutch, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who led a subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) sometimes dubbed the administration’s fracking panel. Deutch and that panel were critical of the amount of information that oil and gas drillers withhold as “trade secrets” when they report the chemicals they use on the FracFocus website. Now, Deutch has been selected again to head an SEAB task force on FracFocus, the privately run fracturing chemical disclosure site. He made the comment at the task force’s first meeting yesterday at Department of Energy headquarters. FracFocus is the industry’s preferred method of disclosure of the fracking chemicals. The site has come under fire from environmentalists and government transparency advocates who say it doesn’t satisfy government disclosure requirements and states shouldn’t depend on it. Scrutiny has intensified since the Obama administration proposed using it for disclosure of fracturing chemicals on federal land.

EPA will be hosting a one-hour webinar on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 2:30pm EST to provide a summary of the technical roundtable EPA hosted on December 9, 2013. To participate in the webinar, please register at http://www.clu-in.org/conf/tio/frac9/

A number of resolutions were adopted at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial Convention in San Diego, including one on hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting natural gas that involves drilling wells deep into the ground and injecting water, sand and potentially dangerous chemicals at a high pressure to rupture the earth. Historically, the Reform Movement has affirmed its commitment to energy efficiency, conservation and sustainability, in keeping with their values of protecting the environment l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation. Aligned with their previous positions on the environment, the 2013 resolution on hydraulic fracturing strives to balance concerns about lax regulations and questions of negative environmental impacts, including potential contamination of drinking water and dangers to air quality and human health with the potential benefits of job creation and energy independence.

The online progressive organization MoveOn announced a new program to support local anti-fracking activists across the U.S. The “Frack Fighters” program provides funding and training to 100 activists fighting natural gas projects. The effort comes as activists in Colorado and Pennsylvania have won recent fights to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process used to extract natural gas from shale rock, in their communities. MoveOn’s work is inspired by “both the victories and the potential for more victories,” said Victoria Kaplan, the group’s campaign director. The group has selected 100 local activists from 37 states who are leading opposition to some element of natural gas development, from extraction to pipelines to wastewater disposal. Each will receive a $500 support grant as well as training and networking opportunities. The goal of the program, said Kaplan, is to “increase the capacity of grassroots leaders who are already driving strategic campaigns in their own communities to fight fracking.” For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Duke University researchers believe they have found an unlikely way to decrease the dangerous radioactive levels found in some wastewater from hydraulic fracturing: mix it with the hazardous drainage from mining operations. Duke professor Avner Vengosh research, “Radium and Barium Removal through Blending Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids with acid Mine Drainage,” says the discovery would allow oil and gas drillers to combine flowback waters from the fracking process with acid drainage from mining — or any other salty water — and remove the solids that form. The water left behind could be used to drill a new well. For more information, please contact us.

Samson Resources is sharing key drilling, completions and hydraulic fracturing data on its shale gas and tight oil wells. Initially these are wells drilled between 2013 and 2015 in Powder River, Green River, Bakken, Granite Wash, Cotton Valley and other plays. The company’s participation in the ‘Shale Performance Review’ provides them with access to offset shale and tight well data on wells drilled in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia by BHP including Petrohawk, Chevron including Atlas, ConocoPhillips, Eni, EP Energy, Hess, Hunt, Husky, Marathon, Murphy, Newfield, Nexen, Pan American, Pioneer, Santos, Shell, Statoil including Brigham, Suncor, Talisman and Total. Established early 2012 in Houston by a group of Operators, the Shale Performance Review enables the exchange of high quality and reliable data between operators to aid them with their well planning, budgeting, performance management and benchmarking processes.

Dow Chemical and other big industrial users of natural gas are imploring the Obama administration to stop approving licenses to broadly export the fossil fuel. Through a coalition known as America’s Energy Advantage, the manufacturers and public utilities asked Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to take a timeout on issuing new export licenses until the Obama administration completes a fresh review of economic, demand and production data.

Reportlinker.com has published a new study titled “World Well Stimulation Materials Market” according to which global demand for well stimulation materials is expected to register double digit annual growth through 2017, boosted by high oil prices, efforts to maximize productivity of wells both old and new, and a shift in activity to shale formations and other unconventional production environments, where well stimulation techniques are essential. Unconventional resources development has been a driving force behind growth in well stimulation material demand over the past decade, boosting proppant sales and the fluids used to deliver them into fractures. These fluids, comprised of gelling agents, surfactants, specialty additives, and other chemicals, are generally formulated for specific wells. While significant demand began with the Barnett play in Texas, more recent growth in the US has been in liquid-rich formations. Demand in these and similar regions is driven by high oil prices, which spurs drilling activity; and by the depth and challenging geology of these wells, which require greater amounts of proppants and chemicals to complete. The United States is the world’s largest well stimulation market, accounting for about 80 percent of the global total. More wells are drilled in the US than any other nation, and the US oil and gas industry has been quicker to embrace horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies than anywhere else. Much of the rest of the market is concentrated in Canada, Russia, and China. Canada has begun to develop resources in western shale formations, and in the portion of the Bakken that reaches into Manitoba. China will seek to increase its supply of oil and gas from both domestic and offshore sites as its energy requirements continue to grow. Its shale reserves are among the world’s largest, but efforts to exploit them are just underway, and coalbed methane also offers opportunities. Russia continues to maximize production from an older oil and gas infrastructure in the short term, and to develop its own shale and coalbed methane assets in the longer run. For more information, please contact us.

Shale gas should only be developed in the European Union if a set of conditions is met, such as making public the chemicals used to extract it and taking stringent measures to prevent water contamination, a European Commission document said. The measures are not binding, following heavy lobbying against formal law for shale gas, including a letter to the Commission, the EU executive, from Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron. Other steps the Commission invites member states to carry out include an assessment of the environmental impact and keeping to a strict minimum any flaring, or controlled burning of surplus gas, and venting, or the release of gases, such as methane, into the atmosphere. They are expected to be made public later this month as part of a package of 2030 climate and energy policy steps to follow on from existing 2020 rules meant to increase EU security of supply and lower its carbon emissions. The draft shale gas document, seen by Reuters, says shale can play a part in helping to avoid the use of coal, which emits around twice as much carbon as gas, and to curb reliance on imports from suppliers such as Russia. Some eastern EU nations are almost 100 percent dependent on Russian gas and are locked into expensive contracts linked to oil prices. A commission spokesman wasn’t available for comment on the documents, which are due to be adopted by the EU’s regulatory arm on Jan. 22.

Argentina
Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén S.A and Wintershall Holding GmbH have ratified a commercial contract and a joint venture agreement for the exploration and a possible development of the hydrocarbon block Aguada Federal. The block comprises 97 km2 of the prospective Vaca Muerta shale, located in the Añelo department in the east of Neuquén province. GyP has been performing exploration activities in this area since 2012, including the drilling of one well. In the next two years Wintershall and GyP will evaluate the potential of the Vaca Muerta formation in a first exploration phase – including drilling of up to six wells with an investment of about €80 million (100%). Following a successful exploration phase, GyP and Wintershall will continue with further development of the resource. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Canada
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. is calling off its hunt for a buyer or partner in the natural gas-rich Montney region of northeastern British Columbia, opting instead to keep its vast resource base there. The oil and gas producer said it received “a number of expressions of interest” in the assets since putting them on the market early last year, but none was good enough to merit a deal. The company announced last March it was looking for buyers or partners for the assets, which are in a part of northeastern B.C. that contains huge reserves of natural gas within shale rock formations. CNQ said third-party evaluators estimate the company’s Montney lands contain about 6.7 trillion cubic feet of gas, one of the largest reserve holdings in Western Canada. For more information, please contact us.

China
According to China’s Land and Resources Ministry, the country’s shale gas production went up by more than five times last year, totaling 200 million cubic meters in 2013 compared to 30 million in 2012, and it hopes to hit 6.5 billion by 2015. Bloomberg has reported that this is in part due to PetroChina and Sinopec Group who have built new production capacity of 600 million cubic meters. The latter plans to produce 3.2 billion cubic meters from its Fuling block in 2015, doubling its previous target. China’s government is trying to encourage shale development to meet rising gas demand by prioritizing land approvals, allowing tax-free imports of equipment and offering subsidies to explorers. The country is producing over 2 million cubic meters a day of shale gas, according to the National Energy Administration.

MarketReportsOnline.com has recently published a report titled “China Shale Gas Sector Analysis” according to which the future of Chinese shale gas market looks promising. China is basking in the glory of its recent world’s largest shale finds, says the report. With almost 25% more reserves than the United States, China is dreaming about an even bigger energy revolution than the one seen in America. If estimates are to be believed then this 1,275 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves found in China will last for about 300 years at the present rate of production and consumption. Since Chinese shale gas scenario is in its early years, the future is large and as of now looks promising. The practical production currently is zero, with a couple of experimental wells producing only 10,000 meters of gas per day but nothing substantial. The Chinese Five Year Plan of 2011 to 2015 for the development of Shale gas in the country has set a target of 6.5 billion cubic meters by the end of 2015. The plan includes not just exploration and production, but also transportation and infrastructure, which China is currently struggling with. The pipeline network is insufficient to transport such huge quantities of gas and the Chinese terrain makes it even more difficult to lay any pipelines.

Poland
A new report, “Poland Oil & Gas Report Q1 2014,” reveals that shale gas is likely to start contributing to Poland’s gas output in 2019, although below-ground and above-ground challenges have meant that forecasts of the rate of gas production growth in Poland have had to be downgraded. However, Prime Minister Donald Tusk is sticking to late 2014/early 2015 schedule for the commercial production of shale gas, undeterred by the Polish Geological Institute (PGI)’s downward revision of its recoverable shale gas estimates to 0.346-0.768trn cubic meters (tcm). The report describes this as an overly optimistic projection – the exit from Poland of important players such as ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil and Talisman Energy due to disappointing results, the mixed exploratory results and the uncertain regulatory regime to date will likely push back the commencement of large-scale commercial production. The future of shale gas production within the decade will be highly dependent on the industry’s reception and assessment of the risks and rewards offered by a pending shale gas law, adds the report. It also states that while shale gas exploration thus far has presented a mixed picture, there has been encouraging signs from shale gas exploration in the past few months, from Lane Energy’s Lebien LE-2H well in Northern Poland and San Leon Energy’s Lewino-1G2 well, where the highest hydraulic fracture pump rate outside of the US was recorded. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

Qatar
Qatar’s energy minister said the increase in gas production from U.S. shale deposits posed no long-term threat to his country’s stake in the global market. “We do not consider the U.S. shale gas revolution to be a game changer,” Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the average rate of annual natural gas production should go up 2.1 percent this year, partly because of shale, though the rate of increase begins to slow by 2015. Qatar, the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas, supplies Britain with 20 percent of its gas needs.

Russia
Salym Petroleum Development, a venture between Shell and Gazprom Neft, has started drilling the first horizontal appraisal well in the Bazhenov formation, located in Siberia’s Upper Salym, as a part of pilot project which provides for construction of five horizontal appraisal wells in 2014-1015 using multifrac technology. During the last three years, SPD conducted extensive studies to reduce geological uncertainties of developing Bazhenov formation, including drilling of three vertical exploration wells in Upper Salym, 3D seismic, coring and well logging. In addition, SPD conducted extended tests of two wells to assess productive potential of Bazhenov formation. This study helped to reduce geological uncertainties and enabled SPD specialists to define the requirements for surface infrastructure and oil recovery method.

Scotland
Marsh announced a definitive agreement to acquire Scotland’s largest independent insurance broker, citing its desire to expand its presence in the UK’s emerging shale gas industry. Central Insurance Services, an Aberdeen-based broker, has been in operation since 1973 and provides broking and risk advisory services to Scotland’s oil and gas sector, among other industries. Its client base is extensive, Marsh said, helping the international broker gain an even larger share of the sector’s business. “The addition of the team from Central Insurance will enhance our ability to deliver services to companies of all sizes in Scotland, particularly those in the energy sector, further enabling us to support those operating in the UK’s emerging shale gas industry,” said Mark Weil, CEO of Marsh UK & Ireland. For more information, please contact us.

Singapore
ExxonMobil officially launched the world’s first chemical unit that processes crude oil in Singapore, aiming to lower costs to better compete with rivals in a market saddled with excess capacity. Exxon’s new cracker in Singapore allows the company to bypass the refining process by processing crude directly into petrochemicals. “This is the right place to do crude cracking because it gives us an advantage over the predominant feedstock in the region,” ExxonMobil Chemical’s president Stephen Pryor told Reuters. “The cracker we’ve built is by far the most feed flexible cracker we’ve ever built. It can crack anything from light gases to heavy liquids, including crude oil.” Energy insiders estimate the oil giant spent more than $3.5 billion on the facility, which is part of a larger Exxon chemical plant in the Southeast Asian city-state. The new technology helps reduce raw material costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions, Pryor said, while the cracker also produces fuel components. The multi-billion dollar complex on Singapore’s Jurong Island includes the 1 million tonne per year (tpy) steam cracker as well as production of at least 1.4 million tpy of polymers and elastomers.

United Kingdom
People living close to where shale gas is extracted stand to get more compensation as the Government tries to quell local resistance to hydraulic fracturing. Currently, communities are offered £100,000 for each well at which exploratory drilling takes places, plus 1 per cent of the eventual profits from that well. Under this formula, communities could receive between £5m and £10m over a 25-year period. But a senior Whitehall source disclosed that ministers were ready to increase the amount paid to residents near fracking operations. The Government is braced for a succession of drilling applications to be rejected by local authorities, but hope councils could be swayed by the potential windfall on offer if they give the go-ahead to fracking. The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, has accused the Coalition of meanness over the proposed compensation and contrasted the plans with the “generous” tax breaks given to drilling companies. UK Prime Minister David Cameron  announced that local councils can keep 100 per cent of business rates – local tax – they collect from shale gas sites – double the current 50 per cent figure. This commitment could be worth up to £1.7 million a year for a typical site and will be directly funded by central government. For more information, please contact HBW Resources.

The UK government has published a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing as part of its commitment to conduct the next onshore oil and gas licensing round in 2014. The government plans to offer licenses covering more than 37,000 square miles of currently unlicensed areas in parts of England, Scotland and Wales. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a Regulatory Roadmap “Onshore Oil and Gas Exploration in the UK: Regulation and Best Practice” setting out the process operators should follow when seeking to drill onshore in the UK. The report concludes that further conventional oil and gas exploration and production would not result in any likely significant environmental effects. Development of shale gas could result in such effects, but the impact would be at a local not national level, once the industry reaches the development and production phase. It is not expected that this will occur on a significant scale before the 2020s.
The positive effects identified include:

  • the creation of 16,000 – 32,000 new full time jobs;
  • the production of more than twice the amount of gas consumed in the UK per annum;
  • a reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions associated with imports of LNG; and
  • significant community benefits as set out in the UKOOG Community Engagement Charter (e.g. £100,000 per well pad where hydraulic fracturing takes place and 1% contribution from revenue over the lifetime of the well).

The French oil giant Total is on the verge of becoming the first major oil company to explore for natural gas and oil in shale rock in Britain. Under the proposed deal, Total would commit about $50 million for a roughly 40 percent stake in licenses held by a group of companies in Lincolnshire in the East Midlands, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not yet been signed. Total’s participation would be a vote of confidence in the government of Prime Minister David Cameron, which has been trying to promote shale gas as an alternative to declining production of oil and gas in the North Sea, despite opposition from local communities and environmental groups. Total, a major offshore oil and gas producer in Britain, apparently wants to expand its role. For more information, please contact us.

Shares in UK-listed fracking firms rocketed after French energy giant Total became the first oil major to invest in Britain’s fledgling shale gas industry. Shares in Egdon Resources shot up 40% while IGas Energy and Dart Energy rose by 10% and 13% respectively after Total bought a 40% stake in two exploration licenses in Lincolnshire controlled by their consortium.

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact Bo Ollison with HBW Resources.  His contact information is below.

Bo Ollison
HBW Resources
2211 Norfolk Street, #410
Houston, TX 77098
Tel: 713-337-8810
E-mail: bollison@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com
Twitter: @BoOllison

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