Gastar Exploration Inc. said the closing of its sale of 19,000 noncore assets in Oklahoma has been delayed until July 6. The company said in May that the $46.2 million sale to an undisclosed privately-held company would close this month (see Shale DailyMay 8). Gastar said the buyer has made a non-refundable $6.6 million deposit for the natural gas assets in Kingfisher County, OK. Gastar has recently switched its focus to the liquids-rich Hunton Limestone oil play in the state.

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has made policy changes to better ensure the safety of staff working in South Texas in and around the Eagle Ford Shale, where Mexican gang violence has crossed the border. Commission inspectors in the region “have voiced concerns about their safety," said Chairman David Porter. Employee safety enhancements include ensuring that staff and inspectors who want to carry firearms for self-protection on duty have the opportunity to obtain their concealed handgun license in a timely manner; requiring inspectors in areas of concern to use the "buddy system" to ensure that they are not alone in potentially dangerous areas; and purchasing cell phone boosters for inspector vehicles in remote areas of South Texas that are near the border and have limited access to mobile communications.

Citing depressed crude oil prices, Petroleum News said Tuesday it is ceasing publication of its Bakken edition. A spokesperson told NGI's Shale Daily the Bakken edition became unsustainable in today's pricing environment. Last Friday, the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources reported increasing prices in the past three months for Bakken sweet crude, but the latest  price was still under $50/bbl, rising to $48 (see Shale Daily, June 19). Petroleum News indicated it will continue publishing its Alaska based crude publication.