Preferred Proppants LLC, whose fracture sand operations are becoming concentrated in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, has sold its Bloomer facility in Wisconsin to Frontier Sand LLC. Financial details were not disclosed. The sale, along with a previously announced transaction for the Blair, WI, facility, “is part of our strategy that was put in place during the previous market downturn to be the regional and in-basin leader within the space,” said CEO Michael O’Neill. Preferred plans to build three Texas in-basin plants in the Permian and Eagle Ford to complement an existing portfolio of sand-related assets in Genoa, NE, and Sanders, AZ. To pursue the “localized” strategy, Preferred has switched to more trucking and reduced its train car fleet by almost 20% since the end of September.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg has ordered the sponsors of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP), to finalize an oil spill response plan for areas under and near the Missouri River crossing at Lake Oahe, along with other monitoring and reporting requirements. The nearly 1,200-mile pipeline is moving crude from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to a hub in south-central Illinois while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a court-ordered environmental re-evaluation. Boasberg's opinion and order also called for DAPL to retain an independent engineering company to re-evaluate the easement conditions and regulations, and for ETP to submit bimonthly status reports on the roughly 1,000-foot crossing 100 feet below the bottom of the lake, which was formed by damming of the river near the North-South Dakota border.
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. has agreed to pay $99,000 to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for air quality violations at natural gas wells in Susquehanna County. Beginning in 2013, DEP said Cabot had excess emissions from 267 pneumatic controllers at various well sites that exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. Cabot also failed to submit compliance reports for 20 gas wells that are used to determine whether the wells are exempt from permitting requirements. Cabot has since corrected the violations and is in compliance. The civil penalty is to be paid into DEP’s Clean Air Fund, which is used to finance air quality programs throughout the state.