A round of public forums on California’s discussion draft regulations on hydraulic fracturing have begun in Los Angeles and will continue with a second workshop scheduled to be held March 13 in Bakersfield, CA, by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. Jason Marshall, chief deputy director of the state’s Department of Conservation, said “interesting and helpful comments” were obtained at the Los Angeles session Feb. 19. Marshall said the goal is have new regulations in place in the next 12-18 months. In the upcoming workshop, the discussion draft rules will be broken into seven parts, with four parts discussed in morning sessions and three in the afternoon. The final session will allow for public comments and questions. A third workshop will be held in Sacramento later this year.
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The Domestic Energy Jobs Act (SB 76) was passed by the North Carolina Senate Wednesday, setting the stage for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of oil and natural gas wells to begin in the state two years from now. It also encourages the governor to coordinate with South Carolina and Virginia for offshore drilling.
Apache Corp. is taking no prisoners in the Permian Basin nor in the Midcontinent after building output from the combined regions by almost 24% in 2012 from 2011. The Permian and Central operations in 4Q2012 by themselves represented 25% of Apache’s total global production at 197,000 boe/d.
Energy and telecommunications infrastructure are the focus of a new agreement between units of General Electric Corp. (GE) and Google that would allow GE’s Smallworld natural gas, electricity and telecommunications applications to integrate data from Google Maps. The goal is better capability for gas operators and other utilities to manage operations and system outages. GE is developing a set of small, focused applications for the Internet, mobile devices and desktop computers, and the Google mapping data is a component of that effort.
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) said it has reversed course and now plans to conduct a docket review of two completed natural gas transmission line projects in northeast Pennsylvania, but it is resisting calls from an environmental group to reexamine a third pipeline.
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has signed an agreement with Sinochem Petroleum USA LLC, a U.S. subsidiary of China’s Sinochem Group, to sell 40% of its interest in 207,000 net acres leased by the Pioneer in the horizontal Wolfcamp Shale in the southern portion of the Spraberry Trend Area Field for $1.7 billion.
Authorities in Quebec have been monitoring environmental groups opposed to shale gas development in the province for the last two years on fears that their activities could become radicalized and violent, according to a report by La Presse, a French newspaper in Montreal.
Georgia Power said it will ask the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to allow it to switch two of its coal-fired electricity generating units to natural gas and to decertify 13 coal- and oil-fired generating plants in its fleet when it files an updated integrated resource plan with the PSC on Jan. 31.
In two separate but related cases in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, a judge has ruled that energy companies can’t use the state’s de facto moratorium against high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) as an excuse to invoke force majeure to extend expiring oil and natural gas leases.