Coal-fired plants that have not already begun to invest in back-end emission controls won’t be able to operate economically for too long into the future, but for plants already equipped with state-of-the-art controls the upcoming federal regulations to reduce carbon emissions will have a gradual impact taking up to a decade, according to NRG Energy Inc. CEO David Crane.
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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.
A winter drilling season with potential to fulfill Canadian northern oil visions has begun, with an adventurous spirit driving bits down into an all but untouched shale deposit known as the Canol.
Westlake Chemical Corp.’s previously announced expansion of the Petro 2 ethylene unit at its complex in Lake Charles, LA, has begun. This expansion will be completed in conjunction with a planned maintenance turnaround and will increase ethane-based ethylene capacity by 230-240 million pounds annually in support of the company’s ethylene integration strategy. The unit is expected to be down approximately 60 days for the work to be completed.
A Utah field office for the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has begun seeking public comment on its environmental assessment (EA) of a proposal to offer 12 parcels totaling more than 14,000 acres for oil/natural gas leases in May 2013.
Lacking anything like the Bakken to its north and not seeing a major new play on the horizon, South Dakota oil and natural gas authorities nevertheless have begun the process for upgrading the state’s exploration and production (E&P) regulations, including adding provisions addressing hydraulic fracturing.