The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said this week that it has fined three Rice Energy Inc. subsidiaries for violating 17 state environmental regulations that date back to 2012.
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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a contractor that worked at an Antero Resources Corp. well site in Tyler County, WV, where a worker was killed last year when he was struck by a front-end loader.
Natural gas prices trending up nationally were cited by Minnesota-based Xcel Energy for its latest higher retail gas charges at its Colorado combination utility as part of its quarterly price adjustments for retail electric and gas rates. Overall, Xcel said total utility bills in Colorado will be lower in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, but on an annual basis, “a national trend in higher natural gas commodity prices” will continue to put upward pressure on utility bills. Under the quarterly gas cost adjustment, the cost of natural gas in the third quarter will be slightly higher than the second quarter, but because of a “significant drop” in use expected in the summer quarter, residential bills will be about $8 lower/month, compared to the current quarter, Xcel said. Residential gas bills in the third quarter will still be $3.15 more than they were in the third quarter last year. “Much of 2012 was marked by historically low gas prices,” Xcel said. Typical monthly residential and small business gas bills during the third quarter are expected to be $21.98 and $81.73, respectively, compared to average bills of $18.83 and $68.81, respectively, in the third quarter of 2012.
Persistent drought in recent years is said to have played a role, but exploration and production (E&P) activity is being cited as another reason water prices in Northern Colorado have skyrocketed in the past three years. However, state water officials caution that the numbers can be overstated.
The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) said activity in the energy industry was a mixed bag and mentioned shale only once — but in a positive light — in the latest edition of the “Beige Book,” a report published eight times a year with data provided by the 12 Federal Reserve Districts.
Cash prices overall averaged a 20-cent drop Friday as weather forecasts called for moderation in the Northeast and marketers cited an abundance of available gas. Rockies, the Midwest and the Gulf Coast were all lower. At the close of trading, December futures had dropped 10.5 cents to $3.503 and January was off by 10.3 cents to $3.634. December crude oil gained 98 cents to $86.07/bbl.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Plains Gas Solutions LLC in Eunice, LA, for one “willful” and seven “serious” violations involving OSHA’s process safety management standards following an explosion and fire that severely burned a worker earlier this year.
While TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline has become controversial in general interest news media and politics, Enbridge Inc.’s. under-the-radar oil pipeline cutting through the nation’s midsection from Illinois to Houston-Port Arthur, TX, has the opposite image. The contrast drew general news media interest over the weekend.
Cash natural gas prices vaulted higher Thursday on average by 15 cents. Oppressive heat over much of the country was cited as driving prices higher, but on the West Coast traders attributed the higher quotes to a stronger screen. At the close of futures trading the August contract had gained 4.6 cents to $2.945 and September had posted an advance of 3.9 cents to $2.950. August crude oil slipped 44 cents to $87.22/bbl.