Thanks to Pennsylvania air quality regulations and the “increased use of natural gas in the power generation sector,” Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Mike Krancer said air pollution has “gone down considerably” within the state since 2008, even as the unconventional production of shale oil and gas ramped up.
Articles from Defined
The University at Buffalo (UB) will close its Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI), which during its seven-month life issued a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) study that was the target of criticism from several areas, including some UB staff, university President Satish Tripathi said Monday.
Under pressure to make its natural gas operations more independent of its electric utility business, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) said it is relocating its newly defined gas operations group in a large office complex in the East San Francisco Bay suburb of San Ramon, CA. Most of a contingent of 800 employees will be moved to the Bishop Ranch business park by October this year, a PG&E spokesperson said. Teams of employees now spread around in separate locations in San Francisco, Fresno, Walnut Creek and Concord, CA, will be brought together for the first time, the spokesperson said. Bringing together engineers, emergency dispatchers, system operators and others, Executive Vice President Nick Stavropoulos, the head of gas operations for the utility, said the utility “expects big gains in communication, efficiency and team building.” A new PG&E gas control center will be located in the San Ramon facilities as of the second quarter next year, Stavropoulos said. Regulators have criticized PG&E’s alleged lack of coordination in its gas operations in the wake of the September 2010 San Bruno transmission pipeline rupture and explosion.
Boosted by unconventional natural gas and oil, particularly from North America, ExxonMobil Corp. added 1.8 billion boe to its proved reserves base in 2011, replacing 107% of natural gas and production, the company said Thursday.
Continuing flat energy demand in a time of record hydroelectric supplies has natural gas stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest watching as the shale gas boom redefines energy delivery patterns and markets. As Ruby Pipeline on Thursday brought an added 1.5 Bcf/d of gas capacity into the West, these stakeholders told NGI’s Shale Daily that a national reordering of gas delivery systems needs to take place before gas’ future role in the region can be determined.
High oil prices have lifted producer interest in liquids-rich natural gas plays; they’ve also pulled up the economic attractiveness of converting gas to liquid fuels and other products.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne Monday proposed relaxing the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) to allow federal agencies in certain narrowly defined situations to decide on their own whether projects would threaten endangered species and plants. The move is aimed at reducing the workload by limiting “unnecessary consultations” among agencies over actions likely to have minimal impact.
North American exploration and production (E&P) “capital intensity,” otherwise defined as finding and development (F&D) costs, appears likely to be 20% higher than average this year, twice the long-term 10% historical trend but less than a year ago. Higher oilfield service costs are pushing up F&D costs, said energy analyst John Gerdes, but the rise also follows the continued growth in domestic resource plays, most notably, shale gas.
The scandal that rocked the energy trading world and defined “off balance sheet transactions” comes full circle Monday, Jan. 30, 2006 when former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling begin their long-awaited trial in Houston. An estimated 200 million pages of documents have been submitted, 300 potential witnesses may be called to testify, and prosecutors have named more than 100 co-conspirators in a trial expected to last up to four months.
Although maligned and defined in various quarters by its “alphabet soup” approach to energy acronyms and detailed action plans, California needs to expand its return to comprehensive energy planning with something called “DRP,” dynamic resource planning, according to the chairman of the California Energy Commission (CEC), Joseph Desmond, speaking Monday at the opening session of the three-day national conference of the American Public Power Association (APPA) in Anaheim, CA.