PHMSA Mulls Expansion of IMP Requirements for Gas Pipelines

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a notice on whether to expand integrity management program (IMP) requirements for natural gas pipelines beyond high-consequence (HCA) or high-population areas.

October 1, 2013

Battelle Studying Geology, Operations at Injection Wells

As drilling increases in the Marcellus and Utica shales, researchers from the Battelle Memorial Institute are studying the geology and operations of wastewater injection wells in four states, with the hope that the data collected will ensure that future wells are drilled in safe locations.

September 27, 2013

New York Could Lift Ban on New LNG Storage Facilities

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing a permitting program for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and LNG transport within the state in light of increasing interest in the development of LNG facilities. Such a move could lift a 40-year ban on new LNG storage in the state.

September 27, 2013

California Fracking Rules: A Work in Progress

While Gov. Jerry Brown already has declared he will seek to fine-tune its provisions next year, California’s new law (SB 4) regulating hydraulic fracturing (fracking) will not have final rules implemented for the industry to follow until 2015, although the law will be effective on Jan. 1 (seeShale Daily,Sept. 24).

September 26, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Taps Interims to Lead DEP, DCNR

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has asked lawmakers to drop the word “acting” from the job titles of two state employees: the acting secretaries of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

September 24, 2013

Sage Grouse Conservation Would Cost Colorado, Utah $290 Million/Year

A pair of rules proposed by the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that would list as endangered the gunnison sage grouse, which is found in Colorado and Utah, and designate 1.7 million acres of critical habitat for the bird under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), would cost the two states more than $290 million annually, according to a drafteconomic analysisreleased by FWS last week.

September 23, 2013

States Await Return of Sequestered Royalties from Interior

Royalties withheld by the U.S. Department of Interior for fiscal year (FY) 2013, estimated at $109 million to date, will be returned to the states in FY 2014, but when that happens remains a question, according to a spokesman for Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).

September 12, 2013

Industry Brief

TheInterior Department’sOffice of Natural Resources Revenue(ONRR) has assessed a $43,040 civil penalty onEQT Production Co., formerlyEquitable Production, for failure to report production on its oil and gas operations. According to ONRR Director Greg Gould, the civil penalty stems from a Feb. 24, 2011 notice of noncompliance that ONRR issued to the company. The Pittsburgh, PA-based company, which has offices in Charleston, WV, may request a hearing on the civil penalty. EQT is one of the fastest-growing exploration and production companies in the Appalachian region.

August 15, 2013

House Bill Bars Interior from Enforcing Federal Frack Rules

The House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday voted out a bipartisan bill that would prohibit the Department of Interior from enforcing federal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) regulations.

August 1, 2013

Antitrust Investigation Targets Biggest U.S. Pressure Pumpers

Baker Hughes Inc. and Halliburton Co. said last week they have received civil investigation demands (CID) from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide documents and information on their pressure pumping businesses.

July 29, 2013