U.S. domestic crude oil production is at its highest level in 20 years, outstripping pipeline capacity and, increasingly, making its way to refineries and storage centers via railroads, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has ordered Harch Environmental Resources Inc., a brine waste hauler, to cease operations in the state after finding evidence that the company illegally dumped oilfield waste at a farm in Belmont County. Regulators also took aim at Gulfport Energy Corp., which had contracted with the hauler.
J. Larry Nichols is retiring as an employee of Devon Energy Corp. effective Dec. 31. He plans to continue to serve as executive chairman and as a director. Nichols’ retirement follows a succession plan announced in June 2010, when Devon President John Richels was promoted to CEO, a post that Nichols had held since 1980. Nichols and his father, John Nichols, co-founded Devon in 1971; the company went public in 1988. Among the company milestones under J. Larry Nichols’ leadership, Devon in 2002 acquired Mitchell Energy & Development Corp., giving it the top position in what was then the emerging Barnett Shale, as well as access to the drilling technology pioneered by George Mitchell, which successfully combined horizontal drilling techniques with hydraulic fracturing well stimulation (see Daily GPI, Jan. 25, 2002; Aug. 15, 2001).
The Natural Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Wednesday began sifting through pieces of the Columbia Gas Transmission system that ruptured near the pipeline’s Lanham Compressor Station sear Sissonville, WV, a rural community of 4,000 about 15 miles north of the state capital, Charleston.
Plains All American Pipeline LP’s Plains Gas Solutions experienced a fire Saturday at its Basile gas processing facility near Eunice, LA. One employee was injured and is in stable condition at an area hospital. The cause, extent of the damage and time required to repair the facility are not yet known. The Basile Plant is a 150 MMcf/d cryogenic processing facility. Neither the operation of the Basile Plant nor the fire have any impact on the operations at PAA Natural Gas Storage’s Pine Prairie facility, located nearby, Plains said. Additionally, there is no impact to area gas producers, third-party gas processing facilities or natural gas pipelines.
The cash- and employee-strapped Colorado state government is battling a growing oil and gas drilling permit backlog created by a combination of a 70% jump in applications between 2007 and 2010 and the recession, which shrank state government. However, oil and gas industry representatives are praising state officials for attempting to address the problem.
Sempra Energy named a new CEO, Debra Reed, 55, more than a year in advance of CEO Donald Felsinger’s mandatory retirement at age 65 late next year. A 33-year employee with the Sempra companies, Reed was also added to the board of directors where Felsinger will continue as executive chairman until his retirement. Sempra COO Neal Schmale will remain in his current role until his planned retirement later this year. Felsinger said the Sempra board early on identified Reed as a top candidate to succeed him, and with all of the business units “performing well financially, we felt the timing was ideal to begin our transition to a new generation of leadership at the company.” Reed had been executive vice president since April last year and was CEO of the Sempra California utilities before that. She is an engineering graduate from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and began her career as a systems engineer with Sempra’s Southern California Gas Co. utility.
If Range Resources Corp. is reading it right, last Tuesday’s deposition by the company of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee in an ongoing Barnett Shale well water contamination case is proof that it’s good to talk things out.
If Range Resources Corp. is reading it right, Tuesday’s deposition by the company of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee in an ongoing Barnett Shale well water contamination case is proof that it’s good to talk things out.