Washington state regulators fined Bellevue, WA-based Puget Sound Energy (PSE) $250,000 for failing to correct violations found two years ago in the combination utility’s management of customer accounts. The state Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) originally fined PSE $104,300 in October 2010 for allegedly improperly handling customer accounts, including low-income customers that were disconnected for nonpayment. In addition to the penalty, PSE was ordered to correct 265 accounts. UTC approved a multi-party settlement of a complaint that originally alleged 515 violations of the regulators’ 2010 order. Besides the UTC staff and PSE, the settlement included the Public Counsel Section of the Washington Attorney General’s Office, and the nonprofit The Energy Project, representing low-income customers. UTC said PSE now has provided refunds and credits to the customers with the mishandled accounts, and it has changed its billing practices to ensure that customer payments are applied correctly to avoid improper shutoffs. The utility also has agreed to make a $75,000 contribution to its low-income assistance program.
Articles from Found
The government of Western Australia said Wednesday it will introduce regulations to mandate public disclosure of “any chemicals introduced into a well or formation” although tight and shale gas development in the region is seen as “a number of years away.”
Wyoming’s state oil/gas supervisor found himself Wednesday cross ways with Gov. Matt Mead regarding the continuing multi-governmental scrutiny of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) two test water wells in natural gas fields near Pavillion, WY. EPA initially identified a possible link between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and local drinking water contamination.
The expanded use of horizontal drilling and the advent of hydraulic fracturing helped Pennsylvania more than quadruple its natural gas production between 2009 and 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Friday’s trading found cash prices overall flat with Thursday, but points throughout the Rockies and as far south as the Permian Basin rebounded from an outage reported east of Bakersfield, CA. Midcontinent points rose, but Gulf Coast locations weakened. At the close of futures trading June had fallen 6.1 cents to $2.279 and July had slipped 5.9 cents to $2.371. June crude tumbled $4.05 to $98.49 following a weak employment report and hints of hedge fund liquidation.
Offering new guidelines on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) said Wednesday its 2012 oil/gas rule changes were approved as of Wednesday and become effective April 1. The revised rules cleared the state’s Administrative Rules Committee Wednesday morning, according to a DMR spokesperson.
Growing gas supply in the Marcellus Shale and projected growth in gas-fired power generation among southern states could mean a renaissance for the traditional Gulf of Mexico-to-Northeast pipeline business. Spectra Energy Corp. would seem to think so, as its latest project, called Renaissance Gas Transmission, would carry Marcellus gas south to Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
The Interior Department’s first assessment of the shale potential of Alaska’s North Slope found the potential for up to 2 billion bbl of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and 80 Tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). “We looked under the entire North Slope of Alaska,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt, who called it a landmark study. The results will enable industry to make “good seismic decisions,” will guide their investments, said Anne Castle, assistant secretary of water and science. Alaska’s shale resources “hold great promise,” but production has never been attempted due to the infrastructure challenges, Castle noted. Three source rocks of the Alaska North Slope were assessed in the study: the Triassic Shublik Formation, the lower part of the Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Kingak Shale, and the Cretaceous pebble shale unit-Hue Shale, according to USGS. It said those shale formations are known to have generated oil and gas that migrated into conventional accumulations, including the Prudhoe Bay field. But the shales also likely retain oil and gas that did not migrate. If the shale gas should be developed, it’s remains an open questions as to whether it could make its way to the United States, which lacks pipelines and/or a West Coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal for the gas to be delivered. The nation’s sole export terminal, located in Kenai, AK, exports LNG to Asian markets.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead claimed on Monday that Wyoming has found ways to solve its energy issues without federal intervention. In his state of the state address, the governor said Wyoming is exporting more Btus than any other state; minerals, including oil and gas, make up 80% of the state’s revenues.