Researchers unveiled Thursday a cheaper, easier and cleaner means of producing liquid alcohol from natural gas, which can be converted to substitutes for oil-based fuels. The breakthrough, they said, has the potential to reset the nation's energy markets.
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Permian Basin-focused Energen Resources Corp., said Wednesday its first well to test the upper Wolfcamp Shale in the Midland Basin and three upper Wolfcamp wells in the Delaware Basin have shown “excellent results.”
Kathryn Klaber, who has helmed the industry-led Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) as CEO for almost four years, is stepping down. She was selected to lead the newly formed organization in late 2009 and is expected to help in the transition over the next few months. “Pennsylvania is now producing nearly 10% of the nation’s natural gas,” Klaber said. “Our industry’s work has been described as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘game-changing.’ The work of the MSC, collaborating with public officials, has helped create the climate for growth of an industry that has delivered on its promises to create American jobs, increase our energy security, while holding safety and environmental performance as paramount.” The oil and gas industry over the past few years “has faced and collectively overcome a host of challenges,” said MSC Chair Dave Spigelmyer, who is Chesapeake Energy Corp. vice president of government affairs. “Katie’s results-oriented leadership and proven ability to identify and collaboratively tackle these challenges has brought incredible value to our industry.”
Cash natural gas prices Friday for Monday delivery followed the lead of Thursday’s futures and fell 16 cents on average. Almost all points fell into the loss column, and only a few market points escaped double-digit losses.
In an announcement that ends a two-year tug of war with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over jurisdiction, Wyoming energy and environmental regulators will lead the investigation, working with the EPA, to continue the study of the potential impact of natural gas production activities in the Pavillion, WY, area on drinking water.
Physical natural gas prices nationally rose on average by 8 cents Tuesday with Gulf points taking the lead. Great Lakes and eastern points were also strong, and at the close of futures trading, July had advanced 3.0 cents to $3.905 and August was 3.0 cents higher as well to $3.927. July crude oil gained 67 cents to $98.44/bbl.
Former Anadarko Petroleum Corp. chief Jim Hackett was appointed to co-lead the Houston office of private energy investment giant Riverstone Holdings LLC. Hackett stepped down as Anadarko CEO in 2012 and retired as executive chairman in May; he still plans to pursue a master’s degree in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, completing a two-year program over the next four years (see Daily GPI, March 12). Working at Riverstone is “a way to still stay in touch with a business I love as a principal, but to do it very much in light of my primary duty, which is to go back to school.” Riverstone, founded in 2000, has nearly $24 billion in seven investment funds, with equity invested in operators that include deepwater explorer Cobalt International Energy Inc., midstreamer Magellan Midstream Partners LP and UK shale explorer Cuadrilla Resources Ltd.
Changing the name of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) to more accurately reflect its duties as lead regulator over the state’s oil and natural gas industry and to provide more oversight over the elected members proved more difficult than some had thought, and the legislation died Tuesday in a state House committee.
In the wake of a New York appellate court ruling that two local bans on oil and gas activities should be upheld, supporters of shale development in the Empire State worry that the damage may be done, regardless of how the bans fare through a possible appeal.