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Industry Briefs

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill recently giving state regulators authority over gathering lines. The law makes the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) the “state agent” of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a designation shared by the regulatory body in every natural gas producing state except Alaska. With the authority the PUC can now inspect and investigate pipelines that are not public utilities. Because the law only allows the PUC to enforce federal regulations, it does not give the agency oversight over pipelines in sparsely populated corners of the state, known as “Class I” gathering lines. But the law does allow the PUC to hire at least 12 additional inspectors to ease the increased workload, with the positions paid for by a combination of federal funds and industry fees.

December 27, 2011

In Response to Oil Shale Growth, Shell Considers Pipe Reversal

With oil production from domestic shale plays growing, a Royal Dutch Shell plc subsidiary is considering a plan to reverse flows on its Houma-to-Houston (Ho-Ho) system, which now runs from Houma, LA, to oil processing facilities east of Houston. Reversing the 22-inch diameter pipeline would enable more than 300,000 b/d of crude to be distributed across the Gulf Coast region, the company said.

August 9, 2011

House Panel Strikes Inspection Fee Hike, Clips EPA’s Wings

The GOP-led House Appropriations Committee Tuesday last week voted out a $27.5 spending bill that makes deep cuts in funding for the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

July 18, 2011

House Panel Votes Down Hike in Inspection Fees, Clips EPA’s Wings

The House Appropriations Committee Tuesday was poised to vote out a $27.5 spending bill that makes deep cuts in funding for the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

July 13, 2011

House Subcommittee Adopts Downsized Interior, EPA Budgets

A House Appropriations subcommittee last Thursday voted out a $27.5 billion spending bill that makes deep cuts in funding for the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in fiscal year (FY) 2012, but is favorable to oil and natural gas producers.

July 11, 2011

Year-to-Year Shale Basin Rig Counts Show Winners and Losers

What a difference a year makes in shale gas drilling. NGI’s Shale Daily Unconventional Rig Count dramatically demonstrates the ascendance of oil and oily gas shale plays as the Bakken Shale/Sanish/Three Forks claimed the top spot on the chart for the greatest number of active rigs with 170, up from 102 and third place a year ago.

March 28, 2011

Pemex Produces Its First Shale Gas

Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), announced Wednesday that it has started producing its first shale gas from a test well in Mexico’s portion of the Eagle Ford Shale play.

March 25, 2011

Shales Support Hedging, Longer Contracts, Says Report

The shale gas bonanza makes a strong case for the expanded use of commodity price management techniques, such as hedging and long-term contracts, a task force argues in a report released Monday.

March 23, 2011

The ‘Next Big Shale Play’ Is in…Alaska?

Ed Duncan is returning to Alaska’s North Slope where his career began about 30 years ago. This time around he has today’s unconventional drilling technologies to unlock what he expects will be a new beginning for himself and for the state.

March 14, 2011

Central Louisiana Shale Play Drawing Interest

A relatively short trip from the Haynesville Shale and about as old as the Eagle Ford, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) — which stretches from Texas through Louisiana and into Mississippi — could right now be considered the “penny stock” of the shale plays. Those who get in early will get in cheaply, but they’ll have to stomach some risk as the play is not yet a sure thing like its more mature peers.

February 28, 2011