BHP Takes US$2.8B Charge on Fayetteville Fail

Australia’s BHP Billiton Ltd. is taking a US$2.84 billion pre-tax charge against the value of dry gas assets in the Fayetteville Shale that it acquired just last year due to weak natural gas prices and oversupply.

August 7, 2012

North Dakota Production Still Rising

North Dakota’s Bakken Shale-driven oil and gas production continued to rise in May from April, according to the state’s Department of Mineral Resources. Preliminary results indicated growth in nearly all of 17 counties — particularly Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams, where most of the drilling to date has occurred.

July 12, 2012

New York Groups Try to Prevent Water Sale for Pennsylvania Operation

Several environmental groups and citizens are suing the Village of Painted Post in Steuben County, NY, over a contract to sell some of its water supplies to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell plc for its Marcellus Shale natural gas operations in Tioga County, PA.

July 9, 2012

Industry Brief

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) field office in southwestern Colorado has released a preliminary environmental assessment calling for 21 parcels and 24,324 acres to be included in an upcoming natural gas lease sale. The draft assessment pared an initial proposal to include 22 parcels and up to 29,811 acres, mostly in Gunnison County, CO, in the auction, which is scheduled to be held Aug. 9. Under the BLM program, obtaining the leases is the first part of a multi-step process in which each lease holder would have to obtain a drilling permit, which would entail another environmental assessment of the individual drilling plans for each lease. It is all part of BLM’s master development plan and its use of multi-well development to help manage federal lease development. Before any exploration and development work can start, however, there will be site-specific reviews and analysis completed as called for under the National Environmental Policy Act, BLM officials said.

April 2, 2012

New York Landowners Pact May Bypass Frack Ban

A newly formed organization representing nearly 2,000 New York property owners in Tioga County, NY, has signed a preliminary agreement to develop unconventional natural gas wells using waterless hydraulic fracturing (fracking) — a technique that may allow them to bypass the state’s drilling moratorium.

April 2, 2012

Tioga County Drilling Deal May Bypass New York Frack Ban

A newly formed organization that represents about 2,000 New York property owners in Tioga County has signed a preliminary agreement with developers to stimulate unconventional natural gas wells using waterless hydraulic fracturing (fracking) that may bypass the state’s drilling moratorium.

March 30, 2012

El Paso Shareholders Approve Buyout by Kinder Morgan

Shareholders of El Paso Corp. Friday approved the company’s merger with Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) during a special meeting.

March 12, 2012

Industry Briefs

Based on a preliminary count of votes, El Paso Corp. shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a merger with Kinder Morgan Inc. About 70% of outstanding El Paso common shares were voted, and of these more than 95% were in favor of the merger. El Paso CEO Doug Foshee said closing is anticipated in the second quarter. The company plans to file a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission with the final voting results as soon as they are available. The deal is moving forward with the reluctant blessing of a Delaware business court judge who recently admonished Foshee and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for “disturbing” behavior that led to the transaction (see NGI, March 5; Oct. 24, 2011).

March 12, 2012

Texas Judge: Flaming Water a Hoax, Conspiracy Against Range

A Texas couple that has sued Range Resources Corp. for allegedly contaminating its drinking water with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on Thursday lost a bid for dismissal of the company’s countersuit, which alleges that the couple participated in a conspiracy to defame Range.

February 21, 2012

Wyoming Governor: Fracking Shouldn’t Be Political

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has extended an olive branch to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the dispute over preliminary results from two federally managed groundwater tests concerning contaminated natural gas wells near Pavillion, WY (see NGI, Dec. 12, 2011).

February 13, 2012