A 73-car train crashed and exploded Saturday in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, igniting its cargo of crude oil — possibly from North Dakota — killing as many as 40 people and forcing the evacuation of nearly 2,000 others.
Articles from Saturday
SandRidge Investor Lawsuit Upheld Concerning Gas Field Misinformation
A federal district judge last Saturday rejected a bid by SandRidge Energy Inc. to dismiss an investor lawsuit that claims the Oklahoma City operator provided misleading information regarding natural gas drilling programs.
A news media tour was held Saturday at the Mayflower, AR, oil spill area under the joint command of local, state and federal officials, as well as ExxonMobil representatives. The event was held to provide an update of the spill, which occurred March 29 when a portion of the ExxonMobil Pegasus Pipeline ruptured. Since then, the portion of the 850-mile oil pipeline that failed has been removed for analysis at an independent laboratory and a new section of pipeline installed, all under state and federal oversight. In ExxonMobil’s most recent daily report the company indicated that cleanup was coming to an end and remediation of the area should begin soon. Monitoring by the company and various agencies has indicated that there has been no contamination of water or air from the spilling of what is estimated to be 5,000 bbl of oil. Besides U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives, there have been representatives from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office and local government on the scene since the cleanup began. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel launched an investigation several days after the incident (see Shale Daily, April 3).
Arkansas Attorney General Looking Into ExxonMobil Oil Spill
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Tuesday that his office has opened an investigation of a crude oil spill near Mayflower, AR, which ExxonMobil was working to clean up. The cause of the spill is still under investigation, but Exxon said the spill did not involve tar sands oil.
Patrick French, 64, an advocate for the U.S. energy industry, died Saturday in Bethesda, MD. French was president of the Foundation for Energy Education and executive vice president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP), which he joined in 2000 and helped to transform into a strong statewide network with members in 300 cities and 29 states. French was named an industry “legend” by Oil and Gas Investor Magazine in 2010. He wrote numerous articles and was a frequent energy industry commentator on television, with his efforts culminating in the ABC television pilot series, “The Hard Question,” which recently debuted in Dallas and Houston. French formed The Association Development Group in 1991 in Washington, DC, which worked with trade associations, including the Independent Petroleum Association of America. He also served on the board of directors of the Global Energy Management Institute at the University of Houston and on the board of directors of the National Corrosion Institute at Rice University.
Pennsylvania Governor Signs Budget, Ethane Cracker Tax Breaks
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on Saturday signed the state’s $27.7 billion budget for 2012-13, which includes modifications to the tax code that could potentially offer billions in tax breaks to companies investing in an ethane cracker and associated manufacturing facilities.
Maryland House of Delegates Passes Two Marcellus Bills
The Maryland House of Delegates passed two Marcellus Shale regulatory bills on Saturday, adding clarity to how lawmakers expect the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to regulate oil and natural gas operators, as well as several aspects of their drilling activities.
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.
Alaska Producer Begins Flowing Gas
Production began last Saturday from Buccaneer Energy Ltd.’s Kenai Loop No. 1 well in gas-hungry Southcentral Alaska. The well is expected to produce up to 5 MMcf/d during the next two to three months while performance is monitored.
Tennessee will implement Imbalance Warnings in downstream market-area Zones 5 and 6 Saturday, saying it has limited operational flexibility to manage imbalances there over what is predicted to be a cold long holiday weekend. All delivery point operators in the zones will be required to keep actual daily takes out of the system equal to or less than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position. Receipt point operators must keep actual daily receipts into the system equal to or greater than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position.