With flaring of wellhead associated natural gas still hovering around 30%, state officials in North Dakota welcome the proposed new natural gas pipeline from the Bakken to Minnesota by a unit of Bismarck-based MDU Resources Inc., and the governor has pledged support for the pipeline’s development.
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Chesapeake Energy Corp. continues to look for a new CEO but it has no timetable on when one might be in place, acting chief Steven C. Dixon said last week. Dixon, who served as a lieutenant to former CEO Aubrey McClendon for 22 years and has been COO, will run the company as the search for a permanent chief continues.
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu is stepping down, following several other key energy and environmental officials, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson. “I informed the president of my decision a few days after the election that [my wife] and I were eager to return to California. I would like to return to an academic life of teaching and research but will still work to advance the missions that we have been working on together for the last four years,” he said. Chu in a letter to his employees highlighted some of the progress made while serving in the administration, including forming a $45 million inter-agency effort last year by Interior, DOE and EPA o research hydraulic fracturing (fracking) during fiscal 2013. He also cited DOE’s role in capping BP plc’s blown Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Salazar, who oversaw a moratorium on offshore drilling after the BP oil spill and the restructuring of the agency, will step down in March (see NGI, Jan. 21). Jackson resigning following President Obama’s State of the Union speech on Feb. 12, bringing to an end a sometimes tumultuous four-year tenure (see NGI, Jan. 7).
More than 100 members of the House of Representatives have called on Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and ExxonMobil and America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) followed suit. But a group representing natural gas municipal utilities urged the Obama administration to reject the export applications that are pending at the department.
In a letter to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Steven Chu, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) rejected the findings of a study conducted by NERA Economic Consulting on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. The study determined that the “macroeconomic impacts of LNG exports are positive in all cases.” The study was performed on behalf of the DOE and could prove critical in the department’s decisions regarding LNG export permits.
A bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers has called on Energy Secretary Steven Chu to expedite the approval of U.S. company applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to foreign countries.