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Texas Lawmakers Pass Oil/Gas Waste Bill

The Texas Senate has passed HB 2767, which is intended to encourage the recycling of wastewater from drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations for reuse rather than injection of the waste into disposal wells. The legislation aims to clear up legal ambiguities around responsibility for transferred drilling waste.

May 28, 2013

Ninth New NatGas Power Plant Approved for Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently approved plans by a subsidiary of LS Power to build a 900 MW natural gas-fired power plant about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, bringing to nine the number of gas-fired plants proposed in and around the state’s Marcellus Shale resource.

May 20, 2013

Industry Briefs

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has a new $6 million grant program to help companies replace their older forklifts and medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles with ultra low-emission natural gas- and propane-fueled equipment. The grant program is funded by the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Since 2005, the RRC has awarded $39.5 million in grants to Texas companies and school districts, and has reduced emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides by nearly 5,000 tons. To be eligible for the grants, new equipment must meet the latest emissions standards and operate in one of the 43 counties designated by the TCEQ as having substandard air quality. The grant amount averages $9,500. For more information, visit www.altenergy.rrc.state.tx.us.

April 22, 2013

Wyoming DEQ Increases Oil/NatGas Engine Checks

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Air Quality Division (AQD) Administrator Steve Dietrich on Monday reinforced the state’s intention this spring to increase its program for compliance checks of oil and natural gas production facility engines.

April 17, 2013

Private Pennsylvania DCNR Meeting to Discuss Forest Drilling

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) plans to hold an invitation-only meeting on Thursday to discuss a request by two energy companies to access their mineral rights under the Loyalsock State Forest.

April 1, 2013

Industry Brief

Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities on Wednesday gained approval Wednesday from Idaho regulators to raise its retail natural gas utility rates 5.2% this year with the bulk of the hike effective Monday. Retail electric rates for the combination utility will stay unchanged until Oct. 1 when a 1.9% power utility retail rate increase will start, according to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The rate changes are part of a settlement the PUC approved, dividing the gas hike into two parts: 4.9% effective Monday and 0.3% held until Oct. 1. Avista originally had proposed a 7.2% gas rate increase overall, and a 4.6% electric rate hike for Monday. The settlement precludes a separate base rate settlement from becoming effective until Jan. 1, 2015, the PUC said.

April 1, 2013

Industry Brief

Most of the continental United States and northern Alaska will average warmer than normal this spring, while below-normal temperatures are expected for the Pacific Northwest and extreme northern Great Plains, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Spring promises little drought relief for Texas, the Southwest, the Great Plains or Florida, NOAA said. The temperature predictions dovetailed generally with a forecast issued recently by Andover, MA-based Weather Services International, which foresaw a spring warmer than usual in most of the eastern and central United States, but colder-than-normal temperatures are expected to dominate further west (see Daily GPI, Feb. 28).

March 22, 2013

MDU to Quench North Dakota Diesel Thirst

As part of its proposed joint venture diesel refinery slated to process 20,000 b/d of Bakken crude oil by next year, Bismarck, ND-based MDU Resources Group has a strategy aimed at its exploration and production (E&P) and midstream infrastructure businesses sharing in the continuing boom in its home state.

March 21, 2013

Industry Brief

Magnum Hunter Resources Inc. is in talks with three parties for the potential sale of Eagle Ford Shale assets as part of plans this year to sell $400-500 million of assets. An announcement is expected soon, according to the company. During a recent conference call, CEO Gary Evans said all three Eagle Ford bidders have made offers in the same price range. Two are offering all cash and one is offering cash and equity, he said. “So from our perspective, it doesn’t really matter who ends up with it. But we do feel like we will have an announcement on that in short order,” he said.The company also is considering selling assets in the Pearsall Shale as well, and assets in the Williston Basin and potentially in Kentucky, Evans said.

March 20, 2013

BLM Sells Leases in Unconventional Nevada Play

A total of 29 parcels comprising 35,889 acres in a promising unconventional find in northeastern Nevada were sold to six companies for a total of $1.27 million by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during its quarterly oil and gas competitive lease sale held in Reno, NV, the agency said.

March 19, 2013