Posted December 18, 2014
Some interesting perspective on New York’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing – from neighboring Pennsylvania, where safe fracking has lifted the state economy while directly benefiting cities and towns all across the commonwealth.
Jeffrey Sheridan, press secretary for Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team (to the Philadelphia Business Journal):
“Governor-elect Wolf opposes a ban, and he will work hard to make sure the process is safe. … Pennsylvania's natural resources should help the commonwealth become an energy leader, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as a magnet for investment and job creation. Governor-elect Wolf's priority is to ensure that Pennsylvania is an energy leader with all Pennsylvanians sharing in the prosperity.”
Pennsylvanians are indeed sharing in prosperity that’s being generated by shale energy development, via responsible hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling: More than $2.1 billion in state and local taxes paid by industry, more than $630 million distributed to communities since 2012 – including more than $224 million in 2014. Plus billions in royalties paid by operators to private landowners.
Posted December 17, 2014
Posted December 9, 2014
New research by the University of Texas shows what other studies have shown: methane emissions from natural gas production are lower than previously estimated. The UT study found that emissions represent just 0.38 percent of production – about 10 percent lower than a 2013 study by the same research team.
The UT study checked two sources of methane emissions in natural gas production: processes to clear wells of accumulated liquids to increase production, called liquid unloadings; and pneumatic controller devices that open and close valves.
The study found that just 19 percent of pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of emissions from that equipment, and that just 20 percent of wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 85 percent of those emissions. David Allen, the study’s principal investigator:
“To put this in perspective, over the past several decades, 10 percent of the cars on the road have been responsible for the majority of automotive exhaust pollution. Similarly, a small group of sources within these two categories are responsible for the vast majority of pneumatic and unloading emissions at natural gas production sites.”
The results suggest that technologies and practices already in use by industry – voluntary efforts and those to comply with federal green completions rules that become standard in January – are working to reduce methane leaks.
Posted December 2, 2014
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s recent announcement – that he plans to lift the state’s three-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, possibly clearing the way for future natural gas development – is potentially good news for the state, its citizens and America’s broader energy picture.
A new report by the state’s Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources details some of the possible benefits:Garrett County in western Maryland could gain as many as 2,425 new jobs while realizing $3.6 million in tax revenues and $13.5 million in severance tax revenues.Neighboring Allegany County could see as many as 908 new jobs, $1.8 million in tax revenues and $2.3 million in severance tax revenues over 10 years. “Royalty payments to the owners and lessors of mineral rights could provide significant income,” the report says.
Significantly, the department concludes what a number of other states have found and are demonstrating – that advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to develop natural gas and oil from shale and other tight-rock formations can be conducted safely and efficiently.
Posted November 21, 2014
Credit the U.S. Forest Service for adopting a revised plan for the George Washington National Forest that will allow safe and responsible energy development using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
As others said of the plan, science won out in the sense that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling can be conducted safely while protecting the forest itself as well as the watershed within it.
Posted October 28, 2014
In an interview with the Huffington Post, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in just a handful of minutes, does a pretty good job answering some of the most common attacks on hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made by opponents of fracking – many of whom apparently want no part of the job creation, increased U.S. energy security and reduced emissions of methane and carbon dioxide that safe and responsible fracking brings. Jewell:
“Fracking has been around for over 60 years. It is the ability to actually unlock oil and gas from reservoirs away from the wellbore. New techniques with directional drilling and staged fracking have enabled people to direct those fractures into formations that release a lot of oil and gas a long way away – maybe two miles from the actual wellhead.”
In a nutshell she describes the marriage of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that is responsible for America’s ongoing energy renaissance – dramatically increasing domestic oil and natural gas production from vast shale reserves to the point where the U.S. now is No. 1 in the world in natural gas production and is expected to be No. 1 in oil output soon.
Posted October 10, 2014
A new University of Colorado study affirms the dynamic and critical role energy development is playing in the state – in terms of support for public schools, job creation and the economy.
Just looking at 2012, oil and natural gas activity generated more than $200 million for Colorado schools, supported nearly 94,000 jobs in the state and created more than $23 million in state economic activity, according to the report conducted by the university’s Leeds School of Business and commissioned by API.
Posted October 8, 2014
Energy already is generating benefits for North Carolina and its economy, and things could get a lot better with the right oil and natural gas policies in place – an important point as North Carolinians get ready to vote in a U.S. Senate race that has national implications.
Advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling could get under way early next year with the finalizing of state rules for safe and responsible development.
This fits with recent polling showing that strong majorities of registered North Carolina voters support increased domestic oil and natural gas production, including 91 percent who say more production could lead to more U.S. jobs and 89 percent who say more oil and gas could help stimulate the economy.
Posted September 17, 2014
Check out a new video from Colorado by Anadarko that follows the life cycle of a well using advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – through the lens of the workers at each stage of development. Starting with discovery, the video captures the engineering, planning, site development, drilling, fracking and completions that result in safe extraction of oil and natural gas.
Posted August 28, 2014
A USA Today op-ed this week on hydraulic fracturing by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Amy Mall is such an achievement in dishonesty it’ll take multiple posts to unpack it all. So stay tuned. For now, let’s look at the opening, tone-setting paragraph of Mall’s piece and the way it deploys a false choice to try to undercut public support for fracking, the very basis of America’s ongoing energy revolution. Mall writes:
We all want economic and energy security. But recklessly ramping up U.S. oil and gas production is not the answer.
Mall starts with a truth – in an otherwise seriously truth-challenged piece. Yes, Americans very much want economic and energy security.