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NEW YORK (AP) — Firefighters using high-powered water towers worked Friday to extinguish pockets of fire at the site of an apparent gas explosion in Manhattan as authorities reported that two people were unaccounted for.

The powerful midafternoon blast Thursday in the East Village caused the collapse of three buildings and fire damage to a fourth, the fire department said. It left 19 people injured, including four in critical condition.

The mayor's office said two people were unaccounted for.

If you are lucky enough to have grown up in Texas, you are all too familiar with how popular culture, particularly Hollywood, has glamorized the life of a wildcatter or roughneck. The movie Giant depicts James Dean on a windswept Texas countryside, sopping head to toe in newly discovered oil. While maybe a compelling drama, as a Texas Railroad Commissioner, I can tell you this is far from reality.

In recent years, the technological advances in recovering hydrocarbons trapped in tight formations, like shale, using unconventional drilling methods (horizontal drilling in conjunction with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing) have made U.S. oil production grow dramatically.

According to EIA monthly supply data through December 2014 released in late February, U.S. exports of fuel ethanol in 2014 reached their second-highest level at a total of 826 million gallons. This level was second only to the 1.2 billion gallons exported during 2011 and 33% more than exports of fuel ethanol in 2013.

TULSA, Okla. – Transco has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Dalton Expansion Project, which would support providing Marcellus shale gas to the Southeast for electricity generation and local natural gas distribution.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A proposed settlement fund for victims of a fiery oil train derailment that killed 47 people across the border in Quebec has grown to $270 million with a contribution from Irving Oil, a bankruptcy trustee said Monday.

A court filing Friday in Canada identified 22 parties who have agreed to contribute, including Irving, which previously balked but now says it's providing $60 million to the fund.

Kinder Morgan announced its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP), has finalized its anchor shippers for the market path component of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project (NED) following the formal close of the anchor shipper period in February.

Collectively, the anchor shippers have executed agreements to transport approximately 500,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of incremental natural gas supplies sourced from the prolific Marcellus Shale region to meet New England’s growing consumer and industrial gas needs, as well as helping to bolster electric reliability.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — New appointees to the board of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. expressed support Monday for a major liquefied natural gas project the state is pursuing.

The House Resources Committee held confirmation hearings for Rick Halford, Joe Paskvan and Hugh Short, with much of the time focused on Halford and Paskvan, who are former legislators. Short is chairman and CEO of a private equity firm focused on Arctic investments.

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' president sought to draw a parallel with oil-rich Norway after the latest failure in the Mediterranean island nation's quest for gas.

President Nicos Anastasiades told reporters Thursday he's not disheartened by the failure of an Italian-South Korean consortium to find commercially viable amounts of gas during exploratory drilling in an area off Cyprus' southern coast.

"There are similar instances in Norway where three licensing rounds were unsuccessful, but the fourth showed that it was the richest deposit," he said.

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