shale

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's oil industry is coming in even lower than the targets set by new rules that require reducing the amount of natural gas burned off as a byproduct of oil production, the state's top energy regulator said Friday.

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil took another dive Wednesday, plunging to five-year lows amid mounting evidence that global supplies are far outstripping demand.

The six world powers - China, France, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany - are continuing efforts to persuade a reluctant Iran to scale back its nuclear program with hopes the long-time standoff can be settled.

A study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing, and it’s not the source many people may have feared. What’s more, the problem may be fixable: improved construction standards for cement well linings and casings at hydraulic fracturing sites.

When global business consulting giant Accenture finished a recent treatise on shale oil and natural gas development, it identified eight key factors needed to make exploitation of shale viable, and the first three are found in abundance in successful U.S. shale plays from North Dakota’s Bakken to Texas’ Eagle Ford. They are geology, land considerations and the existence of an unconventional energy resource service sector.

As part of a record-setting industry meeting in May at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in North Dakota, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple offered a keynote speech with one superlative after another about his sparsely populated, but energy- and agriculture-rich state. It seems his state is leading the nation in a number of categories these days, including having the happiest residents.

I’ve never been to North Dakota; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone from that state. Now, one of the great oil discoveries of recent years, the immense Bakken Shale, has put the upper Plains state on the map for all to see.

EQT Corp. and NextEra US Gas Assets, held a non-binding open season for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project which would connect Marcellus and Utica natural gas supply to markets in the Southeast. The companies signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture to construct and own the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Like most stories about Texas, the one that’s being written in the Eagle Ford shale is full of big dreams, big dollars, and big results.

The play itself is huge, covering an area of 20,000 square miles, it spans 25 south-central Texas counties and is roughly the size of Croatia. Capital expenditures there by energy companies are sky-high, reaching $28 billion through the end of 2013, if predictions by global consultants Wood Mackenzie held true.

“…the United States has become ‘a job magnet’ for manufacturing, which is really the first time in decades this has happened...”
--Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

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