shale

A federal approval for construction of a major natural gas pipeline that will ship supplies from the Marcellus to underserved New England and the Northeast markets closed out 2014 with a reminder to the industry of good things to come.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A company proposing a pipeline to carry oil from western North Dakota to refineries in eastern states says it would create thousands of jobs in South Dakota while generating tens of millions of dollars in taxes and landowner easements.

Sacagawea Pipeline Company, an affiliate of Paradigm Energy Partners, completed an extended open season on Dec. 15. As planned, the pipeline will deliver crude oil from various points south of Lake Sacagawea in and around Johnson’s Corner and Keene, in McKenzie County, ND to destinations with takeaway options for both rail and pipe in Palermo and Stanley, ND.

As the 2014 mid-term elections faded from view, one cogent footnote of the political power change was the significant shift in the money and manner of spending it in the national environmental movement. Even some of their harshest critics were noting a higher level of professionalism and use of legitimate spokespersons as they attempted to spend their growing cash infusion more strategically.

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.

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