News, Fracking, Oil & Gas Feed

University of Cincinnati study undercuts concerns about fracking effects on water

One of the top criticisms of horizontal hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas – commonly referred to as fracking – has been its potential for contaminating nearby water wells and groundwater. While this hazardous side effect of fracking has been documented in Pennsylvania and other places, few if any authoritative studies have looked at its local effect since the deep-shale gas and oil boom moved into northeast and eastern Ohio several years ago.

That’s no longer the case.

Geologists from the University of Cincinnati, between January 2012 and February 2015, collected and tested 180 groundwater samples in several northeast Ohio counties at the center of the Utica shale oil-gas boom. Most of the samples came from Carroll, Harrison and Stark counties, located east and southeast of Canton.

According to its publication in April 2018 in the Environmental Monitoring Assessment journal, the UC geologists' peer-reviewed study “found no relationship between CH4 (natural gas methane) concentration or source in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites.”


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Fracking Expected to Bring Oil-Field Record

This spring America’s oil companies are expected to produce a record 10 million barrels of American crude a day, largely due to another record that is expected to fall in coming months: By the end of the year, fracking intensity is projected to exceed levels reached in 2014 — the height of the so-called shale revolution — as hydraulic fracturing operations use more sand, water and pumping horsepower than ever before to free oil and gas from shale rock.

The result: U.S. crude production should reach an all-time high with just half the number of drilling rigs used at the peak of the last energy boom.


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Trump eliminates punitive Obama-era methane rules for fracking

The Trump administration proposed a revised version of Obama-era methane rules on Monday that favors President Trump's "energy dominance" agenda over duplicative and punishing regulations, according to the Interior Department's land management regulator.

“In order to achieve energy dominance through responsible energy production, we need smart regulations, not punitive regulations,” said Joe Balash, assistant secretary for land and minerals management.


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Trump to repeal Obama fracking rule

The Trump administration will take its final step to repeal the Obama administration’s 2015 rule setting standards for hydraulic fracturing on federal land.

A formal notice from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) making the repeal final was posted publicly Thursday and is due to be published in the Federal Register Friday.

The repeal is part of a broad Trump administration effort to repeal environmental rules it finds unnecessary and to promote domestic production of fossil fuels and other energy sources.


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U.S. lawmakers ask Facebook, Twitter for information on anti-fracking ads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House committee investigating whether Russia has tried to influence U.S. public opinion on fossil fuels asked Facebook (FB.O), Twitter (TWTR.N) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) on Wednesday to turn over information about Russian entities that may have bought anti-fracking advertisements.

House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and climate change denier, asked the CEOs of the technology companies to turn over documents by Oct. 10 that detail the involvement of Russian-based or funded entities detected on their platforms, information on ads they purchased, and any communications concerning ads advocating for “so-called green initiatives.”

Smith and the Republicans on the committee that oversees U.S. scientific agencies have targeted mainstream climate change scientists, questioning their integrity and calling for eliminating federal funding for climate research. They have also accused environmental groups of colluding with Russians to push for regulations to curb fossil fuel extraction. 

“The committee is concerned that divisive social media and political messages conveyed through social media have negatively affected certain energy sectors, which can depress research and development in the fossil fuel sector and expanding potential for natural gas,” Smith wrote in letters to the CEOs.


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Beverlee White: Fracking brings many benefits

A 2016 economic report by the Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder found that oil and natural gas development contributed $31.7 billion in total economic impact to Colorado's economy in 2014, supported 102,700 jobs and provided $7.6 billion in wages and benefits, according to Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development


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Crude Oil Drivers Wanted: Worker Shortages Hold Back Fracking Crews

After a big downturn over the last few years, oil prices have improved slightly in recent months.  Prices are now high enough that oil companies are expanding their operations here in the U.S.  But a shortage of workers has meant companies are not getting as much oil out of the ground as they want.

You’ll see close to 200 frack crew jobs listed for North Dakota,” said North Dakota Mineral Resources Director, Lynn Helms, at a press conference last month. “The rigs are outrunning the frack crews.”

Companies are rushing to get the oil out of the ground faster than they can fill the jobs. Cindy Sanford with Job Service North Dakota said there are about as many job openings in the Bakken oilfield now as there were during the real boom times of five or so years ago. She said the big difference now is that employers are requiring a broader set of skills from workers.


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Halliburton hiring 100 per month to meet Texas fracking demand

MIDLAND -- Halliburton has hired about 100 new workers each month this year to keep up with surging demand for fracking in West Texas, a sharp turnaround after the job-killing oil bust.

The Houston oil field service company has expanded its active fleet of fracking trucks and pumps by 30 percent in recent months, and its workforce in the region has grown by more than a third to 2,700 employees, said Chris Gatjanis, who runs Halliburton's operations in the Permian Basin, in a recent interview.


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EPA wants to halt fracking rules by two years, instead of 90 days

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it is ready to halt the Obama administration's emission rules for fracking by two years, instead of the initial 90-day stay that it had announced weeks earlier.

"Under the proposal, sources would not need to comply with these requirements while the stay is in effect. Since issuing the final rule, EPA has received several petitions to reconsider certain aspects of the rule," the EPA announced Tuesday evening.


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