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Shale gas, tight oil, and fracking - headlines

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Fracking Tied to Pennsylvania Water Woes by EPA Official

Mark Drajem, Bloomberg
An Environmental Protection Agency employee said gas drilling damaged drinking-water aquifers in a Pennsylvania town, according to a presentation the staffer prepared for superiors before they agreed to end deliveries of clean water to the residents.

The previously unreleased document found that drilling known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, in which water, sand and chemicals are shot underground to free trapped gas, caused methane to leak into domestic water wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania. The findings contradict those of Cabot Oil and Gas Corp., which drilled in the town and said the explosive methane gas was naturally occurring in domestic wells...
(29 July 2013)


Industry Pressure Shuts Down EPA Fracking Investigations

Farron Cousins, DeSmogBlog

Industry Pressure Shuts Down EPA Fracking Investigations, Watch our Ring of Fire interview (via Desmogblog)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent countless taxpayer dollars and man-hours over the last few years investigating the environmental threats posed by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in many regions across the United States. And…


(26 July 2013)


EDF to exit US nuclear power over impact of shale gas

Hugh Carnegy, Financial Times
French plant operator quits joint venture and says a ‘revolution’ has reshaped the landscape of US electricity power generation in favour of gas...
(30 July 2013)


US shale threatens Saudi funding crisis and demise of OPEC

Ambrose Evas-Pritcahrd, The Daily Telegraph
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the country’s best-known global investor, said the business model of Middle East oil exporters risks unravelling rich industrial states find ways of cutting demand. “Our country is facing a threat with the continuation of its near-complete reliance on oil: 92pc of the budget for this year depends on oil,” he said in a letter to Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi.

Opec admits that new output from hydraulic “fracking” could chip away its dominant position in the market but secretary general Abdalla El Badri still insists that Opec “will be around after shale oil finishes”. The group is more worried about recession in Europe and a hard landing in China.

Prince Alwaleed said oil demand from OECD rich states is in “continuous decline”, and the Saudis will not be able to ratchet up their output from 12.5m to 15m barrels per day (bpd) to cover growing budget costs. “It is necessary to diversify sources of revenue, establish a clear vision, and start implementing it immediately,” he said...
(29 July 2013)


Fracking can take place in 'desolate' north-east England, Tory peer says

Damian Carrington, The Guardian
Fracking should be carried out in the "desolate" north-east of England, a former Conservative energy adviser has said, prompting criticism and claims the remarks highlighted the party's "problem with the north".

Lord Howell, who advised William Hague on energy policy until April and is the father-in-law of the chancellor, George Osborne, drew gasps of astonishment in the House of Lords on Tuesday for suggesting that the controversial form of gas production could take place in the north-east without any impact on the surrounding environment. Howell later apologised for "any offence caused" by his comments and said he didn't believe the north-east was desolate...
(30 July 2013)


Bakken shale natural gas flaring tops $100 million each month

Hilton Price, Penn Energy
A new report finds a staggering 1/3 of natural gas produced in the rich Bakken shale region of North Dakota is being burned off into the air. The flared gas is valued at more than $100 million a month.

Remote well locations and a lack of adequate pipeline infrastructure are the major forces behind the problem. The historically low price of natural gas isn’t helping, although producers agree that wasted product at any price is still lost money...
(30 July 2013)

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