A ban on new oil and natural gas drilling leases in Pennsylvania state parks and forests does not affect lands owned by the state's Game Commission, according to a spokesman for Gov. Tom Wolf. "Because the Game Commission is an independent agency, we could not bind them to an executive order," spokesman Jeff Sheridan said. The Pennsylvania Game Commission increased its lease revenue to $22.1 million during the fiscal year ended June 30.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has said he does not support the proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, which would transport natural gas through Northeastern states.
The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers has increased its job loss forecast in Texas' oil and natural gas industry to 56,000 jobs, up from an earlier estimate of 40,000 to 50,000 lost jobs. While thousands of oil and gas jobs have been lost in the state, the overall unemployment rate in Texas has held at 4.4%, according to recent data.
Ohio's Utica Shale Academy has received a Best Practice Grant from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center. The educational institution will use the $550 grant "to purchase Utica Shale Ohio maps, pipeline infrastructure maps and Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania Utica/Marcellus shale maps to be displayed as learning tools in the classroom," according to Director Eric Sampson.
Two shale basins in Texas were responsible for much of the growth the US experienced in proved oil reserves last year, according to an Energy Information Administration report. The US showed a 9% increase in proved oil reserves in 2014, with total reserves reaching their highest mark in more than 30 years.
Tuesday saw oil prices reach a two-week high, spurred in part by tensions in the Middle East. Gasoline futures rose by 6%, and West Texas Intermediate futures increased by 2.7%. There was a 2.6 million barrel US crude build last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
Phillips 66 has added protocols for crude oil tank inspections, earthquake alert monitoring and possible pauses in operations after tremors following rising seismic activity near Cushing, Okla. Phillips' "seismic response protocol was developed as part of our enhanced geohazard program, which addresses geotechnical, hydrotechnical and seismic hazards," the company said.
The proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline would be a "transformative project for the northeast United States," said Kimberly Watson, Kinder Morgan's president for east region natural gas pipelines. Watson noted that customers in this area of the country pay high prices for natural gas and electricity. "These higher prices are due, in large part, to natural gas pipeline infrastructure that is insufficient to meet the winter heating demand of local distribution companies (LDCs) and electric generators," she said.
The proposed Bakken crude oil pipeline would go underneath the Mississippi River to cross from Iowa into Illinois, according to testimony given before the Iowa Utilities Board on Tuesday. Once completed, the pipeline would transport 450,000 barrels of crude oil from North Dakota each day, according to Charles Frey, vice president of engineering for Energy Transfer Partners. The board is considering whether to issue a state permit for the pipeline, which has an estimated cost of $3.8 billion.
A contract for engineering design and regulatory filing work on a new liquid natural gas facility in Louisiana has been awarded to Houston-based KBR. KBR has showed an increased focus on natural gas as oilfield activity has declined.
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