Vandals have caused at least $300,000 worth of damage to a Chesapeake Energy Corp. water holding tank in northern Pennsylvania, television station WNEP reports.
Authorities told the television station that someone apparently sliced open the polyethylene liner of a water tank sometime over the weekend at a Chesapeake facility near Towanda.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake is the largest lease holder in the Marcellus Shale, a gas rich formation that covers much of Pennsylvania.
Chesapeake has reduced the number of rigs it has operating in the Marcellus due to lower gas prices.
China is waiting for the right technology before it starts trying to exploit its shale gas resources, Reuters reports.
China is thought to have a potentially large shale gas resource, but officials don’t expect to begin production until 2020, according to the Reuters report.
Such deals are expected to help provide CNOOC International and Sinopec with the necessary expertise to develop China’s shale resources.
The fight over TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project doesn’t seem likely to end soon.
The pro-pipeline Institute for Energy Research has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents that could help determine if the Obama administration’s decision to deny a presidential permit for the project was political, E2Wire reports.
“After more than three years of study, the State Department failed to decide whether or not the pipeline was in the national interest. After Congress imposed a deadline to make a decision, President Obama rejected the pipeline application on Jan. 18, 2012, arguing that making a decision after more than three years of study was ‘rushed and arbitrary,’” wrote IER Director of Regulatory and State Affairs, Dan Simmons.
“One troubling aspect of the President’s decision is that it appears to have been influenced by political factors and not whether the pipeline is in the national interest.”
President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s bid for a permit on the transcontinental pipeline in January after Republicans imposed a deadline on the decision.
Environmental groups opposed to the Keystone XL project spent months poring through public records, looking to show an improper relationship between a lobbyist working for the pipeline company and the State Department.
The connection between lobbyist Paul Elliott and his former boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, may have helped derail the project.
The company has since announced plans to proceed with the pipeline between Cushing and refineries in the Houston area. TransCanada also intends to re-apply for a presidential permit for the full project.
Undaunted by its failure earlier this week, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation to extend the federal wind production tax.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and six other senators are sponsoring the American Energy and Job Promotion Act. It would extend the wind production tax another two years, until the end of 2014. The tax credit is set to expire Dec. 31. It gives 2.2-cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit for wind energy production.
Grassley was the original author of the wind production tax credit back in 1992. Since then it’s been extended several times. But it also failed to get renewed on three occasions. The wind-power industry and interest groups say that uncertainty contributes to a boom-and-bust cycle of development. Critics, however, say it’s proof that the industry wouldn’t exist without government support.
The Senate deadlocked, 49-49, earlier this week in an extension of the wind production tax credit that was tacked onto a transportation bill. The amendment needed 60 votes for further action.
For more on the wind production tax credit, check out this December story by my colleague Jay F. Marks.
Hamm, who recently pledged his support to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, also criticized President Barack Obama’s energy policies.
Hamm struck back at Obama’s claim that supporters of the oil and gas industry are stuck in the past.
“The technology that’s out there today, what we’re doing with horizontal drilling, unlocking a virtual renaissance of new development of oil and gas in this country, I can’t believe the president would say anything like that. We’ve obviously brought drilling into another realm, whole new paradigm.”
Hamm also discussed his view of the potential of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana and his opposition to releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve because of high gasoline prices.
The interview, which lasted more than 20 minutes, is posted below in two parts. Inhofe joked that Maddow, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson are his “three favorite liberals.”
In a segment about energy independence, Inhofe mentioned Harold Hamm, CEO of Enid-based Continental Resources Inc., and the company’s oil production in the Bakken Field in North Dakota. In a discussion about energy industry contributions to lawmakers that included Oklahoma City’s Devon Energy Corp., Inhofe said, “they’re a great group, too.”
The second half of the interview wandered into social issues and Inhofe’s religious work in Africa before circling back to the global warming issue.
A key link in the nation’s electric grid was the focus this week of a drill by the electric industry and the Department of Homeland Security, The New York Times reports.
There are about 2,100 high-voltage transformers across the country that act like highway interchanges on the electric grid. But experts and government officials think they are vulnerable to extreme weather events and terrorist acts. The size of a typical high-voltage transformer makes it hard to replace in an emergency. From the Times story:
So this week the industry and the government have been carrying out an emergency drill unlike any that electrical engineers can remember, to explore how quickly the country could recover from a crippling blow to the power grid. Twelve trucks drove 800 miles from St. Louis to Houston to deliver three “recovery transformers.” When they arrived on Tuesday afternoon, workers began to install them as quickly as possible — reducing a task that normally takes weeks to several days.
“If you have to order a transformer from someplace, it’s two years to do it,” said Richard J. Lordan, a senior technical expert at the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit consortium based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Oil producers have been desperate for pipeline capacity away from the storage hub at Cushing, but some apparently aren’t willing to pay for added capacity at market price.
The Financial Times reports industry groups in the U.S. and Canada are fighting to keep the Seaway pipeline between Cushing and refineries on the Gulf Coast from being unregulated. Enid-based Continental Resources Inc. also opposes the move, according to the article.
Operators Enbridge Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners, who are reversing the line to move oil away from Cushing, have sought permission to charge what the market will bear, according to the report.
The final decision rests with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is responsible for setting reasonable rates for petroleum products by pipeline.
Due to the lack of pipeline capacity out of new production centers like North Dakota, oil traders have been moving crude by train, barge and truck from the central US to the Gulf, according to the Financial Times report. Prices range from $5 a barrel by rail to as much as $24 a barrel by truck.
The $10 billion facility, which could be weeks away from construction, would be the first natural gas export facility in the lower 48 states.
Opponents worry the export facility would lead to an increase of hydraulic fracturing in natural gas development, according to the CNN story.
The process is controversial in some circles because of concerns about its impact on the environment, although industry officials maintain hydraulic fracturing has never been conclusively linked to water contamination.
Exporting natural gas has become an attractive option for producers as prices have plummeted to the lowest levels in a decade. The commodity sells for up to five times as much in Europe and Asia, CNN noted.
With gasoline prices nearing $4 a gallon in the U.S., there are countless theories about what is driving the persistent increase.
Uncertainty in the Middle East. Rampant market speculation.
The debate has gotten more and more political in the run up to this fall’s presidential election, but the Christian Science Monitor is offering a unique view on the situation: blame India.
Business editor Laurent Belsie says India, the world’s fourth largest energy consumer, and other developing nations are driving up the demand for gasoline as more people buy cars and get out on the road.