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Tuscaloosa Marine Shale
April 22, 2014 |

There could be as much as 7 to 9 billion barrels of oil in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale of central and southern Louisiana and southwest Mississippi.

Goodrich Petroleum now has two successful wells in the rock unit, the second well is currently producing over 1000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Solar and Micro-Hydro at Skidmore
April 22, 2014 |

“Skidmore College could generate 30 percent of its annual electricity through a solar farm and a micro-hydro project.”

Pooling Oil and Gas Royalties in West Virginia
April 22, 2014 | The State Journal

A bill to allow pooling around oil and gas wells is expected to resurface in the West Virginia Legislature.

“Pooling allows the majority of landowners to benefit from gas royalties while still protecting minority interests. Pooling also protects surface owners, communities and the environment by reducing the number of wells needed to recover gas deposits.” Quote from Steve Roberts, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Natural Gas Boom Misconceptions
April 22, 2014 | USA Today

USA Today has a brief article that presents three misconceptions about the natural gas boom that has occurred in several parts of the United States.

Drilling the Mancos Shale in New Mexico
April 22, 2014 | Biz Journals

Encana Corporation has plans to drill up to 50 wells in the Mancos Shale in New Mexico.

Challenges of the Monterey Shale
April 22, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

Although the Monterey Shale contains vast amounts of oil the cost of leasing is very high, much of the oil is very deep and a new approach at fracking might be needed to liberate the oil.

LNG as a Railroad Fuel?
April 20, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

Continued growth in domestic natural gas production, along with substantially lower natural gas spot prices compared to crude oil, is reshaping the U.S. energy economy and attracting considerable interest in the potential for fueling freight locomotives with liquefied natural gas.

Related: What is LNG?

No Ban on Exporting Refined Products
April 20, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

Although there are currently very tight controls (not quite a ban) on the export of crude oil, companies in the United States are exporting increasing amounts of refined products.

Thousands of barrels per day

Rising Natural Gas Prices in Ontario
April 20, 2014 | Toronto Star

An article in the Toronto Star explains how homeowners in Ontario are seeing a rapid rise in their natural gas heating costs.

Mineral Rights
April 17, 2014 |

In most countries all mineral resources belong to the government. This includes all valuable rocks, minerals, oil or gas found on or within the Earth. In the United States ownership of mineral resources was originally granted to the individuals or organizations that owned the surface. These property owners had both “surface rights” and “mineral rights”. Since then the owners have enjoyed the freedom to sell, lease, gift or bequest these rights individually or entirely to others. Now a single plot of land on the surface can have several different subsurface owners!

An Onshore Fuel Shortage in Nigeria?
April 17, 2014 | National Geographic

The Niger Delta is one of the best-producing oil patches on our planet but the people of Nigeria are often scrounging for gasoline.

Oil By Rail into California
April 17, 2014 | NBC Bay Area

There are no pipelines delivering crude oil to California. The state with more cars than any other receives all of its oil by ship or from domestic production. Some analysts believe that 25% of the state’s crude oil will arrive by rail by 2016.

Real Estate Prices Near Fracking
April 17, 2014 | Forbes

Researchers at the University of Calgary and Duke University found that homes within 1 kilometer of a shale gas well on a private water supply fell by over 20 percent in value compared to those on public water supplies. This loss can offset gains made through mineral rights sales.

Related: What is Hydraulic Fracturing?

Texas Oil Production Highest Since 1980
April 16, 2014 | Oil and Gas Journal

Oil production in Texas is rising to levels not seen since 1980. During February the state produced an average of 2.75 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Largest Natural Gas Storage Withdrawal
April 15, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

This winter’s natural gas withdrawal season saw the largest storage withdrawal on record. Historically, winter stock withdrawals average around 2 Tcf. However, this winter much of the country experienced sustained colder-than-normal temperatures, and almost 3 Tcf of gas has been withdrawn from storage as of the end of March.

Phillips Acquires a License to Export US Crude
April 15, 2014 | Reuters

Amid the debate about exporting United States crude oil, Phillips has obtained a license to export crude from the United States into Canada.

Report on California Geothermal
April 15, 2014 | Geothermal Energy Association

In their Report on the State of Geothermal Energy in California, the Geothermal Energy Association says…. “Geothermal power generated 4.4% of total system power in California in 2012, but could have generated substantially more [...] about half of California’s identified geothermal resources are still untapped, and significant resources may remain undiscovered.”

LED Bulb Prices and Efficiency
April 13, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration shows that the efficiency of LED light bulbs is increasing as prices are rapidly falling.

South Korea Energy Report
April 13, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“South Korea relies on imports to meet about 97% of its energy demand as a result of insufficient domestic resources, and the country is one of the world’s leading energy importers.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration report.

First Geothermal Plant in New Mexico
April 13, 2014 | KOB4

KOB4 has a short report on Lightning Dock Geothermal, the first geothermal plant to open in the state of New Mexico.

Burning Marcellus Gas in Ontario
April 10, 2014 | BizJournals

About 30 percent of the natural gas used in the Province of Ontario, Canada is produced from the Marcellus Shale.

South Dakota Sand and Fracking Specs
April 10, 2014 |

The South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources conducted a study on 256 sand samples collected from the western part of the state to determine if they could be developed as frac sand sources for use in wells that use hydraulic fracturing in North Dakota’s Bakken formation.

Related: What is Frac Sand?

Spending a Billion Dollars on CO2?
April 8, 2014 | Arizona Geology Blog

Kinder Morgan is going to spend about one billion dollars to drill for carbon dioxide in Arizona, treat the gas, compress it, send it through a new pipeline to oil fields in Texas and New Mexico, and pump into the ground for enhanced oil recovery. One billion dollars for CO2!

Large Dams Cost Too Much!
April 8, 2014 | International Rivers

An Oxford University study reports that large dams typically require about 8 years for construction and have average cost overruns of nearly 100%. By the time they are finished the needs of their region have often changed and the unanticipated expenses might make the total cost too high.

The Largest Petroleum Basin in the World
April 8, 2014 | USGS

“The West Siberian basin is the largest petroleum basin in the world covering an area of about 2.2 million square kilometers. The basin occupies a swampy plain between the Ural Mountains and the Yenisey River.” Quoted from the USGS report.

1.1 Million BPD from the Bakken – Three Forks
April 7, 2014 | Washington Post

The Bakken and Three Forks Formations are expected to produce about 1.1 million barrels of oil per day during 2014.

Marcellus Shale in Wireline Logs
April 7, 2014 | USGS

USGS has published: “Characterization of the Marcellus Shale Based on Computer-Assisted Correlation of Wireline Logs in Virginia and West Virginia“.

Using US Energy as a Political Lever?
April 6, 2014 | Houston Chronicle

“The Ukraine-Russia crisis has Congress and the Obama administration rushing to consider monumental changes to accelerate exports of natural gas that will permanently and negatively affect the energy landscape for natural gas domestically.” Quoted from the Houston Chronicle. (Many people will disagree with this article both from a political and economic perspective. An different view can be found here and a dual perspective here.)

Related: What is LNG?

Indonesia Oil and Gas Report
April 6, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“Formerly a net oil exporter and OPEC member, Indonesia struggles to attract sufficient investment to meet growing domestic energy consumption because of inadequate infrastructure and a complex regulatory environment. At the same time, it was the world’s largest exporter of coal by weight in 2012 and the fourth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in 2013. The government seeks to meet energy demand at home by reorienting domestic energy production away from serving primarily export markets and increasing renewable energy production, particularly geothermal power.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration publication release.

US Shale Gas Influences Global LNG Price?
April 6, 2014 | BizJournals

“New global contracts for liquefied natural gas in Africa and Asia are being driven by shale gas production in Texas and other top U.S. shale plays.” Quoted from the Houston BizJournal.

The Benefits of Crude Oil Exports?
April 6, 2014 | Oil and Gas Journal

An article in the Oil and Gas Journal, based upon a study done for the American Petroleum Institute, counts the potential benefits of crude oil exports.

Tight Oil Production Growth!
April 3, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

This image from the Energy Information Administration shows the amazing growth of tight oil production from the Eagle Ford, Bakken, Utica and other formations.

North Carolina Companies Want Marcellus Gas
April 3, 2014 | The Mercury News

An article in The Mercury News explains why companies in North Carolina want Marcellus Shale gas enough that they are willing to invest in a pipeline.

Weaning Europe from Russian Gas
April 3, 2014 | The Hill

The Hill has a short video that explains the changing natural gas situation between Russia and Europe.

Throwing a Wrench into LNG Exports
April 1, 2014 |

Much of the thinking on LNG exports is based upon a plan developed in 2012 that many people in Washington think does not reflect the current situation.

Geography of Heating Fuels
April 1, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration has published information on the geography of propane and heating oil use for residential space heating.

How Sanctions Could Hit the Russian Wallet
April 1, 2014 | FuelFix

International sanctions against Russia could push up financing costs for their multibillion-dollar pipeline, LNG and offshore drilling projects.

Rising Oil Production in New Mexico
April 1, 2014 | Lite Geology

The most recent issue of Lite Geology from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources reports on how new drilling technologies are rapidly increasing the amount of oil produced in the state.

Severance Tax on the Marcellus Shale?
March 29, 2014 | National Public Radio

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not have a severance tax that would collect revenue from oil and natural gas production. Although other taxes are levied on energy companies the state has one of the lowest effective tax rates on drilling in the United States.

More Natural Gas Being Flared in North Dakota
March 25, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The amount of natural gas being flared in North Dakota is still increasing, in part because oil production is increasing.

Related: A collection of NASA images that show natural gas flaring at locations all over the world.

Using Natural Gas to Balance Load at Renewable Projects
March 25, 2014 | Shell

“Solar power is clean and steady – until the sun goes down, or clouds roll in. Wind turbines stop spinning when the breeze dies. To provide reliable electricity, renewable energy sources need back-up. This is fueling a new generation of hybrid power plants in which solar or wind installations are supported by natural gas.”

Cyber Attacks on Energy Companies
March 25, 2014 | Technology Review

They could be stealing research about solar panels, snooping seismic data from lease acreage, downloading employee data bases or exploring for ways to take down a power grid.

Cheniere LNG Export Facility
March 24, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

The LA Times has an article about exporting liquefied natural gas that features the $12 billion, under-construction project that Cheniere Energy is building in Louisiana.

Related: What is LNG?

Green Fracking?
March 23, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article titled: “Green Fracking? 5 Technologies for Cleaner Shale Energy”. It explains five methods that are being employed to reduce the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing.

65 Years of Fracking
March 23, 2014 |

Most people think that hydraulic fracturing is a recently-invented technology. However, it has been around for 65 years. CNBC has an article about it.

The Biggest Infrastructure Project Ever Built in Alaska?
March 20, 2014 | Anchorage Daily News

The Alaska Senate is debating a large project that would involve a natural gas liquefaction plant on the North Slope coastline, a natural gas pipeline system and a natural gas processing plant. The State might have a stake in the project. Presently, lots of natural gas on the North Slope is being flared because it has no access to market. So much is being flared that it can be seen from space.

Related: What is liquefied natural gas?

Heating Fuels by USA Region
March 20, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The type of fuels used for home space heating vary by region in the United States. Heating oil is an important fuel in New England while electricity is the dominant fuel in the south.

Shell Studies Dumping Marcellus Investment??
March 20, 2014 | Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Royal Dutch Shell does not seem to be happy with the return that the are getting from their investment in about a million acres of Marcellus Shale…. they have a lot of dry gas.

Has Support for Renewable Energy Peaked?
March 20, 2014 | has an article that looks at the support provided to renewable energy a few years ago compared to today. This is an industry that responds strongly to some types of government support but that support might be losing steam in the USA and other countries.

Japan: First New Geothermal Plant in 15 Years
March 18, 2014 | Japan Daily Press

“As Japan continues to look for viable alternatives to its mothballed nuclear reactors, Chuo Electric Power Company is set to open Japan’s first new geothermal power project in 15 years.” Quoted from the Japan Daily Press.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.

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