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Mineral Rights
April 17, 2014 | Geology.com

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!

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?

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this winter much of the country experienced sustained colder-than-normal temperatures, and almost 3 Tcf of gas has been withdrawn from storage as of the end of March.

Future of the Haynesville Shale?
April 13, 2014 | TheAdvertiser.com

Natural gas drilling activity in the Haynesville Shale was booming in 2010 but has fallen significantly since then. The fall occurred as natural gas prices fell from $12 down to $2. Companies started drilling there with a high income assumption. After the price fall, drillers could make more money drilling liquid and oil-rich plays because the revenue there was greater. They Haynesville still holds lots of gas and drilling will increase when prices increase.

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.

What is Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?
April 10, 2014 | ThinkProgress

During 2013 the state of Oklahoma experienced 109 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or higher. Already this year the state has equaled that number. Some people blame wastewater injection.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas is also experiencing a number of earthquakes.

South Dakota Sand and Fracking Specs
April 10, 2014 | WashingtonTimes.com

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?

Petrochemical Exports Could Double
April 8, 2014 | ChemWeek.com

Stephen Pryor, President of ExxonMobil Chemical, believes that “US exports of polyethylene, polypropylene, and para-xylene, three of the largest primary petrochemical products, could double by 2025 thanks to shale gas.” Quoted from ChemWeek.com.

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.

Qatar LNG Profits in Jeopardy?
April 8, 2014 | Bloomberg

Although Qatar is currently the largest exporter of liquified natural gas in the world, its natural gas profits could be slashed as Australia, the United States, east African nations, Indonesia and several other countries enter or step into the LNG export business.

If Qatar’s profits are threatened, what is going to happen to United States companies who plan to export natural gas and have a transportation disadvantage?

Related: What is LNG?

LNG from Eastern Russia
April 8, 2014 | Reuters

Rosneft, the world’s largest oil company on the basis of output, and ExxonMobil are working on a plant to produce LNG in eastern Russia. They hope to ship the first LNG in 2018.

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.

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 | FuelFix.com

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.

White House Targets Methane
March 31, 2014 | The White House

As a greenhouse gas, methane can trap about 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide. The White House announced a climate action plan to reduce methane emissions by targeting emissions from the oil and gas, waste disposal, coal mining, farming and other methane producing industries.

Related: Night Time Maps of Natural Gas Flaring

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.”

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 | CNBC.com

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 Fight Over LNG Exports?
March 23, 2014 | Bloomberg

Some environmentalists and some politicians do not favor quick approvals of export terminals on the U.S. eastern coast with the intent of supplying natural gas to Russia’s current customers.

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.

Converting Natural Gas to a Liquid Fuel
March 18, 2014 | Brigham Young University

“America’s current energy boom may take a new direction thanks to the discovery of a new way to turn raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel.” Quoted from the Brigham Young University press release.

Earthquakes Cause ODNR to Halt Drilling
March 16, 2014 | Columbus Dispatch

On Monday, March 10th two small earthquakes in eastern Ohio (M2.6 and M3.0) prompted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to halt operations at seven nearby gas wells. Industry responded that hundreds of wells have been drilled in the Utica Shale using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling without incident.

Related: Utica Shale well density

16% of European Gas Consumption Flows Through Ukraine
March 16, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

According to the Energy Information Administration, about 16% of the natural gas consumed in Europe flows through Ukraine.

Chevron Shuts Down Seven Marcellus Wells
March 11, 2014 | Natural Gas Intel

Chevron has ceased operations at seven Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania after an explosion at one of their wells killed one worker and produced a fire that burned out-of-control for several days.

Natural Gas as a Political Lever?
March 11, 2014 | New York Times

An opinion article on the New York Times website explains how the United States could use exporting natural gas liquids as a lever against Russia.

Tapping the Utica ahd the Marcellus from a Single Drill Pad?
March 11, 2014 | BizJournals

A company in Ohio plans to drill wells into both the Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale from a single drill pad in Ohio. The expect dry gas production from the deeper Utica and liquids production from the Marcellus.

Related: Horizontal Well Density in the Utica Shale.

US Electricity Generation by Fuel
March 9, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration projects a reduced share of electricity generation from coal by 2040.

US Natural Gas Consumption Growing Slowly
March 9, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

Here are total natural gas consumption values for the United States for 2008 to 2013 as published by the Energy Information Administration. Based upon all of the new natural gas projects that appear in the news, one would think that consumption is growing at a much faster rate?

2008 – 23,277 BCF
2009 – 22,910 BCF
2010 – 24,087 BCF
2011 – 24,477 BCF
2012 – 25,533 BCF
2013 – 26,034 BCF

Problems Finding Employees for the Bakken Shale
March 4, 2014 | The Bakken

An article in “The Bakken Magazine” explains some of the problems faced by employers who need to find talent to develop the North Dakota Bakken Formation.

The Slow Shale Gas Launch in China
March 4, 2014 | Bloomberg

China has been unable to replicate the shale gas productivity of the United States even though they are thought to have a much larger shale gas resource. The country does not have the existing infrastructure present in the United States or the technical expertise and specialized equipment.

$100B Invested in Shale-Related Chemical Facilities
March 4, 2014 | BizJournals

“The American Chemistry Council said the amount of publicly announced U.S. shale-related chemical investment has officially topped $100 billion.” Quoted from the Houston BizJournals.

Interactive Energy Map of the United States
March 2, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration has an interactive energy map that allows you to discover the locations of facilities such as natural gas power plants, petroleum refineries, natural gas pipelines, LNG import/export terminals and much more. The choropleth map below shows the photovoltaic solar potential of the 48 states with solar power plants plotted as yellow dots.

The Shale Boom is Just Starting
March 2, 2014 | Denver BizJournal

Ryan Lance, CEO of ConocoPhillips believes that the “shale boom” in the United States is just getting started, with several decades ahead.

Capturing More Natural Gas in North Dakota
March 2, 2014 | Bloomberg.com

North Dakota has been flaring about 1/3 of the gas produced from the Bakken Formation and drawing criticism as a result. Now North Dakota state government is trying to rally investments from natural gas processors and chemical manufacturing to utilize that gas.

Natural Gas is the Top Home Heating Fuel in Pennsylvania
February 27, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“Natural gas (38 percent) provides heat to more Pennsylvania homes than any other fuel, but electricity (29 percent), fuel oil (20 percent), and propane (9 percent) are also widely used in the state.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration.

However, even though Pennsylvania is a major producer of natural gas, homeowners there pay a price that is significantly above the national average.

Exporting Natural Gas from the Haynesville Shale
February 27, 2014 | Bloomberg

Production of natural gas from the Haynesville Shale has been falling in response to low gas prices and more lucrative drilling opportunities. Some believe that the solution is in exporting the gas to Asia where prices are much higher.

Natural Gas Price Responds to the Weather
February 27, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

Natural gas prices have responded strongly to the weather. As demand for gas went up, so did the price. Shown below is the two year trend of the Henry Hub price.

Geology of the Voca Frac Sand District
February 27, 2014 | Arizona Geological Survey Repository

“One of Texas’ major frac sand production areas is near Voca, Texas, where sands are produced from the Cambrian Hickory Sandstone on the northwestern flank of the Llano Uplift.” Quoted from the Arizona Geological Survey Repository.

Related: What is Frac Sand?

Taxing Oil and Gas in Ohio
February 27, 2014 | Columbus BizJournals

The Ohio Legislature is considering new severance taxes on oil and gas produced from horizontal wells in Ohio.

Related: Horizontal wells in the Utica Shale of Ohio.

1200 Utica Wells in 2014?
February 25, 2014 | Ohio.com

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is predicting that there will be nearly 1200 new wells drilled in the Utica Shale during 2014.

Related: Horizontal Wells in the Utica Shale

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.





Homeowners InsuranceHomeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.


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