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Geology News
Oil and Gas Current Events

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!

Eagle Ford Output Swamps the Corpus Christi Port
April 17, 2014 | Bloomberg

The oil production from Eagle Ford Shale has caused a large increase in volume at Corpus Christi port – so much that they have built a new petroleum dock and consider a plan to widen the shipping channel.

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.

Another Advance in Drilling
April 16, 2014 | Reuters

“Schramm Inc [...] has designed a 500,000-pound rig for the oil and natural gas industry that can walk, rotate 360 degrees, be operated with a remote control, and load pipe automatically.”

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.

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.

Hacking Big Oil from a Chinese Restaurant?
April 15, 2014 | New York Times

The New York Times has an article that explains how an unnamed major oil company was hacked by using the website of a nearby Chinese restaurant.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

Shell Starts Deep Water Production From Its Largest Platform
March 16, 2014 | Shell

Shell recently started producing from its largest floating deep-water drilling and production platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientific Glassblowing at Shell
March 16, 2014 | Shell

“Hans de Marie is one of three scientific glassblowers at the Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Their job is to make complex and often one-of-a-kind instruments in glass with millimetre precision.” Quoted from the Shell article.

Exxon Withdraws from Black Sea Drilling
March 13, 2014 | Dallas News

Exxon Mobil has withdrawn from its efforts to conduct exploratory drilling in the Ukranian portion of the Black Sea.

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.

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.

South Africa Energy Report
March 9, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“South Africa has a large energy-intensive coal mining industry. The country has limited proved reserves of oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits to meet most of its energy needs. [...] South Africa also has a sophisticated synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from coal-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids plants.

Energy Consumption in China
March 9, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world. Rapidly increasing energy demand, especially for liquid fuels, has made China extremely influential in world energy markets.”

Oil Reserves Growth
March 6, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

These charts show how proved oil reserves have been increasing in some parts of the United States – especially in North Dakota.

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.

Syria Oil and Gas Report
March 2, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“Syria’s energy sector is in turmoil because of the ongoing hostilities between government and opposition forces. Syria’s oil and natural gas production has declined dramatically since March 2011 because of the conflict and because of the subsequent imposition of sanctions by the United States and European Union in particular. Syria’s energy sector is unlikely to recover in the near term.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration’s country report.

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 |

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 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 |

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

An LNG Construction Boom for the Gulf Coast?
February 25, 2014 |

The natural gas industry is currently pushing to build more export facilities that will liquefy natural gas and load it onto transport ships that will deliver it to destinations in Asia and other parts of the world where natural gas prices are much higher than in the United States. Many of those LNG facilities would likely be built along the US Gulf Coast. The hope is that this will reduce the glut of natural gas in the USA market and support prices. Current LNG terminals along the Gulf are shown in the map below from the EIA Energy Mapping System.

Divided on Crude Oil Exports
February 25, 2014 | FuelFix

Some members of Congress think that the United States should not export crude oil, others think that crude exports should be allowed and others think that the USA should focus on exporting refined products.

Danger in Mexico’s Eagle Ford?
February 23, 2014 | Quartz

Mexico has been working to lure oil companies from the United States into developing Mexico’s part of the Eagle Ford Shale. One problem that they could face there is organized crime and gang activity.

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