Obama forms task force on natural gas development | Obama's natural gas oversight directive draws praise from industry: | ExxonMobil, Rosneft to detail drilling joint venture this week
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April 16, 2012
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Obama forms task force on natural gas development
The Obama administration is creating a high-level task force that would coordinate with federal agencies on the oversight of domestic natural gas development. The task force would ensure that natural gas drilling techniques, particularly hydraulic fracturing, are conducted safely and responsibly. "[I]t is vital that we take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised," said an executive order signed by President Barack Obama. The Hill/E2 Wire blog (4/13)
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Obama's natural gas oversight directive draws praise from industry:
The oil and natural gas industry praised President Barack Obama's directive that sets up a task force to coordinate federal natural gas drilling oversight. "We're pleased that the White House recognizes the need to coordinate the efforts of the ten federal agencies that are reviewing, studying or proposing new regulations on natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing," said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. "We have called on the White House to rein in these uncoordinated activities to avoid unnecessary and overlapping federal regulatory efforts and are pleased to see forward progress," he said. The Hill/E2 Wire blog (4/13)
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Bakken Tight Oil Congress 2012
Denver, May 30-31: Experts in geology & completions from companies including Continental, Hess, PetroBakken, Liberty Resources, integrate geological properties with completions techniques to help producers identify sweet spots and fully exploit reservoirs within the various Bakken play types.
Full Speaker Details and Registration Online
 
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ExxonMobil, Rosneft to detail drilling joint venture this week
ExxonMobil and Rosneft will outline their $3.2 billion Arctic joint drilling project to analysts on Wednesday. Under the deal, Exxon will give Rosneft investment rights in Texas shale fields and Gulf of Mexico deepwater projects in exchange for access to Russia's portions of the Arctic Ocean and Black Sea. Bloomberg (4/13)
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Chevron announces plan to restart Brazilian oil operations
Chevron seeks to restart production at Brazil's Frade oilfield after assessing the causes of two offshore oil spills there. Chevron also believes that moves by the country's prosecutors in response to the incidents are "out of proportion," said Rafael Williamson, a corporate affairs director at the company. Federal Prosecutor Eduardo Santos de Oliveira filed a $21.7 billion lawsuit against the company over the incidents. FuelFix.com/Bloomberg (4/13)
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Ensco sees promise in deepwater drilling, observers say
Ensco sees great promise in the global offshore-drilling market as it prepares to deploy its new semisubmersible rig in the Gulf of Mexico. "Ensco expects the deep-water market to remain essentially sold out beyond upcoming deliveries based on customer demand," according to Barclays analyst James West. Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy and Apache seek to use the ENSCO 8505 rig at the Shenandoah Appraisal Well in the Gulf's Walker Ridge area. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (4/13)
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Seafloor is likely source of Gulf oil sheen, feds say
A light oil sheen that Shell Oil discovered in the central Gulf of Mexico last week likely came from the seafloor, according to federal officials. A remotely operated vehicle deployed by the company "was able to investigate a known natural seafloor seep as the likely source of the sheen using information from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that identifies where natural seeps are known to be located," said Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (4/13)
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Exploration & Production
N.D. infrastructure issues could affect oil-rig growth
Infrastructure concerns in North Dakota, particularly clogged roads and inadequate housing for workers, could stunt the growth of oil and natural gas drilling rigs in the state's Williston Basin, industry executives said. Energy firms could easily double -- from the current 220 -- the number of rigs in the basin, said Mark Williams, Whiting Petroleum's senior vice president of exploration and development. Inadequate infrastructure, however, could limit the area to about 300 rigs for next few years, he said. FuelFix.com/The Associated Press (4/13)
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N.D. nuclear missiles are unaffected by oil drilling
Drilling in North Dakota's oilfields hasn't affected the nuclear missiles buried in underground silos nearby, the U.S. Air Force said, adding that it is more concerned about aboveground activity such as worn out roads and heavy oil traffic. Air Force and industry officials have been holding discussions about such issues, particularly the military's right-of-way in the oilfields. "Obviously, the Air Force has jurisdiction when they have to move things around and the oil industry is aware of that," said Kari Cutting, vice president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. FuelFix.com/The Associated Press (4/13)
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Miller Energy is creating work plan for Alaskan basin
Miller Energy Resources is creating a work plan for Alaska's Susitna Basin, where it has purchased another exploration license, covering 45,764 acres. The basin has the potential for natural gas, the company said. Oil & Gas Journal (4/13)
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Policy Watch
Rep. Upton links Obama energy policies to high fuel prices
The Obama administration's energy policies are contributing to surging prices at the pump, said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. "The president rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have decreased our dependence on oil from unstable regions of the world. And heavy-handed federal agencies are adding new layers of regulations on the energy sector, pushing prices only higher," Upton said in the weekly Republican address. President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers should back measures that expand domestic oil and natural gas drilling, and delay tougher and costlier rules for refineries, he added. United Press International (4/14)
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API News
Overview of API Specification 6A, June 7 to 8, Houston
This two-day course covers all aspects of API Specification 6A/ISO 10423, Specification for Wellhead and Christmas Tree Equipment. API 6A continues to evolve with important revisions of the 19th edition being made through 2008 and with the 20th edition published in 2010. The seminar covers current information on all sections of the specification, and includes a special briefing on the NACE MR0175/ISO 15156 specification as it relates to API 6A products. Learn more.
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78th Annual API Federal Tax Forum, May 7 and 8
The forum is one of the only legal conferences focusing on federal oil and gas taxation and is consistently praised by participants as an excellent learning opportunity. It is open to private lawyers and accountants interested in this area and attracts speakers who are leading authorities in their fields. The topics covered at the forum are usually selected to address both basic and advanced issues on the U.S. taxation of domestic and international oil and gas operations. Learn more.
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