Archive for Gas
www.nytimes.com 18th December 2012
Quoted from source:
‘An industry group representing oil and gas companies has sued a city in Colorado that outlawed hydraulic fracturing, saying voters had no right to ban the drilling practice. The lawsuit, filed on Monday by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, seeks to overturn the ban on the contentious practice that passed by a wide margin last month in the northern Colorado city of Longmont. The measure, the first of its kind in the state, still allows oil and gas drilling within city limits, but it prohibits hydraulic fracturing, which has lifted energy production across the country but has raised concerns about air and water contamination. The oil and gas association said the ban amounted to a prohibition on all efforts to tap the estimated $500 million in oil and gas resources locked in the rocks deep beneath Longmont. “The ban is illegal, and we expect it to be overturned by the courts,” said Tisha Schuller, the president of the group. City officials had been bracing for a lawsuit challenging Longmont’s right to make rules for an industry regulated largely by the state and federal authorities. Colorado officials opposed the city’s ban but have declined to sue to overturn it. Sam Schabacker, one of the ban’s leading advocates, called the lawsuit an attempt to “undermine a democratic vote in order to put a dangerous industrial activity next to homes, schools and public parks.”
Pennsylvania has passed a controversial new law that allows gas companies to carry out hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, as close as 90m (300ft) to residential housing. The bill renders previous zoning laws obsolete in a move that the state governor says will ‘level the playing field for gas exploration.’ Fracking is a controversial method of removing gas from underground rock by blasting them with water, sand and chemicals at high pressure. The practice has come under scrutiny following reports that it has contaminated drinking water supplies in the USA. Recently, Bulgaria has become the second state, after France, to ban fracking completely. The link below takes you to a video by the Guardian that documents the township of Dallas in Pennsylvania and their battle with the gas companies.
www.independent.co.uk 23rd September 2010
The Arctic Forum got under way today in Moscow with five countries – Norway, Denmark, the USA, Russia, and Canada – all staking a claim on various parts of the Polar North, believed to hold as much as a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. Three of the countries – Denmark, Canada, and Russia – have submitted a claim to the UN over the same area, called the Lomonosov Ridge, as shrinking Arctic ice makes it more accessible. Russian scientists have claimed there could be as much as 75 billion barrels of oil underneath the Ridge and the Russian flag was planted upon it three years ago, an action that drew an angry response from Canada. A previous claim by Russia to the UN was rejected in 2001.
Despite the high stakes involved all parties are encouraging disputes to be solved through dialogue rather than conflict. The Russian and Norwegian foreign ministers have jointly written an article for a Canadian newspaper on the subject. “We firmly believe that the Arctic can be used to demonstrate just how much peace and collective interests can be served through the implementation of the international rule of law,” wrote Jonas Gahr Store and Sergey Lavrov. “Moreover, we believe that the challenges in the Arctic should inspire momentum in international relations, based on co-operation rather than rivalry and confrontation.”
www.nytimes.co.uk 18th September 2010
The Gulf of Mexico oil and gas deposits that Deepwater Horizon so disastrously tapped into could still be used for future extraction, experts have confirmed. Although BP have abandoned their well that led to the largest accidental oil leak in history, it is possible that the company, or another if BP are worried about public opinion, will exploit the deposit, estimated to hold 50 million barrels of oil, elsewhere. Dr. Patzek, chairman of the department of petroleum and geosystems engineering at the University of Texas, said that the reservoir was “a pretty decent target”. BP paid the US government $34 million in 2008 to lease extraction rights for the Mississippi Canyon Block but the worth of the oil still there could be as much as $3.5 billion. BP has only just placed a permanent cap on the damaged well and leaking oil has not now been reported since July. However, if BP particularly were to continue drilling in the area then there is likely to be some form of public outcry.
Sources: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment 10th September 2010
On Friday, a huge fireball of natural gas tore through a quiet suburb of San Bruno, just south of San Francisco, killing 4 and destroying 50 homes. The cause of the fire was traced to a gas pipeline owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The incident, just one of many fossil fuel disasters the US has experienced of late, has drawn the spotlight onto the meteoric rise of natural gas consumption in the USA. Shale gas extraction has risen by 71% in the past decade and there are no signs of such a rate slowing. A method used in the extraction process is raising concern among environmental groups and local residents as reports of contaminated drinking water flood in. Hydraulic Fracturing, or fracking, is a process whereby a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals (mostly diesel fuel) is used to fracture rock formations to get at the gas beneath. However, between 20-40% of the chemicals are left underground causing potential environmental harm. The issue is documented in the film Gasland but is currently exempt from federal regulation. Congress has previously allowed the companies involved in fracking to keep the concoction of chemicals a ‘trade secret’ but pressure on Environmental Protection Agency means action is on its way.