Drones expected to boost oilfield productivity
General Electric Co. is developing a helicopter drone for U.S. oil and natural gas explorers “struggling to save more money after squeezing drilling costs by more than a third during the past two years,” Bloomberg reports. The news service says GE’s “Raven” drone is being tested to be used for detecting methane emissions at well sites. Detecting and stopping methane leaks is the first of many planned applications for oilfield drones to make energy workers more productive, according to Bloomberg. For more, read the full story.
Iran seeks international bidders for oil and natural gas fields
Iran’s national oil company has offered 50 oil and natural gas fields to international bidders, the first time the country has done so since its nuclear deal in 2015 with world powers, including the United States, reports the Associated Press. The news service says Iran hopes to attract more than $150 billion in foreign investment for its oil, gas and petrochemical industry by 2020. For more, read the full story.
Shell to build pipeline to carry ethane to Pennsylvania ‘cracker’ plant
Royal Dutch Shell’s pipeline company is seeking commitments from shippers for a new ethane pipeline that will connect the company’s planned petrochemical facility in Beaver County, Pennsylvania with ethane from eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the 92.3-mile Falcon Pipeline would run from Cadiz, Ohio, and Houston, Pennsylvania, to Beaver County to serve Shell’s new ethane “cracker” plant. Shell said pipeline construction will start in late 2018 and shipments of ethane could begin as soon as 2020. For more, read the full story.
ShaleNET Share project expands to Belmont College
Stark State College’s ShaleNET Share project, which increases access to an oil and natural gas industry curriculum for students, has expanded to Belmont College in eastern Ohio, reports the Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge. The newspaper says the college, based in St. Clairsville, has joined Stark State, Eastern Gateway Community College and Hocking College as ShaleNET education partners, while Chevron Corp. has come on board as an industry partner. The project leverages the equipment and technology in Stark State’s Well Site Training Lab to provide industry-driven oil and gas education to students. For more, read the full story.
FERC approves second LNG plant for Cheniere in Louisiana
Cheniere Energy Inc., which shipped its first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in February 2016, has been cleared to double exports from its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, Bloomberg reports. The news service says Cheniere’s second liquefaction plant there was recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Cheniere is also planning to bring online a third LNG plant in 2017 and start the commissioning of a fourth, according to Bloomberg. For more, read the full story.
Agency schedules lease auction for drilling in Wayne National Forest
The federal government has scheduled a lease auction for 1,600 acres of the Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio, reports the Athens Messenger. The newspaper says the auction is moving forward after a recent decision by a district manager for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to issue a finding of “no significant impact” from proposed oil and gas drilling for 40,000 acres within the Marietta unit of the forest. The online lease auction, scheduled for December 13, 2016, is for 1,600 acres in nine townships in Monroe County, one in Noble County and two in Washington County. For more, read the full story.
Marcellus shale group sues to block Pennsylvania oil and gas rules
The Marcellus Shale Coalition has asked the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to block enactment of portions of new oil and natural gas drilling regulations from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) less than a week after the rules went into effect, reports the Legal Intelligencer. The news site says that in Marcellus Shale Coalition v. Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the oil and gas group contends sections of Chapter 78a are "unlawful, illegal, void and unenforceable." The coalition said the new rules, which took effect October 8, 2016, pose irreparable harm to its members, and the DEP should be prevented from implementing them. For more, read the full story.
Marathon Petroleum working to reverse flow of Centennial pipeline
Marathon Petroleum Corp. is continuing to work on reversing the flow of its Centennial pipeline to move natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to the Gulf Coast, Kallanish Energy reports. The news site also says the company is working to develop a plan to turn butane from the Appalachian Basin into “lucrative alkylate, a fuel additive for vehicles.” For more, read the full story.
Study: Rise of natural gas has driven coal’s decline
A new study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University concludes that low natural gas prices have caused coal production to fall in the past decade, and federal environmental regulations have not been the driving factor for that decline, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. The newspaper says the study found that coal consumption declined by 23 percent between 2008 and 2015. At the same time, natural gas production rose steadily, spurred by low prices that have increased demand. For more, read the full story.
Ohio State to study impact of Utopia East pipeline
Ohio State University (OSU) will launch a study this fall in conjunction with Kinder Morgan Inc.’s planned 215-mile Utopia East petroleum pipeline from Harrison County in eastern Ohio to the Michigan border, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The newspaper says OSU's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will conduct a three-year study during construction on soil disturbances caused by pipelines and their impact on farmland. The study will focus on 50 fields statewide, predominantly in rural areas. For more, read the full story.