HBW Resources Greenfield Offshore Energy Report

HBW Resources: Greenfield Offshore Energy Report


Below is a summary of publicly available activities currently underway that could affect the development of offshore oil and gas resources.  With numerous legislative bodies now in session, HBW Resources is monitoring these activities to ensure that responsible policies based on sound science are advanced. 

Eight Governors Call On Congressional Delegations To Support Offshore Energy Development
In letters transmitted to the 16 U.S. Senators and 85 U.S. Representatives that represent their states, the eight coastal state governors that comprise the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition are urging their federal representatives to “act in concert to champion OCS energy and, by effect, the vitality of our coastal and state economies” as they consider offshore energy-related items. 
Governors from Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia specifically note their support for the following:
·         Advancing revenue-sharing for all coastal states;
·         Expanding offshore oil and gas access to frontier areas;
·         Ensuring an efficient and consistent regulatory regime for offshore energy development;
·         Improved understanding of potential offshore energy resources, including completion of the Atlantic seismic Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement; and
·         Improved management and stewardship of coastal resources related to coastal and ocean activities
U.S. House Members Address BOP Regulations In Letter To BSEE Director 
In a recent letter sent to Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson, the following 11 Members of Congress sought answers to questions regarding pending regulations governing blowout preventers: U.S. Rep.’s Marsha Blackburn (TN)Michael Burgess (TX)Kevin Cramer (ND)Jeff Duncan (SC)Morgan Griffith (VA)Ralph Hall (TX)Gregg Harper (MS)Bob Latta (OH)Billy Long (MO)Pete Olson (TX), and Steve Scalise (LA).
The Members noted in part that they are “somewhat concerned that regulators are failing to provide clarity for rig operators, inching towards substantial rules affecting that very same safety equipment that industry is voluntarily upgrading,” and request answers that address the following:
·         Timing of new blowout preventer regulations, and timeframe for implementation;
·         Expected scope of new rule and the degree of change that will be associated with the new rule;
·         Whether the new rule might require the retirement of existing blowout preventers;
·         The extensiveness of the rulemaking process to be utilized;
·          Interaction of rule with ongoing voluntary safety upgrades, and related discussions with industry; and
·         Incorporation of cost and continuity of operations into the rulemaking
North Carolina Governor Urges Prompt Completion Of Atlantic Seismic Study
In a letter sent to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally JewellNorth Carolina Governor Pat McCroryrecently discussed the potential of energy resources located offshore North Carolina and urged the Interior Department to “expeditiously finalize” a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement(PEIS),  initially scheduled for completion by April 2012, that will guide seismic permitting in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.
Gov. McCrory pointed out that several federal regulatory hurdles exist that prevent North Carolina from moving ahead to begin offshore energy development, specifically citing the ongoing PEIS related to Atlantic seismic permitting.
In discussing the need for seismic activity, Gov. McCrory referred to the following rationale:
·         Seismic surveys are critical for science-based decisions on future activity
·         Seismic surveys will help inform sound decisions on oil, gas, and wind leasing and coastal preparation and response for hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters
·         Compared to 30-year old surveys, today’s advanced survey technologies will produce much more accurate energy resource assessments
·         Mitigation and technology advances allow seismic activity to take place with little or no impact to marine mammals
BSEE Seeks Participants and Input For OCS Technology Forum 
In an email sent to potential participants at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s October 2013 public forum on the use of Best Available and Safest Technology (BAST) in the Outer Continental Shelf, BSEE announced that it is seeking interest to establish a panel of experts for the event.
BSEE states that the purpose of the event, tentatively scheduled for October 16 in theHerndon/Reston, VA area, is to “share and gather information from experts and stakeholders to inform and assist BSEE in developing a comprehensive BAST Program in to the OCS that will contribute to increased safety and environmental protection in the OCS.”
In addition to requesting participation on one of the 5 panels, BSEE seeks input on the following 5 areas:
·         Equipment test procedures and protocols;
·         Identification of appropriate test laboratories;
·         How BSEE should decide which equipment to test for a BAST determination;
·         Possible BAST economic models; and
·         BAST for use in extreme conditions
U.S. House Committee Seeks National Ocean Policy Materials From 5 Federal Entities
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee recently announced the transmittal of four letters to the U.S. Interior DepartmentU.S. Agriculture DepartmentEnvironmental Protection Agency, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration requesting information on the development, legal authority, activities, staffing, and funding of the National Ocean Policy and Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.  In addition, one letter was sent to the National Ocean Councilrequesting a response “without further delay” with information and documents that were previously requested.
In a statement included in the announcement, U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings said that “[t]here are still significant questions about how this initiative is being funded and implemented and it’s time for answers.”
Hastings referred to the National Ocean Policy Executive Order as “a unilateral, back-door maneuver by an army of bureaucrats to zone the Nation’s ocean and coastal regions,” adding that it “requires all federal agencies to meet new policy directives that have no basis in law – while costing untold millions in taxpayer dollars.”
Marine Planning Handbook Released By National Ocean Council
In a blog post on Friday, National Ocean Council Director Deerin Babb-Brott announced the release of
Marine Planning Handbook to “support the efforts of regions that choose to engage marine industries, stakeholders, the public, and government to advance their economic development and conservation priorities.” 

The 24-page Handbook includes sections on the following:

  • Regional Planning Bodies (addressing purpose, establishment, membership, co-leadership, decision-making, working groups, meetings, transparency, stakeholder participation, charter, resources, and relationship to National Ocean Council);
  • Regional participation (addressing tribes and indigenous groups, fishery management councils, stakeholder participation, methods of participation, sources of expertise, and Federal Advisory Committee Act considerations); and
  • Marine planning (addressing a planning framework, regional capacity and existing efforts, regional vision, regional and national goals and objectives, work plan, analysis of data, uses, services, and impacts, planning options, draft marine plan, and concurrence)

The National Ocean Policy Final Implementation Plan Appendix includes an action item requiring the development of marine plans by 2017, and the Final Implementation Plan  base document notes that in regions where all states decide not to participate in a Regional Planning Body, while such a body will not be formed, “Federal agencies will identify and address priority science, information, and ocean management issues associated with marine planning as described in the Executive Order.”
Comments Sought On Atlantic/GOM Loggerhead Sea Turtle Critical Habitat Designation 
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced that it is seeking comments on its proposal to designate 36 marine areas in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico that are within the Northwest Atlantic Ocean loggerhead sea turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS).  A Draft Economic Analysis and Biological Report have also been released.  The Northwest Atlantic Ocean DPS has been listed as threatened since September 2011.    
The 36 proposed areas for the DPS are located offshore Alabama (1), Florida (20), Georgia (4), Mississippi (2), North Carolina (5), and  South Carolina (4).  If Sargassum habitat is included in the final rule, then additional habitat would be included.
The announcement states the following with respect to oil and gas-related activities:
·         Impacts on nearshore reproductive habitat could result from (among other things) offshore structures including but not limited to artificial reefs, lights on land or in the water, oil spills and response,
·         Impacts on breeding habitat could result from oil spills and response
·         Impacts on migratory habitat are less likely but could be impacted by oil and gas activities such as construction and removal of platforms, lighting, and noise, and noise pollution from construction, channel blasting, shipping, and/or military activities
·         Impacts on Sargassum habitat could be impacted by oil and gas exploration, development, and transportation that affects the Sargassum habitat itself and the loggerhead prey items found within this habitat-this could occur both in the process of normal operations and during blowouts and oil spills, which release toxic hydrocarbons and also require other toxic chemicals for cleanup
·         Activities that may affect the proposed critical habitat and be subject to the Section 7 consultation process include oil and gas exploration and development, such as decommissioning of old oil and gas platforms, construction of nearshore oil and gas platforms, and oil and gas activity transport in the nearshore environment
·         Oil and gas exploration and alternative energy projects may affect the essential features of critical habitat for the loggerhead sea turtle
The notice concludes that “[d]ue to the extensive requirements of oil and gas development and renewable energy projects to consider environmental impacts…even absent critical habitat designation for the loggerhead sea turtle, we anticipate it is unlikely that critical habitat designation will change conservation efforts recommended during Section 7 consultation for these projects.”
USFWS adds that “it is unlikely the identified activities and projects will be affected by the designation beyond the quantified administrative impacts,” and therefore the proposed designation “is not expected to impact the level of energy production.”
Comments on the proposed designation are due by Monday, September 16, 2013, and requests for public hearings are due by Tuesday, September 3, 2013.
USFWS Reopens Comment Period On Critical Terrestrial Habitat For Loggerhead Sea Turtle DPS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently announced that it is reopening the comment period on its previous request for comments on its proposal to designate 739 miles of U.S. coastal beach shoreline in Alabama (26 miles), Florida (451 miles), Georgia (69 miles), Mississippi (18 miles), North Carolina (96 miles), and South Carolina (79 miles) as critical habitat for theNorthwest Atlantic Ocean Distinct Population Segment of the loggerhead sea turtle.  The Northwest Atlantic Ocean DPS has been listed as threatened since September 2011.
In conjunction with the re-opening of the comment period, USFWS will hold three public informational sessions and hearings in Charleston, SC (Tuesday, Aug. 6), Wilmington, NC(Wednesday, Aug. 7), and Morehead City, NC (Thursday, Aug. 8)
The announcement states that the comment period is being reopened to provide the public with an opportunity to simultaneously comment on the proposed rule, newly-released Draft Economic Analysis, and an amended required determinations section.
With respect to impacts of the proposed critical habitat designation on oil and gas activities, the Draft Economic Analysis concludes that over the next 10 years (2014-2023), total potential incremental economic impacts related to Section 7 consultations in areas proposed for designation would be $6,600.  For areas being considered for exclusion from critical habitat, USFWS estimates a $140 impact on oil and gas activities over this time period.  The calculations are based on present-value terms and apply a 7% discount rate.   
Comments are due by Monday, September 16, 2013.
USCG Seeks Comments  On Safety Zone Around Olympus Tension Leg Platform
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has announced that it is seeking comments on its proposal to establish a safety zone around the Olympus Tension Leg Platform located in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi Canyon Block 807B. 
The announcement notes that establishment of a safety zone has been requested by Shell Exploration and Production Company (Shell) “due to safety concerns for vessels operating in the area and the environment,” adding that Shell “indicated that it is highly likely that any allusion with the facility would result in a catastrophic event.”
USCG concludes that the safety zone “will significantly reduce the threat of allusions, oil spills, and releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Comments are due by Monday, August 19, 2013.
Additional Information
For additional information, contact Brent Greenfield with HBW Resources. His contact information is below.
Brent Greenfield
HBW Resources
2211 Norfolk Street, #410
Houston, TX 77098
Tel: 713-337-8810
E-mail: bgreenfield@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com
If you have any general questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous reports and other updates can be found at the new HBW Resources Intelligence Tab at:http://hbwresources.com/intelligence/.   Hope you have a great day.
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Twitter: @mzehrhbw


Top 50 Fracking Stories of the Week: HBW Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report

HBW Resources: Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Below is a summary of publicly available activities currently underway at the federal, state and international levels that could impact the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction.  With numerous state legislatures now in session, HBW Resources is monitoring these activities to ensure that responsible and feasible policies based on sound science are advanced. 
Action Alert
At a Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing last month, Secretary Jewell announced an extension of 60 days for the comment period for the proposed hydraulic fracturing rule on federal and Indian lands. The extension will give the public a total of 90 days to comment on the proposed rule.  Comments are due on August 23rd.
To Submit Comments:
U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630)
Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134 LM
1849 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20240
 Attention: 1004-AE26.
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov  Follow the instructions at this Web site. Comments on the information collection requirement
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior, fax 202-395-5806.
 oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. Please indicate “Attention: OMB Control Number 1004-0203,” regardless of the method used to submit comments on the information collection burdens.
For more information please contact HBW Resources.
State Legislative Update: Please see linked spreadsheet for an updated listing of state legislation dealing with hydraulic fracturing.
Activists in 15 California cities and counties have launched petition drives demanding that their local officials block hydraulic fracturing. The online petition to halt fracking in Los Angeles County, for example, had 5,546 signatures by this past Monday evening. Fracking opponents have been trying to pressure Gov. Jerry Brown into imposing a statewide ban. But so far, he has shown little interest in halting the practice, which has triggered a boom in oil and natural gas production in other states. The local petition drives, begun with the help of liberal organizing group Credo, are designed to add to that pressure. They also aim to block fracking in some of the places it is already occurring, such as Fresno, Kern and San Benito counties.
The City of Loveland’s clerk said an anti-fracking group had collected enough signatures to place a two-year ban of in-town hydraulic fracturing on the fall ballot. City clerk Terry Andrews verified 2,256 signatures gathered by Protect Our Loveland. Under state law, the city council must, by Sept. 6, adopt the proposed ordinance that would stop the oil and gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing within city limits for two years, or refer the measure to the fall ballot. This action follows the planning commission recommending changes (starts on page 34) to zoning rules to allow building within buffer zones around oil and gas facilities. The city planning commission Monday night voted 7-1 to recommend City Council amend an ordinance to allow some development in “no-build” buffer zones around oil and gas facilities. For more information please contact HBW Resources.

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) demolished its 1960s-era Port Everglades Power Plant in Hollywood, Fla., to make way for a new, clean energy center powered by American natural gas. Construction of FPL’s Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center will begin in the first quarter of 2014 at the same location of the now-demolished power plant. The new, cleaner and more efficient power plant will begin serving customers in June 2016. The high-efficiency facility will generate enough electricity to power about 260,000 homes and businesses using 35 percent less fuel than the original plant. This improved fuel efficiency will result in the savings of hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs – all of which will be passed along to FPL customers, dollar for dollar. For more information please contact us.
Kansas utility regulators are considering new rules to require oil and natural gas companies to disclose some information about the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. The rules would require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. The information would have to be listed on a Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) database or in an existing online industry database. Companies could avoid disclosing all of the details if the chemicals they used were a trade secret. Those substances still would have to be disclosed to the KCC and other state and local officials if there’s a problem, even if it’s not an emergency.
Goodrich Petroleum has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase a 66.7% working interest in producing assets and approximately 277,000 gross acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in the US for $26.7 million. The remaining 33.3% working interest owner in the producing assets and leasehold has elected to retain its interest and participate with the company in developing the assets. The acquisition is subject to customary due diligence and is expected to close on or before August 22, 2013. The gross oil production associated with the properties averaged approximately 750 barrels of oil per day for March 2013. The Company plans to fund the acquisition with its senior credit facility, which along with available cash had approximately $190 million of available liquidity pro forma at March 31, 2013. Upon closing of the transaction, the Company’s borrowing base will increase by $18 million to $243 million.  
The Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission, assembled by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) in 2011, has been considering the Comprehensive Gas Development Plan (CGDP) since last year and will eventually make recommendations to state officials to require the CGDP submittal, make it voluntary or scrap the idea altogether. John Quigley, an environmental consultant who previously headed Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, presented a report, “The Case for Maryland’s Proposed Comprehensive Gas Development Plan Program,” to a Maryland advisory panel. With a CGDP requirement, drillers would have to submit a design addressing all land “on or under” proposed exploration or production, as well as the proposed locations of well pads, roads, pipelines and other natural gas facilities. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
State Sen. Rick Jones (R, District 24) is pushing tax incentives to prompt construction of a new oil processing facility in the state. Sen. Jones is not talking about a plant the size of the sprawling Marathon refinery in southwest Detroit, the only one in Michigan. Jones wants one of those small, so-called “portable” refineries being pioneered in oil-rich North Dakota. “It would be a smaller, leaner, cleaner operation that would make gasoline for the Michigan market,” said Jones, who filed his legislation Wednesday. “I’d use the Michigan Strategic Fund to give them a 10-year property tax and business tax abatement. We’d also help them find a suitable place to build.” Motor fuel and natural gas production are major growth segments for the U.S. economy as a result of huge new deposits and new extraction techniques in North America. Another refinery might not lower pump prices but still could be a good strategic move creating new jobs for Michigan.
State Rep. Mike Callton (R, District 87) is hosting a town hall meeting on Monday, July 29 to discuss hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. Rep. Callton will be joined by representatives from Michigan Oil and Gas Producers; Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Environmental Council. The panel will speak about the history of fracking and its current utilization for providing natural gas. Comments and questions from the audience will be encouraged. The meeting is free and open to the public, and will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Barry County Commission on Aging, 320 W. Woodlawn Ave. in Hastings.
The Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency put out requests for comment as they determine a plan to conduct rulemaking related to sand mining rules. The Legislature ordered the agencies to develop regulatory standards. Both agencies say new rules are months away from completion. For more information please contact us.
New York
Seven months after a tanker ran aground in December, tankers hauling Canada-bound crude oil have resumed navigating the Hudson River. The Bahamian-flagged vessel Afrodite took on crude at the Port of Albany on Wednesday in preparation for its third round trip to the Irving Oil Co. refinery in St. John, New Brunswick. The tanker can store up to 230,000 barrels of crude, primarily drawn from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. The Afrodite is about 25 feet narrower than the Stena Primorsk, which damaged its hull after crashing into some rocks on its debut voyage to St. John late last year. Since that incident, midstream services company Buckeye Partners LP shipped crude along the Hudson by barges, which hold less oil than tankers but typically have shallower drafts that make them less likely to run aground. Much of the crude transferred to tankers at the Port of Albany arrives from the Bakken Shale via rail.
The Town of Marbletown joined the list of more than 170 localities around the state that have enacted bans or moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing, using its liquid drilling wastewater or any other aspect of shale gas development. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
North Carolina
The state Senate approved, HB 74 the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, that would give select members of the Mining and Energy Commission the authority to review any “trade secret” claim made by energy companies before the chemicals used in fracking are brought out to a drill site and pumped into the ground. The legislative proposal came after James Womack, chairman of the Mining and Energy Commission, sent a strongly worded letter to lawmakers complaining about earlier efforts by a Senate committee to create a loophole for energy companies to avoid disclosure. The loophole would have allowed energy companies to use a trade secret claim if they didn’t want to disclose chemicals they deemed to be sensitive or competitive. The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, which is writing 120-some rules to govern fracking, had vowed to write one of the nation’s strictest chemical disclosure standards: full disclosure of all chemicals used to frack in the state, providing maximum protection to the public and to the environment. Under the legislative proposal, review of trade secrets would be strictly controlled. The corporate secrets wouldn’t be accessible to the public, while Mining and Energy Commissioners would have access on a limited basis.
Ohio bonding and liability requirements are insufficient to cover the cost and damage from a drilling accident or problems in the developing Utica shale and need to be raised, two groups said. Environment Ohio and Policy Matters Ohio held a teleconference to release the report, “Who Pays the Cost of Fracking?” that looks at Ohio’s shortcomings. It was done by the Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center.
Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (REX) has announced that it has executed a binding precedent agreement with an unnamed Utica Shale producer who wants to transport up to 200,000 Dth/d of processed Utica production through REX to markets in the Midcontinent.Pending satisfaction of certain conditions in the agreement, the processed gas will enter into REX through a newly constructed 14-mile residue header being installed by REX at the tailgate of MarkWest’s Seneca Processing Complex in Noble County, Ohio. The new facilities, which are expected to be in service in late 2013, will add significant natural gas supply to the east end of REX for transport to points west or east.
After the “community bill of rights” failed in the May primary election, a group of anti-fracking activists are back at it, trying to put the initiative on the November ballot. The bill was defeated in May by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. The proposed charter amendment would ban compression stations and pipelines from being installed within city limits in addition to banning any type of fracking operations or disposal wells for wastewater from fracking. The bill does include one change in language compared to the previous version. It exempts manufactured products, including the sale of components and materials used in oil and gas exploration, from the proposed ban. The Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment will be brought back together to oppose the bill a second time. The coalition includes business leaders, along with local Republican and Democratic party leaders who opposed the bill. For more information please contact us.
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District has approved a new water sale from Seneca Lake to a Utica shale driller. The agency’s governing board, meeting at Atwood Lake last week, approved a deal for August through October with Colorado-based Antero Resources. The board agreed to reduce the maximum per-day amount of water being sold from 2 million to 1.5 million gallons because of drier conditions in those months. Antero will pay $6 per 1,000 gallons. The deal sets a maximum amount of 138 million gallons of water, officials said.
The Ohio State University’s researchers want to install and study a gas well in eastern Ohio to study the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The shale drilling well would be built on university owned land in Noble County. The plan would open the school’s Eastern Agricultural Research Station to shale drilling and would provide an opportunity to closely examine how fracking alters the environment and assess possible pollution risks to the air and groundwater. Ohio State’s Shale Water Management Research Cluster is researching ways to estimate the impact of water withdrawals from lakes and streams as well as how to treat waste fluids that bubble out of fracked shale wells. The university owns 780 acres of mineral rights at the Noble County research station. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
The Athens County Board of Elections has certified signatures needed to place a hydraulic fracturing ban on the Nov. 5 general election ballot in the city of Athens. Approximately 780 signatures were submitted to Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht earlier this month, then forwarded to the elections board for certification. The title of the proposed ballot issue is “The Athens Community Bill of Rights and Water Supply Protection Ordinance.” The legislation would also ban activities associated with fracking such as the procurement of millions of gallons of fresh water, use of undisclosed chemicals, and the disposal of fracking waste in Class II injection wells. The ordinance would advise communities upstream from Athens that “industrial accidents and unwanted chemical events which cause pollution of Athens’ drinking water will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, citing ORC VII 743.25, which authorizes any municipality to prosecute water supply polluters upstream to a distance of 20 miles.
A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press. Although the results are preliminary — the study is still ongoing — they are a boost to a natural gas industry that has fought complaints from environmental groups and property owners who call fracking dangerous. Eight new Marcellus Shale horizontal wells were monitored seismically and one was injected with four different man-made tracers at different stages of the fracking process, which involves setting off small explosions to break the rock apart. The scientists also monitored a separate series of older gas wells that are about 3,000 feet above the Marcellus to see if the fracking fluid reached up to them.
Natural gas companies fixed or are repairing at least 413 miles of state roads in Susquehanna, Wyoming and Wayne counties, a Times-Tribune review of state Department of Transportation records show. In one example, more than $1 million in natural gas impact fees will be used to pave and repair 25 of Williamsport’s streets this fall and next year, enabling the city to get twice as many projects done as in years before, city officials said. “We’re doubling the amount of investment because of Marcellus Shale impact fees,” said John Grado, city engineer and director of community and economic development. Gas impact fees, those derived from taxes on local gas wells, will enable more to be done and less dependence on the city’s general fund, community development block grants or liquid fuels allocations, he said. For more information please contact us.
For every one job created on a drilling rig in the Permian Basin by the hydraulic fracturing craze taking over in West Texas, two jobs will be generated in Houston’s downtown skyscrapers, Bob Perryman, a Texas economist, told the Business Journals recently.
Oil production in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale formation rose 58 percent in May from the prior year. The nine fields that make up the majority of Eagle Ford yielded 581,923 barrels of crude a day, according to preliminary data released by the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees oil and gas drilling in the state. The fields produced 368,770 barrels daily in May 2012. February output was revised to 574,032 barrels a day from the preliminary report of 530,689, the commission said. Production totals typically increase in subsequent months as the state receives revised, corrected or late reports. Growing production out of Eagle Ford is helping fuel a renaissance in Texas crude.
Magnum Hunter Resources has sold its properties in the Eagle Ford Shale’s oil-rich Gonzales and Lavaca counties for $401 million. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Penn Virginia Corp. made the purchase for $361 million in cash and $40 million in Penn Virginia common stock. The properties involved in the sale included 19,000 leasehold acres and Magnum Hunter’s operating and non-operating interests in wells in Gonzales and Lavaca counties. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
Lubbock’s Board of Health wants the city to hire its own inspectors to oversee new oil and gas fracturing ventures expected to come to town years from now, according to a presentation made to the City Council. The council held a brief work session at the end of its meeting to receive a presentation of health board recommendations for dealing with public health concerns related to new horizontal drilling and fracking operations. Employing inspectors on the city payroll is one of several changes the board is asking the city to consider.
A coalition of conservation groups has filed a ‘request for agency action’ challenging the Utah Department of Air Quality’s June 21 approval of a new oil refinery in Green River, Utah that would affect local and regional air quality and facilitate oil shale and tar sands mining in the Colorado River Basin’s Green River Formation.
Twenty households east of Pavillion are getting cisterns, or water tanks, for clean drinking water, paid for by the Wyoming Legislature after residents complained that hydraulic fracturing in the area contaminated their water. The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the water tanks are coming because lawmakers last year set aside $750,000 to supply them. The residents live in a 23-square-mile area east of Pavillion, in the Pavillion gas field. Each household participating in the project will get a pair of polyethylene tanks buried side-by-side. Each tank will have capacity for 1,750 gallons of water.
A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press. After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water, geologist Richard Hammack said. Although the results are preliminary — the study is still ongoing — they are a boost to a natural gas industry that has fought complaints from environmental groups and property owners who call fracking dangerous. The study done by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh marked the first time that a drilling company let government scientists inject special tracers into the fracking fluid and then continue regular monitoring to see whether it spread toward drinking water sources. The research is being done at a drilling site in Greene County, which is southwest of Pittsburgh and adjacent to West Virginia. NETL estimates that its final report will be completed by the end of the year. For more information please contact us.
Rep. Bill Flores (R, TX 17) introduced H.R. 2728, the “Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act.” The House Natural Resources Committee’s, Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals had a hearing on this proposal yesterday. The panelists included: Catherine Foerster, Chair and Engineering Commissioner, Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; Christi Craddick, Commissioner, Railroad Commission of Texas; John Rogers, Associate Director, Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining; and Lois Epstein, Arctic Program Director, the Wilderness Society. The bill would exempt states with existing hydraulic fracturing regulations from the proposed BLM rule. The Energy Producing States Coalition submitted a letter in support of the legislation. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R, TX 21) is weighing legislation to alter the scopeof the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) study on the impact of oil-and-gas hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. Smith, who said the EPA has been “complicit” in efforts to undercut gas production enabled by hydraulic fracturing, said he fears the study’s design does not put risks in their proper context. The Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Energy held a joint hearing to discuss “Lessons Learned: EPA’s Investigations of Hydraulic Fracturing.”

The proposed Bureau of Land Management hydraulic fracturing rule could cost about $345 million annually to implement, according to a new economic analysis commissioned by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance. This may be relatively good news for producers, though, since this cost estimate comes after the rule was revised from its original May 2012 proposal. Before the U.S. Department of the Interior incorporated public comments into its initial proposal, analysts at John Dunham & Associates said the rule could have cost industry nearly $1.3 billion annually. According to the Western Energy Alliance the cost of the second version of the rule is lower than the first because the new rule eliminated a requirement to regulate well maintenance; revised Bureau of Land Management estimates on the number of impacted wells; the reduction of permitting times; and “type well” provisions that will require operators to run full testing only on representative wells in a field. BLM has estimated the rules it proposed in May would cost drillers only $12 million to $20 million per year.
Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D, WV) is looking into oil and gas transportation safety issues following the recent oil train disaster in Quebec and a 2012 pipeline blast in West Virginia. He’s asked GAO to ‘examine the impact of shale oil and gas development on transportation infrastructure and safety,’ in particular how infrastructure has changed as domestic oil and gas production in recent years has increased. Canadian officials have found 42 bodies and are still searching for five more at the site of the July 6 train disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.
Natural gas prices were up nearly 60 percent in the first half of 2013, compared with the same period last year, but they were still too low to inspire new drilling in much of the country, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Contracts for future delivery of natural gas currently are selling at about $3.70 per million British thermal units, just below the $3.75 average for natural gas in the first half of 2013, the agency said. In 2012, natural gas sold for an average of $2.39 through the first half of the year, the agency reported. The 57 percent jump in prices was enough to push many power generators to switch from burning natural gas to using coal, since it is more economic at current prices, the agency said. But $3.70 is by no means a high price, remaining too low to be of interest for most producers hoping to make a profit, said James Sullivan, senior analyst for Alembic Global Advisors, which has been tracking natural gas prices. Natural gas prices would likely have to be near $5 to encourage more drilling for the resource, with most companies believing that producing it would not be profitable below that range, Sullivan said.
Natural gas is helping cut emissions. But gas use will have to peak in 2030 to meet emissions reduction targets for combating climate change, Darryl Banks and Gwynne Taraska of the Center for American Progress write in a paper out today. “In the near term, we should use the expansion in natural gas to aggressively drive coal from the market, given that natural gas burns more cleanly than other fossil fuels and is currently available and affordable. The natural-gas expansion, however, needs to be managed safely and sustainably and without overbuilding long-term electricity-generation capacity that would then need to be retired.” For more information please contact HBW Resources.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R, OK) has introduced S. 1355, which would remove a cap on CAFE-related credits for producing dual-fuel natural gas vehicles. “My bill would ensure NGVs are given equal treatment with electric vehicles,” said Inhofe.
The U.S. Department of Justice has started an antitrust investigation of the pressure-pumping business, a key component of the oil and gas industry practice of hydraulic fracturing, Baker Hughes Inc said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Baker Hughes said it received a “civil investigation demand” from the DOJ under the Antitrust Civil Process Act. The request sought information relating to the U.S. pressure-pumping market beginning May 29, 2011.
The Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines, Youcef Yousfi, and Eni’s CEO, Paolo Scaroni, met in Algiers, Algeria where they discussed future developments of cooperation between Eni and Sonatrach, a government-owned energy company, for the exploration and development of shale gas. The two companies have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding and will bring together their experience in the exploration and production of unconventional hydrocarbons.
With the discovery of shale gas reserves in Brazil and plans to auction drilling rights there, a delegation is visiting Pennsylvania to see how its drilling boom has turned the state into one of the leading natural gas producers in the U.S. The group of Brazilian business and energy industry professionals hopes to learn from the state’s experience and to explore the possibility of exports to Brazil. The group is meeting with Pennsylvania regulators and drilling companies and touring a drilling site in western Pennsylvania.
Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (ENAP), Chile’s state oil company, reported that they have found gas through a “successful experiment” using hydraulic fracturing on the Tierra del Fuego island. The find was from wells drilled in 2012 and 2013, utilizing injection of water, sand and chemicals to facilitate the flow. The overall productivity has yet to be determined but ENAP is interested enough to be investing $100 million in the Magallanes region this year. For more information please contact us.
PetroChina and U.S. energy company Hess Corp have signed China’s first joint agreement to develop a shale block – an 800 square kilometer block in the Santanghu basin, located in the region of Xinjiang – as well as to conduct a joint study. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
Hungary may be sitting atop shale gas assets totaling 2 trillion cubic meters, but for now Minister of Rural Development Sándor Fazekas is still taking a cautious stand on fracking. For Fazekas, the key issue on the meeting’s agenda for Hungary was the question of shale gas extraction, and as the minister pointed out, the resources found in Makó are of “extraordinary value” to the country. However, Fazekas did emphasize that “it is very difficult to estimate the possible environmental danger posed” by fracking and “the extraction of shale gas also requires the establishment of many more wells, which brings up questions related to landscape protection and conservation,” among other issues.
Three companies currently hold options licenses to assess whether hydraulic fracturing would be viable in parts of Ireland. However, they won’t get the go-ahead from the Government unless the Environmental Protection Agency’s report, due next year, comes out in favor of fracking. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pat Rabbitte refused to condemn the practice and hinted that it could be a viable option in Ireland. He explained, “The study will settle the science on this and that we can then make evidence-based decisions on our future.”
The debate over potential profits and possible environmental harms of hydraulic fracturing is being played out in a far more immediate confrontation in the east Polish village of Zurawlow. A group of farmers and residents are occupying a plot of land to prevent Chevron, which is backed by the state, from exploring for shale gas. The citizens of Zurawlow once supported the proposal to drill in the “Grabowiec concession,” a gas-rich region running beneath southeast Poland, in the hope that it would create much-needed jobs in the region. Opinion changed when two families’ well water turned black after Chevron’s seismic tests in 2010.
Saudi Arabia
The negative impact of shale gas on the GCC won’t be significant for at least another 20 years, citing the high cost of shale gas and projected growth in Asia’s oil consumption, Kuwait-based Asiya Investments said in its new report titled “Shale gas impact on the GCC”. The report indicated that GCC oil exports weight shifted from US to Asia. OPEC projects that China’s imports of crude oil will outpace the U.S. crude oil imports by 2014, as its rising refining capacity is propping up demand. The rest of Asia will also play an important role in keeping oil demand high. Furthermore, even if the US is able to tap its reserves adequately, and would shift from being the world’s leading importer of oil to a net exporter by 2017 and become energy independent by 2030, the lost demand for oil from the U.S. will be offset by Asia.
South Korea
Yoon Sang-jick, the South Korean minister of trade, industry and energy, recently met with heads of energy companies in Sejong City and encouraged to take part in the global development of shale gas, the country’s Yonhap News Agency reported. According to the minister: “We must quickly set up a strategic plan to join the global efforts develop shale gas when considering the impact the development of shale gas in the North American region will have on our petrochemical firms.”He added that South Korea’s petrochemical companies could suffer a significant setback if American competitors set up production facilities using shale gas. To curtail this, the minister recommended that the government and local energy firms consider establishing overseas facilities that will develop and produce natural gas, including shale gas. The government also agreed to jointly develop new technologies and production facilities for the petrochemical industry in order to have competitive prices. For more information please contact us.
United Kingdom
The UK House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into the “Economic Impact of Shale Gas and Oil on UK Energy Policy” and is inviting written evidence on the issue to be received by September 30th. Questions the committee is seeking evidence on include:
·         How much scope is there for shale gas and oil to be used in the UK? Over what timeframe?
·         How will the costs, including those on the environment, of accessing the UK’s shale gas and oil compare to those of other energy sources?
·         What is the potential impact of shale gas and oil on the local economies in areas where development is possible?
·         What forms of electricity generation is shale gas likely to displace and by how much?
·         What impact will shale gas and oil have on household energy bills?
·         What effect will the use of shale gas and oil have on carbon emissions compared to other combinations of energy sources?
·         Will shale gas and oil increase UK energy security?
·         What lessons can be learnt from the US experience of shale gas and oil?
The UK government has announced plans for a shale gas ‘pad’ allowance, which will see the tax on revenue that companies make from producing shale gas reduced from 62% to 30%. The plans arebased on existing allowances for oil and gas production which aim to support almost £14 billion of investment next year and are being touted as the most generous shale incentives in the world. Under its plans, the tax break would apply to a proportion of the income generated from shale gas production. What that proportion is will be determined after a consultation. The government has also confirmed plans to give communities that host shale gas sites £100,000 per site, and up to 1% of all revenues from production. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
British water company United Utilities said it was in the early stages of discussing what natural gas company Cuadrilla may need for a fracking campaign. “We are having very early engagement with Cuadrilla to try to understand their requirements,” the spokeswoman was quoted as saying Saturday by The Daily Telegraph. “The fact that we are a large landowner in the northwest means we could possibly help with site selection.”
Protestors have blocked a lorry from entering a site where Cuadrilla is due to start test drilling for shale oil after receiving an Environment Agency Licence earlier this week. A small group of activists have remained at the site since early this morning and police are attending the scene. Cuadrilla have been transporting drill parts onto the site near Balcombe, West Sussex, since Tuesday and planned to begin operations on Monday. The local anti-fracking group, which has been joined for the demonstration by environmental protestors from further afield, has mounted a growing campaign over the past year, citing fears of pollution from gas flaring, disruption from lorries carrying fracturing liquids through the village and the possible pollution of local water courses. For more information please contact us.
Water UK, which represents major water suppliers, has published a series of concerns about fracking and warned that failure to address them could “stop the industry in its tracks.” Ministers hope the process, which involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground to extract gas trapped in rocks, could unlock a major new source of gas for Britain and bring down household energy bills.
Additional Information
For additional information, please contact Bo Ollison with HBW Resources.  His contact information is below.
Bo Ollison
HBW Resources
2211 Norfolk Street, #410
Houston, TX 77098
Tel: 713-337-8810
E-mail: bollison@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com
Twitter: @BoOllison

Contact Information
If you have any general questions, please contact us anytime. Previous versions of the HBW Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report, the HBW Greenfield Offshore Energy Report, the Forsgren Environmental Report, and daily updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at the new Intelligence Tab on the HBW Resources website at: http://hbwresources.com/intelligence/.  Hope you all have a great day.
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com

HBW Energy and Politics Update: Senate Looks at Expanded Oil and Gas Revenue-Sharing While House Considers RFS & Frackign

Monday in Washington:

Working Towards the Recess:  

Two weeks remain before the August recess.  The House will spend much of this week considering the FY 2014 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 2397) before turning to legislation giving states the primary authority over coal residuals (H.R. 2218) and another measure designed to limit the imposition of costly regulations by the EPA (H.R. 1582).  The Senate will be debating the FY 2014 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill (S. 1243) and legislation lowering student loan interest rates (S. 1334).
Of interest this week will be the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on expanded revenue sharing (S.1273) on Tuesday afternoon, part one and two of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings  on the RFS, the Natural Resources Committee hearing on legislation ensuring state regulation of hydraulic fracturing and the House Science Committee hearings on flawed EPA studies regarding hydraulic fracturing and the future of coal.
Other Items of Interest:
EIA Posts Data Showing Spot Prices for Natural Gas Increasing During 2013:  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report showing the spot price of natural gas increased during the first half of 2013. Factors included colder winter temperatures, slightly decreased natural gas production gains, and a reduction in storage inventories.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Request GAO Study of Energy Transport Infrastructure:  Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting as study on the impact of shale oil and development on transportation infrastructure and safety.  Specifically, the letter asks for the impacts on rail, pipeline, and highway infrastructure and safety, how increased production has caused changes, and what the federal role is for addressing these challenges.
Natural Resources Committee Chairman Hastings Pushes for Greater Transparency Regarding National Ocean Policy:  The Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Doc Hastings, is pushing the Administration to provide greater transparency with regards to its activities to promote the National Ocean Policy.  Despite repeated requests, the Administration has never provided information to Congress on the expenditures and activities federal departments and agencies have been involved in despite requirements in the Executive Order that these reports be submitted annually by each of the nearly 60 different government entities involved.
Outer Continental Shelf Governor’s Coalition Encourages Congress to Support Expanded Offshore American Energy Production:  The Outer Continental Shelf Governor’s Coalition, comprised of Governors from Alaska, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia, and North Carolina, sent letters to their respective Congressional delegations calling for increased offshore energy production.  In the letter, they call on Congress to support efforts to increase offshore lease sales not only in the Gulf of Mexico but off the Atlantic Coast. A copy of the letter can be viewed here
National Ocean Council Releases Marine Planning Handbook:   The head of the National Ocean Council announced in a blog post the release of a Marine Planning Handbook to support the efforts of regions that choose to engage marine industries, stakeholders, the public, and government to advance their economic development and conservation priorities.  The post said that the handbook reflects the extensive public and stakeholder input received in the development of the National Ocean Policy and its Implementation Plan.  
Important Events and Hearings:
NRC Meeting:  On July 22nd at 1 PM, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), Subcommittee on Reliability & PRA, to receive a briefing on the proposed response to SRM on SECY-12-0081, “Risk-Informed Regulatory Framework for New Reactors.” More information is available by e-mailing John.Lai@nrc.gov.
EPW Holds Hearing on SE Water Dispute:  On July 22nd at 3PM I 406 Dirksen, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a full committee hearing on Oversight of Army Corps of Engineers Water Management in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Systems.”
USEITI Meeting:  On July 23rd at 9:30 AM, Extractive Industry Revenues will hold a meeting of the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group (USEITI MSG) Advisory Committee to discuss criteria and components for the U.S. draft candidacy application for EITI. The event will be available via teleconference at 866-707-0640; passcode, 1500538.
Natural Resources Committee Considers Lands Bills:  On July 23rd at 10 AM, the House Natural Resources Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee will hold a hearing on H.R.163, the “Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act”; H.R.361, the “Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act”; H.R.433, the “Pine Forest Range Recreation Enhancement Act of 2013”; H.R.706, the “Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Establishment Act”; H.R.908, the “Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act”; H.R.930, the “New Philadelphia, Illinois, Study Act”; H.R.1025, the “Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Act”; and H.R.1808, the “Maine Coastal Islands Wilderness Act of 2013.”
Natural Resources Committee Hearing on the Stream Buffer Rule:  On July 23rd at 10 AM in 1324 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled:  “War on Jobs: Examining the Operations of the Office of Surface Mining and the Status of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.” Joseph Pizarchik, director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, will testify.
EPW Committee Considers Nominations:  Only July 23rd at 10 AM in 406 Dirksen, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a full committee hearing on the nominations of Kenneth Kopocis to be assistant administrator for the Office of Water of the Environmental Protection Agency; James Jones to be assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Avi Garbow to be general counsel for the Environmental Protection Agency.
House Marks Up Interior Appropriations Bill:  On July 23rd at 10 AM in B-308 Rayburn, the House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will markup of the FY2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill.
Bank Control of Power Plants and Oil Refineries:  On July 23rd at 10 AM in 538 Dirksen, the Senate Banking Committee Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled:  “Examining Financial Holding Companies: Should Banks Control Power Plants, Warehouses, and Oil Refineries.” Saule Omarova, associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law; Joshua Rosner, managing director of the Graham Fisher & Company; and Timothy Weiner, global risk manager for commodities/metals for MillerCoors LLC., will testify.
Part One of House RFS Hearings:  On July 23rd at 10 AM in 2123 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing  entitled: “Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Stakeholder Perspectives.” (Part One)
Domestic Uranium Enrichment:  On July 23rd at 2 PM at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the United States Energy Association (USEA) will host a discussion on “The National Security Role of Domestic Uranium Enrichment Technology.” Phil Sewell, senior vice president and chief development officer at the United States Enrichment Corporation, will lead the discussion.  Register at http://www.usea.org/node/688/register.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Considers Revenue Sharing Bill:  On July 23rd at 2:30 PM in 366 Dirksen, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on S.1273, the “FAIR (Fixing America’s Inequities with Revenues) Act of 2013,” to establish a partnership between states that produce energy onshore and offshore for the country with the federal government.
USEITI Meeting:  On July 24th at 9:30 AM, Extractive Industry Revenues will hold a meeting of the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group (USEITI MSG) Advisory Committee to discuss criteria and components for the U.S. draft candidacy application for EITI. The event will be available via teleconference at 866-707-0640; passcode, 1500538.
Improving DOE Oversight:  On July 24th at 10 AM in 2322 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Department of Energy Oversight: What is Necessary to Improve Project Management and Mission Performance?”
House Science Committee Reviews EPA’s Fracking Investigations:  On July 24th at 10 AM in 2318 Rayburn, the House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee and Environment Subcommittee will hold a joint hearing on “Lessons Learned: EPA’s Investigations of Hydraulic Fracturing.” Fred Hauchman, director of the Office of Science Policy at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development; David Dzombak, chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel; John Rogers, associate director for oil and gas in the Utah Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining; and Brian Rahm of Cornell University’s New York Water Resources Institute, will testify.
Civilian Nuclear Cooperation with the Republic of Korea:  On July 24th at 10 AM in 2172 Rayburn, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a full committee markup of H.R.2449, to authorize the president to extend the term of the Agreement for Cooperation between the government of the United States of America and the government of the Republic of Korea Concerning Civil Uses of Nuclear Energy for a period not to exceed March 19, 2016; H.R.1409, the “Export Promotion Reform Act”; and H.R.1926, the “State Trade Coordination Act.”
The North American Energy Community:  On July 24th at 12 PM at 729 15th Street NW, the NDN and NPI will hold a discussion on “Creating a North American Energy Community.” Former Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.; Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars; and Rich Van Schoik, energy portfolio director at the North American Research Partnership, will lead the discussion. 
Register at:  http://ndn.org/blog/2013/07/invite-creating-north-american-energy-community-%E2%80%93-conversation.
Part Two of House RFS Hearings:  On July 24th at 1:30 PM in 2123 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard: Stakeholder Perspectives.” (Part Two)
EESI Host Briefing on Energy Efficiency:  On July 24th at 2PM in G-11 Dirksen, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing on “How On-Bill Financing Unlocks Energy Efficiency,” focusing on “an innovative approach to energy efficiency offering loans for energy improvements that are repaid through utility bills.” Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Michael Couick, president and CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina; Michael Smith, manager of energy programs at Central Electric Power Cooperative Inc; and Julie Barkemeyer, senior principal for legislative affairs at the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, will participate in the discussion.  RSVP at: http://www.eesi.org/072413OBF#RSVP.
NRC Meets To Disuccs Power Uprates:  On July 25th and 26th at 8:30 AM at the NRC Headquarters,  the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), Subcommittee on Power Uprates to review and discuss the Monticello extended power uprate application and the associated Safety Evaluation Report (SER), July 25-26.
Bipartisan Policy Center Hosts Event on Shale Development: On July 25th at 8:30 AM at the Washington Court Hotel, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will hold a forum on “U.S. Shale Gas Boom: Implications for the U.S. Economy, Trade, and Geopolitics.”
Register at:  http://bpcevents.cloudapp.net/Pages/Home.aspx?eventid=%7bD177BB13-E5DC-E211-8AA1-78E3B510FDBD%7d.
CSIS Host Event on EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2013: On July 25th at 9 AM at CSIS, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program will hold a news conference on the release of “International Energy Outlook 2013,” which includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Adam Sieminski, EIA administrator; and David Pumphrey, co-director and senior fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will participate. The event will be webcast at: http://csis.org/event/eias-international-energy-outlook.
House Natural Resources Committee Considers State Regulation of Fracking:  On July 25th at 9:30 AM in 1334 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the “Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act.”
House Science Committee Considers the Future of Coal:  On July 25th at 9:30 AM in 2318 Rayburn, the House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled: “Future of Coal: Utilizing America’s Abundant Energy Resources.” Acting Assistant Energy Secretary for Fossil Energy Chris Smith; Ben Yamagata, executive director of the Coal Utilization Research Council; Don Collins, CEO of the Western Research Institute; and Judi Greenwald, vice president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, will testify.
National Academy Hosts Workshop on Clean Energy:  On July 25th at 10 AM at the National Academy of Sciences in DC, the National Academy of Sciences Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy will hold a workshop on “Accelerating Deployment of Clean Energy Technologies.” Register at:  http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/step/CleanEnergyTechnologies/PGA_083883.
BP Give Briefing on World Energy Markets: On July 25th at 12 PM at the Chinatown Garden Restaurant, British Petroleum General Manager for Global Energy Markets Mark Finley will deliver remarks on the “Annual Statistical Review of World Energy Markets,” at a luncheon discussion held by the National Economists Club. More information can be found here:  http://www.national-economists.org.
Member of the Day: US Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)

Committee Assignments: Financial Services
Chief of Staff: Adam Khun
Legislative Director: Jesse Walls
Twitter: @repstevestivers
Experience:  Rep. Stivers attended college at Ohio State University; he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and an MBA.  Rep. Stivers worked for Bank One for seven years and the Ohio Company for three years before being elected to the Ohio State Senate. He held the state senate seat from 2003 through 2008.  Rep. Stivers joined the Ohio National guard in 1985 and currently holds the rank of colonel.  In 2004-2005, Rep. Stivers served as a Battalion Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  After an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2008, Stivers beat the one term, democrat incumbent in 2010.  Currently, Rep. Stivers is serving his second term in Congress. 
Importance: Rep. Stivers is a member of the Financial Services Committee where he primarily works on banking, insurance, housing, and consumer protection legislation. However, Rep. Stivers has taken interest in veterans and military issues as well as energy policy.  Last Congress, Stivers authored legislation that would have opened untapped oil resources in the Outer Continental Shelf.  In turn, revenues from offshore drilling leases would have increased and the new funds could have been used to fund infrastructure projects.  The bill passed the House, but did not get signed into law. 
Additional Information:
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at HBW Resource’s new Intelligence Tab at: http://hbwresources.com/intelligence/. Hope you all have a great day.
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

HBW Ollison Fracking Report


HBW Resources: Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Below is a summary of publicly available activities currently underway at the federal, state and international levels that could impact the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction. 
State Legislative Update: Please see linked spreadsheet for an updated listing of state legislation dealing with hydraulic fracturing.
The Arizona Geological Survey now has a new report assessing the potential resources of other formations in Arizona for shale oil and shale gas. The report identifies 10 rock formations in Arizona that consist dominantly of shale or phyllite (very low grade metamorphic shale) that represent potential areas of interest for shale-oil and shale-gas exploration. Many of these units are weakly metamorphosed, and are perhaps too thermally mature to contain recoverable oil or gas in known exposures. However, lateral equivalents of these units may be less metamorphosed and so contain recoverable hydrocarbons. In 2012, Arizona oil production totaled 51,949 barrels from 21 producing wells in 2012, up from 36,925 barrels from 9 wells in 2011. The Dineh-bi-Keyah produced 49,972 barrels of oil. Gas production totaled 116.6 million cubic feet from 4 producing gas wells, down from 168 million cubic feet from 5 wells in 2011.
Purestream Services has deployed its AVARA brand vapor recompression commercial water-treatment system for an Arkansas Fayetteville Shale gas producer in White County, Arkansas. The company has been contracted to treat the wastewater at a centralized water treatment facility near Searcy, Arkansas. The facility was built to accommodate produced water from shale gas wells operating in the vicinity. Treating wastewater nearer to the source of the production reduces the costs of processing the produced and frac flowback water and minimizes the environmental impacts of hauling the wastewater long distances. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
A new study draws a straight line between pulling water out of the ground and increased seismic activity. The University of California Santa Cruz study, “Anthropogenic Seismicity Rates and Operational Parameters at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field,” concluded that a CalEnergy geothermal field near the Salton Sea in Southern California triggers small earthquakes very close to the San Andreas Fault. The study examined more than 30 years of data from CalEnergy production facilities, but could have broader implications. Tinkering with subterranean pressure dynamics is a staple of modern oil and gas production, and if they cause earthquakes it could prove a sensitive topic in California, where lawmakers are grappling with new regulations for the emerging technologies.
The U.S. Air Force will consider leasing land on Vandenberg Air Force Base for private companies to extract offshore oil and gas from the central California coast, officials said Wednesday. The proposal would allow oil companies to use onshore equipment with new extended reach “slant drilling” technology to access deposits several miles offshore. Over the next several months, the military will study whether the new type of drilling is compatible with the base’s space and satellite-launching missions and determine if it is “economically, environmentally and politically feasible,” the Air Force said in a statement. For more information please contact us.
State officials have been flooded with more than 20,000 comments and suggestions regarding proposed regulations of a controversial oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking, officials said. Members of the California Water Commission voiced concerns of their own about whether the state should treat the recipes for some fracking liquids as trade secrets, not to be disclosed to the public. Tim Kustic, the state oil and gas supervisor, told the commission that proposed regulations would require companies to notify the state at least 30 days before they begin fracking, with the information publicly posted no more than seven days later. Fracking is currently permitted in California. Companies would also have to disclose to state regulators the materials used in fracking, but Kustic told the commission that his office was wrestling with rules to apply when companies claim the formulas for their fracking solutions are trade secrets. A new draft of regulations will be released this summer with final approval, after additional hearings, likely in mid-2014, well after the state Legislature is expected to act on its own proposed regulations.
A Boulder County District Court judge, D.D. Marshall is allowing state regulators to join a lawsuit the Colorado Oil and Gas Association has filed challenging Longmont’s ban on hydraulic fracturing. The Longmont Times-Call reports the decision lets the trade association add the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as another plaintiff. Industry officials are challenging the ban because they want to be able to extract oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, which they have done for years. Meanwhile the commission says it has regulatory authority over technical aspects of drilling. The commission also is suing Longmont over drilling regulations passed by City Council. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
A five-year moratorium on fracking in Boulder took a step toward the November ballot. The Boulder City Council unanimously gave initial approval to a ballot measure that would ban fracking through 2018 unless, after June 2016, a two-thirds majority of the City Council decides it should be lifted. Some City Council members said the moratorium should extend five years from the end of the one-year moratorium adopted by the council last month, rather than converting the one-year moratorium into a five-year one. That would extend the moratorium through 2019 unless the council signed off in 2017. The City Council will consider the date changes at a second reading of the ballot measure on a special meeting Aug. 5. If the state Supreme Court ultimately rules against Longmont’s voter-approved fracking ban, the City Council could simply not enforce Boulder’s moratorium, City Attorney Tom Carr said.
The Fort Collins’ moratorium on permitting new oil and gas operations likely will expire on schedule at the end of July. The City Council rejected two options for extending the moratorium, which applies to accepting land-use and other applications for drilling new oil and gas wells. The City Council on Tuesday rejected two options for extending the moratorium, which applies to accepting land-use and other applications for drilling new oil and gas wells. One option would have extended the moratorium through the end of the year; the other would have been for seven years. Both proposals went down on 4-3 votes, with Councilman Gerry Horak making the swing vote.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that it will consider new requirements for oil and gas storage tanks and leak detections systems on wellheads. The state is facing increases in air pollution in the nine-county Denver metropolitan area and is in danger of exceeding federal ambient air quality standards. The increases are largely attributed to the state’s 50,000 oil and gas wells. New air regulations would be determined by a nine-member panel of commissioners appointed by the Governor. For more information please contact us.
Matt Lepore, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), criticized hydraulic fracturing opponents as “misinformed” about the impacts of banning the practice of injecting chemical-laced water and sand underground to crack tight rock formations and release trapped oil and gas. Lepore said Tuesday during a panel discussion at the Northern Colorado Energy Summit in Loveland that banning the use of fracking essentially bans gas development, forcing the state to look to other sources such as coal for energy and driving up electricity costs that would be borne in some way by all the state’s residents.
Clariant AG, (CLN) the Swiss chemical maker, expects to continue expanding in the U.S. to take advantage of the “tremendous opportunity” created by rising production of oil and natural gas from shale formations. Clariant is doubling its capacity in Louisville, Kentucky, to make catalysts that help convert gas liquids into propylene and butadiene. Clariant joins Dow Chemical Co. and South Africa’s Sasol Ltd. (SOL), among others, in expanding U.S. production amid increased output of oil and gas from shale formations. The Muttenz, Switzerland-based company will benefit from sales to U.S. oil producers as well as to chemical makers benefiting from lower costs for raw materials and energy.
Citing the availability of low price natural gas from the Eagle Ford shale play, Valero Energy Corporation announced that it would build a new $700 million methanol plant at its existing St. Charles, Louisiana refinery. Methanol is a chemical feed stock used in paints, plastics, and other products. Once completed in 2016, the plant would produce 1.6 billion tons of methanol per year. The company also stated that it may construct additional methanol plants in the future.
The Maine House of Representatives sustained a gubernatorial veto of a study of the transportation of tar sands oil, over the objections of lawmakers who cited last week’s train explosion in Quebec Province as proof of the dangers posed by the industry. LD 1362, sponsored by independent Rep. Benjamin Chipman (I, District 119), started months ago as a proposal for a two-year moratorium on the transportation of tar sands crude oil in Maine. After changes at the committee level, the bill went to the full Legislature as a directive to state officials to expand an already-underway study. It passed unanimously but Republican Gov. Paul LePage, in his veto letter, called the bill redundant. Rep. Bernard Ayotte (R, District 3), was one of the 52 lawmakers who voted against the study. “I’m not opposed to this study, but I would be concerned about the study leading to a moratorium, which then leads to being forced to use other forms of energy that would be extremely expensive,” he said. For more information please contact us.
The O’Malley administration has put hydraulic fracturing on hold in Maryland until state officials complete a three-year study of whether it can be done safely. Environmental regulators took questions and comments at the Department of the Environment on a recently issued draft report outlining “best practices” used in other states or recommended by experts, which Maryland might require of gas companies here. Dozens of people, many of them members of environmental groups, urged state officials Tuesday to adopt even stricter regulations on hydraulic fracturing in the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation in Western Maryland. Some called for the state to ban the controversial practice outright, given concerns raised in other states over groundwater contamination and air pollution. Industry officials and regulators in states that permit shale gas drilling say those concerns are misplaced or overblown. For more information please contact HBW Resources.

A group of Democrats in Michigan’s Republican-controlled House introduced a package of eight bills that would tighten state regulation of hydraulic fracturing, which releases natural gas trapped in deep underground rock formations. Sponsors said the measures would bring more safety, accountability and transparency to the process widely known as “fracking,” although the state Department of Environmental Quality said it already has solid rules in place. The DEQ says about 12,000 wells have been fractured during the past half-century and “has never jeopardized the environment or public health.” Meanwhile, a group that wants to ban fracking said the bills don’t go far enough. The bills include: HB 4900HB 4903HB 4901HB 4899HB 4902HB 4904HB 4905, and HB 4906.
Atmos Energy Corp. will buy two southwest Mississippi natural gas systems. The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted Thursday to approve Atmos’ purchase of gas systems from the towns of Meadville and Bude. The Bude system has 280 customers, while the Meadville system has 190. The company will pay $96,000 to Meadville and $145,000 to Bude, and expects to complete the purchases by August.
New Mexico
The New Mexico Environment Department has reached a settlement with Occidental Permian Limited Partnership, the operator of a natural gas processing plant in southeastern New Mexico over alleged pollution violations. The settlement is worth more than $920,000. Most of the money will go toward installing pollution controls at the company’s plant near Hobbs. The department alleges the plant in 2010 failed to fully report emissions from flaring events that exceeded permit limits for carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants. Under the settlement, Occidental denies violating any regulations but agreed to pay a $95,000 penalty and will spend at least $825,482 to install the new equipment. Occidental says the total cost of the equipment could be more than $2 million. For more information please contact us.
New York
New York’s proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing drew an unprecedented response in January, when more than 200,000 comments were submitted by the public to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Seven months later, the fate of those comments is unknown, with the DEC declining to say whether it would respond to the concerns raised in the submissions or allow them to sit unanswered. The DEC ignored a series of inquiries over the past week from Gannett’s Albany Bureau about the comments, which were submitted by the boxful in mid-January by a coalition of fracking opponents. But after a series of delays — including the addition of a yet-to-be-completed review by the state Department of Health — the state first extended and then missed a deadline to finalize the rules, causing them to expire in March.
Hurley town officials next week will hear a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing and other activities related to the production of natural gas. The proposal, from the grassroots group Sustainable Hurley, is to be presented during the board’s meeting next week. Sustainable Hurley said in a press release that it will make a presentation on the “dangers of fracking” and will propose that town officials amend local zoning regulations to prohibit the “heavy industrialization that fracking and its supporting activities bring with it.” The group also plans to submit an anti-fracking petition that has about 110 signatures on it. For more information please contact us.
North Dakota
More temporary oil workers are expected in Williston, Dickinson and Minot this summer to catch up on a backlog of wells that need hydraulic fracturing, North Dakota’s top oil and gas regulator said. At the end of May, an estimated 500 oil wells were waiting on fracking crews. North Dakota oil production rose 2.1 percent in May to set an all-time high of 810,129 barrels per day, according to preliminary numbers from the department. Companies are taking an average of 22 days to drill a new oil well, but the length of time to complete the well and bring it on production has increased to 92 days.
The fallout from the derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Que., will likely have a detrimental impact on the near-term growth of moving petroleum by freight, and also likely raise costs and tighten restrictions for North American oil producers that rely on railways to ship oil across the continent, according to Moody’s Investors Service. In particular, any slowdown would be felt by oil producers focused on the Bakken shale oil formation, which depend far more on rail than on pipelines for transport, Moody’s said. Moody’s notes roughly two-thirds of the Bakken’s North Dakota oil production, or roughly 727,000 barrels a day in April, reaches its customers by rail. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer said that leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee needed to see what is going on in North Dakota’s oilfields. Cramer led six Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives on a one-day fact-finding mission from Minot to Tioga, checking out an oil rig, fracking site, the Hess Energy company facility in Tioga and Enbridge Pipeline company station in Berthold.
On a national scale, cheap natural gas retrieved through fracking is being credited with helping to resurrect the manufacturing industry. On the state level, affordable energy means lower overhead costs for North Dakota manufacturers. Meanwhile, the state is looking for other benefits it could provide. The 2013 Legislature approved a study by the state’s energy policy advisory commission, EmPower North Dakota, “to determine what is the best fit for value-added natural gas liquid projects” in the state, commission member and North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said. “We have seen several major projects announced. But many believe this could be the new energy economy in our state,” Ness said. The projects include fertilizer plants that use natural gas to make their products, a natural gas-fired unit at the Heskett Plant, plans for a new MDU Resources natural gas pipeline and two diesel fuel refineries.
North Dakota’s per person gross domestic product increased nearly 11 percent from 2011 to 2012 — tops in the nation for the second straight year, and three times larger than runners-up Texas and West Virginia. The U.S. Energy Information Administration spotlighted the growth by GDP in a brief released. In 2001, North Dakota ranked 38th in real GDP. But crude oil production in North Dakota has more than quintupled since 2007 and natural gas withdrawals more than tripled, thanks to advances in technology such as horizontal hydraulic fracturing. For more information please contact us.
North Dakota oil and natural gas production reached new all-time highs in May, breaking the previous records set in April despite record rain in May thanks primarily to Bakken and Three Forks exploration and production activity. Preliminary estimates by the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s (NDIC) Department of Natural Resources indicates that the state’s oil production reached 810,129 barrels of oil per day (bopd), up from the 793,852 bopd in April, while natural gas production grew to 899.9 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) from 861.1 MMcf/d in April. The number of producing wells in the state also reached a record 8,915 in May, compared with 8,772 wells in April, according to NDIC’s Department of Natural Resources. Drilling permits grew to 211 in May from 202 in April, but declined to 165 in June; all three figures are down from the record of 370 set in October 2012.
The U.S. State Department has approved a Presidential permit to build an 80-mile-long leg of the Vantage Pipeline in North Dakota. The completed pipeline, with an estimated investment of $300 million, will be 430 miles and will carry up to 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) of ethane natural gas from Tioga, North Dakota, through Saskatchewan, to facilities in Empress, Alberta, Canada. The Vantage project will require approximately 400,000 man hours to construct, inject $300 million into the U.S. and Canadian economies, expand the market for North Dakota natural gas, create financial opportunities for service providers and increase revenues to local cities and counties along the route. The new pipeline will carry ethane gas, a component of natural gas that is used as a feedstock by the petrochemical industry to produce plastics, rubber, detergents and other consumer products.
New research shows Ohio’s shale oil and gas development so far has had little effect on demand for housing. Ohio State researcher Amanda Weinstein says despite earlier fears of an influx of oil workers in some eastern Ohio counties there’s still no housing shortage. Weinstein says in shale development areas in other states, an increase in housing permits during boom years quickly declined the following year. Weinstein says the oil and gas industry appears to be moving “much more cautiously” in adding drilling sites and hiring new workers in Ohio. At the end of 2012, oil, gas and other shale energy employers had posted help wanted ads for more than 6,000 positions, mostly in eastern Ohio counties. Weinstein adds that Ohio is better positioned to absorb any newly hired oil and gas workers. Unlike other shale regions in Pennsylvania and North Dakota, Ohio has more cities and towns within commuting distance of the oilfields.
Five oil and gas companies are participating in a joint industry project (JIP) to gain better insight into the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play. The joint industry project launched in early April is designed to improve fundamental understanding of the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play. The project is expected to last one year or more. The purpose of the Utica JIP is to identify the most productive formations or zones, improving fundamental understanding of what rock properties are most important for good wells, and exploring the variability within the Utica/Point Pleasant play. The partners hope to better understand the relationships between facies, depositional sequences and reservoir quality compared with other U.S. shale plays. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
Devon Energy Corp. plans to lease five more natural-gas fueled generators for its operations in northern Oklahoma after a successful pilot project with General Electric. The generators allow the company to power a site with natural gas from the wellbore, rather than buying about $100,000 worth of diesel each month. Using natural gas instead of diesel is cheaper and better for the environment. Devon is not the only company using the gas it produces to power its operations in the Mississippian, which covers a large swatch of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.
Blue Energy Fuels has plans to expand its network of compressed natural gas stations. The company plans to begin construction of a public fill station in 30 days. It will be a great option for fleet vehicles and regular drivers now using natural gas. Construction of the CNG station in Grove will be finished and it will open to the public in January or February. Then, future plans include CNG stations in Big Cabin, Vinita and Pryor in 2014. For more information please contact us.
Marcellus Shale and other natural gas plays are considered valuable for what can be extracted from them, but what if they could also be valuable and environmentally helpful after they are been depleted? That is a question Penn State faculty are looking at as part of a research project the National Energy Technology Lab’s Regional University Alliance is conducting. The study, the first of its kind, is also looking at what is known as enhanced gas production – injecting carbon dioxide into the wells and stimulating more gas production. That scenario would mean separating the two gases, then pushing the carbon dioxide back into the formation, potentially reaping the economic benefit of the additional gas production — depending on its market price.
The ethane being produced in the Marcellus and Utica shale region should be enough to support construction of several ethane crackers, officials with MarkWest Energy believe. MarkWest has invested $2.2 billion into pipelines, processing and fractionation plants in the region. The fractionation plant at Hopedale served as the destination of the six “superloads” that recently made their way through Steubenville. MarkWest has contracts to process Ohio gas for Gulfport Energy, Antero Resources, Petroleum Development Corp. and Rex Energy. The company also processes gas at the Mobley site in Wetzel County and the Majorsville complex in Marshall County, working for producers such as Magnum Hunter, Consol Energy, Noble Energy and Range Resources. The Cadiz processing complex will soon include two de-ethanizers, which will remove ethane from the gas stream. Currently, the company has three options for its ethane: send it to Canada for cracking via the Mariner West Sunoco pipeline; send it to the Gulf Coast for cracking via the ATEX Express pipeline; or send it to the Gulf Coast for cracking over the Bluegrass Pipeline. There are now about 2,500 construction employees working to build the Harrison County plants and the pipeline network to which they connect, a number he believes will increase in the near future.
State Sen. Jim Ferlo, (D, District 38), has sent out a memorandum asking for co-sponsors for a bill titled “Statewide Natural Gas Drilling Moratorium.” The moratorium would prohibit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from issuing “new unconventional well permits while a seven-member commission studies the varied environmental impacts that the natural gas industry has on the Commonwealth,” the memo states.
Butler County continues to benefit from Marcellus shale money, according to Controller Jack McMillin’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. For 2012, the county received $1.2 million in drilling impact fees, up from $900,000 in 2011. The county used a portion of that money to balance its 2013 budget that included a 1-mill tax increase, with commissioners saying that deficits at the emergency services center and the Sunnyview nursing home made the increase necessary. At the end of 2012, according to McMillin’s report, the county had 152 producing gas wells, up 81 percent from 84 wells at the end of 2011. For more information please contact us.
Proportionally, more bridges have been substantially repaired in areas where the natural gas industry is booming than in the region’s more urban areas since March 2011, state Department of Transportation data show. In Lackawanna, Luzerne and Pike counties in PennDOT’s District 4, 38 bridges deteriorated to the point at which they were classified structurally deficient during that period. Meanwhile, 32 bridges in these counties were replaced or repaired sufficiently to remove the structurally deficient designation. Rettew Associates provides bridge and highway services for several Marcellus Shale companies. “Three of the businesses we work with have spent more than $250 million on roadway reconstruction in the northern tier of Pennsylvania alone,” said Jeffrey Case, director of transportation at Rettew, in an emailed response sent by company spokeswoman Holly White. “There have also been two bridge replacements in Northeast PA where the cost to the natural gas company exceeded $300,000.” One of those companies is Southwestern Energy, which Mr. Case said offered to “make a temporary repair” to a Susquehanna County bridge that could not support the weight needed for its trucks. Mr. Case said the company offered to fully fund and manage a full replacement of the bridge in the fall.
The new Chairman of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) responded to the multiple of requests related to the lack of movement on implementing new gas drilling regulations and moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Michele Siekerka, representing the state of New Jersey, issued a statement on what the DRBC has been doing since a scheduled vote on the new regulations was cancelled last November. Among the points highlighted were: reviewing new scientific studies on the effects of natural gas development on water resources; benchmarking new regulations, best management practices and performance standards adopted by other states, federal agencies and organizations; using what has been learned to identify a level of minimum standards that will protect the DRBC’s shared water resources; performing water quality and quantity monitoring to establish baseline conditions prior to the onset of natural gas development; and with the assistance of a grant from the William Penn Foundation, developing a tool for evaluating the impacts of land-based development on water resources. At the same time, two energy companies are pulling out of northeastern Pennsylvania, where the existing DRBC three-year moratorium on gas drilling has infuriated landowners who say it’s now cost them a windfall of more than $187 million. The $3,000-per-acre lease was structured so that some of the money was to be paid up front and the rest once drilling began. The landowners’ group said its members received about $150 million several years ago. Another $187.5 million would have been due had the companies been able to develop gas wells. The notifications, sent on Newfield letterhead on behalf of Newfield and Hess, made official what had in practice already occurred, as the companies pulled staff from the region long ago.
Consol Energy provided an operations update for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 according to which the company successfully drilled an exploration well in the Devonian Shale. Consol Energy drilled its Upper Devonian Shale well in the Burkett formation, which is the deepest of numerous Upper Devonian shales. The company believes that while all of its acreage in Southwestern Pa. and Northern W.Va. has the potential for the existence of the Upper Devonian Shale formation, initial geologic estimates show that it controls 300,000 acres with commercial Upper Devonian Shale potential. During the second quarter, Consol Energy drilled 13 horizontal shale wells: nine Marcellus Shale and four Utica Shale wells. The average drilled lateral length for the Marcellus Shale wells and the Utica Shale wells was 8,860 feet and 5,459 feet, respectively. Consol completed 15 Marcellus Shale wells in the second quarter and expects to initiate completion operations on the Utica Shale wells in the third quarter of 2013. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
A Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. well in northeastern Pennsylvania is being shut down in the midst of a state Department of Environmental Protection investigation. The Scranton Times-Tribune reported the Costello 1 vertical well in Dimock Township will be plugged after the DEP decided it can’t be used anymore. The issue is whether methane found in two nearby water wells has been coming from the well; the DEP said it isn’t clear. The well will be plugged even as the investigation continues.
In the event of fracking or drilling damages, Pennsylvanians and their communities may not be adequately covered financially when – or if – the bill comes, a new report says. The report, “Who Pays the Cost of Fracking?” by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, outlines what it says are shortcomings when it comes to the state’s financial assurance requirements for oil and gas companies. These assurance requirements are the state’s way of protecting leaseholders or communities from being left with the bill for damages when oil and gas companies move on.
North Strabane Township supervisors are poised to make a decision regarding a possible non-surface Marcellus Shale gas lease deal when the board meeting next week. Two offers are on the table—one from Rice Energy and one from Range Resources—both located in Southpointe. Both companies want to conduct non-surface drilling on 81.8 acres located off state Route 519, that township Manager Frank Siffrinn said consists of the land the municipal building and park are situated. He stressed that it is non-surface drilling, which would mean no disruption of daily activities there. For more information please contact us.
Texas oil producers pulled more oil out of the ground than many countries in recent months, putting it in the ranks of such powerhouses as Kuwait and Venezuela. The latest numbers show Texas produced 74 million barrels of oil in March and 73 million barrels of oil in April, more than double the output per month from 2009, according to the Energy Information Administration. If Texas were a country, it would rank 15th in the world in terms of oil production, according to Fuelfix.com. That’s thanks in large part to the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin where drillers use horizontal drilling hydraulic fracturing to pass through the shale formations and free the oil.
Sales tax revenues continue to show the Eagle Ford Impact. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said state sales tax revenue in June was $2.17 billion, up 9.1 percent compared to June 2012. Combs sent cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their July local sales tax allocations totaling $578.3 million, up 8.1 percent compared to July 2012. Local sales tax allocations remitted in July represent sales made in May. “The Eagle Ford Shale keeps getting larger,” Kyle Kramm, assistant director of economic development for the city of Seguin said, noting that the economic development office has been receiving lots of inquiries from oilfield service companies, many of them asking about housing for their employees. Counties in the Eagle Ford Shale have seen sharper increases than elsewhere in the state. Karnes County’s July allocation was up 58.5 percent and its year-to-date allocations total $5.6 million, up 55.2 percent. For more information please contact us.
The Houston metropolitan area has become the nation’s top exporter for the first time in history, pushed by growing shipments of petroleum products, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report released this week. About $110.3 billion in merchandise shipped from the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area in 2012, a nearly 6 percent jump from the year before. The metropolitan area surpassed New York City’s export value of $102 billion to grab the title of top U.S. exporter. Petroleum and coal products were the largest group of exports from the Houston area, totaling $36.6 billion in value. Another $31.2 billion worth of chemicals left the region.
Forest Oil Corp. intends to sell oil and natural gas fields in the Texas Panhandle that may fetch as much as $1 billion, more than the company’s market value. The Denver-based energy company hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to sell about 100,000 acres, including producing wells, after receiving unsolicited offers, according to a filing. The divestiture would leave Forest with assets in East Texas and the Eagle Ford shale in West Texas.
Enefit American Oil, a subsidiary of Eesti Energia, is seeking approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to install utility lines for its project to produce shale oil, a liquid fuel, in the Uintah Basin. In 2011, Enefit bought the mineral rights across a large tract of land in eastern Utah, believed to contain 2.6 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil. Though Enefit has yet to obtain the numerous federal, state and local permits to begin shale mining, the company is optimistic it will begin mine construction in Utah in 2017, with the first oil being extracted in 2020. Its ultimate target is to produce 50,000 barrels of shale oil per day. The BLM will conduct an environmental impact study and is seeking suggestions on specific issues that should be part of the analysis. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
West Virginia
Consol Energy dedicated its Northern West Virginia Advanced Water Treatment Facility, where water from underground mines is being treated to reduce harmful discharges. Located in Mannington, W.Va., the $200 million project was finished “ahead of schedule, under budget and without any accidents,” Consol President Nicholas J. DeIuliis said. The facility is designed to treat a maximum flow of 3,500 gallons per minute of mine water and is based on a Zero Liquid Waste process. Solid waste from the treatment process, including sludge and mixed salts, will be disposed of in an on-site landfill. As a result, no liquid or solid waste from the water treatment operations will leave Consol’s property. John Owsiany, director of waste systems and operations for Consol, said the water treatment plant cost $130 million. Consol spent another $70 million to build 35 miles of pipeline and six pump stations to bring water from underground areas of Consol Energy’s Blacksville 2, Loveridge and Robinson Ridge mines to the central treatment plant. The water is pretreated at the mine locations for metals removal before entering the pipelines.
West Virginia lawmakers soon will travel to North Dakota to learn about that state’s Legacy Fund, in hopes of establishing a similar savings program. The 2-year-old trust fund, built with oil and natural gas tax revenues, already contains more than $1 billion in assets. State officials aren’t allowed to touch that money until 2017, when interest generated from the account will flow into North Dakota’s general revenue fund. The current Legacy Fund takes 30 percent of all oil and natural gas tax revenues. The earlier, defeated version would have taken 50 percent. The ND Legacy Fund is part of the state constitution and requires voter approval to change. West Virginia collected $74.7 million in natural gas severance taxes last fiscal year, a slight increase from the $68.8 million collected in fiscal year 2012. Coal severance taxes, meanwhile, fell $73.4 million between the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years, from $460 million to $386.6 million.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell drew on her experience as a former oil-industry engineer to defend proposed federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on publicly owned land. Testifying to the House Natural Resources committee today, Jewell faced criticisms from Republican lawmakers, who said the department’s proposed rule on fracturing, or fracking, will lead to unnecessary production delays. Lawmakers told Jewell that state regulators best know the local geology and the federal government should leave the regulation to them. Jewell also drew on her engineering experience at Mobil Oil Co., now part of Exxon Mobil Corp., to answer Representative Alan Lowenthal (D, CA 47) who complained that the Interior proposal relies on the industry’s FracFocus website for disclosure of fracking chemicals. FracFocus “is imperfect, but it’s being updated,” she said. If it’s not providing adequate disclosure, “we will look for other ways to do it.”
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said it plans to develop a proposed rule requiring companies who make chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing to report data on the chemicals. For more information please contact us.
Shale oil production in the U.S. and Canada added one million barrels to domestic production over the last year. Current activity may bring North American shale oil supply from 3.5 million to 8 million barrels per day before 2020. Such rapid growth from new oil wells has not been seen since Saudi Arabia increased its oil production capacity in the early 1970s. The timing for the world economy is ideal: the global oil supply balance was stretched to its limits in 2007-2008; Saudi expansion since then has mostly been to balance decline from northern Ghawar, and BRIC demand and Iraq supply now appear increasingly fragile. Rystad Energy believes that the world would be headed into an oil-driven recession without the North American shale oil revolution.
Domestic shale oil production could shoot up to 5 million barrels per day by 2017, making the United States the top oil producing country in the world, according to a policy brief, “The U.S. Shale Oil Boom: Potential Impacts and Vulnerabilities of an Unconventional Energy Source,” from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School. The brief also projected that the U.S. could become the world’s largest oil producer. The report estimates there could be more than 100,000 working wells in North Dakota and Texas by 2030. There are about 10,000 now. Nationwide, production of all oil could shoot up from 11.3 million to 16 million barrels per day by 2017.
The U.S. economy is struggling to find a new formula for vigorous growth. But all growth opportunities are not created equal. New McKinsey Global Institute research, “Game changers: Five opportunities for U.S. growth and renewal”  pinpoints five catalysts – in energy, trade, technology, infrastructure, and talent development—that can quickly create jobs and deliver a substantial boost to GDP by 2020. According to the report, a main catalyst is “Shale-gas and -oil production. Powered by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the production of domestic shale gas and oil has grown more than 50 percent annually since 2007. The shale boom could add as much as $690 billion a year to GDP and create up to 1.7 million jobs across the economy by 2020. The impact will extend to energy-intensive manufacturing industries and beyond. The United States now has the potential to reduce net energy imports to zero—but only if it can successfully address the associated environmental risks.” For more information please contact HBW Resources.
In a new market research report, “The Shale Gas Market 2013-2023” by Visiongain has determined that the value of the global shale gas market in 2013 will reach $33.2 billion. The shale gas market is currently dominated by the US as this is where the technology to develop shale was pioneered. The U.S. also has a number of favorable characteristics that have helped promote the speed of shale gas production. However, this has created a distinctly two tier market between the nations with an established shale gas market, and less mature and more rapidly developing markets. Investment in shale gas exploration outside of North America will grow strongly over the next decade while the U.S. and Canadian markets will maintain their position as the epicenter of shale gas investment.
A new study, “Liquefied Natural Gas: Why Rapid Approval of the Backlog of Export Applications is Important for US Prosperity,” from the American Council for Capital Formation calls for the Department of Energy (DOE) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to speed up the permitting process to authorize natural gas exports. An even better solution is for Congress to remove the DOE’s authority for authorizing natural gas export permits and allow the states to control the environmental review and permitting process for natural gas export facilities. Allowing for increased natural gas exports would be a huge boon for the American economy as it would expand U.S. market opportunities. According to the analysis, expanded natural gas exports would, in the time frame 2016–2035:
·         Increase employment by between 73,100 and 452,300 jobs;
·         Increase manufacturing job growth by between 7,800 and 76,800; and
·         Grow U.S. gross domestic product by $15.6 billion to $73.6 billion per year on average.
The study also includes increased employment for the refining, petrochemicals, and chemicals job sector and projects natural gas price increases of only about $0.32 to $1.02 per million British Thermal Units on average. For more information please contact us.
Demand for crude tankers has hit its highest level for this time of year since at least 2007. Traders and crude producers in July commissioned 126 oil tankers, each capable of carrying at least 2 million barrels, according to data released from Marex Spectron Group, a London-based commodities and freight-derivatives broker. Demand for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) is on the rise thanks to a recent International Energy Agency report predicting an “exceptionally high” 3 percent increase in global refinery processing between July and September.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D, OR) said lawmakers on the panel will soon unveil proposals on natural gas policy, a topic that has been a top committee focus this year. The committee, in hearings and informal committee “forums” this year, has heard hours of testimony on hydraulic fracturing, natural gas exports, infrastructure and many other topics related to the nation’s gas production boom.

EP Energy (formerly El Paso Energy) have committed to sharing key drilling, completions and hydraulic fracturing data on their Eagle Ford, Rockies / Altamont and Wolfcamp wells drilled between 2012 and 2014. It has joined the ‘Shale Performance Review’ (SPR) to trade its North American offset shale well data with BHP (Petrohawk), Chevron (Atlas), Hess, Husky, Hunt, Marathon, Murphy, Newfield, Nexen, Pioneer, Shell, Statoil (Brigham) Suncor and Talisman. Established early 2012 in Houston by a group of operators, the SPR enables the exchange of high quality and reliable data between Operators to aid them with their well planning, budgeting, performance management and benchmarking processes. For more information please contact us.
Memorial Production Partners LP announced it is acquiring oil and gas properties in the Permian Basin, East Texas and the Rockies for $606 million. The acquired properties in Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado consist of 973 gross wells on 363,000 acres, which the company will operate 94 percent of the total proved reserves and 74 percent of the producing wells. Additionally, the company will acquire nearly 275 billion cubic feet of equivalent proved reserves, of which about 48 percent are located in the Permian Basin, 31 percent in East Texas and 21 percent in the Rockies. This sale will increase Memorial’s proved reserves by 36 percent to more than 1 trillion cubic feet of equivalent.
The EPA hosted two updates on its Hydraulic Fracturing Study. The first focused on “Water Acquisition Modeling” and was led by Dr. Andrew Gillespie, EPA’s ORD/National Exposure Research Laboratory. The second update focused on “Well Construction/Operation and Subsurface Modeling” and was jointly led by Jeanne Briskin, Hydraulic Fracturing Research Coordinator and Stephen Kraemer, Ecosystems Research Division of the National Exposure Research Laboratory. Both of the updates were based upon previously held technical workshops.
A new study, “Water-Smart Power, Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World,” released by the Union of Concerned Scientists recommends focusing on renewable energy rather than natural gas and nuclear power as a means for addressing both water and carbon concerns, as the country begins to replace many of its aging coal plants. The major sources of electric generation – coal, natural gas and nuclear power – all require large amounts of water to create power.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a “Notice of Data Requests to Certain Natural Gas Marketers for Information Related to Natural Gas Sales” in Docket No. RM13-1-000. Last November, FERC solicited comments on its proposal to require quarterly reporting of every jurisdictional natural gas transaction that entails physical delivery for the next day or for the next month. Quarterly reporting of all jurisdictional electric market contracts and transactions effectuated thereunder long has been the norm. The vast majority objected to the proposal, with many explaining that the requirement would not advance FERC’s goal of improving natural gas market transparency because jurisdictional transactions make up only a small portion of relevant sales. Instead of abandoning the proposal as expected, FERC now seeks more information to help it assess whether the proposed reporting requirement would improve transparency. The Notice explains that FERC’s Office of Enforcement will send data requests to “certain natural gas marketers” in order to gather “additional information about what portion of the total natural gas sales are jurisdictional natural gas sales.” Marketers that receive the five-question data request must respond directly to FERC staff within 15 days. Although marketers can seek confidential treatment of the data they provide in response, if FERC takes further action in the docket it may disclose information “in some summary or aggregated form.” For more information please contact HBW Resources.
When the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets in December, it is rumored that they may slash its oil production for the first time in five years. OPEC could reduce production by half a million barrels a day due to the surge in the North American shale boom. OPEC’s latest report, released last week, projected that demand for its crude will slide 300,000 barrels a day next year to 29.6 million barrels of oil per day (MMbopd), or about 2.6 percent less than the organization is currently producing.
The European Union has no plans to impose a blanket ban on hydraulic fracturing, but it will lay out rules to address environmental concerns, a top EU official said. EU Environment chief Janez Potocnik said the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, will draft its proposal for the rules by the end of the year to settle “some serious legislative gaps.” “We don’t talk about banning fracking at the EU level,” Potocnik said after discussing the issue with the bloc’s environment ministers in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. But he said they plan to ensure hydraulic fracturing or fracking is “done in a safe and secure way.” The EU’s 28 members are divided in their approach to fracking. Poland, for example, has enthusiastically granted exploration rights to U.S. fuel giants while France has banned the method. Leo Brincat, Environment Minister for Malta, has said that the EU continues to have doubts regarding the use of shale and its geological impact, production costs and socio-environmental impacts. Brincat, speaking at the same meeting for EU environment ministers in Lithuania, said that the largest challenge will be assessing the impact the gas will have on energy prices, competition and security of supply. For more information please contact us.
Chevron and Argentinian oil firm YPF have inked a deal to spend $1.2 billion to further develop shale oil and gas resources in the Vaca Muerta formation. The deal calls for an initial phase in which 100 wells will be drilled in a 5,000-acre tract in the Loma La Lata Norte and Loma Campana areas. Chevron said the deal gives it the chance to grow productionbeyond its 2017 target of 3.3 million barrels per day. The Vaca Muerta formation is a giant shale oil and gas field that was discovered in 2010 by Spanish oil and gas firm Repsol and YPF. Repsol once owned a majority stake in YPF, but now holds a much smaller stake. Chevron Argentina currently produces an average of 21,000 barrels of crude oil and 4 million cubic feet of natural gas in the Neuquen Basin. The Loma La Lata area is currently producing more than 10,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day. YPF said that Chevron will spend the first $300 million of the total planned outlay once a concession is granted by local officials. After that, both companies may continue with the total development of the areas, YPF said. YPF said that money it has already spent on the project together with the new contribution outlined in the deal with Chevron mark a total investment of $1.5 billion. Members of the Argentine Mapuche community are protesting against the deal claiming they were not consulted on plans to extract the resources from the site in southern Neuquen province – land which they claim as their own – nor were they informed of the potential environmental impact.
The Argentinean government is hoping to attract investment in the country’s Vaca Muerta shale oil field by announcing that it will allow energy companies to export up to 20% of the gas they produce free of tax. Buenosairesherald.com has reported that “export revenue of companies that invest at least $1 billion over five years will also be exempt from the foreign exchange controls that have been imposed by the government, according to an announcement in the government’s official daily gazette.” Moreover, these companies can keep their foreign exchange earnings outside Argentina and will be allowed to renew their concessions for a 25-year period, with a possible 10-year renovation after that. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
Queensland could have its own shale gas industry within two years, the State Government says. Government briefing notes for Environment Minister Andrew Powell show there are 16 shale gas exploration programs in the state. But it warns any development would need numerous wells and an extensive expansion of the gas pipeline network to be viable. It would also use the controversial process known as fracking, which will put the fledgling industry on course for a battle with environmentalists. The main areas for exploration are the Cooper, Galilee, Eromanga and Maryborough basins. The Cooper Basin is already well developed and is considered the most likely to have the infrastructure to handle the development.
PetraGas, has applied for a Petroleum Exploration License covering approximately 3,900 square kilometers north of Hobart in central Tasmania to explore for shale oil and gas. The tenement application spans part of the petroleum-bearing Tasmania Basin, which is prospective for both conventional and unconventional oil and gas. The company’s initial geological assessment indicates shale oil and gas are the most prospective targets with the primary areas of interest located 50 km north of Hobart. The license straddles the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline which runs between Hobart and eastern mainland Victoria, allowing potential access to major gas markets.
Australia’s Prime Minister has announced a plan to replace a carbon tax with an emissions-trading scheme in 2014, a year earlier than the initial 2015 timetable. “The move to bring forward the market-based system a full year earlier is expected to quickly produce a sharp drop in the cost of carbon, from a predicted $23.30 per metric ton in July 2014 to around $5.50 per ton in American dollars.”
Mako Hydrocarbons has received reiteration of support from joint venture partners Transerv Energy and Tamaska Oil & Gas for the farm out of its Duvernay and Rock Creek assets in Western Alberta to Canadian Pan Ocean. The Duvernay Shale is an emerging world class liquids rich resource play that is the source rock for most of the conventional oil fields in Alberta and has attracted the attention of companies such as ExxonMobil, Sinopec Daylight, Encana Corporation, Talisman Energy and ConocoPhillips. Mako’s farm out its Duvernay acreage to Canadian Pan Ocean requires CPO to also acquire all of Transerv and Tamaska’s interests in the resource play. Transerv will receive about $14.2 million while Tamaska will get $3.6 million from the sale. Transerv has a 34% interest in the Duvernay Shale acreage and 34% in the Rock Creek while Tamaska has 8% and 16% respectively. For more information please contact us.
Chilean energy executives interested in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas are in the middle of a three-day trade visit to the state. The tour comes on the heels of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s own trade trip to Chile last April. Bernardo Larrain is the chairman of Colbun, a Chilean energy company. Larrain says demand for energy in Chile is growing five to six percent a year, and will continue at that rate for the next 20 years. “And that’s why we’re here,” Larrain said. “Pennsylvania produces a lot of natural gas, shale gas. And Chile has a big installed capacity with plants that operate with natural gas. So I think there’s a good potential for association with the state of Pennsylvania.” Larrain says opposition to new coal fired plants in his country limits their options. He says his company has spoken to executives from large energy companies like Shell and BP about importing natural gas from the United States. For more information please contact HBW Resources.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has rejected a call for a rethink in the shale gas debate and said the government will not allow its exploitation in France. He was speaking after Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg told a committee planning reforms to the Code Minier – which sets the laws on development of underground resources – that he would like to see a state-owned company involved in “ecological” exploitation of shale gas gaz de schiste. New Ecology Minister Philippe Martin said there was no such thing as “ecological” exploitation of shale gas and received support from Housing Minister Cécile Duflot, of the Ecology Party. French President Francois Hollande ruled out exploration for shale gas during his presidency, dousing hopes that a ban on hydraulic fracturing could be reviewed following a legal challenge by a U.S. firm.
France’s top court said it would examine a challenge to a law that bans hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique used to produce shale gas and oil. U.S. firm Schuepbach Energy, which held two exploration permits that were canceled in 2011, has contested the law. The Constitutional Council, made up of judges and former French presidents, has the power to annul laws if they are deemed to be unconstitutional. Schuepbach Energy challenged the law in the local court of Cergy-Pontoise near Paris, which forwarded the case to France’s highest administrative court, which then passed it on the Constitutional Council. Fracking was banned in France in 2011 under President Nicolas Sarkozy on concerns it could pollute groundwater and trigger earthquakes. After France put the ban in place, Schuepbach Energy said it had no alternative way to carry out the exploration, which led to the suspension of its two permits in the south of France.
The government has appointed the German firm DMT GmbH & Co. KG to study the country’s shale gas potential and help meet the mounting demand for energy as its conventional energy sources, in terms of the presently estimated proven reserve, are depleting fast, a top government official said. The Hydrocarbon Unit (HCU), a state-owned entity under the Energy Division of the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources (MPEMR), appointed the German firm through a competitive bidding process, in line with an instruction from the energy ministry. The DMT GmbH has been asked to submit its report by next October. For more information please contact us.
Romania-focused Zeta Petroleum reported Wednesday that it is raising $1.2 million on the Australian Securities Exchange to fund work programs on its assets. Zeta plans to bring theDornesti Sud-1 well into production. This is a discovery well on the company’s 50 percent-owned Suceava gas concession. It has tested at a rate of 918,000 cubic feet of gas per day and is currently suspended, ready for production. Successful production test at the Dornesti Sud-1 well is part of an on-going feasibility study to bring two gas discovery wells on the Suceava concession into production.
South Africa
The proved amount of South Africa’s technically recoverable, largely untapped, largely onshore natural gas reserves trapped in shale rock formations totals an estimated 11.04 trillion cubic metres (Tcm) of volume, the equivalent of about 390 000 trillion British thermal units (TBtu).  South Africa’s reserves have been ranked as the eighth-largest in the world. Southern Africa has the gas resources to defy expectations by stealing some of that spotlight, especially when the controversial hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process gets the green light in South Africa’s onshore bounteous shale plays situated in the coveted Karoo Basin landscape. The cost to produce the gas is one issue. The price it may fetch in domestic, regional, or international markets in the future is another. South Africa’s shale plays are being tending by a super-major, Dutch Royal Shell, amid four other players. For more information please contact us.
United Kingdom
An unscientific poll run by the media organization, The Sun, found almost three-quarters of were in favor of mining the massive reserves – using technology known as fracking — which lie under many parts of the country. Sun readers signaled, “We’re backing fracking” by 71 per cent to 29 per cent after experts estimated there are 1.3trillion cubic feet of gas lying buried between Blackpool and Scarborough. Energy Minister Michael Fallon said, “Shale gas is a great opportunity for Britain. It could provide secure energy, generate investment and create jobs.”
At the 2nd Annual UK Shale Summit: Making It Happen event, Tim Yeo, chair of the energy and climate change committee in the UK Parliament, described the event as ‘timely’ and ‘topical’ (just last month the British Geological Survey (BGS) said that the country’s shale gas resources are estimated to be 1329 trillion cubic feet). His reasons to develop shale gas are to reduce dependency on imports and to keep gas prices down. However, he said that unlocking shale potential would be a slow and difficult process because of the UK’s strong tradition of protecting its environment. There is a near certainty, he believed, of strong opposition based on environmental concerns even though this may “sometimes border on being completely irrational.” The way to win over local communities would be to make them direct beneficiaries. While he personally felt that 25% of revenues going to land owners would be a great method and a model used in the US, he said its implementation would not be likely, there are other ways of going about it, such as offering to freeze energy bills. Something dramatic is needed, said Yeo, not just for local councils but individuals too. He also spoke about the importance of having a low carbon element as part of the UK’s energy mix.
Gas prices could fall by a quarter and help bring down household energy bills if Britain exploits its shale gas reserves, a report commissioned by Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, suggests. The study by Navigant Consulting backs up David Cameron’s claim that shale gas drilling could help cut the cost of living for families struggling with average bills of more than £1,300 per year. For more information please contact HBW Resources.

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact Bo Ollison with HBW Resources.  His contact information is below.
Bo Ollison
HBW Resources
2211 Norfolk Street, #410
Houston, TX 77098
Tel: 713-337-8810
E-mail: bollison@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com
Twitter: @BoOllison
Contact Information
If you have any general questions, please contact us anytime. Previous versions of the HBW Ollison Hydraulic Fracturing Report, the HBW Greenfield Offshore Energy Report, the Forsgren Environmental Report, and daily updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at the new Intelligence Tab on the HBW Resources website at:http://hbwresources.com/intelligence/.  Hope you all have a great day.
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com

New Greenfield Offshore Energy Report

HBW Resources: Greenfield Offshore Energy Report

Below is a summary of publicly available activities currently underway that could affect the development of offshore oil and gas resources.  With numerous legislative bodies now in session, HBW Resources is monitoring these activities to ensure that responsible policies based on sound science are advanced.

Comments Sought On Criteria To Establish National Marine Sanctuaries

NOAA has announced the re-establishment of the national marine sanctuary nomination process to nominate areas in the marine and Great Lakes environments, and is seeking comments on its proposal to amend existing regulations to replace the currently inactive Site Evaluation List with a new process whereby local communities and other interested parties can provide the agency with “robust, criteria-driven proposals” for new sanctuaries.

While the Site Evaluation List has been deactivated since 1995 and only one national marine sanctuary has been designated since, NOAA says that “public interest in the designation of new national marine sanctuaries has…remained strong,” adding that “a variety of individuals, local, state, and tribal governments, academic institutions, citizen groups, and non-government organizations from coastal communities around the country” have requested the designation of additional sanctuaries.

NOAA says that the new nomination process “intends to focus on proposals generated and driven by local and regional community groups and coalitions” and would replace the “old [Site Evaluation List] process which tended towards an agency-driven, “top down” approach with a more grassroots, “bottom up” approach to sanctuary nominations.”

NOAA specifically seeks comments on the proposed changes to the sanctuary nomination and designation procedures and 12 criteria by which the agency proposes to analyze nominations for potential new sanctuaries.

Comments on the proposed rule are due by Tuesday, August 27, 2013.

Regional Planning Body To Hold Public Webinar 

In an email announcement, the federal, state, and tribal co-leads for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body(RPB) disclosed that the Mid-Atlantic RPB will hold a webinar from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, August 1 to “provide an update about our progress and plans going forward, as well as future opportunities for public input.”  Under the National Ocean Policy, the Mid-Atlantic RPB is tasked with developing a Coastal and Marine Spatial Plan for Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Additional information about the webinar, including the agenda and log-in details, will be available here in the coming weeks.

Investigation Of Offshore O&G-Funded Grant Program Finds “Widespread Conflicts Of Interest”

The U.S. Interior Department’s Inspector General recently announced the results of a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-requested audit of Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) grants awarded to the State of Mississippi that was conducted (1)to determine whether grant recipients complied with CIAP’s authorizing legislation, federal regulations, DOI policies, and grant terms and conditions; and (2) to identify grant management challenges that USFWS should address in its management of CIAP.

The Inspector General’s Final Audit Report found “significant deficiencies” in the management of CIAP grants by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and Mississippi’s Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), including grants that were approved but did not meet CIAP criteria, widespread conflicts of interest at MDMR, improper land appraisals, circumvention of sole-source procurement programs, improper charges to CIAP grants, improper use of equipment, and various accounting, payroll, and financial issues.

The audit provides 37 recommendations that DOI says will “assist [USFWS] in resolving systemic deficiencies and personnel issues that have affected the policies, implementation, administration, management, and oversight of CIAP.”

The Inspector General considers 7 of the recommendations unresolved, 17 resolved but not implemented, and 13 closed.  According to the audit, failure to act on the recommendations “could further undermine CIAP and open the door to fraud, waste, and mismanagement of millions of dollars in Federal funds meant to conserve, protect, and restore American coastal areas, wildlife, and natural resources.”

CIAP was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) to provide funds generated from offshore lease revenues to oil-producing states for the conservation, protection, or restoration of coastal areas, wildlife, and natural resources.  EPAct 2005 authorized DOI to distribute $250 million annually in FY’s 2007-2010 to eligible recipients in Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has managed the program since October 2011, and in December 2011, DOI’s Office of the Solicitor determined that EPAct 2005 established a permanent appropriation that allows distribution of CIAP funds until they are fully exhausted.

NMFS Issues Permit For Whale Research In Alaska

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service recently announced that a permit has been issued to Dr. Yoko Mitani to conduct research on gray and killer whales in Alaskan waters, including the Chukchi Sea, Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, and Arctic ocean.  The permit is valid through June 30, 2018.

The overarching aim of the research is to clarify and predict the influences of sea ice reduction in the Arctic Ocean on marine ecosystem and fisheries resources.  The objectives of the research are to examine the distribution and movement patters of the two species in these areas.

According to the announcement, up to 1,000 killer whales and up to 1,000 gray whales may be approached for non-invasive research activities or incidentally harassed on an annual basis.

NOAA Proposes Rules Regarding Regional Ocean & Coastal Observing Entities 

NOAA’s U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Program Office has announced that it is seeking comments on its proposal to issue rules implementing the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 by doing the following:

·         Developing certification criteria and procedures for integrating regional information coordination entities (RICEs) into the National Coastal and Ocean Observation System (System); and
·         Establish certified RICEs integrated into the System as part of NOAA, for the purposes of determining liability arising from the dissemination and use of observation data (thus employees of such RICEs that are engaged in the collection, management, and dissemination of observation data in the System would receive the same tort protections as federal employees)

There are eleven existing regional associations that would be eligible for potential certification and integration into the national System.

Comments on the proposed rule are due by Thursday, August 1, 2013.

Additional Information

For additional information, contact Brent Greenfield with HBW Resources. His contact information is below.

Brent Greenfield
HBW Resources
2211 Norfolk Street, #410
Houston, TX 77098
Tel: 713-337-8810
E-mail: bgreenfield@hbwresources.com
Web: http://www.hbwresources.com

If you have any general questions, please give me a call anytime. Previous reports and other updates can be found at the new HBW Resources Intelligence Tab at: http://hbwresources.com/intelligence/.   Hope you have a great day.


Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

Senate Nuclear Option Exposes Lack of Experience While ENR Considers Increased US Oil Production

Tuesday in Washington:

Lack of Experience Starting to Show:

Following three hours of deliberation in the Old Senate Chamber last night, the Senate continues to struggle with an effort brought forward by Majority Leader Harry Reid to change the Senate rules with respect to filibusters of political nominees.  Proponents of the change say it is needed to help alleviate historic and unrelenting gridlock.  Opponents claim it will undermine minority rights in the Senate and fundamentally alter the tenor of the chamber by giving additional power to the party in the Majority.  The Senate last changed parties in 2006.  Of the Senate’s 100 members, 46 have been serving less than six years, including 32 of the 54 members Democratic Caucus. So, the majority of the Majority seeking to expand the power of the Majority have never been in the minority.  The Senate could attempt to execute this option as early as this morning.
In other Senate news, Rep. Ed Markey will be sworn in to the Senate this morning at the Chamber’s newest member.  Additionally, Senator Reid filed cloture on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as the next administrator of the EPA, setting up a potential vote on Thursday.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of expanded oil and gas production on fuel prices this morning. 
The House will be taking up three bills under suspension of the rules today.  The bills include:  H.R. 2576, to modify requirements relating to the availability of pipeline safety regulatory documents; H.R. 1848, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013; and H.R. 2611, to designate the headquarters building of the Coast Guard on the campus located at 2701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue Southeast in the District of Columbia as the “Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building.”  Also of note, the House Energy and Commerce will begin a two day mark up of legislation today including measures to restrain the EPA and expedite approval of new pipelines.
Other Items of Interest:
House to Hold Two Days of Hearings on RFS: The Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee announced it will hold two days of hearings to get stakeholder input on the Renewable Fuels standard on July 23rd and July 24th.
Important Events and Hearings:  
DOE Hosts Meeting of the National Petroleum Council:  Today at 9 AM at the St. Regis Hotel at 923 16th Street, the Energy Department (DOE); Office of Fossil Energy will hold a meeting of the National Petroleum Council. The event will be available via webcast at: http://www.npc.org.
Senate Committee Reviews Impact of Expanded Oil and Gas Production on Fuel Prices:  Today at 10 AM in 366 Dirksen, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on how United States gasoline and fuel prices are being affected by the current boom in domestic oil production and the restructuring of the United States refining industry and distribution system. Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration; Jeff Hume, vice chairman for strategic growth initiatives at the Continental Resources, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla.; Bill Klesse, chairman and CEO of the Valero Energy Corporation, San Antonio, Texas; Dan Gilligan, president of the The Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Arlington, Va.; Chris Plaushin, director of federal relations for the American Automobile Association, Healthrow, Fla.; and Faisel Khan, managing director for integrated oil and gas research at Citigroup Inc., New York, N.Y., will testify. Additional information can be found at: http://energy.senate.gov.
Senate Appropriations Committee Marks Up CJS Bill: Today at 10 AM in 192 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the FY2014 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill. 
DOE Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee Meeting:  Today at 12:45 PM at 1000 Independence Ave., the Energy Department (DOE); Office of Fossil Energy will hold a meeting of the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee to discuss committee comments on draft methane hydrate roadmap, committee recommendations and receive public comments.
House Markup of Energy Bills:  Today and tomorrow in 2123 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a full committee markup of H.R.1582, the “Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013”; H.R.1900, the “Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act”; H.R.83, to require the Secretary of the Interior to develop an action plan to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States; H.R.2094, the “School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act”; H.R.698, the “HIV Organ Policy Equity Act”; and H.R.2052, the “Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2013.” Additional information about the markup can be found here:  http://energycommerce.house.gov.
New Member of the Day: US Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN)

Committee Assignments:  Education and Workforce, Homeland Security, and Ethics
Chief of Staff: Mel Raines
Legislative Director: Megan Savage
Twitter: @SusanWBrooks
Experience: After receiving her undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio, Rep. Brooks pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Indiana University Indianapolis School of Law. Before joining the House of Representatives, Susan served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ivy Tech Community College.  While there, she implemented workforce development strategies aiming to enhance job training and placement for thousands of Indiana residents. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Susan as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.  She earned recognition as Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis during the Steve Goldsmith administration, where she provided oversight on public safety operations and drove community dialogue on vital civic issues. S he also practiced law at the Indianapolis firm of Ice Miller and also served as a criminal defense attorney for Indianapolis based McClure, McClure and Kammen.

Importance: Congresswoman Susan Brooks represents the 5th District of Indiana, which spans eight counties throughout the central part of Indiana. It was concern about the country’s debt and deficit and its effect on the labor market that prompted her to run for Congress in the first place. During her race, she made headlines by dismissing Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, saying she wouldn’t sign pledges of any kind.  Her background in education and her focus on jobs makes her a strong advocate for STEM education and preparing students for actual careers in an increasingly competitive job market.  She believes that there is a federal role in education to ensure our students are able to compete globally. 
If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at HBW Resource’s new Intelligence Tab at: http://hbwresources.com/intelligence/. Hope you all have a great day.
Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Direct: 202-429-6081
Cell: 202-277-3927
E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Twitter: @mzehrhbw

Energy and Politics This Week

HBW Energy & Politics Daily Update

Monday in Washington:

Despite the procedural standoff unfolding in the Senate, this will be a very busy week on Capitol Hill. Hearings and markups in both the House and the Senate on energy legislation are planned.  In the Senate, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee will review the impact of expanded oil and gas production on fuel prices early in the week and then hold a hearing on clean energy technologies later in the week. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will be marking up H.R.1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013; and H.R.1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act.

The House will be in pro-forma session today and then will take up a number of bills under suspension of the rules on Tuesday.  The bills include:  H.R. 2576, to modify requirements relating to the availability of pipeline safety regulatory documents; H.R. 1848, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013; and H.R. 2611, to designate the headquarters building of the Coast Guard on the campus located at 2701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue Southeast in the District of Columbia as the “Douglas A. Munro Coast Guard Headquarters Building.”  The House will then take up bills designed to limit the implementation of the 2010 health care law.  These include: H.R. 2667, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act; and H.R. 2668 the Fairness for American Families Act.  The House could also take up legislation addressing the increase in student loan rates (H.R. 5) and the FY2012 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 2397).

Other Items of Interest:

Report on the US-China Climate Change Working Group:  The State Department released areport on the meetings and agreements made by US and Chinese officials as part of the Strategic Economic Dialogue.  The officials envision work and progress on heavy-duty vehicles, smart grid technology, carbon capture and sequestration, collection of greenhouse gas data, and enhanced energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Releases Latest White Paper on RFS:  The House Energy and Commerce Committee released its most recent white paper on the Renewable Fuel Standard.  This paper focuses on implementation challenges of the policy including the determination of annual volume requirements and the integrity and governance renewable identification numbers.  The paper asks for affected stakeholders to provide input on a number of questions.

DOE Release Report on Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change:  The Department of Energy released a new report on the vulnerabilities of critical energy and transmission infrastructure to climate change related weather incidents. The report found increased likelihood of supply distributions, need for hardening of certain assets, and potential for higher costs of power.

Important Hearings and Events:

Fuels America Briefing on Global Fuel Markets: On July 15th at 1:30 PM, Fuels America will hold a conference call briefing, beginning at 1:30 p.m., on “From the Middle East to the Midwest: Experts to Discuss Gas Prices, Global Oil Markets, and Renewable Fuel.” Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association; Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security; Anna Rath, CEO of NextSteppe; and Bruce Vollan, owner of Vollan Oil, a family-owned gas station in South Dakota, will participate.  Call-in: 888-389-5988; password, 1596323.

USEA Discussion on Carbon Dioxide Removal:  On July 15th at 2 PM at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 550, the United States Energy Association (USEA) will hold a discussion on “Technologies for Removal of CO2 from the Atmosphere.” Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, will lead the discussion.  Register here:http://www.usea.org/node/679/register

DOE Hosts Meeting of the National Petroleum Council:  On July 16th at 9 AM at the St. Regis Hotel at 923 16th Street, the Energy Department (DOE); Office of Fossil Energy will hold a meeting of the National Petroleum Council. The event will be available via webcast at: http://www.npc.org.

Senate Committee Reviews Impact of Expanded Oil and Gas Production on Fuel Prices: On July 16th at 10 AM in 366 Dirksen, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on how United States gasoline and fuel prices are being affected by the current boom in domestic oil production and the restructuring of the United States refining industry and distribution system. Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration; Jeff Hume, vice chairman for strategic growth initiatives at the Continental Resources, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla.; Bill Klesse, chairman and CEO of the Valero Energy Corporation, San Antonio, Texas; Dan Gilligan, president of the The Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Arlington, Va.; Chris Plaushin, director of federal relations for the American Automobile Association, Healthrow, Fla.; and Faisel Khan, managing director for integrated oil and gas research at Citigroup Inc., New York, N.Y., will testify. Additional information can be found at: http://energy.senate.gov.

DOE Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee Meeting:  On July 16th at 12:45 PM at 1000 Independence Ave., the Energy Department (DOE); Office of Fossil Energy will hold a meeting of the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee to discuss committee comments on draft methane hydrate roadmap, committee recommendations and receive public comments.

House Markup of Energy Bills:  On July 16th and 17th in 2123 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a full committee markup of H.R.1582, the “Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013”; H.R.1900, the “Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act”; H.R.83, to require the Secretary of the Interior to develop an action plan to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States; H.R.2094, the “School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act”; H.R.698, the “HIV Organ Policy Equity Act”; and H.R.2052, the “Global Investment in American Jobs Act of 2013.” Additional information about the markup can be found here:  http://energycommerce.house.gov.

House Hearing with Department of Interior: On July 17th at 10 AM in 1324 Longworth, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “The Department of the Interior Operations, Management, and Rulemakings.” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will testify. Additional information on the hearing can be viewed here:  www.naturalresources.house.gov.

DHS Evaluates Resilience of Critical Infrastructure:  On July 17th at 3 PM at 2451 Crystal Drive in Arlington, the Department of Homeland Security Department; National Protection and Programs Directorate will hold a meeting of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council on the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors and information systems.

Politico Pro Hosts “Future of Energy” breakfast:  On July 18th at 8 AM at the Newseum, Politico Pro will host a “Future of Energy” breakfast briefing, focusing on “what to expect for energy policy in 2013, its impact on the economy, the future of the EPA and the president’s recent statements on climate change.”  Additional information can be found under the events tab atwww.politico.com.

ACORE Discusses Renewable Energy and the Military: On July 18th at 8:45 AM at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) holds the U.S. Military & Renewable Energy Industry Forum. More information and registration can be found here: http://www.cvent.com/events/u-s-military-renewable-energy-industry-forum/event-summary-4a7d352781dd40daa937a3a984ca254c.aspx.

Senate Hearing on Clean Energy Technology: On July 18th at 9:30 AM in 366 Dirksen, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Spurring Investment in America’s Clean Energy Technology.” Additional information about the hearing can be found here:  http://energy.senate.gov.

Natural Gas Roundtable Discusses Distributed Generation: On July 18th at 12 PM at the University Club, the Natural Gas Roundtable holds a discussion on “Distributed Generation and Natural Gas: A Winning Team for Affordable Power, Resilient Infrastructure and the Environment.” Steve Zilonis, chairman of the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy and vice president of Dresser-Rand; Janet Peace, vice president of markets and business strategies at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions; and Rick Murphy, managing director of sustainable growth at the American Gas Association, will participate in the discussion.

House Hearing on Cost of Carbon Estimates: On July 18th at 2 PM in 2247 Rayburn, the House Oversight Committee Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Examining the Obama Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon Estimates.” Additional information about the hearing can be reviewed here: http://oversight.house.gov.

House Hearing on the African Resource Curse: On July 18th at 2PM in 2200 Rayburn, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee hearing on “Is There an African Resource Curse?” Corinna Gilfillan, director of Global Witness USA; Mohammed Amin Adam, executive director of the Africa Center for Energy Policy; and NFL wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl champion Anquan Boldin, ambassador for Oxfam America, will testify. Additional information can be reviewed here: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov.

Member of the Day: US Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

Committee Assignments:  Appropriations

Chief of Staff: Cynthia Gaona
Deputy COS: Amy Travieso
Legislative Director: Megan Swearingen
Twitter: @RepCuellar

Experience:   Rep. Cuellar earned an associate’s degree from Laredo Community College, a bachelors degree from Georgetown, a master’s degree in International Trade at Texas A&M International University, and a law degree and Ph.D. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.  He is an obvious fan of higher education. In 1981, Rep. Cuellar opened his own law firm and became a licensed customs broker in 1983. He worked at TAMIU as an Adjunct Professor for International Commercial Law from 1984 to 1986. The following year, Congressman Cuellar decided to fully dedicate his life to public service and served as a State Representative from 1987 until he was appointed as the Texas Secretary of State in 2001.  He has served on both the House Agriculture Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee in previous Congresses and was a strong advocate for policies of importance to his district’s farming and ranching operations.  He became a member of the House Appropriations Committee in the 113th Congress.

Importance:  Rep. Cuellar is the Co-Vice Chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which assigns members to committees and advises on policies for the party in the House. He is also a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition.  In 2006, he became the first Democrat ever endorsed by the conservative Club for Growth.  He is dedicated to reducing the nation’s deficit by reforming how Congress appropriates federal funds. In 2009, he worked with his Blue Dog colleagues to help pass the landmark Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) legislation to reign-in federal spending and restore the budget surpluses of the 1990’s. He is a moderate in an increasingly polarized House, making a target for both parties, but also a potential bridge on budget, energy, environment, and border security issues.  He has received support from both unions and extractive industries.  His new position on the House Appropriations Committee gives him a unique opportunity to help shape and limit federal spending.

If you have any questions, please contact me anytime. Previous updates and new Member profiles can be viewed at HBW Resource’s new Intelligence Tab at: http://hbwresources.com/intelligence/. Hope you all have a great day.


Michael Zehr
HBW Resources
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E-mail: mzehr@hbwresources.com
Twitter: @mzehrhbw