Category Archives: Foreign investment

The Ironic Politics of Gas Drilling

According to James Northrup, a veteran oil and gas driller, fracking a well — forcing a million gallons of water, sand and chemicals, several of them highly toxic — is like exploding an air bomb underground. “Once that thing’s gone off, it’s going to follow the lines of least resistance, and if it finds a fault in the rock, it’ll just follow it,” he says, taking with it benzene, toluene, diesel oil, and other chemicals.

This could be pretty dangerous if a well was fracked near Cooperstown’s water supply — Lake Otsego. Current regulations allow a gas well to be drilled within 150 feet of the lake, he points out, and if a frack found a fault, it could poison the lake. Lake Otsego is also the headwaters of the Susquehanna River, which flows to Chesapeake Bay.

One of the hope of the gas industry: Getting bailed out by selling some, or all, of the company to offshore investors — from India, for instance, which is about to begin developing major gas fields. Continue reading

Posted in Barnett Shale, Chemicals, Chesapeake, Colorado, Contamination, Delaware River Basin, Earthquakes caused by fracking, Energy, Environmental violations, EPA, Foreign investment, Fracking, Gas Drilling, Gas explosion, Gasland, Hydraulic Fracturing, Legislation, Marcellus Shale, Moratorium NY State, Pennsylvania, Wyoming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning From the Best: Chesapeake Joins Forces with BP

Total and BP have joined projects started by Chesapeake Energy, a shale-gas producer long on expertise and short on cash.

But the move to gas, and to shale-gas in particular, demands a shift in the majors’ business models. To keep the gas flowing from shale requires the rapid and repeated drilling of many small wells—quite a change for firms accustomed to making “binary” decisions, as one executive puts it, about whether to spend $1 billion over a decade developing a field. Continue reading

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Foreign Investment In US Natural Gas

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Foreign Investment In the Marcellus Shale

“Because the Marcellus is cheap to develop and so close to market, it will make other plays in the South and Midwest uneconomic,” says Russell Braziel at gas market forecaster Bentek. “If you want to be in the gas business, you’ll have to be in the Marcellus.”

ExxonMobil bought XTO Energy in large part for its position there. In May Royal Dutch Shell bought East Resources for $4.7 billion. In June India’s Reliance Energy put up $1.7 billion for a 40% stake in Atlas Energy’s 300,000 acres. Chesapeake Energy has partnered with Statoil; Anadarko Petroleum has joined with Mitsui.

Unless paranoia takes hold. In June a Marcellus well being drilled by EOG Resources suffered a blowout that took a day to control, while another in West Virginia, drilled by Chief Oil & Gas, exploded in a fire that burned for three days and injured seven workers. Pennsylvania temporarily banned EOG from drilling and fracking. Continue reading

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