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Colorado farms planning for dry spell losing auction bids for water to fracking projects
Bruce Finley, Denver Post
Front Range farmers bidding for water to grow crops through the coming hot summer and possible drought face new competition from oil and gas drillers.
At Colorado's premier auction for unallocated water this spring, companies that provide water for hydraulic fracturing at well sites were top bidders on supplies once claimed exclusively by farmers.
The prospect of tussling with energy industry giants over water leaves some farmers and environmentalists uneasy...
(27 March 2012)
UK shale gas firm doubles estimates, seeks partner
Karolin Schaps and Henning Gloystein, Reuters
British shale gas company IGas has more than doubled its estimate of gas in place at its site in north-west England and started the search for an experienced partner after being approached by various companies, its chief executive said.
The company said on Monday it was likely to at least double previous shale gas estimates of up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet (130.26 million cubic metres), which would boost Britain's reserves to levels above Poland's, until now the focus of the shale gas industry in Europe...
The UK government expects to make an announcement on whether Cuadrilla can resume fracking in due course, a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said...
(2 Apr 2012)
Shale Boom in Europe Fades as Polish Wells Come Up Empty
Marek Strzelecki, Bloomberg
Europe’s best hope for a shale-gas boom is fading as explorers in Poland confront rising taxes, a lack of rigs and rocks that are harder to drill than expected.
While shale could help Poland lessen dependence on Russian supplies and cut its gas bill, a government proposal for a levy on production threatens to curtail investment. Failed wells by Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) curbed the optimism that led two dozen companies to grab licenses. The government said last week that shale-gas reserves may be lower than estimated, and drilling a well costs almost three times as much as in the U.S.
“The growth of shale in Poland will be slower than in the U.S. because it would need to build the infrastructure the U.S. already had available,” said Laura Loppacher, an oil and gas analyst at Jefferies International Ltd. in London. “We know the gas in place is there, but it’s unclear if it can be extracted at a rate that’s commercial.”...
(26 March 2012)
Gas Industry Spin Can't Cover Up Air, Water Problems Caused by Fracking
Paul Gallay, President, Hudson Riverkeeper, Huffington Post
It's like some in the gas industry are living in a different universe from the rest of us, when it comes to the risks from shale gas extraction via fracking. Call it the "Spin Zone."
At a Wall Street Journal conference last week, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon told attendees he's unaware of any problems resulting from the thousands of fracking wells drilled in Fort Worth, Texas in recent years. McClendon peevishly referred to the fracking-related air pollution concerns I raised at the conference as "environmental nonsense."
Well, read on. Then decide who's talking "nonsense"...
(2 April 2012)
Government drops water pollution charges against Range
Timothy Gardner, Reuters
The Environmental Protection Agency, in another retreat in its oversight of hydraulic fracturing, dropped allegations that Range Resources Corp polluted drinking water in Texas while drilling for natural gas...
The EPA has backtracked on oversight of three pollution claims in the last month, as the Obama administration walks a fine line between promoting drilling of vast new resources of domestic fuel and regulating an industry that environmentalists say can pollute water and air supplies...
(2 April 2012)