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Insight: Is Ohio's "secret" energy boom going bust?
Edward McAllister and Selam Gebrekidan, Reuters
Dozens of wells drilled this year across rural Ohio are quietly pumping out the answer to the U.S. energy industry's most loaded question: Is the Utica shale formation, touted as a potentially $500 billion frontier, a boom or a bust?
Yet the answer is likely to remain concealed for some time...
That's because Ohio is one of the nation's least transparent states when it comes to energy data - a distinction the industry worked to maintain this year, according to a review of legislative documents and interviews with state and industry officials...
The growing concern among many is that the Utica, far from being the oil-rich patch originally believed, is largely filled with natural gases and related liquids, whose prices have slumped to near break-even rates for drillers.
(22 October 2012)
Russia Off Limits to Big Oil After BP Wins Putin Approval
Joe Carroll and Edward Klump, Bloomberg
Now that BP Plc (BP/) has joined with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to oversee the world’s second-biggest oil industry, other international energy companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) are facing dwindling access to one of the last untapped troves of crude.
BP’s agreement yesterday to sell its half of Moscow-based TNK-BP to Russia’s state-run oil company, OAO Rosneft (ROSN), for $12.3 billion in cash and almost one-fifth of Rosneft’s shares vaulted the U.K. energy producer to preeminence among foreign drillers in the Russian oil patch, said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in Houston.
Although other explorers may yet strike deals to search Russia’s vast untapped reserves, none will be able to replicate BP’s “seal of approval” from Russian President Putin, or match the London-based company’s access to powerful deputies such as Rosneft boss Igor Sechin, Molchanov said in an interview yesterday...
(23 October 2012)
Delta Boys: Powerful Documentary Chronicles Niger Delta Oil Struggle
Brendan Demelle, DeSmog Blog
The next time I gas up my car, I will have a lot to think about after watching the new documentary film, Delta Boys, now available for digital download release starting today at Sundance and iTunes, and on DVD at Amazon.com.
The film chronicles the plight of the people of the Niger Delta in Nigeria, the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States. Despite the wealth generated by this oil extraction, the majority of Niger Deltans live on less than a dollar a day and lack even basic public health and sanitation services...
(16 October 2012)