Energy Matters - November 4, 2015


  Energy Matters November 4, 2015  
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Americans ‘overwhelmingly’ support oil and gas development, according to new poll
The findings from a recent poll conducted for the American Petroleum Institute (API) indicate that nearly 80 percent of Americans surveyed “favor increased shale development, believing it will lead to economic growth and bolster the nation’s energy security.” The survey was conducted as part of a series of polls for API titled “What America is Thinking on Energy Issues.” Findings from state-specific surveys are generating similar trends.
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Lawmakers eye new opportunity to lift oil-trade restrictions
A bill to reauthorize federal highway and transit programs for six years – one of the few critical measures that “must-pass” on Congress’ 2015 agenda – has become a “prime candidate for unrelated provisions” – including two oil export amendments to lift certain trade restrictions. The addition of these provisions could prove to be politically beneficial for those in favor of repealing the U.S. ban on exporting crude and make it more difficult for President Barack Obama to follow through with threats to veto such legislation.
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TransCanada’s latest request adds uncertainty, further delays to Keystone XL
A final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline could be further delayed if the State Department agrees to TransCanada Corp.’s request to indefinitely halt its review of the proposed pipeline, which would transport oil sands crude from Alberta to the Midwest. The requested delay comes on the heels of the company’s Oct. 5 move, asking the Nebraska Public Service Commission to review the route of Keystone XL through the state. Both actions could push a final decision on the proposed pipeline to occur after the 2016 elections.
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Rig count continues decline, falling more than 65 percent in 12 months
The number of rigs operating in North America currently stands at 578, which is down more than 65 percent from October 2014, when 1,609 were actively drilling. The new count marks the lowest since June 2010.
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The States
Ohio pipeline and infrastructure projects could generate $360 million in new property tax revenues
In 2016, more than $8 billion in proposed projects may be invested in Ohio’s pipelines and related infrastructure to support drilling activities. According to case studies conducted by Energy in Depth, these projects could result in $360 million per year for the next five years in new property tax revenues, indicating that the best of the Buckeye State’s energy boom may still be yet to come.
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Colorado poll reinforces support of oil and gas industry
Ninety five percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Independents, and 69 percent of Democrats say “producing more oil and natural gas here in the U.S. is important to them,” according to the results of a poll released by the Colorado Petroleum Council. Those polled also pointed to domestic oil and gas production as a driving force behind job creation, energy security, and lower energy costs – all issues listed as top priorities among the registered Colorado voters who participated.
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Tens of thousands of miles of pipeline proposed in Pennsylvania over next decade
With 10 years of drilling under the belts of Pennsylvania exploration and production companies – and more natural resources than infrastructure to handle supply – the Keystone state is entering the next phase of the shale gas boom: pipelines. And builders are jumping on the opportunity to make a play on the underground network that will be required to keep the state’s industry on a path forward.
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Hydraulic Fracturing
EPA denies anti-fracking group’s petition to expand Toxics Release Inventory regulations to oil and natural gas production
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week that it will not expand Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act to oil and natural gas production. Three years ago, Environmental Integrity Project along with several other anti-fracking groups, petitioned that the regulation, commonly known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), be applied to the industry as a means of further oversight. However, according to EPA, TRI was intended for large facilities – not oil and gas production – and regulations on development already exist on several fronts at both the state and federal levels.
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Oil and natural gas price collapse could spread political unrest, shift industry focus, according to State Department rep
The growing number of producing nations struggling with declining budgets and revenues from oil and gas sales – combined with the ongoing curtailment of exploration and production investments – could create significant political instability, according to Amos Hochstein, a U.S. State Department representative. This issue, along with several other factors influencing the global energy markets, is a primary driver behind the industry’s shifting strategic focus – one that moves away from controlling prices and toward maintaining market share.
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Escalating conflict in Libya halts crude shipments
Political unrest in Libya could put the oil exports of the OPEC member at risk as conflict continues to escalate between the country’s two competing administrations. Crude shipments have been halted from the Zueitina port until further notice. According to a spokesperson for Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard, those that seek to load crude in the future must register with the National Oil Corp. administration, which is “loyal to the internationally recognized government in the eastern region.”
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