Tribpedia: Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as it is almost universally known, is the process of injecting a combination of fluid, chemicals and sand under high pressure to create fissures in a subterranean layer of rock, thereby releasing substances trapped in the rock. The technique is not new; as far back as the 1860s similar methods were employed to extract oil and ...

Analysis: When Local Control is Remote

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings took part in an interview with The Texas Tribune on March 12, 2015.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings took part in an interview with The Texas Tribune on March 12, 2015.

A big, central government wants to override laws approved by the people in the provinces. That might sound like the federal government bossing states around, but it's the Texas Legislature trying to rein in the cities and counties.

Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.
Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.

Texas Bearing Brunt of Drop in Oil Drilling

After a drop in drilling permits and months of plummeting oil prices, nightmares about idled drilling rigs are becoming reality, and Texas oilfields are the hardest hit. Here's the data illustrating how much rig counts are falling, and how Texas oilfields are faring.  

Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Texas Railroad Commission on Jan. 21, 2014, about her concerns with an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Texas Railroad Commission on Jan. 21, 2014, about her concerns with an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.

Lawmakers Consider Boosting Earthquake Research

State lawmakers are considering a nearly $2.5 million plan to help answer a pressing question in some Texas communities: Why does the ground keep shaking?  

 

George P. Bush is sworn in Jan. 2, 2015 as Texas land commissioner as dad Jeb Bush and wife Amanda look on.
George P. Bush is sworn in Jan. 2, 2015 as Texas land commissioner as dad Jeb Bush and wife Amanda look on.

With New Land Commissioner, a New Era for Bushes

Big names in state and national politics gathered in the Texas Senate chamber Friday to welcome George P. Bush, the state's new land commissioner, into the family business. The 38-year-old former investment consultant said that he would “practice the politics of aspiration" in his new post.

 

Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.
Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.

As Oil Prices Plunge, Texas Eyes Are on Hegar

Incoming Comptroller Glenn Hegar is on the hot seat as a nosedive in crude oil prices – and the increasingly gloomy forecasts that have followed – cast a pall over the next legislative session. Less than two weeks after taking office, Hegar must divine what the future holds.

Gas flare in La Porte, Tx, March 15th, 2012
Gas flare in La Porte, Tx, March 15th, 2012

New Study Sheds Light on Emissions From Gas Wells

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Environmentalists have long argued that the methane that escapes into the atmosphere during the fracking process negates the environmental benefits of the gas. A new study suggests that tighter regulation of drilling wells may help reduce those emissions. Read the full story at KUT.org.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, DeWitt County judge Daryl Fowler, environmental advocate Sister Elizabeth Riebschlsaeger and La Salle County judge Joel Rodriguez discuss air, water and road infrastucture.

Impact of the Shale Boom: Air, Water and Roads

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, DeWitt County judge Daryl Fowler, environmental advocate Sister Elizabeth Riebschlsaeger and La Salle County judge Joel Rodriguez discuss air, water and road infrastucture.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President Ben Shepperd, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable President Omar Garcia and Middle Rio Grande Development Council Executive Director Leo Martinez discuss the changing state of energy.

Impact of the Shale Boom: Changing State of Energy

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President Ben Shepperd, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable President Omar Garcia and Middle Rio Grande Development Council Executive Director Leo Martinez discuss the changing state of energy.

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales, Karnes City City Manager Don Tymrak and Thomas Tunstall from the Institute for Economic Development at UTSA will discuss the transformation of the Texas economy.

The Transformation of the Texas Economy

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales, Karnes City City Manager Don Tymrak and Thomas Tunstall from the Institute for Economic Development at UTSA will discuss the transformation of the Texas economy.

A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.
A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.

Denton Fracking Ban Could Spur Wider Legal Clash

A North Texas town's effort to ban hydraulic fracturing may prompt an unprecedented showdown between two powerful rights: a city's authority to shape development inside its borders, and mineral owners' right to tap their resources. The outcome could reshape Texas law at a time when drilling is causing tension in some urban areas.

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.

Methane Inquiry Closes, but Questions Linger

Responding to questions about whether fracking has pushed methane to migrate into a North Texas neighborhood’s water supply, the Railroad Commission of Texas last month effectively shut the door on its investigation, saying that oil and gas drilling was not to blame. But independent geoscientists remained divided on the issue.

Oil and gas companies are having to pay more to run pipelines under private property.
Oil and gas companies are having to pay more to run pipelines under private property.

Pipeline Companies Paying More to Cross Private Land

As pipeline companies scramble to provide infrastructure for the energy boom, they are paying more to build pipelines across private property. Experts say a series of cases in which juries awarded large payments to property owners are helping drive the trend.

 

Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.
Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.

For Texas Royalty Owners, Not All Money Comes Easy

For landowners and mineral owners in Texas’ hottest drilling plays, the state’s boom means long-lasting windfalls — if those lessors know what to look for in negotiating contracts. With new educational efforts, advocates for royalty owners hope to bolster their position.

Each day, dozens of trucks hook up to the Gulf Coast-run fracking fluid disposal well site near Gonzales, Texas.
Each day, dozens of trucks hook up to the Gulf Coast-run fracking fluid disposal well site near Gonzales, Texas.

Railroad Commission Sides With Driller on Well Protest

UPDATED: The Railroad Commission on Thursday sided with Marathon Oil Company’s bid to dismiss a groundwater conservation district’s protest of its application to inject waste into part of South Texas’ Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer.

Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.
Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.

Mayors: Texas Must Act Faster on Earthquake Study

More than six months after a series of earthquakes surprised parts of North Texas, the mayors of two shaken-up towns told a state House subcommittee Monday that the state has moved too slowly in investigating what’s behind the phenomenon.

 

 

More than six months after a series of earthquakes surprised parts of North Texas, the mayors of two shaken-up towns told a state House subcommittee Monday that the state has moved too slowly in investigating what’s behind the phenomenon.

 

 

 

 

Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.
Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are shown on primary night on March 4, 2014.

Abbott, Davis Oil and Gas Records Show Contrast

Neither Greg Abbott nor Wendy Davis has spent much of their gubernatorial campaigns talking about the energy industry and regulations. But Texans should have little trouble distinguishing their positions on the issue. As a lawmaker, Davis has a detailed record, and Abbott has staked his position in the courts.

Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.
Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.

Texas Could Lead on Methane Reduction, Report Says

A report released this week says oil and gas companies could help slash methane emissions. But Texas, the nation’s top energy producer, is unlikely to lead the way. State regulators dispute the dangerousness of greenhouse gases, and some in the industry say another methane culprit is just as bad — bovine flatulence.