Residents are looking for answers after nearly 20 small earthquakes — likely caused by a byproduct of oil and gas drilling — struck outside of Fort Worth last month. But they probably won't learn much from the agency that oversees drilling in Texas. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.Full Story
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 ...
As the drought continues across Texas, more oil and gas companies are considering the long-term benefits of water recycling, and state officials are trying to make the transition easier.
This week in the Newsreel: The voting is over for now, the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll is out, and a statewide candidate questions the loyalty of anyone who loves Texas but hates fracking.Full Story
UPDATED: The North Texas city of Denton has dropped its request for a restraining order against a local driller, according to court records.
Dallas is considering new rules that industry backers say would effectively bar drilling within city limits, in a debate that shows cities' power to shape the footprint of the oil and gas industry.Full Story
University of Texas scientists who led a study of methane gas emissions say both sides of the fracking debate are misinterpreting the results of the report.Full Story
University of Texas at Austin researchers have released new estimates of methane emissions from the production of natural gas wells. The data could affect regulations on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.Full Story
Groundwater managers in Texas have applauded lawmakers' push to fund a comprehensive water plan, but as a water summit this week made clear, money alone won't fix the tangle of concerns facing the state's groundwater authorities.Full Story
This month, the sole public water well in Barnhart went dry for nearly three days. Residents in the Permian Basin community say that the area's thriving fracking industry is important but that a proper balance must be struck.Full Story
Barry Smitherman, the chairman of the Railroad Commission and former chairman of the Public Utility Commission, has earned praise as a smart and competent regulator. But he is also ambitious, and speculation is rife that he will make a bid for attorney general.Full Story
Texas is already the top oil-producing state — and excitement about a new era is pervasive, thanks in part to improved technology. Exploration of new shales like the Cline in West Texas is underway, and some oilmen say it's like the old wildcatting days.Full Story
Should groundwater districts be allowed to require permits for drilling companies wanting to withdraw water for hydraulic fracturing? Oil companies oppose the idea, and on Tuesday, the Senate Natural Resources Committee debated the issue.Full Story
As the water-intensive practice of fracking continues to spread, the amount of wastewater being buried in disposal wells around Texas has skyrocketed. But the wells bring concerns about truck traffic and the possibility of groundwater contamination.Full Story
In drilling regions like the Permian Basin, where the water needs of fracking have run up against a historic drought, drillers are increasingly turning to brackish groundwater previously thought too expensive to use.Full Story
Most fracking operations use several million gallons of water. But with water increasingly scarce and costly around Texas, a few companies have begun using alternative liquids, such as propane. Experts say the technology still has far to go.Full Story
Can groundwater authorities in Texas require oil and gas drillers to obtain permits for the water they use in hydraulic fracturing? No one knows for sure, thanks to ambiguities in the water code.Full Story
The amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing has stirred concerns around Texas, especially as the drought wears on. Aware that they are under the spotlight, drillers are testing out recycling and other water-saving techniques.Full Story
As the price of natural gas has declined, much of Texas' drilling activity has moved south, to the Eagle Ford Shale, leaving the battle-tested Barnett Shale in North Texas with an uncertain future.Full Story
Midland has always thought of itself as a small town, but an oil boom is rapidly reshaping the area. Housing as expensive (and hard to find) as New York City's has become the norm, and the strain is evident on schools and roads.Full Story