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 ...

Shale Drilling Leaks More Methane Than Feds Thought

Gas producers in North Texas’ Barnett Shale are responsible for significantly more methane pollution than previously estimated, according to a new series of studies. The research adds to a growing body of research into the true climate benefits of shifting away from coal-fired electricity in favor of natural gas, now abundant thanks to fracking.

 

 

Vantage Energy on June 1, 2015 resumed hydraulic operations on a pad site on the western outskirts of Denton. It was the first company to frack within city limits after the Texas Legislature overturned the Denton’s ban on the process.
Vantage Energy on June 1, 2015 resumed hydraulic operations on a pad site on the western outskirts of Denton. It was the first company to frack within city limits after the Texas Legislature overturned the Denton’s ban on the process.

Denton Repeals Fracking Ban

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The North Texas city of Denton made headlines last year when voters there banned the oil drilling technique known as fracking. Early Wednesday morning, the Denton City Council repealed that ban.

Vantage Energy on June 1, 2015 resumed hydraulic operations on a pad site on the western outskirts of Denton. It was the first company to frack within city limits after the Texas Legislature overturned the Denton’s ban on the process.
Vantage Energy on June 1, 2015 resumed hydraulic operations on a pad site on the western outskirts of Denton. It was the first company to frack within city limits after the Texas Legislature overturned the Denton’s ban on the process.

Texas, Petroleum Industry Broaden Suits Against Denton

The Texas Oil and Gas Association and the General Land Office have expanded the scope of their lawsuits against Denton. Both are taking aim at the city’s moratorium on new gas drilling and the toothless fracking ban still on its books. 

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.

With HB 40 Signed, Fracking to Resume in Denton

The first Texas town to ban hydraulic fracturing is poised to be fracked again. Vantage Energy plans to resume fracking operations at eight gas wells in Denton on June 1, the Colorado-based operator has told city officials. The city won't stand in its way. 

 

Gov. Greg Abbott discusses HB40 with the press prior to its ceremonial signing in the Governor's Reception Room on May 18, 2015. The bill gives the state exclusive control over regulation of oil and gas operations, and preempting local laws against fracking.
Gov. Greg Abbott discusses HB40 with the press prior to its ceremonial signing in the Governor's Reception Room on May 18, 2015. The bill gives the state exclusive control over regulation of oil and gas operations, and preempting local laws against fracking.

Abbott Signs "Denton Fracking Bill"

Saying Texas needs to avoid a “patchwork of local regulations” that threaten oil and gas production, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed legislation that would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of drilling-related activities.

 

 

Video: The Future of Energy

On 4/24, I talked about the future of energy policy in Texas with Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU's Cox School of Business; state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee; former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza; and state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, a member of the House Energy Resources Committee. 

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.

Analysis: When Local Control is Remote

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.