Tribpedia: Oil And Natural Gas

Well Explosion Could Put Pressure on Texas Regulators

Ashley and Cody Murray, ranchers in Palo Pinto County, pose with their two children. They allege nearby gas drilling caused methane to leak into their water well before it exploded, severely burning the couple, their four-year-old daughter and Cody's father. Their legal case could put pressure on Texas regulators.
Ashley and Cody Murray, ranchers in Palo Pinto County, pose with their two children. They allege nearby gas drilling caused methane to leak into their water well before it exploded, severely burning the couple, their four-year-old daughter and Cody's father. Their legal case could put pressure on Texas regulators.

A Palo Pinto County family is suing two oil and gas operators, alleging that gas from nearby production sites migrated into the family's water well, which exploded and burned them. While the Texas Railroad Commission has been quietly investigating over the past year, the family's attorney said he has gathered concrete evidence to prove his case.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush shakes hands with Texas Alliance for Life Director Joseph Pojman at the Texas Capitol on Jan. 24, 2015
Land Commissioner George P. Bush shakes hands with Texas Alliance for Life Director Joseph Pojman at the Texas Capitol on Jan. 24, 2015

General Land Office Touts Move Online

The Texas General Land Office says it held the first online oil and gas lease auction in the state’s history on Tuesday, netting some $20 million for public schools. Land Commissioner George P. Bush is taking credit for the move, saying it showcases his efforts to modernize the agency during his first year in public office.  

 

Then-Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson told an audience about his political plans at a Texas Tribune event on Feb. 14, 2013.
Then-Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson told an audience about his political plans at a Texas Tribune event on Feb. 14, 2013.

Patterson to George P. Bush: Focus Less on "Derriere"

Upset about the way a recent state audit painted the agency he lead for 12 years, former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is jabbing his successor, George P. Bush, for failing to push back against the audit’s findings.

 

A 2011 image of the Mogford oil well well, which spewed hydrocarbons onto ranchland in Dimmit County. Some experts linked the "breakout" to nearby oilfield waste injections.
A 2011 image of the Mogford oil well well, which spewed hydrocarbons onto ranchland in Dimmit County. Some experts linked the "breakout" to nearby oilfield waste injections.

Groundwater Districts Seek Help Tracking Disposal Wells

As oilfield waste disposal wells proliferate in Texas, groundwater managers are keenly interested in where they're going and how carefully they construct them. But they say they're struggling to track permits for new disposal wells, and they're asking the industry and regulators for further help.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, and U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, and U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston.

Texas Members of Congress Spar Over Crude Oil Export Ban

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WASHINGTON — Texas members of Congress Gene Green and Joe Barton went head-to-head Thursday on a bill that would lift a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. It was imposed to alleviate energy scarcity during the OPEC oil embargo.

 

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. 

Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.
Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.

Regulators: No Evidence Wells Caused 4.0 Quake

After wrapping up a round of testing, Texas regulators say they have found no evidence that injecting oilfield waste into five disposal wells triggered the largest recorded earthquake in North Texas’ history.

A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.
A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.

After Early Momentum, Energy Legislation Stalls

Who killed the House and Senate's top energy bills? Their autopsy evokes the names of T. Boone Pickens and Koch Industries and involves plenty of squabbling between the chambers.  

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.

Though Fracked Again, Denton Says Fight Isn't Over

Seven months after a rag-tag group of local activists scored a surprising victory over the state’s powerful oil and gas industry when Denton voted to ban hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas company Monday resumed operations under a state law passed to overturn Denton's ban.

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.

 

 

State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland on April 10, 2013.
State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland on April 10, 2013.

Amid Local Control Fight, a GOP Proposal Cities Like

GOP lawmakers have lobbed a lot of legislative bombs at local control this year. But city officials are crossing their fingers that one Republican proposal – what consumer advocates call the session’s most important bill for natural gas utility customers – will pick up steam before time runs out.

A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.
A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.

Texas House Again Takes Aim at Denton's Fracking Ban

Four days after the Senate approved landmark legislation that would pre-empt local control over a variety of oil and gas activities, the Texas House advanced another response to Denton's vote to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.

Texas to Sue Federal Government Over "Clean Power Plan"

Attorney General Ken Paxton says he plans to sue the Obama administration over the proposed “Clean Power Plan,” its sweeping plan to combat climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power plants.

 

 

Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013
Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013

"Denton Fracking Bill" Headed to Abbott's Desk

The so-called “Denton fracking bill” is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. The Senate on Monday approved a bill to pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of oil and gas activities — a measure that has stirred concerns in some towns that have sought to blunt the effects of drilling close to homes, schools and businesses.

Texas Republicans Push Energy Changes in Congress

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At issue is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a stockpile of over 700 million barrels of crude oil stored in Texas and Louisiana. Congressional lawmakers are uncertain of the reserve's role in an age of abundance, now that the shale oil revolution has changed the American energy landscape.

The nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants are the main target of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants are the main target of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

Lawmakers Move to Speed Permits, Limit Protests

Business-friendly Texas still isn't quite friendly enough, Republican lawmakers say, and they're pushing legislation to curtail public input and speed up permits issued by state environmental regulators.

Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013
Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013

UT Survey Finds Support for City Fracking Decisions

A hefty slice of Americans support local control over hydraulic fracturing, according to new University of Texas at Austin survey. Of Americans familiar with the revolutionary method of bolstering oil and gas production, most said that cities should be able to ban its use within their borders.