Tribpedia: Oil And Natural Gas

Tribpedia

For more than 100 years, Texas has been one of the nation’s key producers of oil and natural gas. After the discovery of the Spindletop oil field in 1901, oil production in the state increased at a rapid rate, reaching a peak in 1972. According to the Energy Information Administration, Texas was producing 3.4 million barrels a day ...

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States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas

The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.
The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.

Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say surging interest in a plan to save the lesser prairie chicken should persuade the federal government not to list the bird as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. Energy companies, developers and landowners say such a designation could threaten economic development in West Texas and the Panhandle.

Hugh Daigle, assistant professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, is the lead researcher on a federally funded project investigating methane hydrates.
Hugh Daigle, assistant professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, is the lead researcher on a federally funded project investigating methane hydrates.

Hugh Daigle: The TT Interview

The University of Texas at Austin professor of petroleum and geosystems on the idea of tapping methane hydrates — an abundant source of natural gas found in rocks buried deep beneath the ocean's surface. Methane hydrates are expensive-to-extract volatile compounds about which much is still unknown.

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.

A shark chomps at a fish in the Dollar General parking lot. This is one of several art installations in Luling created by George Kalisek, an artist based in Moulton. Kalisek says the installations with moving parts are toughest to design, but they are his favorite.
A shark chomps at a fish in the Dollar General parking lot. This is one of several art installations in Luling created by George Kalisek, an artist based in Moulton. Kalisek says the installations with moving parts are toughest to design, but they are his favorite.

Tapped-Out Luling Turns Old Oil Wells Into Art

When an oil boom ends, rusting oilfield equipment sometimes remains as a reminder of better times. In tapped-out Luling, which sits just beyond a drilling bonanza in the Eagle Ford shale, officials have turned that notion upside down by decorating old pump jacks with colorful characters. 

Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.
Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.

Report: Water Availability a Risk for Oil, Gas Drillers

A new national report on water use for hydraulic fracturing suggests that oil and gas companies are at risk of running short on the precious resource — especially in South Texas.

 

A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.
A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.

Anti-Regulation Politics May Have Hurt Energy Industry

Texas' anti-regulation stance may have hurt business when the state refused to issue required greenhouse permits for almost two years. Energy companies had to delay large industry facilities that needed the permits. As a result, they say, they have been unable to take full advantage of the area's shale boom.

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.

After Surprise Quakes, North Texans Speak of Impact

After a contentious town hall meeting concerning the possible links between wastewater injection and a spate of North Texas earthquakes, locals say they cannot afford to wait for state regulators to address the issue.

Eddie Posselt (right) works on a 18 Wheeler tanker truck's windshield with his employee Danilo Estaco (inside truck) on Dec. 12, 2013. Posselt moved to Carrizo Springs last year to work in the oil fields, ended up launching Windshields Etc in July. He now runs the business full time.  The oil drilling boom in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale has also led to a boom in windshield repair and replacement.
Eddie Posselt (right) works on a 18 Wheeler tanker truck's windshield with his employee Danilo Estaco (inside truck) on Dec. 12, 2013. Posselt moved to Carrizo Springs last year to work in the oil fields, ended up launching Windshields Etc in July. He now runs the business full time. The oil drilling boom in South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale has also led to a boom in windshield repair and replacement.

Oil Boom's Unexpected Byproduct: Broken Windshields

A surge in truck traffic related to the drilling boom in parts of Texas has resulted in a smaller boom in the windshield replacement industry. Rural transportation providers say the trucks tend to send rocks and debris flying into vehicles on the road behind them.

Chesapeake Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas on December 17, 2013.
Chesapeake Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas on December 17, 2013.

North Texans Challenge Drillers Over Royalties

A growing number of North Texas mineral owners — including the cities of Arlington and Fort Worth  are suing oil and gas companies, alleging that they have been shortchanged millions of dollars in royalty payments that the companies deducted to cover postproduction costs. 

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

Road Funding Figures Surprise Some Counties

Nearly every Texas county appears to be eligible for some state aid under a $225 million plan to help repair roads damaged amid the oil and gas boom. Some are happier about their allocations than others. 

A well pad is flanked by Fort Worth's skyline on Sept. 27, 2013. As the Dallas City Council debated tightened regulations for natural gas drilling that it approved Wednesday, observers pointed to nearby Fort Worth's ordinance as a model to either embrace or avoid.
A well pad is flanked by Fort Worth's skyline on Sept. 27, 2013. As the Dallas City Council debated tightened regulations for natural gas drilling that it approved Wednesday, observers pointed to nearby Fort Worth's ordinance as a model to either embrace or avoid.

Dallas City Council Tightens Gas Drilling Ordinance

Dallas has significantly tightened its drilling rules, following years of debate about what natural gas production should look like inside its city limits — if it comes at all. On Wednesday, the city council established a 1,500-foot setback between “protected use” areas like homes, businesses and churches and new rigs and compressor stations, one that matches a requirement in the suburb of Flower Mound as the strictest in North Texas.

In a case before the Texas Supreme Court, representatives from a Liberty County rice farm say that water from an injection well has "trespassed" in the aquifer beneath its property.
In a case before the Texas Supreme Court, representatives from a Liberty County rice farm say that water from an injection well has "trespassed" in the aquifer beneath its property.

Texas Supreme Court to Mull Underground Trespassing

The Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a case that pits two interests that are dear to many Texans against each other: oil and gas resources versus private property rights. The justices will consider a broad question: Just how far below the earth’s surface do property lines extend?

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of  FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.

South Texas County Gets Off TxDOT's Gravel List

La Salle County officials have agreed to pay a portion of the repair costs and all the maintenance costs for 20 miles of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation had intended to convert to gravel.

Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.
Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.

Water Recycling Minimal but Growing on Texas Oilfields

As the drought continues to take its toll across the state, more oil and gas companies are considering the long-term benefits of water recycling, and state officials are trying to make that transition easier. Despite that momentum, recycling is far from a mainstream practice.

 

Jim Howell stands on the easement of the Exxon Mobile Pegasus pipeline which runs through his property in Gun Barrel City on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.
Jim Howell stands on the easement of the Exxon Mobile Pegasus pipeline which runs through his property in Gun Barrel City on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

East Texans Seek Shutdown of Pegasus Pipeline

About eight months after a ruptured pipe spewed at least 210,000 gallons of tar sands oil in Arkansas, residents and some public officials in East Texas are calling on federal regulators to permanently shut down the Pegasus pipeline, which runs beneath local reservoirs and backyards, amid concerns that it could leak elsewhere.