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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Railroad Commission's Media Policy Draws Concerns

State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, and Steve Brown, the Democratic candidate for Texas railroad commissioner.
State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, and Steve Brown, the Democratic candidate for Texas railroad commissioner.

A recent news report on the Railroad Commission of Texas' practice of preventing staffers from talking to members of the media has raised questions about the agency's transparency efforts, with a key Republican lawmaker and a Democratic candidate for railroad commissioner among those expressing concerns.

 

 

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.

Gov. Rick Perry is shown on Nov. 15, 2013, at an Austin kickoff rally for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's re-election campaign.
Gov. Rick Perry is shown on Nov. 15, 2013, at an Austin kickoff rally for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's re-election campaign.

In Letter, Perry Faults Obama's Energy Policies

In a letter sent Friday to President Obama, Gov. Rick Perry accused the president of waging a war on coal and kicking the can down the road on the Keystone XL pipeline. Perry suggested that Washington should follow Texas’ lead in spurring energy production.

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.

 

 

 

 

Daniel Ortuño, who manages the 1.5 million drilling records stored at the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology, examines well data in what he calls the "spooky room," home to thousands of records that he has not yet organized. State water researchers are using information from some logs to map potential water sources.
Daniel Ortuño, who manages the 1.5 million drilling records stored at the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology, examines well data in what he calls the "spooky room," home to thousands of records that he has not yet organized. State water researchers are using information from some logs to map potential water sources.

Old Drilling Logs Help Researchers Map Brackish Water

As drought grips most of Texas, researchers are combing the state's 1.5 million drilling records to map brackish water in the state's 30 aquifers — hidden resources that could help quench the state’s long-term thirst.

Galveston Bay near the Texas City Dike and the Valero Refinery in Texas City, Wednesday March 26, 2014.
Galveston Bay near the Texas City Dike and the Valero Refinery in Texas City, Wednesday March 26, 2014.

Galveston Bay Oil Spill Leaves Hundreds of Birds Oiled

While the Houston Ship Channel is open and fishermen have mostly resumed their activities in the bay, wildlife officials have reported hundreds of dead and dying birds covered in oil as cleanup efforts continue in the aftermath of a fuel oil spill late last month in Galveston Bay.

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.

A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel on March 22, 2014.
A barge loaded with marine fuel oil sits partially submerged in the Houston Ship Channel on March 22, 2014.

Despite Galveston Spill, Gulf Beaches Getting Cleaner

The tanker collision that sent up to 168,000 gallons of fuel oil into Galveston Bay on Saturday has stirred major concerns about environmental impacts. But even as tar balls wash ashore this week, Texas’ beaches are far cleaner than they were decades ago.

 

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.

States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas

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.