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Regulators allow FPL to invest in natural gas fracking

TALLAHASSEE — The Public Service Commission gave the green light Thursday to Florida Power & Light’s plan to go into the controversial fracking business in Oklahoma and bill its customers for the risky investment. The PSC gave approval to a request by the state’s largest utility, allowing FPL to invest $191 million in a joint venture with PetroQuest Energy, Inc. ...

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Oil budgets tighten

Many of the major players in the Permian Basin have yet to detail how they plan to scale back in 2015 in response to low oil prices, but announcements from a handful of companies offer a glimpse at how they intend to trim budgets. They support the view of analysts that the roughly 50 percent drop in West Texas Intermediate ...

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Air Products begins building liquid nitrogen production facility

Container with liquid nitrogen

Air Products has begun construction on the $32 million liquid nitrogen production facility in the south industrial park of JBS Parkway. The Pennsylvania-based company closed on a land purchase for the property in September from Grow Odessa, better known as the Odessa Industrial Development Corporation. That came nearly a year after announcing the facility, which will produce about 250 tons ...

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North Idaho oil train risks to be assessed under grant


North Idaho governments will use a $36,000 federal grant to update their emergency preparedness plans to address the growing number of oil trains rumbling through their communities. On average, two to three loaded oil trains pass through Spokane daily. But before they hit the Inland Northwest’s largest city, the trains travel along the Kootenai River, pass through downtown Bonners Ferry, ...

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NC Rules panel approves new fracking standards


RALEIGH, N.C. — A state panel has approved a comprehensive list of regulations for companies that want fracking permits to drill for and collect natural gas in North Carolina. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the state Rules Review Commission on Wednesday approved 117 rules in all. The measures covered items like chemical disclosure, well shafts, water storage, water ...

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Will policies and falling prices derail fracking?

Two recent events have cast some doubt about the seemingly bright future of fracking in various parts of the country. The first has to do with a few voter-driven efforts to eliminate fracking. The second is related to the recent plunge in energy prices. While voters and many municipal governments have decided to restrict fracking, few have banned it altogether. ...

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The little company that could in the Covenant Field

Virtus Oil & Gas is planning to drill a well on acreage in an underexplored region in Utah that potentially holds over 260 million barrels of oil. The small but ambitious Houston-based oil and gas exploration company has high hopes for its Parowan Project. The 55,477-acre plot resides in the heart of Utah’s oil-rich Overthrust region in Iron County. According ...

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Oil prices could force over 500 rigs out of service

With oil prices nearly slashed in half from earlier 2014 prices, analysts are predicting that up to 550 drilling rigs will remain out of commission over the next few months. Signs of a slowdown have rolled in quickly since last November when members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refused to cut any of their oil and ...

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Drilling tax could cripple state economy, gas industry warns

HARRISBURG — Three days after the newly-elected Senate majority leader opened the door to negotiations on a natural gas drilling tax, industry leaders reiterated their stand that such a tax would harm the state’s economy. Additional taxes would have a “crippling effect on jobs” said Stephanie Wissmer, executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania. “It threatens to stifle ...

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DNR concedes its rules are faulty, then allows more frac sand mining

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is allowing more frac sand mines to open even though it let its environmental regulations on the industry expire nine months ago because the rules didn’t adequately protect streams from pollution, a state water regulator has confirmed. Over the last four years the DNR has approved more than 200 sand mining operations under a ...

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