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A well is drilled at an Apache Energy site in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, Feb. 14, 2012. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Obama administration’s new fracking rules blocked by U.S. judge in Wyoming

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl puts on hold the most closely-watched effort by the Obama administration to ensure that fracking doesn’t contaminate water supplies.

US drilling states guided on handling quakes

The 150-page report, produced by the StatesFirst initiative, represents perhaps the most candid discussion on the topic since tremors across the mid-continent — including in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Ohio — began being linked to fracking and deep-injection wastewater disposal around 2009.
President of Denton Drilling Awareness, Cathy McMullen, right, holds up a sign asking voters to vote in favor of banning fracking at the Denton Civic Center in Denton, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (Special to the Houston Chronicle/Brandon Wade)

Industry group lawsuit against Denton is dismissed

A North Texas district judge has agreed to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Denton by the Texas Oil & Gas Association at the request of both parties.
( Jay Pickthorn/AP/Statoil).

Statoil fined for Ohio fracking well fire

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources say the fines are being assessed for the loss of aquatic species, spill cleanup and water quality violations from the well pad fire in June 2014.
A jar holding waste water from hydraulic fracturing is held up to the light at a recycling site in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Small South Texas town upset about oil and gas waste dump

The Texas Railroad Commission is likely to approve the controversial South Texas dump Tuesday despite heavy opposition from elected officials who represent the area, echoing issues of local control that played out in the Capitol during the last legislative session.
A rig works in the Barnett Shale. (Enervest)

Texas regulators find no evidence for link between EnerVest disposal well and earthquakes

The ruling is a victory for well’s operator EnerVest Operating LLC, which had found its permit for the well at risk following a string of earthquakes and a report by Southern Methodist University researchers linking disposal wells to the seismic activity.
In this Sept. 16, 2004 file photo, waves crash against a sailboat lodged under a bridge in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., after Hurricane Ivan struck the gulf coast. Federal regulators believe a persistent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that began after a drilling platform was toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 will continue for 100 years or more if left unchecked. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Shale boom has made U.S. oil production less vulnerable to hurricanes

Hurricanes no longer pose as much of a threat to domestic production as they once did since the shale boom reduced the United States’ reliance on oil and gas extracted offshore, according to a new federal analysis.
(AP file photo/Keith Srakocic)

Environmental groups threaten lawsuit over drilling wastewater rules

Under existing federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency is obligated to review and possibly revise regulations governing the handling of oil and gas waste every three years. But the agency’s last review was 27 years ago.
David Green, software architect, is shown at Baker Hughes, 11211 FM 2920 Road, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Tomball. ( Melissa Phillip  / Houston Chronicle )

Service companies see re-fracking as new opportunity

Re-fracking can be up to two-thirds cheaper than drilling a new well, which is an alluring possibility for cash-strapped U.S. producers who are straining to keep operational costs down and drilling operations intact.
A jar holding waste water from hydraulic fracturing is held up to the light at a recycling site in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Report details which chemicals are being used in California fracking fluids

More distinct chemicals were used during hydraulic fracturing operations at California oil wells than nationwide, the report shows.