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.
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.
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.
The oil and gas industry faces winnowing options for getting rid of the wastewater that flows out of wells, as the EPA moves to block municipal treatment facilities from accepting it and earthquake fears prompt some states to restrict underground disposal.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. plans to inject emulsified iron and vegetable solutions under high pressure into the ground to help remove lingering contaminants, including carbon tetrachloride, that have been there for decades.
Federal District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl had already decided to temporarily stay the Interior Department rule while he waits for more information from the government and weighs an oil industry request for a longer-term injunction blocking the drilling mandates.
The California Council on Science and Technology study presents a cautious assessment of fracking in the state. And it’s not likely to defuse the political fight over fracking, with both the oil industry and its opponents on Thursday claiming vindication in its findings.
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