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(Photo: Zach Heller Photography)

California shuts 33 oilfield wells threatening water supply

California is shutting down another 33 oilfield wells that state officials improperly permitted to inject into federally protected water supplies.
Seattle's skyline provides the backdrop for the Transocean Polar Pioneer, while it is being loaded with supplies in the city's port in May 2015. Shell plans to use the rig this summer to bore an exploratory oil well at its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, about 70 miles northwest of the Alaska coast. A separate drillship, the Noble Discoverer, is set to work on another Burger well at the same time. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Shell wins two more permits for planned Arctic drilling campaign

The approval means Shell has just four remaining federal permits that are essential for it to resume drilling in the Chukchi Sea this summer.

Calif. oil regulator resigns

A top California oil and gas regulator has resigned amid questions about oilfield contamination of the state’s water supplies, officials confirmed Friday.
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)

EPA study: No evidence fracking has caused “widespread” impacts on drinking water

Industry leaders celebrated the report’s release as a vindication of the hydraulic fracturing process that has unlocked oil and gas nationwide, driving a domestic energy boom.
dollar falling graph

Water recycling costs coming down in South Texas

Shale wells require millions of gallons of water. Hydraulic fracturing pumps water, chemicals and sand at high pressure to crack shale, allowing oil and gas to flow up a well.
Fourth-generation farmer Mike Hopkins, of Palla Farms, poses for photos at his almond orchard Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Bakersfield, Calif. Hopkins says damage from the oil-field injection into the aquifer forced him to pull up his cherry trees in 2013, and has filed suit blaming the oil companies whose fracking wells and other oil and gas installations ring his orchards. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

California pledges changes in protecting underground water

An Associated Press analysis found hundreds of the now-challenged state permits for oil-field injection into protected aquifers have been granted since 2011.
Caroline Lucas, a Green Party member in the UK Parliament, stands outside the main entrance to the Cuadrilla exploratory drilling site in Balcombe, England, as anti fracking demonstrations continue near the drill site, Sunday Aug. 18, 2013. (AP Photo / Gareth Fuller, PA)

U.K. lawmakers urge fracking moratorium

Hydraulic fracturing in shale for oil and gas should be put on hold in the U.K. because of risks to public health and the environment, a panel of lawmakers said.
Growing concern about water use during hydraulic fracturing prompted the Railroad Commission to adopt new rules for water recycling.  Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Water outreach should be a priority for drillers, report says

Oil companies don’t have the best reputations in the communities where they drill, and can be seen as threats to local water supplies.

UTSA, Southwest Research find a new way to clean frack water

The University of Texas at San Antonio and the Southwest Research Institute say they have found an inexpensive way to treat the water that flows back to the surface after hydraulic fracturing. A team of researchers used a plant matter called biochar to remove impurities from the flowback water.
(Source/World Resources Institute)

Water resources a problem for energy extraction worldwide, report finds

According to the analysis by the World Resources Institute, 38 percent of the earth’s shale gas and tight oil resources are in areas that are either arid or under high levels of water stress already _ a scenario that does not mesh with the high water demands of today’s extraction techniques.