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OIL AND GAS
Several earthquakes strike shale-rich Oklahoma
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Aug 3, 2017


Poll: Shale drilling a new concept to the British public
Washington (UPI) Aug 3, 2017 - With shale drilling about ready to go for the first time ever in the country, British opponents said public sentiment was moving against the practice.

Cuadrilla Resources said the drilling rig used to tap wells at a shale basin in Lancashire arrived at its destination in late July. The industry is in its infancy in the country, though the British government estimates there may be enough natural gas locked in shale to offset gas imports on pace to increase from 45 percent of demand in 2011 to 76 percent by 2030.

Polling data from the British government found only about 13 percent of those responding to its surveys said they knew "a lot" about hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Support and opposition was split evenly among respondents.

Of those who supported it, 42 percent said the country should use all resources at its disposal, an increase from the 35 percent expressing that opinion in a previous survey. Of those who opposed it, 68 percent said they were concerned about damage to the environment, a 12 percent increase from a previous survey.

Rose Dickinson, a campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said her read of the polling data was that the fledgling shale industry was fighting an "unwinnable battle for support."

The British Geological Survey started environmental surveys in Lancashire ahead of Cuadrilla's efforts in order to set a baseline for water and air quality, as well as seismic activity. Cuadrilla has permission to drill four wells, but will proceed with only two this year.

"Of those who were neutral or did not know whether they support or oppose fracking, the majority put this down to not knowing enough about it," the British survey read.

Eight earthquakes were recorded Thursday in Oklahoma, a state at the heart of the shale oil and natural gas industry, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The largest of the tremors recorded by the USGS was a magnitude-4.2 event shortly before 3 a.m. local time in the town of Edmond, which is designated in a state area of interest. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has ordered oil and gas operators to cut back on disposal well operations and closed some wells in response to increased seismic activity in those areas.

There's been no new well activity in the area in terms of drilling or hydraulic fracturing as of July, state regulators said after a recent outbreak. A statement from regulators, published by local KWTV News 9, said investigators were on the ground near the cluster of tremors in the Edmond area.

"The investigation is focused on oil and gas wastewater disposal wells that inject into the Arbuckle formation, the state's deepest formation," the statement read. "The earthquakes have been clustered close together in an area where there is a known fault. There are no Arbuckle disposal wells at or very close to the location."

Tremors are not associated with hydraulic fracturing in and of itself.

Oklahoma seismicity peaked in 2015, with more than 900 tremors of greater than magnitude-3 recorded. In January 2016, Gov. Mary Fallin approved $1.4 million in funding to expand efforts to address the issue. Last week, Oklahoma experienced 623 tremors of greater than magnitude-3.

Three of the eight events recorded Thursday by the USGS were less than magnitude-3.

Oklahoma accounts for as much as 5 percent of the total national output of crude oil, making it one of the more significant oil producers in the nation. It's the fifth-largest shale natural gas producer in the country.

Federal data show Oklahoma's economy expanded by 1.3 percent during the fourth quarter, ending four straight quarters of contraction. State data on gross production taxes on oil and natural gas show collections of $41.6 million in June, up more than 60 percent from the previous year.

OIL AND GAS
Strong performance for Norwegian oil player, Lundin
Washington (UPI) Aug 2, 2017
Strong revenue growth for the second quarter and a pipeline of high-profile developments sets up Lundin Petroleum as a premier European player, the CEO said. "The quarter was characterized by strong production at low cash operating cost, solid operating cash flow generation, good progress on development projects and successful appraisal activity and organic growth in the southern Barent ... read more

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