In declaring the state of emergency, Peru’s environment ministry said tests in February and March found high levels of barium, lead, chrome and petroleum-related compounds at different points in the Pastaza valley.
Pluspetrol, the biggest oil and natural gas producer in Peru, has operated the oil fields since 2001. It took over from Occidental Petroleum, which began drilling in 1971, and, according to the government, had not cleaned up contamination either.
Several multimillion dollar fines have been levied against Pluspetrol in recent years. The company has appealed against all of the fines in the Peruvian courts…
Note, though that“The Peruvian government plans to auction a further 29 new oil and gas concessions this year.”
A new study by scientists at Duke Univ. and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found no evidence of groundwater contamination from shale gas production in Arkansas.
“Our results show no discernible impairment of groundwater quality in areas associated with natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in this region,” says Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday.
In announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, technology that has come under scrutiny for its environmental impact but that is essential to developing all of this energy.
“These world-class formations contain even more energy-resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Jewell said in a statement.
This article is circulating among the anti-peak oil crowds. To me, the bigger story is about the left’s environmental heroine, Sally Jewell, who used to frack wells. As new head of the Dept. of Interior, she will (with Obama’s encouragement) - will - allow aggressive fracking on more public lands, possibly much more in our National Parks. To forgiving environmentalists, she’s Obama’s replacement for the DOI and former CEO of REI.
The number of deepwater semisubmersibles and drillships working in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could rise to 52 in June 2014 and 54 in December 2014 if all of the deepwater rigs currently under contract remain so according to data from Rigzone’s RigLogix database.
Operators with rigs under firm contract in the U.S. Gulf in December 2014 will include BP plc, which will have six rigs, the most from any operator. Royal Dutch Shell plc will have five rigs under firm contract during that time. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is expected to have four rigs working, followed by Chevron Corp. and LLOG Exploration Co. LLC, with three rigs each under firm contract.
Exxon Mobil Corp., Petroleo Brasiliero S.A. (Petrobras), Plains Exploration & Production Company, and Statoil ASA each are expected to have two rigs under contract in the Gulf of Mexico in December 2014. At that time, BHP Billiton Ltd., Eni S.p.A, and Murphy Oil Corp. will each have one rig under firm contract.
Several of these drillers are foreign oil companies. And many of the permits were fast-tracked by the Obama administration.
In 1980, Lake Peigneu, Louisiana disappeared into an underground vortex of doom.Actually, the accident was due to a math error, which resulted in one of the strangest oil drilling and salt mining accidents in U.S. history.
The Diamond Salt company had a huge salt mining operation under the lake. Meanwhile, Texaco Oil was drilling for oil from shallow platforms, which were built on the lake. Texaco roughnecks set a new drill a few hundred feet down, through the lake, through the lake bed, and into the earth. The drill bit hit one of the salt mine shafts, and the above disaster happened.
Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, it does. The entire lake was sucked into the mine. The drill hole was originally 14 inches, but the force of the water expanded it to hundreds of feet across. At one point, a reverse water fall of 150 feet was formed because the Gulf of Mexico drained backwards (north!) into the lake. Watch the event unfold disaster on top of disaster. It is incredible. Via BoingBoing.
Royal Dutch Shell barred from returning to drill for oil in Arctic without overhaul
Caveat: This is a short-term environmental win. Shell owns billions of dollars in oil drilling permits in the Arctic. All they need is to invest in safer rigs, ships, and other infrastructure to show that their operations will be safe. The Dept. of Interior, which governs (in part) oil drilling on US lands and waters, is not known for its consistent decision making.
In fact, considering Obama’s aggressive oil and gas drilling policies, I’d be surprised if Shell wasn’t back by 2016…
Still, a sweet sweet win for environmental groups that pressured the administration to rethink Arctic drilling.
(Above) Shell have been criticised after their Arctic oil drilling rig Kulluk ran aground off a small Alaskan island on New Year’s Eve. Photograph: Sara Francis/AP
Shell “screwed up” drilling for oil in Arctic waters and will not be allowed back without a comprehensive overhaul of its plans, the Obama administration said on Thursday.
A government review found the oil company was not prepared for the extreme conditions in the Arctic, which resulted in a series of blunders and accidents culminating in the New Year’s Eve grounding of its drill rig.
Shell announced a “pause” in Arctic drilling last month. But Ken Salazar, the interior secretary, told a reporters’ conference call that the company will not be allowed to return without producing a much more detailed plan, one tailored specifically to the harsh Arctic conditions.
“Shell will not be able to move forward into the Arctic to do any kind of exploration unless they have this integrated management plan put in place,” said Salazar, in one of his last acts before standing down as interior secretary. “It’s that plain and simple.”
The findings of the review could mean further costs and delays for Shell, which has spent years and $4.5bn securing permits to drill in Arctic waters.
But it did not satisfy some environmental groups which said the review demonstrated the government should never have allowed drilling in the first place.
Salazar and other officials said Shell had not been prepared to drill last year, when a season of blunders and accidents was capped with the New Year’s Eve grounding of one of its drilling rigs.
“Shell screwed up in 2012 and we are not going to let them screw up after their pause is removed,” Salazar said.
The cover story this month is an important one: The U.S. is experiencing a big boom in oil and natural gas due to new technologies to extract hard-to-reach oil.
The new “gold rush” is affecting with special intensity northwest North Dakota, bringing new fortunes, transforming the prairie landscape and also causing environmental concerns while boosting the U.S. fuel supply.
Gas drillers were caught lying to public officials. About 66% of the signatures were falsified. Company blames a PR firm, which, it seems, specializes in fudging petitions.
The drillers used the petition to lobby a local government in Colorado to pass fracking laws. Shit is fracked up and bullshit.
Pro-fracking petition with fake signatures embarrasses gas association
A full two-thirds of those denied signing or endorsing a petition opposing a ban on fracking in Fort Collins. Not only was the petition a big fat lie, it was a laughably amateur effort to deceive the city’s lawmakers. From the Coloradoan:
Cali Rastrelli’s name is signed at the bottom of a petition submitted to the council. At the top, the petition says in bold letters, “Vote NO on the Fort Collins fracking ban.”
“Big Bill Pizza” is written in the blank where the signer could enter their business or organization.
“I haven’t signed any petition in the last month,” said Rastrelli, a Colorado State University student who lives in student housing. “I didn’t put my name on this.”
I just signed this WH petition. The White House will have to respond to it if it reaches the 25,000 mark.
Fracking, or drilling for natural gas, is as of 2005 exempt from a major environmental regulation called the Clean Water Act. Drillers pump a water/chemical mixture into the ground under pressure, which fractures certain rocks that hold natural gas. The gas is piped out and the water and chemicals remain in the ground. Here’s an excellent video explainer. And here are some background on how fracking became exempt from pollution controls. Basically, drillers got the exemption by claiming that the chemical mixture they use are proprietary information - an industry secret.
Now, there are about 500,000 fracking wells in the U.S.Tens of thousands are being opened right now. The petition asks that frackers show how their chemicals affect water in rivers, lakes, streams, wells, and aquifers.
I don’t think it’s controversial for the public, farmers, cities, beer and softdrink manufacturers, or anyone to know which chemicals are in their water. I know petitions are a pain. Please give this one your two minutes. Here’s the link:
Fed environmental agency tri-fecta complete. Obama has lost Chu, Jackson, and now Salazar.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who overhauled the federal government’s troubled offshore drilling agency after the BP oil spill and locked horns with Republicans over energy policy, plans to step down at the end of March.
Salazar, a former senator, will return to his ranch and family in Colorado, according to the Interior Department.
His tenure has included a heavy focus on developing solar power, wind and other green energy sources on federal lands.
He battled frequently with Republicans who say the Interior Department should allow faster oil-and-gas development on federal lands and make more offshore areas available for drilling.
Salazar’s departure is part of a wider turnover of President Obama’s energy and environment team.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson announced in December that she plans to depart sometime after Obama’s State of the Union Address, which will be delivered Feb. 12.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu is widely expected to leave as well, although he has not announced any plans.
Salazar, whose ever-present 10-gallon hat and bolo tie showed his Western roots, has been a colorful and sometimes combative chief of the agency that oversees conservation, recreation and oil-and-gas drilling on vast swaths of federal land.
In this week’s Untamed Science video Rob explores the basics of hydraulic fracturing via a Skype call with geoligist Dan Bertalan. He explains what they pump into the ground, how it fractures the rock and how that allows natural gas to then come to the surface.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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