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The Link-Up: 9/13

Welcome back to The Link-Up, your weekly rundown of our favorite stories from the past seven days in the oil and gas industry!

Power Engineering

File under K, for "kinda interesting," because I have sort of wondered what percentages of everything go where. Obviously, PA sitting on top of all of that sweet, sweet shale has greatly benefited the state, with the study reported here estimating that residential users saved $13.3 billion on energy costs between 2006 and 2016, with commercial and industrial users pocketing about $17.2 billion in that time frame.

Grand Junction Sentinel

Now that Initiative 97 is on the ballot in Colorado, it's apparently called Proposition 112. And as you can imagine with something where the stakes are pretty high, everyone's in full-on campaign mode. Obligatory canned quote:

Colorado has some of the most stringent oil and gas regulations in the country and we have proven that we are a nationwide leader in resource recovery without compromising the environment that makes our state so beautiful. The economic impacts of this measure would be far reaching and have significant negative consequences throughout the region.

Polls show that Prop 112 is actually winning, so please vote if you're in Colorado. Unless you're in favor. Not sure why you're here of all places if you are, but that's not my problem I guess.

San Antonio Express-News

If you have any extra sand lying around, call someone in North Dakota. I know I've said it before, but it's so fascinating to me how sand - sand - is big business now. You're welcome.

Bloomberg/Washington Post

An interesting look at the industry, as it exists in China, and some fundamental differences between things over there and here in the United States, where production has grown at a much greater rate. The causes of that discrepancy are open for discussion (the big state-run companies are a popular target), but the writer here goes straight to the most fundamental thing there is: geography.

Why, then, has production failed to take off? The best explanation isn’t that the country’s big three oil companies are an oligopoly — though they are — but that China’s geology is fundamentally more difficult than that of North America. Many prospective fields are buried deep below the surface. To make matters worse, they’re often riven with seismic faults from the slow collision of continental plates that have built the Himalayas and the Japanese and Philippine island chains. It’s in many ways a miracle that China produces any unconventional petroleum at all...


I can't pass on a good "fracking is actually a positive for the environment" story, because it runs so directly against the popular narratives. One of the major stat takeaways here: U.S. carbon emissions were 14 percent lower in 2017 than they were in 2005.


A lot of areas of southeast Ohio have been among the poorest in the state (and even the country) in the not-too-distant past, so it's really fantastic to see it now be a focal point of the industry, and all of the economic benefits that entails. Jefferson County was once home to Dean Martin, now it's home to five of the top ten producing natural gas wells in Ohio.

The Athens News

Maybe outside of Colorado, one of the more interesting and contentious fracking battles is right here in Ohio, where some people want to drill adjacent to (and technically underneath, hence the issue) the Wayne National Forest. The Bureau of Land Management (involved here because of the word "national" in the previous sentence) had previously dragged its feet on the permitting process, before eventually setting up auctions for next week...which it has now canceled in response to environmental protests. Even though auctions involving other areas of the forest have been successfully completed.

The [environmental] groups argue that the two national forest parcels (75 acres) that would have been up for bid in the suspended Sept. 20 auction are outside of the 18,000 Wayne forest acres identified on a map in the environmental assessment signed by BLM’s Gettinger in October 2016. As a result, the public had no chance to comment on potential fracking of the two parcels, nor the effect of fracking on nearby streams.

If you're ready for a deep dive into what's a much more convoluted situation than how I've made it sound here, this article is for you.

Natural Gas Intelligence

Really, nothing here that you don't already know: 2014 was bad, so bad that it was still being felt in 2016, and 2017 was much better. But it's still nice when you can support your feelings with facts and stats.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

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