Anyone who is following the current boom in domestic oil and gas production knows that the e-mails, articles, and reports never stop. I think the information flow will continue to grow as the industry continues to expand closer and closer to where people live. Here are some of the latest interesting things that have crossed my desk:
- A new article reports that since new pit rules were established in New Mexico in 2008, state inspectors have found no new cases of contamination from oil and gas waste pits. Prior to the new rules, there were hundreds of cases. The new rules have not slowed down drilling, but industry is still working to overturn them.
- In Pennsylvania, we know that there are many violations of state oil and gas laws. But it turns out that no one has to notify landowners when there has been a violation of state law on their property. Not the state regulators, and not the oil and gas company. And some of these violations are quite serious and can endanger sources of drinking water. Yet no one has to tell the landowner or mineral owner. Great report from CNN Money.
- An article from North Dakota reports that bags used to store fracking proppant made from ceramic material are testing as radioactive and being rejected from landfills -- but no one knows where they are being taken for final disposal.
- In Wyoming, a recent well explosion polluted the air with 2 million cubic feet of natural gas and 31,500 gallons of drilling fluid. A preliminary investigation found that worker error was involved, but the state regulator has said that, even if that finding is confirmed and human error contributed to the explosion, no fine will be issued.
- A recent article compared the number of oil and gas inspectors in five states. It turns out that less than half the wells in each of these states is inspected each year, sometimes much less.
- There is some scary new video of impropertly plugged leaking wells in Pennsylvania; you can see the methane bubbling directly into the atmosphere. I wonder how many of these there are in Pennsylvania.