• Texas Governor Prohibits Cities And Towns From Banning Fracking

    Published: Tue, May 19, 2015

    HOUSTO- Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday signed a bill into law that prohibits cities and towns from banning an oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracking, giving the state sole authority over oil and gas regulation, Reuters reports. Lawmakers in Texas, a state that is home to the two of the most productive U.S. shale oil fields, have been under pressure to halt an anti-fracking movement since November, when voters in the town of Denton voted to ban the oil and gas extraction technique. "This law ensures that Texas avoids a patchwork quilt of regulations that differ from region to region, differ from county to county or city to city," Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement.

  • Toxic vapors have killed three Colorado oil and gas workers, nine in the U.S.

    Published: Mon, May 18, 2015

    DENVER - Federal officials issued a warning about the danger of inhaling chemicals at oil wells following the deaths of nine workers in the past five years. All the deaths involved people at crude production tanks. Colorado and North Dakota each had three deaths, and Texas, Oklahoma and Montana each had one death. Federal health officials sounded a national alarm over a dangerous trend in America's oil fields. The men died after inhaling toxic amounts of hydrocarbon chemicals after either tank gauging — measuring the level of oil or other byproducts in tanks coming out of wells — or from taking samples of oil for more testing.

  • Bloomberg: Oil CEO Wanted University Quake Scientists Dismissed: Dean's E-Mail

    Published: Mon, May 18, 2015

    The billionaire CEO of Continental Resources told a dean at the University of Oklahoma that he wanted earthquake researchers dismissed.

  • WPX Energy moving jobs to Tulsa

    BY JOHN STANCAVAGE, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, May 13, 2015

    Tulsa-based WPX Energy confirmed Wednesday it is adding jobs in Tulsa. The move, which comes after a layoff of 44 local (83 companywide) employees in March, should result in a net gain for the company at its headquarters. WPX is relocating 53 people to Tulsa from its office in Denver. In addition, it also plans to hire 40 to 50 more workers locally, spokesman Kelly Swan told the Tulsa World in an exclusive interview. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • KOKH: Could Oklahoma be poised for a major disaster?

    Published: Wed, May 13, 2015

    Cushing is known as the pipeline crossroads of the world and Oklahoma is the most seismically active state in the nation, KOKH reports. When you combine those two facts there is a potential for an environmental emergency that no one is prepared to face ...

  • EARTHQUAKES: Hamm says he wasn't pressuring Oklahoma scientist, but seeking information

    Published: Tue, May 12, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- Continental Resources Inc. founder, chairman and CEO Harold Hamm says he wasn't trying to bully Oklahoma's state seismologist when he sought a meeting in 2013 but simply trying to learn what proof the scientist had for saying hydraulic fracturing was causing earthquakes.

  • WPX Energy reports $67 million first quarter 2015 profit

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, May 5, 2015

    WPX Energy reported Tuesday a $67 million profit for first quarter 2015, or earnings of 32 cents per diluted share. First-quarter 2015 results mark WPX Energy’s third consecutive quarterly profit and more than triples the $18 million that the Tulsa-based oil and gas company earned during the first quarter of last year. WPX Energy said that its operational and financial focus on margins helped overcome commodity prices that drove product revenues down $220 million, or 42 percent, compared to a year ago. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • WPX Energy gaining more than $200 million cash by selling Marcellus Shale marketing contracts

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, May 4, 2015

    WPX Energy, the Tulsa-based oil and gas producer which is working to trim down to core assets and cut debt, announced Monday it is selling some Marcellus Shale natural gas marketing contracts and pipeline capacity in that region of the eastern U.S. An undisclosed buyer will pay WPX in excess of $200 million cash in the deal. The two parties have signed an agreement and the deal is expected to close in the second quarter. The sale includes long-term natural gas purchase and sales agreements, as well as 135 million British thermal units in daily capacity on the Transco pipeline's Northeast Supply Link project. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • KFOR: Pollution spill kills pond fish, upsets Edmond landowner beyond words

    Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    EDMOND -- Tuesday afternoon, after a Gastar oil rig leaked a saltwater and oil mixture onto a landowners property, shortly after the operations manager of the facility claimed the damage would be minimal, KFOR reports. Now, just a few days later, the property owner says he’s finding dozens of dead fish floating in his pond ...

  • Oklahoma Geological Survey closing Leonard seismic observatory out of cost concerns

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    LEONARD — After more than a half-century recording the state's every shimmy and shake, the Leonard Geophysical Observatory will close this summer, Oklahoma Geological Survey Interim Director Rick Andrews confirmed recently. "The Leonard Geophysical laboratory is a very old facility," Andrews said by telephone. "The cost savings (from closing it) are very significant." Built in 1961 by the Jersey Production Research Co., a subsidiary of what was then Standard Oil Co., the facility in far southeast Tulsa County was once among the most advanced seismic observatories in the world. For most of the 1990s, it was even used by the Soviet Union to monitor the United States' nuclear testing. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Fortune ranks Williams Cos. as No. 1 most admired U.S. energy company

    FROM TULSA WORLD STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Fortune magazine has ranked Tulsa-based Williams Cos. Inc. as the Most Admired Company among U.S. energy companies in 2015. "This award validates the strong commitment of our employees to focus on doing the right thing and propelling the company forward,” said Williams' CEO Alan Armstrong, in a written statement. “In the last four years, Williams has made great strides executing on our natural gas-focused business strategy, creating value for shareholders and building relationships in the communities where our employees live and work.” Companies considered for the Fortune lists were ranked on nine key attributes of reputation including innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value, quality of products/services and global competitiveness. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • National report confirms that Oklahoma is at greater risk of earthquakes

    BY MICHAEL OVERALL, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Oklahoma features prominently in a new report on the risk of manmade earthquakes, with parts of the state shaking more often than quake-prone California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists have identified 17 areas across eight sates with increased rates of "induced seismicity," or earthquakes triggered by human activity. But no area has seen the risk increase as much as central Oklahoma, according to Thursday's report. Seismic activity is 600 times greater now than before 2008. People who live in central Oklahoma didn't need a report from the federal government to tell them that the ground has been trembling more often, but this new risk assessment from the U.S Geological Survey could have a significant impact on the area. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • In Pennsylvania, Employment Booms Amid Oil And Natural Gas Bust

    Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Lower oil and natural gas prices have the petroleum industry laying off tens of thousands of workers . It looks like a decade-long trend of job growth in the U.S. oil business may end. But NPR says there are parts of the country where those job numbers are still rising. Pennsylvania is one of them.

  • Study suggests fracking could release radon from ground

    Published: Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    Levels of cancer-causing radon gas in Pennsylvania homes have increased as the fracking industry has expanded, USA Today reports from a new study. The study is a preliminary "first look" into a possible connection between fracking and radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, says co-author Joan Casey. While the study doesn't conclusively prove that fracking releases radon from the ground, the findings are concerning, says Casey, a researcher at the University of California-Berkeley and University of California-San Francisco.

  • State revenue will fall by 'Dust Bowl proportions' if local ordinances governing drilling aren't curbed, lawmaker says

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    State revenue will fall by “Dust Bowl proportions” unless local ordinances governing oil and gas drilling are curbed, the chairman of a key House committee said Tuesday. “We need this bill to preserve the tax base, preserve the drilling, etc.,” said Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City, in debating for Senate Bill 468 , by Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, during a meeting of the House Environmental Law Committee that Calvey chairs. When Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, protested that the bill would repeal a local ordinance provision in place since at least 1935, Calvey said: “You hear a lot about local control. It’s used as kind of a shibboleth around here. Folks, I believe in states’ rights, not some amorphous local control.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • See which county soared above the state in household income

    BY CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    MEDFORD — Gary Aebi’s timing couldn’t have been any better when he decided three years ago to open an RV park in the Grant County town of Medford in northern Oklahoma. Business took off, thanks largely to the energy boom that sprung from new horizontal drilling and fracking techniques being employed in the area. With 21 stalls, the small RV park was pretty full by 2013, Aebi said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Samson Resource makes dramatic moves; analyst predicts bankruptcy

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 2, 2015

    One Samson Resource Co. official put it this way: The company has "somewhat of a runway" to elevate from its financial struggles, "but it's not very long." A Tulsa money manager put it more bluntly: Samson is probably headed for bankruptcy. Tulsa-based Samson not only is laying off one-third of its workforce, but also has stopped all drilling operations and has an amended deal with lenders that gives it very little financial flexibility in the short-term. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Stillwater councilors say energy lobbyists gave ultimatum on drilling-ordinance vote

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    Two Stillwater city councilors say they were told by energy industry representatives that they should delay their vote on a local drilling ordinance or state legislators would pass a law that could “cost the city a lot of money.” The lobbyists and an attorney representing the Consumer Energy Alliance, an energy industry group based in Washington, D.C., told councilors that state lawmakers will approve one of two bills currently before the Legislature. If the council failed to delay its vote on the local ordinance, the lawmakers would pass the bill that is more restrictive of cities’ ability to regulate drilling, the councilors say they were told. Oklahoma-based lobbyists Pat Hall and Jim Dunlap met with council members before their March 23 meeting, during which councilors voted 3-2 to delay a vote on the ordinance. A public hearing on the ordinance had been set for April 6 but was delayed until April 20. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • ConocoPhillips estimates Bartlesville layoffs at less than 4 percent of workforce

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    Houston-based oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips, which confirmed a round of layoffs beginning this week , has estimated that its reduction in Bartlesville will be less than four percent. On Wednesday, a ConocoPhillips spokesman added to the company's earlier statement, which did not include numbers. ConocoPhillips employs approximately 1,800 people at its support center in Bartlesville "Anytime you have to do these kinds of reductions, it’s always very difficult," said the spokesman with the Bartlesville office. "Our commitment to Bartlesville has not changed. We have been – and will continue to be – a strong part of the community." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • ConocoPhillips latest oil company to lay off employees due to oil bust

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    BARTLESVILLE — ConocoPhillips, the nation's largest independent oil and gas producer which employs more than 2,000 people at its former corporate home in Bartlesville, has begun laying employees off there due to the persistent fall in crude oil prices, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The company would not confirm how many workers are caught up in the reduction, but various estimates put it in the dozens. ConocoPhillips is laying people off companywide, including at its Houston base. "We have announced that we will have some workforce reductions, and the ones that are made will be driven by lower activity levels as well as the findings of a cost structure review," a company spokesman based in Bartlesville said Tuesday. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .