Shell testing new laser-based sensor to find shale gas

HOUSTON – Royal Dutch Shell is testing a new device that uses lasers to help identify shale gas reservoirs, Wyoming-based oilfield service company WellDog announced Tuesday.

The device, which weights more than 100 pounds, is dropped into a wellbore where it shoots lasers and measures the frequency at which that light is reflected. That information helps production companies identify what type of hydrocarbons are located underground and where they are.

“The advantage of this is the sensor is down hole,” said WellDog CEO John Pope. “It’s a direct analyst of the exact oil or gas you’re trying to produce.”

The device is still in the testing phases. WellDog has been collaborating with Shell on the technology for about two years, Pope said. The hope is develop a system that gives producers a more accurate sense of where to drill, ultimately making drilling and fracking more efficient. Continue reading “Shell testing new laser-based sensor to find shale gas” »

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Longmont could still be sued over oil and gas rules despite deal to drop case

 – Reporter-Denver Business Journal - October 20, 2014

A deal to drop a lawsuit over Longmont’s 2012 oil and gas rules doesn’t protect the city from future suits over those regulations — or other cities that might consider copying Longmont’s rules — despite the city’s statements to the contrary, according to two of the parties involved in the case and a longtime Denver oil and gas attorney.

The deal, announced last week, ended legal action between the state, Longmont, theColorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), Earthworks and the Sierra Club. Continue reading “Longmont could still be sued over oil and gas rules despite deal to drop case” »

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Geologic Hazards in Colorado

Colorado Geologic Hazards - Image Credit - Colorado Geological Survey

Colorado Geologic Hazards – Image Credit – Colorado Geological Survey

Colorado’s great diversity of rocks, geologic structures, soil types, topography, and climatic conditions combine to create vigorous and diverse geologic processes.  When humans move into this dynamic environment, these natural processes can become problematic as geologic hazards.

For example, naturally occurring, inactive landslides may be triggered into renewed activity by the construction of roads or buildings that disrupt the stability of the slope.  In addition, many of Colorado’s geologic hazards, such as heaving bedrock, swelling soils, and collapsible soils are commonly triggered by human activity that could have been mitigated though proper land-use practices.

Other geologic hazards, like earthquakes, rockfall, mudslides, and avalanches are naturally occurring; but can wreak havoc on buildings, roads, and other engineered structures.

The Colorado Geological Survey is actively involved in geologic hazards research throughout the state. Our goal is to reduce the impact of geologic hazards on the lives and property of our citizens.   Click this link to meet the dedicated people of the Colorado Geological Survey who devote their careers to this critical task.

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The incredible shrinking Keystone

Keystone XL Map - Image Credit  - ZME Science

Keystone XL Map – Image Credit – ZME Science

By ELANA SCHOR – 10/14/14 – Politico

The pipeline that launched so many street protests, ad campaigns and political headaches for the White House is increasingly irrelevant in the midterm elections and the energy markets — even for the groups that have fought so hard to either build it or block it.

Neither side will say publicly that the Keystone XL pipeline is less important than it once was. But after Keystone’s three-year rise to the top of Washington’s energy agenda, fueling lobbying and advertising bills well into the tens of millions of dollars, green groups and the oil industry are both moving on.

Environmental groups are happily endorsing pro-Keystone candidates, as long as they support President Barack Obama’s broader agenda of slashing greenhouse gases. Climate activist billionaire Tom Steyer, who’s spending up to $100 million to influence seven Senate and gubernatorial races, has yet to air a Keystone-focused ad in any of them. And oil companies have found plenty of other ways to get Canadian crude into the U.S., even as Keystone enters its sixth year of awaiting a permit from the State Department.

Keystone isn’t even North America’s biggest oil-sands pipeline project anymore. That title now belongs to a project most Americans have never heard of called Energy East, which would bypass the need for U.S. approval by piping Alberta’s heavy crude oil to Canada’s Atlantic provinces.

Essentially, both sides have already won: Keystone is stalled, yet oil is booming.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/the-incredible-shrinking-keystone-111876.html#ixzz3Gk7dzNDJ

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Colorado’s court rulings against fracking bans drawing national attention

Hydraulic Fracturing Illustration - Idealized

Hydraulic Fracturing Illustration – Idealized

 – Reporter-Denver Business JournalOctober 15, 2014

Colorado is at the forefront of a national conversation on how close oil and gas operations should be to homes, schools and neighborhoods.

“People are watching Colorado, across the board, politically and policy-wise,” saidDoug Flanders, the spokesman for theColorado Oil & Gas Association, an industry trade group that has sued three Colorado cities over voter-approved bans on fracking within their jurisdictions. Continue reading “Colorado’s court rulings against fracking bans drawing national attention” »

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Where are the oil and gas jobs concentrated? Study says downtown Denver

Downtown Denver Skyscrapers - Image Credit - Wikepedia

Downtown Denver Skyscrapers – Image Credit – Wikepedia

By Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – October 9, 2014

The biggest concentration of oil industry jobs in Colorado isn’t in the Front Range or Western Slope oil and gas fields. It is in the office towers of downtown Denver.

About 9,800 people are working for the industry in Denver — 60 percent more than in Weld County, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business study released Thursday. Continue reading “Where are the oil and gas jobs concentrated? Study says downtown Denver” »

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Niobrara Crude Production Takes Off

Niobrara Stratigraphy - Stephen A. Sonnenberg, 2011, The Niobrara Petroleum System, A Major Tight Resource Play in the Rocky Mountain Region

Niobrara Stratigraphy – Stephen A. Sonnenberg, 2011, The Niobrara Petroleum System, A Major Tight Resource Play in the Rocky Mountain Region

Sandy Fielden, RBN Energy  , October 2, 2014

Crude production from the Denver Julesburg (DJ) and Powder River Basin (PRB) plays in the Niobrara shale in Colorado and Wyoming is up 260% to 361 Mb/d since January 2012 and is expected to double again by the end of 2019. Takeaway capacity is expanding but is complicated by crude streams travelling through the region from Canada and North Dakota. Rising condensate production also presents a challenge to midstream companies. New pipeline proposals to expand takeaway from the DJ by as much as 500 Mb/d have recently surfaced – suggesting that local producers are looking to secure capacity. Today we look at recent and planned expansions to Niobrara takeaway capacity.

We first described growing producer interest in the Niobrara shale in April of 2013 (see Bananarama in the Rockies). As we use the term here, the Niobrara is a generic region that extends across northeast Colorado, northwest Kansas, southwest Nebraska and southeast Wyoming and encompasses several plays in the region including other hydrocarbon bearing shales such as the Codell. To date, most of the oil and gas development in the region has focused on two areas, the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin and the Powder River Basin (PRB). The DJ basin hot spot is the Wattenberg field in Weld County in northeast CO. PRB drilling activity is concentrated in Campbell and Converse counties WY. DJ Basin drilling in Ward County includes both a wet gas zone (where production is primarily rich gas with high liquids content) and an oil zone. Continue reading “Niobrara Crude Production Takes Off” »

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Aurora mulls changes to oil and gas laws following increase in waivers

Picture of ConocoPhillips Drill Rig drilling in the Niobrara Play - Image Credit ConocoPhillps

Picture of ConocoPhillips Drill Rig drilling in the Niobrara Play – Image Credit ConocoPhillps

By Megan Mitchell – YourHub Reporter – October 9, 2014

AURORA — Aurora is considering changing its regulations governing oil and gas operations in the city to align with new industry practices, a move that comes after resident complaints that too many waivers are being given to well operator ConocoPhillips.

City officials acknowledge the waivers but say they are necessary because the city’s 2012 laws clash with new technology and environmental mandates.

So, the city is proposing changing its laws and will also address landscape and fencing requirements, setbacks from buildings and whether or not oil and gas companies need to apply for building permits to create well sites. Continue reading “Aurora mulls changes to oil and gas laws following increase in waivers” »

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