Nevada land leases
Buyers snapped up 29 federal land leases totaling more than 56 square miles in a northeastern Nevada area that could become the state’s first oil-shale fracking site.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management geologist Lorenzo Trimble told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the Elko County oil and gas leases sold for $1.27 million to six different companies. The auction took place in Reno. The leases are near where Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. wants to drill for oil and natural gas on 40,000 acres of public and private land near the town of Wells.
Company appeals rejection
A gas-drilling company is appealing the rejection of an application by a western Pennsylvania township.
The Observer-Reporter of Washington, Pa., reported in March that Range Resources has filed the appeal of Robinson Township’s rejection of two well permits.
The township’s supervisors say Range hasn’t properly answered questions about site plans, noise standards and other township rules. Range contends it has met the same requirements for the new wells as it has for three others the company drilled in the township southwest of Pittsburgh in 2010. Range says it filed the appeals to protect its rights to do so but expects the issue to be decided in a separate legal case.
Malfunctioning well capped
Workers have capped a malfunctioning natural-gas well in northeastern Pennsylvania that spilled wastewater and prompted evacuations.
Officials say the well began malfunctioning March 14 and worsened overnight, spilling hundreds of gallons of wastewater a minute. About 5,400 barrels of the fluid were captured in tanks.
Three families who evacuated overnight have since been allowed to return. The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pa., said state environmental crews have not detected any volatile chemicals or methane in the air surrounding the well. Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. owns the well in Washington Township. The incident is being investigated.
Fracking vote delayed
An Illinois House committee has delayed voting on a measure that would regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state.
Backers of the measure that would regulate this high-volume gas and oil drilling practice announced in March that they have agreed on the fees and extraction taxes that drillers would pay to the state.
Industry operators will pay $13,000 per well to help fund the state’s regulatory program. They’ll also pay a 3 percent per barrel “severance” tax during the first two years of operation, and higher taxes then on.