American Oil and Gas Reporter - May 2017 - 22

IndustryDigest
At BP, he worked as senior vice
president for BP North America and
president of BP Alaska Canada Gas.
NOIA says Welch also spent five years
with the U.S. Geological Survey and
one year as an adjunct professor at
Tulane University.
Gellert joined SEACOR Marine
Holdings as a financial and market
analyst after graduating from Harvard
College in 1992, NOIA continues. He
held a series of international
appointments with both marketing and
operating responsibilities in Europe,
West Africa and Southeast Asia before
being named president of SEACOR
Marine Holdings in 2015. He also
serves as co-chief operating officer for
SEACOR Holdings, NOIA says. ❒

Agency Finishes Survey
Of Prairie Chickens
BOISE, ID.-Aerial surveys of lesser
prairie chicken habitats across five
states conducted annually by the
Western Association of Fish and
Wildlife Agencies were completed by
mid-May and should be available July
1, the group reports.
The surveys, which began March 16,
are used to document population trends
and how the bird is responding to
management strategies identified in the
Lesser Prairie Chicken Rangewide
Conservation Plan. WAFWA and the
state wildlife agencies of Kansas, Texas,
Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico
are collaborating on the plan.
"We have established a consistent
methodology for these aerial surveys,
working closely with the wildlife
agencies of each of the states involved,"
says Roger Wolfe, WAFWA's lesser
prairie chicken program manager. "We
are documenting population trends over
time that will allow us to see how
various management strategies for the
bird are working on the ground."
According to the association, the
surveys were conducted by helicopters
in locations chosen randomly within the
lesser prairie chicken range.
In its third annual report on the
conservation plan, WAFWA says 16
sites totaling 133,703 acres were
enrolled in the conservation program at
the end of 2016, either through fee title
ownership or long-term contractual
agreements. According to the agency,
one of the highlights of 2016 was the
22 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

purchase of an ecologically significant
Kansas property that permanently
protects nearly 30,000 acres of highquality lesser prairie chicken habitat.
"As we close out our third year of
implementation, we are really hitting
our stride," says Alexa Sandoval,
chairman of the Lesser Prairie Chicken
Initiative Council. "We are encouraged
that despite an oil and gas industry
downturn, support for this collaborative
conservation approach remains strong.
We commend all of our partners for
their participation in the rangewide
plan." ❒

PHMSA Eyes Threshold
For Transporting Crude
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Pipeline
and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration is releasing an advanced
notice of proposed rule making to
establish a vapor pressure threshold for
transported unrefined petroleum
products. The ANPR seeks contributions
from government, industry and the public
that it says will be used to evaluate the
potential safety benefits of using those
thresholds within the hazardous materials
classification process.
PHMSA published the ANPR in the
Jan. 18 edition of the Federal Register, the
agency says, with comments on the
proposal accepted through March 20.
According to PHMSA, on Dec. 1,
2015, it received a petition for rule
making from New York that proposed
changes to federal regulations covering
crude oil transportation. State officials
asked PHMSA to add a paragraph
requiring all crude moving by rail to
have a Reid vapor pressure of less than
9.0 pounds per square inch to reduce
risks of death or damage from fire or
explosion in case of an accident.
In a separate action, the North
Dakota Industrial Commission
implemented a maximum vapor pressure
of 13.7 psi for crude transported in the
state, PHMSA points out.
In the ANPR, PHMSA says it is
seeking input as to whether there should
be a national vapor pressure threshold
for petroleum products, and if so, what
it should be.
The agency says the Fixing
America's Surface Transportation Act
of 2015 directs the secretary of Energy,
in cooperation with the Department of

Transportation, to submit a report to
Congress that uses the results of the
Crude Oil Characteristics Research
Sampling, Analysis and Experiment
plan conducted by Sandia National
Laboratories, with recommendations to
improve crude oil transportation safety.
The federal action follows a 2014
decision by the North Dakota Industrial
Commission to require oil producers in
the state to use oil conditioning
equipment to reduce the vapor pressure
of all Bakken crude oil. According to
NDIC, national standards recognize oil
with vapor pressures below 14.7 psi to
be stable. It imposed a 13.7 psi standard
to allow for an error margin in the
sampling procedures and measurement
equipment, it says. Failure to comply
with the NDIC order can result in fines
of as much as $12,500 a day. ❒

Gas Storage Levels
Increase By 140 Bcf
WASHINGTON-Underground
natural gas storage in the United States
stood at 2.189 trillion cubic feet on
April 21, 15.8 percent above the five
year average, according to the U.S.
Energy Information Administration.
That was up 140 billion cubic feet from
the 2.049 Tcf in storage on March 24,
which was 13.9 percent above the fiveyear average. The April 21 storage
number was 358 Bcf less than a year
ago, when gas storage stood at 2.547
Tcf.
According to EIA, gas storage in the
East Region was 303 Bcf on April 21,
14.9 percent below the five-year
average, but 25 Bcf more than on March
24, when storage stood at 278 Bcf,
which was 18.7 percent below the fiveyear average. East Region gas storage
on April 21 was 125 Bcf less than it was
a year ago.
Gas storage in the Midwest Region
stood at 504 Bcf on April 21, 30.2
percent above the five-year average and
18 Bcf more than the 486 Bcf in storage
on March 24, which was 27.2 percent
above the five year average. April 21
gas storage in the Midwest Region was
48 Bcf less than a year ago.
In the Mountain Region, EIA says,
gas storage was 149 Bcf on April 21,
22.1 percent above the five-year average
and 8 Bcf more than the 141 Bcf stored
on March 24, which was 16.5 percent



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - May 2017

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - May 2017 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - May 2017 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - May 2017 - Contents
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