The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012 - (Page 16)

IndustryDigest West Virginia Imposes New Well Regulations CHARLESTON, W.V.–West Virginia natural gas producers will be operating under new regulations as the new year opens, the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia advises, as the state reacts to increased interest in the Marcellus Shale. “This landmark piece of legislation provides clear rules to the natural gas industry, protects our communities, surface owners and waterways while sending a clear message–West Virginia wants jobs and we will protect our rights and our environment,” Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said after signing the Horizontal Well Act in late December, the culmination of a three-year process to overhaul state drilling regulations. According to the governor’s office, the bill’s provisions include: • Increased permit fees to increase staffing levels at the Department of Environmental Protection; • Increased well location restrictions to limit impacts on water resources; • A requirement that operators have a road use agreement in place before a permit is issued; and • Increased enforcement authority for DEP, including an increase in civil penalties for rule violations. The new legislation also authorizes DEP to write and promulgate further rules regarding air quality as well as cementing and casing requirements, the governor’s office points out. Douglas Malcolm, chairman of IOGAWV’s Governmental Affairs Committee, reports the legislation also includes provisions requiring operators to disclose the chemicals and additives used in fracture fluids, a requirement he says the association and industry in general support. “While there were many ideas as to specifics within this complex bill, the governor and legislators were in agreement that there was an urgent need for a regulatory framework to address the relationship between oil and gas extractors and surface owners, and to provide environmental protections,” says West Virginia House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne. r See Related Story Page 200 Pennsylvania Senate Votes To Expand State Lands Leasing HARRISBURG, PA.–The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association reports the Pennsylvania Senate has passed S. 367, which allows mineral resources to be developed on state lands, including prisons and universities. The bill has been forwarded to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. According to PIOGA, S. 367 passed the Senate 47-2 and authorizes the Department of General Services and the State System of Higher Education to lease properties for mineral development through competitive bidding. Under the legislation, payments and royalties through fiscal 2013-14 would be deposited into the oil and gas lease fund. Thereafter, the revenue would be divided evenly between the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund, Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, H2O Program, and the Oil & Gas Lease Fund, the association says. S. 367 allows a university leasing its minerals to retain 40 percent of the revenue, with the remaining 60 percent shared among schools with no mineral leasing, PIOGA relates. The latter group will be allowed to use its share of revenues only for deferred maintenance or improvements that reduce the school’s energy costs. The association also calls attention to a report by the Joint Legislative Budget & Finance Committee, which recommends the general assembly authorize agencies with significant property holdings in the Marcellus Shale region to lease properties for drilling. The report identifies 16 state prison facilities within the Marcellus fairway as potential opportunities. r treatments in shale operations. IOGA opposed an early iteration of the legislation, arguing that a frac disclosure bill such as SB 2058 provided inadequate protection for companies’ proprietary information. Negotiations between IOGA and green groups yielded another chemical disclosure bill, SB 664, which IOGA did not oppose and was passed by the Illinois Senate in late spring. However, Illinois’ regular session expired before the House could take it up (AOGR, June 2011, pg. 16). The bill also languished during the state’s fall veto session, IOGA reports. Nevertheless, the association emphasizes that it does not oppose reasonable chemical disclosure that does not place a significant regulatory burden on operators. r Chemical Disclosure, Advance Notice Part Of Revised Colorado Rules DENVER–Colorado regulators have approved rules that require companies to disclose concentrations of chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing and provide 48-hour notice before pumping chemicals into the well bore. The new rules, approved by the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission in December, take effect in April. Under the revised regulations, vendors, service companies or operators claiming trade secret protection must certify the fluid composition as a trade secret as well as disclose to the commission the ingredient’s chemical family. In the event of a spill or release, the COGCC has the authority to release that information to the commissioners, certain county officials and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. According to the commission, during the rule-making process it rejected proposals that it review and approve all trade secret claims, saying it lacked authority to evaluate such claims. It added the commission also would be at risk of accidental disclosure of trade secrets, and having such responsibility would force it to allocate resources away from its other priorities. Under the regulations, COGCC’s director is expected to issue reports identifying the number of trade secret claims, as well as the vendor, service Momentum Eludes Fracture Disclosure Bill In Illinois Veto Session MOUNT VERNON, IL.–The Illinois Oil & Gas Association reports that the Illinois General Assembly’s veto session came and went without moving legislation to require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemical constituents of hydraulic fracturing Coming In February Special Report: The Gulf of Mexico 16 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012

The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012
Oil & Gas Counts
State Legislative
Industry Digest
Tech Connections
Washington Watch
Federal Legislation
Gulf of Mexico
Resource Plays Providing Wealth of Opportunities
Tight Plays Poised to Transform U.S. Crude Supply
El Paso Project Optimizes Eagle Ford Completion Design
Real-Time Forward Modeling Improves Bakken Horizontals
Cover Story
Financial Firms Expand Oil and Gas Divisions
Multicomponent 3-D Poised for Growth in Shale Plays
Cloud Computing Driving Business Step Changes
Advanced Attributes Improve 3-D Interpretation
3-D Data Improve Knowledge of Shale Heterogeneity
HBUR RSS Solves Granite Wash Drilling Challenges
Technologies Improve Production Consistency in Resource Plays
SaaS Helps Operator Streamline Data Management
Automation Enhances Operations in Challenging Applications
Dispersant Chemistry Combats Plugging in Low-Gravity Oil Wells
New Technologies Optimize Production
Drilling Regs
The Presidential Papers
Energy Education
Shale Gas
New Lits & Products
Computer Currents
Industry Focus
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index

The American Oil and Gas Reporter - January 2012