Massive Drilling Project Planned For Utah's Uinta Basin
May 26, 2016
The vast oil and natural gas deposits of Utah's Uinta Basin are like a multilayered "cake of opportunity" waiting to be sliced into with horizontal drilling, which is why Scott Saxberg believes the area's worth another $50 million investment this year.
Saxberg, president and chief executive officer of Crescent Point Energy, joined Gov. Gary Herbert at a news conference Wednesday during the fifth annual Governor's Utah Energy Development Summit to detail plans for a potential 4,000-well oil and gas project in the basin.
"We're (starting) now, and by the time oil prices come back, we can pursue the project in a greater way," Saxberg said, describing rich layers of oil and gas deposits that have yet to be tapped in the region in any earnest way via horizontal drilling.
The new wells would be phased in over three decades in locations dependent on where the resources are, he added.
Saxberg said the region is a multilayered cake of opportunity, yet is home to only 300 horizontally drilled wells.
By comparison, the southern Saskatchewan region in Canada, home to the Bakken shale formation, has 20,000 horizontally drilled wells and comprises the bulk of the relatively young company's drilling activity.
"The basin has not yet been developed through horizontal means, which has been very successful in other states in opening up plays that people didn't realize were as good," he said.
Offshore Drilling Foes Invoke 1953 Law Prodding Obama To Ban ALL Offshore Drilling
May 26, 2016
Environmental activists who dangled from bridges and paddled kayaks around an Arctic rig have a new strategy for stopping oil development off U.S. coasts: persuading President Barack Obama to use a 1953 law to bar offshore drilling permanently.
An obscure provision that’s been used to preserve coral reefs and walrus feeding grounds empowers presidents to exclude waters from future oil and gas development. Environmentalists want Obama to invoke that statute before leaving office to indefinitely block drilling in the U.S. Atlantic and Arctic.
They saw the opportunity after Royal Dutch Shell Plc abandoned Arctic drilling and Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline last year.
"We think this is a moment in time," said Niel Lawrence, Alaska director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The last big thing this administration can do is take off the table the places where the government is not in the oil business, where the communities are not reliant on it, where the infrastructure isn’t in place and where the oil couldn’t come for 25 or 30 years."
The idea pits old-school, conservation-minded environmentalists against activists focused on blocking development of fossil fuels that drive climate change. It comes as oil companies are backpedaling from the polar region amid a long streak of record low oil prices. Even so, it’s also vehemently opposed by oil industry leaders who say the U.S. needs access to more areas -- not less.
"It’d be incredibly short-sighted for the administration," said Louis Finkel, executive vice president of the American Petroleum Institute. The Arctic and Atlantic are essential to meet energy demand that the U.S. government expects to climb through 2040, he said.
Bakken Oilfield Murder-For-Hire Mastermind Receives Two Life Sentences
May 26, 2016
The man accused of masterminding a murder-for-hire scheme that claimed two lives will serve consecutive life sentences in federal prison.
James Terry Henrikson was sentenced May 24 in U.S. District Court in Spokane, Wash. In February, a federal jury found Henrikson guilty of 10 counts of murder-for-hire and conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder-for-hire, as well as one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.
The owner of several trucking companies that were heavily invested in oil operations in the Bakken oil patch, Henrikson was accused of arranging the murder of a former business partner, Doug Carlile in December 2013, and Kristopher “KC” Clarke, a former employee, in February 2012. Three of the men whom prosecutors named as co-conspirators in arranging and carrying out the contract killings pleaded guilty to related charges and testified during Henrikson’s trial.
Henrikson and the other men all worked together in various ventures in North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch.
He and several of his indicted co-conspirators initially pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire and solicitation to commit murder-for-hire last September. Henrikson however, changed his plea and went to trial because he was not made aware of the mandatory minimum penalty of life imprisonment prior to entering his guilty plea.
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