LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The Environmental
Protection Agency’s draft report blaming hydraulic fracturing
for contaminating drinking water in Pavillion, Wyoming, has
triggered a furious pushback from the industry questioning the
robustness of the agency’s conclusions.
In an angry press release, the local gas field operator,
Encana, blasted the conclusions as “irresponsible” and
complained “many of the EPA’s findings from its recent deep
monitoring wells … are conjecture, not factual and only serve
to trigger undue alarm”.
LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – In a tough landscape for
commodities, most hedge funds and other money managers have
decided to stick with long positions in crude oil, boosting
their investments even as prices slide.
For commodity funds, who must basically be long of something
to justify their continued existence, crude is the
least-dangerous among a series of tricky alternatives.
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Forget OPEC. By far the
most important oil news today is that Saudi Aramco
and China’s giant Sinopec and CNOOC energy
firms are each in talks to buy up to a 30 percent stake in U.S.
oil and gas services company Frac Tech International.
Frac Tech’s expertise in hydraulic fracturing makes it a
major player in the fast-growing part of the oil and gas
industry, which is set to radically alter the world’s energy
supply picture in the next decade.
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – For the second year
running, analysts at Goldman Sachs are among the most bullish
for oil prices over the next 12 months.
In 2011, the bank’s analysts took a risk by making a bold
call on prices — and won big when prices soared. Rivals and
customers will be watching closely to see if its call for
continued price rises in 2012 proves equally prescient.
LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – It is time to stop
demonising hydraulic fracturing. Oil and gas production is a
messy, dirty business that produces all sorts of harmful waste.
But the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are no more
dangerous than those frequently used in acidizing and other
conventional well treatments.
Fracking poses no more risk to the environment than
production from conventional wells, which the industry and
regulators have learned to manage successfully in recent decades
to minimise the impact on local communities.
LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Preliminary evidence that
hydraulic fracturing may have contaminated drinking water at a
small hamlet in Wyoming shows why the industry urgently needs to
embrace intelligent regulation and engage with safety officials
if North America’s unconventional oil and gas reserves are to be
Responding to complaints about foul-tasting water in local
wells at Pavillion (population 165), investigators found
concentrations of benzene and dissolved hydrocarbons near pits
used for storage of drilling waste, and dissolved chemicals and
methane associated with fracking in two wells drilled 200-300
metres down into the drinking water aquifer.
LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Like a rabbit trapped in the
headlights of an oncoming car, Brent prices have remained static
in the past fortnight despite an exceptionally heavy news flow.
The market has been hit by a series of large shocks ranging
from the deepening debt crisis in Europe to possible sanctions
on Iran’s exports and speculation about a military strike on the
country’s nuclear facilities.
LONDON (Reuters) – The EU’s push to impose sanctions on Iranian oil is dividing western officials in charge of foreign policy and those charged with energy security and economics.
Energy policymakers worry that their diplomatic colleagues underestimate the problems involved replacing EU imports from Iran with oil from other sources such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.
LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Oil markets remain relaxed
while a significant diplomatic and military effort is clearly
under way to raise the pressure on Iran’s government to abandon
its uranium enrichment programme.
Markets have not moved despite the risks that conflict could
escalate between Iran and western countries or that the EU could
ban imports of Iranian crude.
LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Financial journalists and
commentators across North America and Western Europe are still
struggling to come to terms with the shifting centre of gravity
in the world economy.
Too many articles and papers are trapped in a narrow
parochialism that sees advanced economies as the “core” of the
world economy and relegates emerging markets to a relatively
less important “periphery”.