BILLIONS IN NEW FOREIGN INVESTMENT STREAMING INTO AMERICA’S BOOMING SHALE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
China Petrochemical Corp. will spend $2.5 billion in a joint venture with Devon Energy to explore oil and gas projects from the Tuscaloosa Marine shale in Alabama and Mississippi to the Niobrara shale in eastern Colorado in 2012 as it possibly becomes the state’s next big oil boom.
Meanwhile, in the latest announcement, France’s energy giant Total SA will invest $2.3 billion in Chesapeake Energy Corp. assets to explore the Utica shale formations in Ohio.
NIOBRARA: THE UPCOMING BOOM
The name Niobrara could refer to a county in Wyoming or a town in Nebraska. Or it could mean a national scenic river in the Cornhusker state.
In 2012, in Colorado, Niobrara means one thing: Oil. Lots of it. Energy companies are expected to spend billions of dollars on developing the
Niobrara shale in eastern Colorado in 2012 as it possibly becomes the state’s next big oil boom.
Still in the exploration phase, drilling in the Niobrara shale began in 2009 when EOG Resources drilled a well near Grover in northern Weld County producing more than 1,500 barrels of oil in a day. Since then, energy companies have been scouring Colorado’s Eastern Plains for ideal spots to drill the Niobrara.
Companies exploring the shale are operating mostly in Weld County, but Niobrara activity is spreading across the entire northern tier of Colorado and down the Front Range toward Colorado Springs. MORE …
ARAPAHOE COUNTY SHELVES OIL AND GAS REGULATION
LITTLETON — Arapahoe County commissioners on Tuesday decided against passing rules for oil and gas exploration, deciding instead to focus on areas the state does not regulate. Those areas would be transportation and other types of infrastructure.
The county’s planning and zoning commission had already passed a set of regulations for the commissioners to consider. But at a public hearing attended by about 75 people, the commissioners voted 3-2 to deny an amendment to the county’s land development code to regulate oil and gas development. Commissioners Rod Bockenfeld, Susan Beckman and Nancy Sharpe voted against the regulations, while Nancy Jackson and Frank Weddig were in favor. MORE …