shale

Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Get your butt out of Albany and go see how the rest of your state lives. Or you might not have much of a state left.

One memory that stands out from my 1970s tenure as a reporter in New York’s Southern Tier is that of an economy stuck in reverse. Broome County centers around Binghamton, a city of 47,000 that has lost nearly half its population since the 1950s.

In recent years, the technological advances in recovering hydrocarbons trapped in tight formations, like shale, using unconventional drilling methods (horizontal drilling in conjunction with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing) have made U.S. oil production grow dramatically.

Global consulting company Wood Mackenzie has drawn on the knowledge and expertise of senior analysts in compiling a new report, Horizons: What To Look For In 2015.

In discussing the report, Paul McConnell, principal analyst for Global Trends at Wood Mackenzie, pointed out that oil market concerns will be inescapable in 2015. “With no sign that OPEC is reconsidering its decision to leave production targets unchanged, the impetus falls on non-OPEC producers to limit supply growth and bring the market back into balance,” he said.

Ohio River Valley Pipeline, LLC, an affiliate of the EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners, LP and EnLink Midstream, LLC (the general partner), held a binding open season for volume commitments for interstate common carrier transportation service on the ORV Condensate Pipeline.

I hope the industry is paying attention to some regionalized developments that could hamper activity, at least in the short term.

Tall Oak Midstream, LLC has early natural gas gathering operations underway on the Tall Oak STACK System. The gathering and processing system will serve producers in Oklahoma’s STACK play. STACK is an acronym for the Sooner Trend, Anadarko Basin and Oklahoma’s Canadian and Kingfisher counties. It is northwest of Oklahoma City and targets the Woodford and Mississippian-age shales.

In November, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised the world by agreeing in principle to targets for carbon dioxide emissions in a symbolic effort to address climate change. This is a pact of historic magnitude that recognizes a need for the world’s two largest emitters – both longstanding antagonists – to reduce future release of greenhouse gas. But aside from a handshake and a promise, what will actually come from this mutual recognition?

A federal approval for construction of a major natural gas pipeline that will ship supplies from the Marcellus to underserved New England and the Northeast markets closed out 2014 with a reminder to the industry of good things to come.

Sacagawea Pipeline Company, an affiliate of Paradigm Energy Partners, completed an extended open season on Dec. 15. As planned, the pipeline will deliver crude oil from various points south of Lake Sacagawea in and around Johnson’s Corner and Keene, in McKenzie County, ND to destinations with takeaway options for both rail and pipe in Palermo and Stanley, ND.

As the 2014 mid-term elections faded from view, one cogent footnote of the political power change was the significant shift in the money and manner of spending it in the national environmental movement. Even some of their harshest critics were noting a higher level of professionalism and use of legitimate spokespersons as they attempted to spend their growing cash infusion more strategically.

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