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OSHA calls for silica limit: Proposed silica limit would hurt fracking industry, group says


A proposed lower limit of silica exposure from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would drastically affect the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, industry, a trade group said. The American Petroleum Institute is one of about 80 organizations and industry groups that will speak in Washington, D.C., at hearings stretching from Tuesday through April 4. The hearings are a part of ...

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Pro: Flaring is safe way to prevent harmful air pollution

Sara Sneath | Victoria Advocate Flaring is not inherently dangerous, and there is evidence to suggest drilling activity does not have a significant affect on air quality, according to a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. In Cheapside, where rolling farmland used to host cotton and livestock, well sites can be seen on hilltops in every direction. The ...

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The Bakken headhunter: Oil industry recruiter trys to lure in families

help wanted

WILLISTON — Pat Bertagnolli’s official job is to recruit oilfield workers, but unofficially he’s a headhunter for Bakken communities. The director of human resources for B&G Oilfield Services in Williston tries to recruit spouses and families to move to North Dakota along with the workers he hires. “To retain good people, I really believe they need to have their families ...

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EDITORIAL: Fracking misgivings

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING, or fracking, is a big deal in our area, and it will be a big deal for some time to come. Recent stories in The Free Lance-Star let both sides state their arguments. As with almost every thing else, it comes down to money. Where there’s money, there’s persis tence. Companies have been doing exploratory drilling in the ...

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New Shell CEO: reducing US investment by 20 pct


AMSTERDAM (AP) — Shell’s Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden says the company will cut capital spending in the U.S. by 20 percent in 2014 after setbacks in its shale gas operations and in Alaska. Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Van Beurden said Thursday that Shell plans to exit its investments in the Eagle Ford shale formations in ...

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Adding jobs

oilfield worker

Laredo’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 6.2 percent in January, up from 5.9 percent in December 2013; however, annual job growth remained relatively strong at 2.6 percent, a 2,400 job increase versus January 2013 according to Workforce Solutions for South Texas. Rogelio Treviño, Workforce Solutions for South Texas executive director, said the slight increase in the percentage is usually ...

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‘A lot of fear’ about fracking

Oil well

The Texas oilman says that every time hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is discussed in the region, people present the “nightmare scenario.” “There is a lot of fear because people have told them, if they frack, they’re going to completely ruin our water system,” said Stan Sherrill, president of Shore Exploration and Production Corp. in Texas. “Nothing could be farther from ...

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New fracking rules are moot in oil patch

oil water soil

New federal rules for using diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing, long feared to cause a disruptive moratorium on new oil drilling in the Bakken, will have far less effect on the industry than originally thought. In fact, Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said new rules that were released last week are almost meaningless in the oil patch, since ...

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Bill will open more of Gulf to energy exploration

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are supporting legislation to expand energy exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The Republican lawmakers are co-sponsors of a bill that will also provide additional revenue for Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., would amend a 2006 law to open parts of ...

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