oil drilling

The U.S. has ramped up oil production so dramatically that it's joined Saudi Arabia and Russia as one of the world's largest producers. Just glance at the chart below.

Since this surge began in 2008, American production rocketed from 5 million barrels a day to nearly 10 million barrels a day at the high point last year.

More importantly, oil analysts confidently predicted that a tide of benefits would flow as freely as the oil now coming out of the ground.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. oil and gas industry was shocked last week week by the sudden death of one of its most influential executives. Aubrey McClendon was killed in a single-car crash, one day after being indicted on bid rigging and price fixing charges. He was the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, a major producer now floundering under low oil and gas prices.

Dan Boyce of Here & Now contributor Inside Energy and KUNC explores whether Chesapeake’s cautionary tale contains glimmers of hope.

As advanced drilling technology opened untapped sources of oil and natural gas, it triggered fierce competition among energy companies to scoop up rights to drill on vast swaths of land across the country.

The rush caused lease prices to skyrocket in the most promising fields. In a few cases, gas companies responded by cutting secret deals to rig the bidding and hold down their costs. Federal officials are now investigating to see if these shady practices are more common than believed.

A few miles outside Glacier National Park in northwest Montana is land known as the Badger-Two Medicine, the ancestral home of the Blackfeet tribe.

But it's also the site of 18 oil and gas development leases, and an energy company is heading to federal court March 10 to fight for the right to drill there after decades of delay.

Blackfeet tribal historian John Murray doesn't want the drilling to begin.

This day is starting out really nasty if you happen to be an oil driller — or a baby boomer who would like to retire with a nest egg.

Through the night and into the morning, the price of oil has been falling. You can now buy a barrel for less than $30. (Remember, it was nearly $115 as recently as June 2014.) The market for oil has been thrown into disarray because of worries about possible declining Chinese demand and surging Iranian supplies.

That means U.S. oil producers will continue to see their profits plunge and industry layoffs worsen.

A Tulsa-based pipeline company says about 1,000 barrels of crude oil has spilled from a pipeline in Noble County.

Bruce Heine, a spokesman for Magellan Midstream Partners, said in an email Friday that the oil was released about 6 p.m. Thursday from a Magellan pipeline that stretches from Enid to Ponca City.

Heine says the spill occurred in a rural area near Billings. He says no injuries or evacuations were ordered and that no water was contaminated.

The greater sage grouse is a peculiar and distinctly Western bird. It's about the size of a chicken and about as adaptable as the dodo bird, which is to say it's not very adaptable at all — at least not in a human-driven time scale.

In biological terms, the greater sage grouse is perfectly adapted for its habitat: the rolling hills of knee-high silver scrub that's sometimes called the sagebrush sea. It's the oft-forgotten parts of the fast-changing West — The Big Empty, as settlers used to call it.

Joe Wertz

Slumping oil prices have fueled thousands of job losses in big energy states like Oklahoma, which is “gripped by a mini-recession,” economist Mark Sneed tells the Journal Record‘s Kirby Lee Davis:

“The notion that Oklahoma has diversified away from oil and gas is, at this point, many, many years away,” he said.

“Welcome to Quakelahoma,” writes VICE’s Matt Smith, “where in less than a decade the state has gone from having about two noticeable earthquakes a year to about two a day.”

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the Governor signing the $7.1B budget as well as the bill which bans cities and counties from banning oil and gas drilling.

The trio also discusses Oklahoma's Senators saying yes to a bill supported by President Obama: The USA Freedom Act, the decision to ban all prisoner marriages until the Supreme Court rules on same sex marriages and the ruling by the Supreme Court against Tulsa's Abercrombie & Fitch.

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