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Ohio Utica Shale

Spanish firm delays drilling, in wake of local ban

By Bob Downing Published: July 8, 2013

From Bloomberg News:

By Patricia Laya

 

Repsol SA (REP), Spain’s largest oil producer, delayed starting to explore for shale gas in the north, where a local government has outlawed drilling projects that use water-intensive hydraulic fracturing.

The company had targeted July to begin seismic studies at its Luena project that extends over 290 square miles across the Cantabria region, where energy trade groups say Spain’s richest shale gas deposits lie. Repsol’s first domestic shale search can’t begin yet because several “requirements” haven’t been met, according to a company official who requested anonymity, as no announcement has been made. He declined to give specifics.

In April, the Cantabrian government enacted Spain’s first ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, blaming risks of polluting drinking water. The rule blocks companies seeking to blast water into shale deposits within the region’s boundaries, though it’s less clear how projects extending to other regions are affected. Luena stretches from Cantabria to Castille & Leon, a situation that normally would be regulated by the nation’s Industry Ministry, exploration companies say.

Spain has enough prospective natural-gas resources to satisfy more than 70 years of domestic demand, according to the Spanish fossil fuels trade group Aciep. That has prompted government proposals to reinforce environmental safety measures while at the same time ease the way for international oil and gas companies such as Canada’s BNK Petroleum Inc. (BNK) and San Leon Energy Plc (SLE) to produce the commodity, cutting Spain’s dependence on imports and potentially lowering local energy prices.

Six-Year License

A recent draft law pushed by Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria seeks to add fracking to a national hydrocarbons law that forces all companies that want to use the fracking “stimulation” technique in shale to submit environmental impact studies. Simultaneous efforts by the Agriculture Ministry seek to shorten the time frame in which environmental studies are done.

Repsol’s Luena project was licensed in 2011 for six years during which the company is required to invest at least 30 million euros ($39 million) in exploration.

The area’s resource potential will also be examined through shallow and deep test wells, according to a February report Repsol commissioned from engineering consultant URS. The Madrid-based company was set to start searching for gas in July, according to the report.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.