Energy In-depth: EPA releases ‘fracking’ study; Exxon taps new CEO with Tillerson departure to State

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 14 views 

Editor’s note: Each Friday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Energy In-depth,” a round-up of energy and regulatory news.

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EPA RELEASES ‘FRACKING’ STUDY IMPACT ON U.S. WATER RESOURCES
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its scientific report on the impacts from hydraulic fracturing activities on drinking water resources, which provides states and others the scientific foundation to better protect drinking water resources in areas where hydraulic fracturing is occurring or being considered.

The report, done at the request of Congress, provides scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources in the United States under some circumstances. As part of the report, EPA identified conditions under which impacts from hydraulic fracturing activities can be more frequent or severe.

The report also identifies uncertainties and data gaps. These uncertainties and data gaps limited EPA’s ability to fully assess impacts to drinking water resources both locally and nationally. These final conclusions are based upon review of over 1,200 cited scientific sources; feedback from an independent peer review conducted by EPA’s Science Advisory Board; input from engaged stakeholders; and new research conducted as part of the study. For a copy of the study, visit here.

EXXONMOBIL NAMES TO NEW CEO AFTER PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP TAPS REX TILLERSON FOR STATE
With the Trump administration’s nomination of longtime ExxonMobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as the nation’s next Secretary of State, the company’s board of directors on Wednesday (Dec. 14) named Company President Darren Woods to take over this role as chairman and CEO of the Irving, Texas-based oil conglomerate. Tillerson announced his intention to retire at year-end after more than 41 years of service with the company. Tillerson was scheduled to retire in March 2017 when he reached 65, the company’s mandatory retirement age for his position.

Woods, 51, was elected president of ExxonMobil and a member of the company’s board of directors in January 2016. He joined Exxon Company International in 1992, and has held various senior domestic and international positions in ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company, ExxonMobil Chemical Company and Exxon Company International. He also served as manager of ExxonMobil investor relations. With the retirement of Tillerson, the ExxonMobil board now is comprised of 12 directors, 11 of whom are non-employees.

BP TO MOVE U.S. HEADQUARTERS TO DENVER NEARER COMPANY’S SHALE ASSETS
As the focus of the U.S. oil and gas industry shifts westward to liquids rich shale plays, British oil giant BP announced the Wednesday (Dec. 14) that it will establish its U.S. onshore headquarters in Denver to be closer to its substantial asset position in the Rocky Mountain region. BP, which has major offices in Houston and Oklahoma City, said Denver is an important energy hub of the future and puts the oil conglomerate closer to two thirds of the company’s operated oil and natural gas production and proved reserves.

BP has signed a lease for 86,000 square feet of office space in the Riverview building at 1700 Platte St. in the Lower Highlands district near downtown Denver. The company anticipates the company’s U.S. onshore office will open with at least 200 employees, including the CEO and executive leadership team, with more staff to be added later. A number of employees from the company’s current head office in Houston will relocate to Denver, with others remaining in Houston to manage the company’s substantial operating assets in Texas. Since early 2015, when BP began operating its U.S. Lower 48 business as a separate entity. The new BP Lower 48 headquarters in Denver is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018.

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