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EIA ADDS ARKANSAS, NINE OTHER STATES TO MONTHLY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION REPORT: Beginning this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration added Arkansas and nine other states to its monthly reporting of natural gas production in the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico. In April, Arkansas’ natural gas production rose 0.2% to 2.88 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) from the previous month.
The addition of Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia will significantly enhance the Department of Energy’s monthly coverage, EIA officials said. The monthly report was previously limited to Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming and the federal Gulf of Mexico.
These estimates are based on data collected from a sample of U.S. operators on the expanded Form EIA-914 survey, with the exception of Alaska, which directly reports its volumes. Monthly production estimates for the expansion states, as with the original individually surveyed states and areas, are available with a two-month lag. For example, the June release includes production estimates for April 2015. Previously, estimates for these 10 states were delayed by as much as two years.
Overall, U.S. natural gas production rose 6.6% in April to 91.5 MMcf/d from 91 MMcf/d in March. Texas led with 24.3 MMcf/d of natural gas production, follow by Pennsylvania and Alaska at 13.1 MMcf/d and 9.5 MMcf/d, respectively. To view EIA’s new monthly natural gas production page, click here.
BP SETTLES GULF OF MEXICO SPILL CLAIMS AFTER FIVE YEARS: Five years after the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill in 2010, BP has reached agreements in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the event, the British oil and gas giant announced Thursday.
BP’s U.S. Upstream subsidiary, BP Exploration and Production Inc. (BPXP) has executed the agreements with the federal government and the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and settlement of claims made by more than 400 local government entities. The principal payments include:
- BPXP is to pay the United States a civil penalty of $5.5 billion under the Clean Water Act – payable over 15 years.
- BPXP will pay $7.1 billion to the United States and the five Gulf states over 15 years for natural resource damages. This is in addition to the $1 billion already committed for early restoration, and another $232 million to cover any further natural resource damages that are unknown at the time of the agreement.
- A total of $4.9 billion will be paid over 18 years to settle economic and other claims made by the five Gulf Coast states.
- Up to $1 billion will be paid to resolve claims made by more than 400 local government entities.
The expected impact to BP’s bottom line will increase the cumulative pre-tax charge associated with the Deepwater Horizon accident and spill by around $10 billion from $43.8 billion at the end of the first quarter. Go here to learn more about the BP settlement.
API: BUSINESS FRIENDLY ENERGY POLICIES COULD BOOST U.S. ECONOMY BY $443 BILLION – A new report recently released by the powerful American Petroleum Institute says that “pro-development” energy policies could add 2.3 million U.S. jobs and add $443 billion per year to the U.S. economy by 2035.
Conversely, the API-sponsored Wood Mckenzie study found that a path of regulatory constraints proposed by the Obama administration could lead to 830,000 lost jobs and lead to a shrinkage in the U.S. economy by a whopping $133 billion per year.
The 151-page, API report, called “A comparison of U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Policies – Pro Development Policies vs. Proposed Regulatory Constraints,” was released on June 23. The report was released in association with the re-launching of the oil industry’s most influential trade group, Vote4Energy campaign, leading up to the November 2016 elections.
EPA AWARDS $588,000 TO STATE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATORS FOR AIR MONITORING: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $558,000 to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to monitor fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5.
The $558,258 grant will help ADEQ conduct ambient air monitoring of fine particulate pollution, which can be found in smoke and haze that measures 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. They can also form when gases discharged from power plants, industries and automobiles react in the air.
U.S. CHAMBER EXECUTIVE: RAISE GAS TAX FOR ROADS: The federal government should spend more money on highways, and the best way to do that in the short term is by raising the gas tax, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce told an Arkansas audience last week.
Janet Kavinoky, the U.S. Chamber’s executive director for transportation and infrastructure, told the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas Thursday that her national group wants a tax that the federal government can collect, that’s transportation related, that’s sustainably structured, that will match ongoing revenue to ongoing expenditures, and that will fill the gap between transportation costs and expenses. Read more of her comments here.