Tuesday, July 05, 2011

N.Y. to lift hydraulic-fracturing moratorium in most areas; Shell unveils principles to follow

A moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial process used in natural-gas drilling, may be lifted in parts of New York, Danny Hakim and Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times report. New York City's upstate watershed and the Syracuse watershed would still remain covered by the moratorium.

The decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not been made public yet, and the reporters were unsure of when the decision will be official. There is some speculation Cuomo may use the release of the State Department of Environmental Conservation's study on fracking "to announce its broader policy plans related to the issue as well," Hakim and Confessore report. (Read more)

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which recently announced the possible development of a petrochemical plant in the Marcellus Shale region, has devised five "Global Onshore Tight/Shale Oil and Gas Operating Principles," in response to backlash from environmental groups regarding fracking. "The principles include safe well design and completion standards, water protection and reuse goals, air quality and emissions prevention measures, limits on the physical footprint of operations, and community engagement," Brett Clanton reports on Fuelfix, an energy-news site anchored by reporters at the Houston Chronicle and other Hearst newspapers. (Read more)

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