Energy

4:30am

Thu September 18, 2014
Energy

North Dakota Tops Oil And Gas States In Fatalities

A rig worker in Williston, North Dakota, pictured in June 2011.
Lindsey G Flickr - Creative Commons

North Dakota is the most dangerous state in the country for oil and gas workers. In 2011-2012, there were 75 deaths per 100,000 workers. In the next closest state, West Virginia, there were 37.5 per 100,000 workers. Colorado was lower with 14.2 per 100,000 and Wyoming is a third of the national average with 8.1 deaths per 100,000 workers.

To understand why the oil and gas industry here is so dangerous, you can go to the heart of the boom: Williston, North Dakota.

Read more

6:45am

Tue September 16, 2014
Energy

What's The Regulatory Threshold For Oil Industry Fatalities?

Smoke from the 1968 explosion at the Consol No. 9 Mine in Farmington, WV.
Centers For Disease Control

As the oil and gas industry has grown to employ over half a million oil and gas workers nationwide, the number of fatalities has grown as well. In 2013, 112 oil and gas workers died on the job; the year before, 142. Nationwide, oil and gas workers are still six times more likely to be killed on the job than the average American.

Texas had the most fatalities overall in 2011 and 2012 – 106 – but, according to a new analysis by Inside Energy, North Dakota had the highest fatal injury rate in the country, 75 deaths per 100,000 workers. That's three times higher than the national rate for oil and gas fatalities.

Which raises a question, how bad does it have to get before regulators and elected officials step in and do something?

Read more

3:11pm

Mon September 15, 2014
Business

With Turmoil Roiling Abroad, Why Aren't Oil Prices Bubbling Up?

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:32 am

A soldier guards a pipe en route to the Kawergosk Refinery near Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, in July. Fighting in northern Iraq forced the closure of the country's largest oil refinery, Baiji, and cut production from the Kirkuk oil field this summer.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

The price of oil has been falling — a drop that you may already have noticed at the pump. Gasoline prices have dropped noticeably since June, and oil is now well below $100 a barrel.

That decline has happened even as conflicts have flared in or near oil-producing regions. Normally, oil prices are expected to spike higher amid turmoil — so why have they been trending lower?

Read more

7:00am

Wed September 10, 2014
Wind Power

Wyoming Has The Wind, But Powerlines Hinder Development

High Plains Wind Farm near McFadden, Wyoming on a breezy summer day.
Leigh Paterson Inside Energy

Wyoming wind is indeed legendary. The University of Wyoming's Wind Energy Research Center claims the state has the best land-based class 6 and 7 wind sites, a categorization based on wind speed and power generation. But according to the American Wind Energy Association, Wyoming ranks just 14th in installed wind capacity.

The proposed Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project could change that. In August, Wyoming issued the last necessary state permit, and if the wind farm gets federal approval, it will be the biggest in the country with 1,000 turbines that could generate up to 3,000 megawatts of energy.

For now this is all hypothetical, because the transmission capabilities that the Chokecherry project requires just don't exist.

Read more

8:34am

Tue September 9, 2014
Energy

New Oil And Gas Commission Has Significant Industry And Government Representation

A drill site in Frederick abuts a residential neighborhood, August 2013. The growth of drilling near Front Range population centers has prompted bans and calls for more local control of drilling.
Jim Hill KUNC

Governor John Hickenlooper announced the 19 members of a task force whose goal is to address some of the recent controversy around energy development in the state.

The task force will examine land use issues and what role local governments have in regulating oil and gas activities within their boundaries. The creation of a task force is part of an agreement struck by the governor in order to avoid a citizen vote on oil and gas related ballot initiatives during the November 2014 election.  The governor and many others were concerned that passage of the ballot initiatives could have extremely negative consequences for the state.

Read more

Pages