Oil and Gas


Thu August 28, 2014
Oil and Gas

3-0: Judge Strikes Lafayette's Voter-Approved Fracking Ban

Fracking pump trucks during a fracturing operation at a well pad site near Longmont, Colo.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn KUNC

A Boulder district court judge struck down a 2013 voter-approved fracking ban in Lafayette. The move follows similar court rulings against Longmont and Fort Collins, where voters passed bans or moratoriums restricting hydraulic fracturing.

The lawsuit was initiated by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, which argued that a ban on fracking was effectively a ban on oil and gas development.

Read more


Fri August 22, 2014

See The Burn: New Map Shows Flaring In Your State

A well site flares outside of Longmont, Colo., in Weld County, June 2014.
Jim Hill KUNC

Flaring – the practice of burning natural gas, often when it's produced as a byproduct of oil drilling – has come under scrutiny in recent years. In part this is because new oil plays are resulting in a lot of gas being flared off.

A new map released by the group SkyTruth uses U.S. satellite data to show flaring in the United States You can see flaring between March and August 2014, and zoom in and out to see flaring in specific locations.

Read more


Fri August 22, 2014
Reporter's Notebook

Boom And Bust Along Colorado's Pawnee Pioneer Trails Byway

Colorado has 25 historic and scenic byways, the Pawnee Pioneer Trails are 128 miles found on the eastern plains.
Grace Hood KUNC

Small town, rural life has always fascinated me. I’ve met Coloradans who find the wide, open skies of the plains compelling. There’s something about the feeling you get from just being there, they say.

To get a sense of this region, I decided to drive along the Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic Byway.

Read more


Thu August 21, 2014

EPA Testing Methods To Detect Fracking Chemical Contamination

The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water.
MIKI Yoshihito Flickr-Creative Commons

Residents living in the midst of the oil and gas boom often wonder if their drinking water may be contaminated by the drilling process.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working on improving ways to test for that. Agency scientists recently published results of a method to test for five chemicals that often appear in fracturing fluid.

Read more


Thu August 14, 2014
Oil and Gas

For Pipeline Health, Industry Believes In The Power Of The Pig

A "smart pig" used to inspect the Belle Fourche pipeline.
Stephanie Joyce Wyoming Public Media

The pipeline tool known as a pig is versatile. In the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, Bond used a pig to blow up a pipeline. In 1987’s The Living Daylights, defecting Soviet spy Georgi Koskov used a pig as an escape route. Again in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, a pig was used to smuggle a nuclear weapon.

Pigs aren't just excellent James Bond plot devices, they also have practical applications.

Read more