Oil and Gas


Wed January 11, 2012
National Security

Can Iran Close The World's Most Important Oil Route?

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 8:24 pm

A member of Iran's navy participates in a drill on Dec. 28, 2011, in the Sea of Oman. Tehran is threatening to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, in retaliation for new sanctions by the West.
Ali Mohammadi AP

As tensions rise between Iran and the West, Tehran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a transit route for one-fifth of the world's oil. Is it more than an empty threat?

"The simple answer is: Yes, they can block it," Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on CBS's Face the Nation on Jan. 8.

"They've invested in capabilities that for a short period of time block the Strait of Hormuz," he said.

Read more


Mon January 9, 2012

Drilling Bans Highlight Ambiguity in Colorado Law

In 2009, then Governor Bill Ritter pushed through sweeping changes to the state’s oil and gas regulations.  The goal was to better protect the environment and public health from drilling.

Read more


Tue January 3, 2012

Arapahoe County Scraps Proposed Oil and Gas Regs

KUNC file photo

Arapahoe County commissioners have voted down proposed, tougher regulations governing oil and gas drilling.  The county south of Denver had been the latest local government to consider tightening its laws as drilling has begun to boom in populated areas along the Front Range.

Read more


Mon December 5, 2011

Colorado Regulators Mull 'Fracking' Disclosure Rule

An oil and gas well along the Colorado Front Range.
KUNC file photo

At a hearing this morning, Colorado regulators will consider a new rule that would force oil and gas companies to disclose what chemicals they use when hydraulically fracturing wells. The industry uses these chemicals along with a mix of water and sand to “frack” wells deep beneath the earth.  Nearby states like Wyoming and Texas recently put similar “mandatory disclosure” laws on the books and many oil and gas companies have recently come on board with Colorado's proposal.  But some say the rule doesn’t go far enough.

Read more


Thu December 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Oil Boom Puts Strain On North Dakota Towns

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 9:30 am

Austin Mitchell walks away from an oil derrick outside Williston, N.D. With what many are calling the largest oil boom in recent North American history, temporary camps to house the huge influx of workers now dot the sparse North Dakota landscape.
Gregory Bull AP

The tough economy has taken its toll on most states, putting budgets deep in the red and putting people out of work.

But North Dakota has a low 3.5 percent unemployment rate and a state budget with a billion dollar surplus. That's because of a major oil boom in the western part of the state, a discovery of at least 2 billion barrels to be gained by fracking — the controversial process of injecting fluid deep into underground rock formations to force the oil out.

Read more