Utah Moves to Update Regulation of Oil, Gas Wells
Deseret News reported: SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Air Quality Board is proposing to revamp the way it regulates the oil and gas industry by streamlining the permitting process of producing wells, which make up more than half of the “minor” source permits in the state. Utah has 12,300 producing crude oil and natural gas wells,according to 2013 numbers, and ranks 10th in the country for natural gas production and 11th for crude oil production. The majority of those wells are in eastern Utah’s Uinta Basin, which struggles with heavy buildup of ozone air pollution in the winter. A series of proposed rules out for public comment set a new threshold for the amount of emissions, but are designed to create more efficiencies for both the state and the industry.
Argentina Ex-energy Officials Indicted on Alleged LNG Overpayments
Platts reported: A federal judge in Argentina has indicted two former energy officials for alleged irregularities regarding LNG imports, a copy of the ruling showed. Judge Claudio Bonadio ordered Julio De Vido, the former minister of planning who oversaw national energy affairs from 2003 to 2015, and his former righthand man, Roberto Baratta, to be held in custody awaiting trial, according to a 269-page ruling issued late Thursday. Baratta, the ex-secretary of coordination and control of the Planning Ministry, was arrested late Thursday. De Vido couldn’t be brought in because of immunity as a congressman. The alleged “fraud” between 2008 and 2015 cost the state Pesos 7 billion ($401 million), according to the ruling. This came as dwindling gas production left the country short of gas, which meets half of national energy needs. Gas production plunged to a 16-year low of 113.7 million cu m/d in 2014 from a record 143 million cu m/d in 2004, as government- imposed caps on gas pricing discouraged investment.