10 Stories

Seattle's Giant Drill, 'Bertha,' Is Stuck

Huge tunnel borer hits a big and unknown snag

(Newser) - A giant drill boring beneath a section of Washington's State Route 99 has ground to a halt after hitting a mysterious clog some 60 feet underground. The five-story tunnel drill, Bertha, slowed to a crawl Saturday about 1,000 feet, or one-eighth of the way, into its dig beneath... More »

Fracking Quakes Could Be Avoided ... for $10M Per Well

And it's $10M the energy industry doesn't want to pay

(Newser) - Scientists say there's a simple way to minimize the risk that the natural gas extraction technique known as "fracking" will cause earthquakes—like the one that hit Ohio on New Year's . But there’s a catch: It costs $10 million per injection well, a price the energy... More »

Texas 1st to Pass Fracking Law

Drillers must disclose the chemicals they use starting July 2012

(Newser) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill requiring drillers to publicly disclose the chemicals they use when extracting oil and gas from dense rock formations, the first state to pass such a law. Several other state agencies have passed regulations forcing some disclosure, but none have made it a... More »

Halliburton More Than Doubles Its Profits in Q1

North American drilling, high oil prices help

(Newser) - Despite challenges arising from political unrest in the Arab world, Halliburton's net income has more than doubled during the first quarter of 2011. The oil-field services company credits the soaring earnings to an increase in unconventional North American oil and natural-gas drilling; the AP reports that North American revenue... More »

Hydrofracking's Ugly Secret: From Gas Wells, Bad Water

Radiation more than 1K times legal limit not properly treated

(Newser) - It's called "hydrofracking"—injecting huge amounts of water, sand, and chemicals underground to break up rock formations and release natural gas—and it has an ugly secret. The technology allows energy companies to wring out small pockets of natural gas all across America—the number of gas wells... More »

BP Well Almost Blew Up Months Earlier

Good thing they learned from their mistakes

(Newser) - BP knew its Macondo well was in trouble long before it exploded—because it was dealing with cracks in its seal way back in February. The company spent 10 days trying to seal up the holes, experiencing repeated difficulties that suggest it was using the wrong kind of cement. Cracks... More »

Shell Gets Go Ahead for Arctic Drilling

Court clears the way for exploratory drill

(Newser) - Shell got the go ahead to ' drill, baby, drill ' in the Arctic this summer, after a three-judge panel rejected a legal challenge standing in the way of their plans. The court determined that the federal Minerals Management Service ( Um, remember them? ) weighed the potential threat to... More »

Drill, Baby, Drill!: Palin

Renewable energy, domestic oil development are complementary

(Newser) - Even as the US develops renewable-energy sources and cars that don’t need gas, it’s important to recognize that petroleum will be a part of our lives for some time, writes Sarah Palin. And as long as we need it, we should be getting as much as possible from... More »

US Frontier Mythology Is Alive and Dangerous

(Newser) - Sarah Palin took to the national stage in August 2008, and two weeks later Lehman Brothers collapsed. That's a helpful metaphor, writes Naomi Klein in the Guardian, who sees the former Alaska governor as "the last clear expression of capitalism-as-usual before everything went south." The financial crisis should... More »

Congress Mulls Tighter Offshore Drilling Rules

Natural-gas firms currently exempt from clean-water laws

(Newser) - A bill pushed by Dick Cheney 4 years ago freed natural-gas drillers from clean-water laws, but pollution concerns are driving congressional Democrats to rethink the matter, ProPublica reports. They’ve drafted legislation that would end the natural-gas exemption and require drillers to reveal the chemicals they use in their work,... More »

10 Stories