In this week’s gas, oil and mining news, learn which group aims to improve community relations on fracking, and find out what new technology is in the works for refineries.

The oil industry’s largest lobbying group began a new effort to ease public fears about hydraulic fracturing after a legal setback in New York and a voter push in Colorado to ban the practice.           

The Washington-based group, American Petroleum Institute, released guidelines on July 9 for improving community relations as fracking extends to more towns, raising concerns about pollution risks.           

The document reads like an etiquette guide for producers moving into rural towns to start drilling. Companies are encouraged to distribute educational materials, introduce executives to community leaders, work with local schools to train residents to work at well sites and develop relationships with landowners sitting atop oil and gas reservoirs.

Related: New York mayor backs ‘responsible’ fracking

June coal production down

In figures released by the EIA on July 10, U.S. coal production totaled approximately 78.5 million short tons (mmst) for the month of June. 

The production estimate is 1 percent lower than the production estimate from June 2013.           

Related: Editor's Notebook: More Than the Dairy State

Coal production east of the Mississippi River totaled 34.5 mmst in June, while west of the Mississippi River is was 44.9 mmst.

GE develops new stabilizer solutions for refineries

GE announced on July 9 two new products that will help refineries process incompatible crude oil blends.           

Related: Fabricated Geomembrane Institute to hold course on shale oil and gas development

Unlike many traditional asphaltene dispersants, GE’s new EmBreak 2167 and EmBreak 2168 crude stabilizers are ashless and do not contain any metals that could contribute to catalyst contamination or equipment fouling.           

The new oil-based crude stabilizers are part of GE’s patent-pending technology that can be used specifically in refinery desalters and other oil and water separation equipment.

Traditional asphaltene dispersants can contain metals, such as phosphorous or calcium, which can act as a catalyst to foul downstream equipment. Fouling is the accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces that impedes the function of the equipment.

SandBox Logistics signs deal with Liberty Oilfield Services

SandBox Logistics, on July 7, signed a 5-year contract with Liberty Oilfield Services to deploy its proprietary system for the transportation, site storage and delivery of frac sand to Liberty’s Colorado operations. 

SandBox can increase operational efficiency by eliminating many of the logistics problems and transportation bottlenecks that are common in the industry, according to a press release from Liberty. 

The system reduces silica dust and noise pollution, improving both environmental conditions and safety at frac operations.

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