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According to an Aug. 12 report from the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), petroleum engineers experienced the highest increase in median annual salary since 2011.

In 2013, the median average salary for petroleum engineers was $132,000, and it has increased by more than $10,000 since 2011.

Petroleum engineers are in demand in the United States, thanks to the surge in exploration and production at home and worldwide. These workers are in demand not only in the private sector, but also at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to oversee mineral resources.

Related: Eye on the Industry: Bakken Wages Generally Higher Than Other Shales

The report also stated that petroleum engineers have the highest starting salary of any of the engineering degrees offered, with an average starting pay of $89,000 and a midcareer salary of $159,900.

Shale oil production from Bakken, Eagle Ford up 3.4 percent in July

According to Bantek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts, oil production from shale formations in North Dakota and Texas increased by more than 86,000 barrels per day (b/d) or 3.4 percent in July.

Platts is a global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information.

Related: Blog: New Assessment Shows Greater Potential for Bakken, Three Forks

Crude oil production in the North Dakota section of the Bakken shale formation of the Williston Basin averaged nearly 1.2 million b/d in July, Bantek says. That total is 280,000 b/d higher than the July 2013 level.

Oil production from the Eagle Ford formation averaged 1.5 million b/d in July, up 411,000 b/d from July 2013.

“Oil production gains from the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale formations are a major reason why U.S. imports of crude oil have dropped to levels not seen since the mid-1990s,” says Jack Weixel, director of energy analysis for Bantek Energy.

Related: Bakken Beckons for Housing and Amenities

According to Baker Hughes, rig count was up this past week. With the last count on Aug. 15, the United States had 1,913 rigs, which is up five from Aug. 8 and up 122 from Aug. 15.

In North Dakota 185 rigs were recorded Aug. 15, which was up three from a week prior. In Texas, the rig count was at 901, down seven from the previous week.

Shell set to acquire more drillings rights in Pennsylvania

Royal Dutch Shell announced Aug. 20 that it will acquire more drilling rights in northern Pennsylvania later this year. The plan is for 155,000 acres in Potter and Tioga counties.

The company recently decided to leave its Pinedale and Haynesville onshore gas assets in exchange for about $2.1 billion, plus additional acreage in the Marcellus and Utica shales in Pennsylvania.

Royal Dutch Shell has focused on Marcellus gas in northeastern and central Pennsylvania as part of a venture with Houston-based Ultra Petroleum Corp, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Aqua Terra expands to Bakken

Aqua Terra Waste management recently acquired two saltwater disposal facilities in North Dakota operated by Borejacks Energy Services.

The acquisition of the two facilities is Aqua Terra’s first entry into the U.S. saltwater disposal industry. Aqua Terra was formed in November 2013 as an independent merchant operator of salt water disposal facilities. Before this acquisition, Aqua Terra was only present in Canada.

Paulk joins Integrated Drilling Equipment

Martin (Marty) Paulk, 52, was appointed senior vice president of sales, marketing and strategic implementation for Integrated Drilling Equipment according to an Aug. 19 press release.

Paulk was recently the senior director of global technical solutions and strategy at Key Energy Services, and before that he was at Halliburton from 1996 to 2013.

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