We bring you news updates every week, because we know you want to keep up with what’s going on in the oil and gas industry. The ups and downs, the mergers and court cases are all covered on gomcmag.com. Here’s a look at the top news stories of 2015.
10. Fire Destroys Tank Near Enbridge Facility in North Dakota
Storage tanks near a major gathering and distribution hub for crude oil produced in North Dakota caught fire on Jan. 1. The storage tanks in Williston, North Dakota, caught fire while trucks were delivering oil, but no one was injured and officials just let the fire die out on its own.
9. Oilfield Services Company Defends Controversial Billboard
BeDevil Enterprises in Killam, Alberta, says they have received dozens of emails, social media messages and even a visit from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police over a billboard for its business featuring a track hoe, a screwpile, flames, a half-naked woman and the slogan, “We drill them to hell and back.” The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has told the company that its advertisement “is not pornography and is less revealing than a Victoria Secret’s billboard.”
8. New Fracking Rules Set by Federal Government
The nation’s first major federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing on March 20. They will also require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals used in fracking within 30 days of completing fracking operations, using an industry-run website called FracFocus. The rules will also set safety standards for how fracking chemicals can be stored around well sites and will require companies to submit detailed information on well geology to the Bureau of Land Management.
7. Rig Count Increases First Time Since December
At the end of June, Baker Hughes Inc. reported the first increase in the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. since December 2014. The total then was 859.
6. Texas Man Arrested for Dumping Oilfield Waste on Highway
An Odessa, Texas, man was arrested and charged on Nov. 19 with disposing of oil and gas waste on Interstate 20 in the state and could face a fine up to $1,000. According to the Ector County Environmental Enforcement office, the sheriff’s office received a tip about the man driving down the highway and fluids leaking out of his semi-trailer. The man told officers that he had a loose gasket and did not intend to dump oilfield waste onto the highway.
5. Rig Count Continues Falling
The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by nine last week to 859, Baker Hughes announced on June 12. That week 635 rigs were seeking oil and 221 were seeking natural gas. Three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago in June, 1,854 rigs were active and oil prices were nearly double what they are now.
4. Halliburton Secures $500 Million for Drilling
Oilfield services company Halliburton said July 20 that it has tapped BlackRock Inc. for $500 million to help fund drilling in existing shale wells, the first move by a major oilfield services company at a time when producers are shying away from drilling new wells. The funding could help Halliburton speed up adoption of refracking, according to industry analysts.
3. Schlumberger Announces Merger with Cameron
Schlumberger announced it has signed a merger agreement with Cameron in which both companies will combine in a stock and cash transaction. The agreement was announced Aug. 27 by the board of directors at both companies. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2016.
2. Oilfield Services Company Slapped With Fine
Oilfield services company J&M Energy Services was fined $60,900 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations found during an investigation that began in January. OSHA says the investigation showed that J&M, based in Odessa, Texas, was failing to protect workers from coming into contact with H2S at a well site the company was servicing.
1. Marijuana Found Hidden in Oilfield Equipment
A 2015 Freightliner carrying a pressure washer skid was also found to be carrying over 4,000 pounds of marijuana after state troopers in Texas stopped the truck. State troopers stopped the truck on U.S. Highway 83 near Roma, Texas. The driver claimed he was delivering the pressure washer. The state troopers checked his claim and found it untrue. Not only was the company not expecting a pressure washer, but they didn’t use pressure washers at the truck’s supposed destination. Troopers searched the truck and found unusual welds on the pressure washer skid and could smell the marijuana. The state troopers uncovered 174 bundles of marijuana on the skid. The bundles weighed nearly 4,048 pounds, according to federal court records.