Thursday, March 07, 2013

Report: Search for oil, not drilling rules, driving rigs off federal lands

Overproduction of U.S. natural gas, not burdensome drilling regulations, is driving energy developers from western public mineral leases to non-federal lands rich in oil to the east. A new think-tank report found that liquid hydrocarbons, particularly shale oil, are where the drilling action is because of low natural gas prices. And this oil is found under private and state property, not the expanses of federal land in the Intermountain West. Aggressive production since 2003 has pushed down natural gas prices to historic lows, while surging global demand has made oil a more attractive target for energy development, according to report author Greg Zimmerman, policy director for Denver-based Center for Western Priorities...more

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