CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 |
SHAFTER, Calif. - A bustling city is sprouting on five acres here, carved out of a vast almond grove. Tanker trucks and heavy equipment come and go, a row of office trailers runs the length of the site and an imposing 150-foot drilling rig illuminated by football-field-like lights rises over the trees. It's all been hustled into service to solve a tantalizing riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States. Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction - primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization - can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves.
February 15, 2014 |
CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas - Just a few years ago this was a sleepy town of 5,600, and people eked out a living from the land. They farmed, worked ranches and leased their property to hunters to make a few dollars. Now, an oil and gas boom is transforming the economy of south Texas, turning Carrizo Springs into a busy city of at least 40,000. Texas oil companies, tapping a vast formation called the Eagle Ford shale, have nearly doubled oil production over the last two years and by next year are expected to produce 4 million barrels a day. That would catapult Texas ahead of Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates to become the fifth-biggest oil producer in the world.
August 30, 2013 |
BUENOS AIRES - When the Argentine oil company YPF announced two years ago that it had discovered some of the world's largest reserves of shale gas and oil on a barren plain in Patagonia, many began looking to the energy industry as the answer to Argentina's financial woes. The country's growing dependence on foreign fuel has been a main driver of economic instability. Oil and gas imports have drained currency reserves, and large energy subsidies have contributed to a soaring inflation rate.
April 8, 2013 |
General Electric Co. has agreed to acquire Lufkin Industries Inc. for more than $3 billion as the mega-firm looks to grow its expanding oil and gas business. The $88.50-a-share offer from GE represents a 38.4% premium over Lufkin's Friday $63.93 closing price. The deal for Lufkin, which employs 4,500 people in more than 40 countries, expands GE's artificial-lift capabilities to a larger variety of well types. GE Oil & Gas President Daniel C. Heintzelman said the acquisition beefs up his company's offerings in a segment that “is at the heart of critical changes” that are transforming the oil and gas industry, allowing producers to maximize the potential of wells.
March 31, 2013 |
The small oil town of Taft was built on petroleum -- and is now hoping for a second boom from the Monterey Shale. In a story on Sunday's front page, The Times wrote about the shale that runs miles underground through Southern and Central California. Oil companies are already drilling exploratory wells. Oil trapped in deep rock deposits in the Monterey is estimated at 15 billion barrels. That's four times the amount of oil in North Dakota's Bakken Shale, which has fueled a boom that's driven that state's unemployment rate to 3.3%, the nation's lowest.
March 30, 2013 |
TAFT, Calif. - This two-stoplight town was built on petroleum, and residents here never miss a chance to pay tribute. A 38-foot monument to wildcatters stands downtown; locals brag it's the tallest bronze sculpture west of the Mississippi. Every five years, the city throws an "Oildorado" festival. There's even a beauty pageant in which young women dubbed "the maids of petroleum" vie to be crowned queen. It's all an homage to the bustling days when Taft boasted two giant oil fields and Standard Oil Co. of California was headquartered there.