Nevada-focused U.S. Oil & Gas announced to investors today that Nevada Bureau of Land Management has agreed to approve a permit allowing for the drilling of its first exploration well, Eblana #1, located on the firm's Hot Creek Valley property. Major Oil International, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Oil & Gas, was awarded with the Application for the Permit to Drill (APD). The company plans to immediately begin preparing the drill site and will give an official spud date for the well in due course.
A consensus has recently been reached by state regulators, some energy companies, academics, and environmentalists that natural gas drilling has led to several incidents of water pollution; this is not due to fracking, which is a common method used for oil and natural gas extraction. Instead, wells that have been improperly or poorly built is a contributing factor to some water contamination cases. In instances like these, the wells were not accurately sealed with subterranean cement, and as a result, causing contaminants to travel from the underground up the well bore and into shallow aquifers that provide drinking water.
On Thursday, February 10, 2011, The First Court of Appeals in Houston handed down a decision that affirmed a previous ruling won by our firm, denying the defendants in a pipeline explosion case the opportunity for a rehearing, and simultaneously providing clear direction in future choice of law debates.
Often over looked during oil and gas booms is the negative effect the increased traffic can have on local residents or any other drivers on the road. With increased oil exploration, come more 18 wheelers, fatigued drivers, fatigued workers, and often increased drinking and driving. The results are often catastrophic. Drilling rigs are transported from one drill site to the other by 18 wheelers. Sometimes the weight of the loads can exceed 100,000 pounds which can make the potential accident more dangerous for all parties involved. Typically these loads are being hauled on small country roads with little room for the trucks to maneuver. If the truck driver is not paying attention, misses his location, or falls asleep behind the wheel the wreck that follows usually leaves people dead or permanently disabled.
On Monday, March 12th, the city of San Bruno, California agreed to receive a settlement of $70 million from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the owner of the pipeline explosion in 2010. This settlement was a result of a natural gas pipeline explosion that occurred in the Crestmoor residential neighborhood in San Bruno on September 9th, 2010. Following the explosion a fire with flames of three hundred feet high erupted which burned many nearby homes and injured many civilians. A total of eight people were reported killed in this incident and a total of thirty eight homes were destroyed.
In an effort to prevent a disaster as horrific as the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion from occurring again, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is proposing a $5 billion gas safety plan that will increase pipeline safety throughout California.
As a part of the BP settlement from the massive Gulf oil spill, a new system and fund is being set up for monitoring all concerns and compensating people for illnesses found to have a relationship to the disaster later on. Although there have not been any studies indicating significant evidence of spill related illnesses, experts agree there remains a question later down the road for victims exposed to the spill contents.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for pipeline explosions to occur after a resident has reported the smell of gas to the utility company and the company fails to properly respond. That is precisely what happened at a house in Austin, Texas earlier this year in January. In late November, the resident called the gas company, complaining of a gas smell. The company came to investigate, but said it could not make any repairs without a permit from the city. Six weeks later, the man's house exploded, killing him.