Cliff posted yesterday the breaking news that Obama’s new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had nullified the BLM’s illegal sale of leases to drill for gas and oil near Utah’s national parks.
The response from the oil industry was predictable:
But Kathleen Sgamma, director of government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, a nonprofit association that represents independent natural gas and oil producers in the Intermountain West, said her group had “grave concerns” over the direction the new administration was taking.
“This is going to make it more difficult to develop the natural gas resources we need for our nation’s energy security,” she said. [emphasis added]
So what about this?
Drillers cutting back in Utah’s biggest gas field
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The frenzied pace of drilling in Utah’s biggest gas field, the Uinta Basin, has seen a big decline with falling petroleum prices and tight bank credit.
The number of rigs at work statewide is down to 23, half of the number as last August, according to figures the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining plans to release Wednesday.
Also, the number of gas wells completed in January was 63, down from 84 for the same month last year.
Most of Utah’s drilling activity takes place near Vernal in the Uinta Basin, where one player, Colorado-based Gasco Energy, says it called off an expensive experiment to do horizontal drilling, which can dramatically boost production.
Gasco cited declining prices for Rocky Mountain natural gas, which is hard to pipe out of the region.
You bet the oil companies want to tie up these leases, whether they develop them or not. Look at the thousands of leases for off-shore drilling they now own but have never developed. And still, they want more of those too. And they want to rip up the delicate Utah landscape for oilshale as well!
The oil companies are not interested in our security so much as their own profits. With oil prices so low, there will be no new development. The oil companies try to make themselves look like patriots in this debacle. Let’s not be deceived. It’s only about money.