Williams Cos. says market conditions and regulatory hurdles are to blame for its decision to reduce the number of natural gas rigs it will operate in Colorado's Piceance Basin this year. Williams expects to operate as many as 10 rigs this year, down from 25 in 2008.
Representatives from the oil and natural gas industry spoke in advance of appearing at a hearing today by the House Natural Resources Committee to discuss proposed drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. "While we are busy developing alternative energy and doing research to see what might be out there in the future ... this administration needs to do what it can to nurture and develop our historic sources" of energy, said Larry Nichols, chairman and CEO of Devon Energy.
A letter from Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, made public Tuesday, says the state's "policies do not support exploration for oil or production of gas or oil" off the coast. State Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, said he felt "a little bit ambushed" by the governor's letter, which emphasized his break with state Republicans on the issue of drilling.
The head of the Interstate Natural Gas Association is urging Congress to address the group's concerns that states can delay the construction of natural gas pipelines approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The push comes as Congress works to update policies regulating the transmission of electricity between states.
President Barack Obama's address Tuesday to Congress included a call for investment in alternative energy as well as limits on carbon dioxide production. The administration will unveil its proposed federal budget this week that designates $15 billion annually for energy development.