Eco-news in brief 10-9
By CG News Editor April Jaynes
Local deep-shale drilling partnership shows production
Randy Wolfe of R. Wolfe Oil & Gas LLC and local developer Brent Hayes reported early this week that their vertical hydraulic fracturing well in Rome Township is beginning to produce oil. The well was drilled into the Utica-Pt. Pleasant shale formation that underlies much of Ohio and the shale fracturing for the well was completed about three weeks ago. The drillers’ first production report is due to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources 60 days after the fracking procedure for the well is complete. Wolfe said that although he thinks the well shows promise for decent amounts of oil extraction, it is still too early to predict how much oil the well will produce. The well will be the first substantial data point for deep-shale drilling in Athens County.
Climate experts predict weak El Nino
An increase of surface water temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific tell scientists and climate experts that a weak El Nino could develop in October. As a result, wetter weather is likely to occur along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast, rather than in the United States’ midsection where states have suffered from drought. Scientists are on the lookout for deviations from averages to predict more about the strength of the El Nino, but climate change is making predictions increasingly difficult to make. Additionally, a large pocket of cold water in the North Pacific off the coast of Alaska is weakening the increase of surface water temperatures.
Australia issues free emissions permits to help lower carbon levels
Last week the Australian government issued its first carbon emissions permits, free of charge, to aluminum producer Alcoa and Queensland Nitrates in hopes of ultimately reducing the nation’s total carbon emissions. This is part of the government’s $8.9 billion program to help certain businesses that face global competition lower carbon emissions. In July, Australia enacted the Clean Energy Future Package, which established a goal of reducing national emissions to 5 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. The package also levies a carbon tax on its 300 largest polluting companies and provides incentives for renewable energy and efficiency improvements like the free carbon emissions permits for Alcoa and Queensland Nitrates.