GENERAL INTEREST QUICK TAKES
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Chu: Decision to build Keystone XL a political one
The decision on whether to permit the construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is a political one and not one that is
scientific in nature, according to former US Energy Sec. Steven
Speaking at a news conference in Port of Spain Chu said, “I
don’t have a position on whether the Keystone Pipeline should
be built. That is for the secretary of State and the president. But
I will say that the decision on whether the construction should
happen was a political one and not a scientific one.”
Chu then told OGJ that he wanted to expand his statement
to say that the studies commissioned by the administration
were, in fact, scientific. Late last month, the US State Depart-
ment said in its long-awaited final supplemental environmental
impact statement that the 1,700-mile proposed construction
and operations of the Keystone XL line would not have signifi-
cant environmental impacts (OGJ Online, Feb. 1, 2014).
Chu said, “The entire statement should include that the
studies looking into what are the long-term effects are in fact
scientific and that is the only scientific part of the decision.”
Chu, who is a speaker at Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy
Chamber’s annual conference and trade show, said he expected
US crude production to increase by another 1 million b/d of oil
by yearend. Chu said this increase in production was a direct
result of tight oil, which has added millions of barrels of crude
in the last few years.
BPC releases first three commissioned papers on RFS
The Bipartisan Policy Center released the first three of five papers it commissioned on the federal Renewable Fuels Standard.
The papers are part of its effort to foster discussions on ways
to reform the RFS, which was established by the 2005 Energy
Policy Act and expanded by the 2007 Energy Independence
and Security Act, BPC said.
Oil industry groups have said RFS quotas assumed that US
crude oil production would continue to decline and demand
continue to rise when, in fact, the opposite has happened, creating significant compliance problems for refiners and other
The three papers—“Technical Barriers to the Consumption
of Higher Blends of Ethanol” by The International Council on
Clean Transportation, “Petroleum and Renewable Fuels Supply
Chain” by Stillwater Associates LLC, and “Inventory of Fed-
eral Regulations Affecting Biofuels other than the Renewable
Fuel Standard” by Van Ness Feldman—express the opinions of
their authors, and not the RFS advisory group BPC assembled
to discuss opportunities for reform, host public workshops, and
develop viable policy options.
Two remaining papers, which will present separate law
firms’ perspectives on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to amend the RFS, will be released at the end of
February, BPC said.
Range Resources selects chief executive officer
Range Resources Ltd. has named Rory Scott Russell as its chief
Russell most recently served as finance manager, exploration in Europe and Russia for Shell, where he gained more than
10 years of international experience in upstream positions.
In that role he oversaw all financial aspects of the business,
corporate governance and control, treasury management, and
sat on regional investment committees covering the North Sea,
onshore Netherlands and Germany, Italy, Russia, and Kazakhstan, Range said.
Russell previously worked in The Hague- and Moscow-based role of finance and commercial manager, exploration, in
Russia as well as in the strategic planning unit for Shell’s global
EXPLORATION & DEVELOPMENT QUICK TAKES
ExxonMobil expands acreage, enters Utica agreement
XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corp., has agreed
to fund development to gain operating equity in 34,000 gross
acres in the liquids-rich Wolfcamp in Texas’s Midland and Upton counties, increasing the company’s holdings in the Permian
basin to just more than 1.5 million net acres.
XTO also has signed an agreement with American Energy–
Utica LLC (AEU) that will enable AEU to earn 30,000 net acres
of XTO’s Utica basin leasehold in Ohio’s Harrison, Jefferson,
and Belmont counties.
In the Wolfcamp, Endeavor will continue to operate shallow