It’s been just a few, short weeks since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put down a failed military coup in his home country. In a decisive show of strength, the man who has been called a ruthless dictator restored order to Turkey with 24 violent hours. The day after the Friday coup, Erdogan prosecuted traitors publicly. Though the country is on its way back towards some kind of normalcy, the impacts of the failed coup are reverberating around the world, and the United States’ oil and gas industry isn’t immune.
Last week, the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business released findings from a study that investigated the economic consequences of the state’s ballot proposal no. 78. As Cathy Proctor, reporter with the Denver Business Journal, summarized in her recent article, “Ballot proposal No. 78, which calls for expanding Colorado’s existing 500-foot buffer zones around oil and gas operations to 2,500 feet, would be the death knell for an industry already reeling from a two-year bust in commodity prices if approved by voters in November.”
So what exactly would Colorado’s ballot proposal mean for the oil and gas industry?
In spite of the undeniable momentum that his campaign had at times, perhaps it was inevitable that party favorite Hillary Clinton would top Bernie Sanders and take the Democratic nomination for President. As the Sanders’ campaign finally accepted defeat, though, surrender — and Sanders’ highly valuable endorsement of Clinton — would come with a few caveats. In order to get the Democratic Party somewhat healed and ready for a Trump-Clinton face-off, Clinton’s campaign was forced to include a few of Bernie’s talking points in her platform.
“For an industry that is driven by innovation, the advent of horizontal and directional drilling paired with hydraulic fracturing has heralded an era of new beginnings and dramatically reduced operational footprint,” says new research collected by the Western Energy Alliance. “Companies are now able to do more with less, minimizing impacts on species and the landscapes they depend upon. Wildlife is truly gaining ground.”
For weeks now, the top story across the globe has been the United Kingdom’s controversial exit from the European Union. The vote, dubbed BREXIT, has rippled across the entire globe as the economy and the geo-political makeup of the world have suddenly shifted. While the dust settles over one of the biggest political firestorms in recent memories, the landmark vote will have short and long term implications for everyone across the globe. The oil and gas industry isn’t immune to the chaos, as the BREXIT vote will absolutely have ramifications for the industry’s future.
After two years and several million dollars, Colorado State University has released the findings of an unprecedented air emissions study conducted at sites throughout Colorado. By all accounts, this potentially industry-rattling study would not have been possible without the assistance of the oil and gas industry itself.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the previous estimates for the amount of gas in the Mancos Shale formation in Colorado’s Piceance Basin were a teensy bit off. How far? About 4,000 percent. A recent report from the organization stated that the deposit may have as many as 66.3 trillion cubic feet of gas, as opposed to a 2003 estimate which put the number at around 1.6 trillion. This new estimate puts Colorado as the second biggest home of gas in the nation.
Among the legislative issues facing Coloradans in the voting booth this November is the highly controversial initiative 63, or the “Right to Healthy Environment” Initiative. The petition still needs to clear the nearly 100,000 signatures required to become an official part of this November’s vote, but if it is put on the ballot, it could spell trouble for the oil and gas industry in the state.
Things continue to remain sparse in the oil and gas industry, and while public sentiment is almost inclined to cheer that development, the real victim of the industry downturn has been smaller oil and gas businesses across the country. While the industry’s financial hardships are expected to continue into the future, there’s hope on the horizon for the industry as a whole.