Arlington Gas Well Reportedly Sealed After Leak


A natural gas well in Arlington, Texas, was sealed up on Sunday by a company called Boots and Coots after a mishap at the drilling site.  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram states that the issue  prompted voluntary evacuations of homes.

No natural gas was reportedly released during the incident, city officials said, but 115 people were asked to leave their homes during the third effort to plug the well, according to the Star-Telegram.

Just before 3:30 p.m., Arlington city officials claimed that the well was sealed off and residents could go home. Those asked to evacuate had homes within an eighth of a mile from Vantage Energy’s Lake Arlington Baptist Church well site.

“This was a very serious situation,” Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson said in a prepared statement.

“To get this incident under control, we worked closely with all city departments, Vantage Energy, AISD, the Red Cross and our faith-based organizations. Working together, we resolved this as quickly and safely as possible.”

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, Vantage Energy called 911 to report that natural gas was pushing pressurized fracking water out of the well.

As a precaution, the Fire Department at first evacuated 13 nearby homes. The evacuation zone was expanded at about noon Sunday after two efforts to plug the leaking well were unsuccessful. The well was reportedly brought under control around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Public safety crews created dirt berms to contain fracking water that was back-flowing out of the well. Fire officials said the water did not enter Lake Arlington, a source of the city’s drinking water.

They said the drilling company would need to remedy effects of the incident at the drilling site. The Fire Department and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality conducted air monitoring, and no flammable gases were detected, Crowson said..

To help displaced residents, the Red Cross opened an Emergency Evacuation post at Martin High School in Arlington.

The drilling incident comes just days before a proposed state law, House Bill 40, comes up for debate in the Texas Legislature on Tuesday.

The bill, which would bolster state control over urban drilling, had to be rewritten after city officials complained during a contentious hearing in Austin that it limits local government influence over urban drilling.

The bill limits local control to surface activities such as noise abatement and trucking. Attempts to ban drilling would not be allowed.

Shortly before the well was brought under control, Fire Chief Crowson met with an elected state official Sunday afternoon at an Arlington fire station to reaffirm the need for cities to maintain local control.

“I’m concerned there is a potential that local control may be lessened. It is exactly local control that keeps the local community safe,” Crowson said.

Arlington has 56 pad sites with 306 gas wells, Crowson said. While the Fire Department has responded to gas releases and other incidents at pad sites in the past, Crowson said this was the first time an emergency well control team had to be called in.


(Updated post)

Malta and Azerbaijan To Develop LNG, Oil Hub: More Energy Independence For The Region?

File Image: Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania-Hungary (AGRI) Project

Malta and Azerbaijan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of a LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) hub which would serve for local and international markets, reports the Times of Malta.

The MOU targets “strategic collaboration” in the oil and gas sector as part of the government’s vision to transform energy and petroleum sectors into key value added economic activities, and both sides identified a number of key areas, according to

The European Union is also looking southwards to develop a “southern gas corridor” for natural gas from Azerbaijan to fuel the European mainland.

More here

Kurds Claim ISIS Used Chemical Weapons

A UN arms expert collects samples on 29 August 2013 in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb

The Kurdish government in Iraq says it has evidence examined by an independent laboratory confirming that the Islamic State (ISIS) used chemical weapons against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

A statement Saturday from the Kurdistan Region Security Council said that the chemical weapon attack involved chlorine gas used in a Jan. 23 suicide car bomb attack in northern Iraq, according to

It said the alleged attack took place on a road between Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and the Syrian border.  The statement said it happened as Peshmerga forces fought to control a vital supply line used by the Sunni militants ISIS.

The Kurds say samples were analyzed by an “unnamed lab” in an “unnamed coalition partner nation,” which found traces of chlorine.

OBAMA: Gas Savings Won’t Last Forever


According to Business Insider, President Barack Obama is warning Americans that the low gas prices won’t last forever.

In an interview with The Detroit News’ David Shepardson, Obama said Americans should use the savings wisely.

“I would strongly advise American consumers to continue to think about how you save money at the pump because it is good for the environment, it’s good for family pocketbooks and if you go back to old habits and suddenly gas is back at $3.50, you are going to not be real happy,” Obama told The Detroit News.

By Wells Fargo’s estimate, the bottom 20% of income earners could save nearly $250 over a year with current prices. Those earning the most will have an extra $814 on average.

Obama suggested Americans keep the money in savings or buy an appliance that will still be useful even after gas prices go up.

“Obama said ‘folks should enjoy’ low gas prices,” Shepardson reports, “but cautioned that they won’t be around forever. Americans could sock away some of the money, ‘or better yet’ buy a new car or new appliance, [Obama] said.”

Dukee Explosion Could Have Been Avoided

Hate “Big Government” regulations? Chances are, you’ve never had your home destroyed by a giant explosion of human waste.

The Bangkok Post reports that a cesspool filled with excrement exploded in Zhangjiajie, China, injuring 15 people and knocking down a building on Saturday.  Accumulated methane gas from the cesspool exploded after someone decided to burn trash too close to an unregulated cesspit full of human waste.

Three of the injured had to be hospitalized.

Thankfully, nobody died.  The Bangkok Post blames the poop explosion on a lack of government regulation.

China’s urban infrastructure has often been hastily built with little regard for safety as hundreds of millions of people have moved from the countryside to cities in recent decades.

Secular Talk video.

Bangkok Post article:

MSNBC: Why Are Gas Prices So Low In The U.S.?

Global forces are driving down prices at the pump, and it’s expected to save U.S. consumers billions of dollars over the next year.  Chris Hayes looks at the different reasons why gas prices are low.

MSNBC video.

Fox News On Gas Prices

According to sources, Fox News has officially criticized Obama for making gas prices too cheap, whereas when gas prices were higher, Fox New would complain about gas being to expensive.

Kyle Kulinski video.

Whoa: Louisiana Senator Landrieu Cites Race As Factor For President’s Unpopularity

MaryLandrieuThursday, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu gave reasons for the President’s unpopularity and cited race as a factor.  Republicans are calling on her to apologize.

Her comments came after an NBC reporter asked the senator why Obama has such low approval ratings in Louisiana.  Landrieu’s first response was that the president’s energy policies are deeply disliked by residents of the oil and gas-rich state.

She then added, “I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.”

Landrieu is in a tight re-election battle with Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.  Tea Party favorite Rob Maness is polling in a distant third place.

Landrieu is sometimes seen as a conservative Democrat, and works tirelessly on behalf of oil and gas interests.

Republicans claimed to take offense and put their own spin on the comments.

According to the Washington Post, Cassidy said the opposition to Obama has more to do with policy than race.  Maness said, “Quite frankly, Sen. Landrieu owes the people of Louisiana an apology for relegating them to nothing but racists and sexists.”

State Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere called the remarks “insulting to me and to every other Louisianian.”  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called the comment “a major insult” to the people of the state.

Issues Facing Joe Biden For President

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

In Democratic polling, Joe Biden almost always comes in 2nd to Hillary Clinton.  As Obama’s Vice President and former senator, Joe Biden’s decision-making style is a “known quantity.”  He has name recognition and credibility. 

What issues could potentially go against Biden – should he campaign for President?

One of the most notable issues may be the fact that his youngest son, Hunter Biden, currently works for Ukraine’s largest private gas producer (as measured by volume).  

The White House has downplayed the notion of a conflict of interest with Hunter Biden’s appointment. 

Indeed, American conflict-of-interest laws and federal ethics rules essentially do not regulate the business activities of adult relatives of those who work in the White House, and some sources claim that there’s no indication that the situation crosses legal or ethical lines.

However, ethics experts appear divided.

“The primary problem here is the fact that Hunter Biden has set up a financial arrangement with someone who might have business pending before this administration,” said Craig Holman, an ethics expert with Public Citizen.

On June 7th, 2014, Joe Biden led the U.S. delegation at the inauguration of Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, and announced $48 million in additional aid for the Kiev government.

Joe Biden met Poroshenko and said “there is a window for peace and you know as well as anyone that it will not stay open indefinitely … America is with you.”

The Office of the Vice President said some of the money will help Ukraine “enhance its energy security.” 

Hunter Biden is a lawyer with insider connections to the financial industry and government.

Hunter Biden’s appointment comes as the U.S. and much of the West seeks to help Ukraine wean itself off its dependence on Russia for oil and gas supplies.

Burisma’s biggest subsidiary, Esko Pivnich, pumps gas from the Poltava region east of Kiev.  At least two oil and natural gas fields leased by subsidiaries of Burisma are in Ukrainian territories where pro-Russian sentiments remain strong,  

Eastern Ukraine is the major oil and gas producing region of Ukraine, accounting for approximately 90 per cent of Ukrainian production.  

Countries like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France have given up plans to develop shale gas deposits in their territories.  Also, Germany announced that it would halt shale-gas drilling for the next seven years over groundwater pollution concerns.

Supposedly, Eastern Ukraine is also one of the few places in Europe that has oil and doesn’t have a fracking ban. 

Burisma is controlled by Nikolai Zlochevsky, a former member of Parliament for Mr. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Zlochevsky served as Mr. Yanukovych’s minister of environmental protection from July 2010 and then become minister of ecology and natural resources in December 2010.  These are key positions with influence over the oil and gas industry.  It is interesting that an oil and gas producer would serve as the minister of environmental protection.

During his tenure as a government minister, Burisma and entities associated with the firm received a large number of permits for oil and gas exploration in Ukraine and stepped up their output considerably, according to Ukrainian press reports.  

Hunter Biden’s appointment came a few weeks after Devon Archer —college roommate of Christopher Heinz, John Kerry’s stepson—joined the board of Burisma. 

Mr. Archer was an adviser to Mr. Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004 and co-chaired his National Finance Committee. According to his biography, he serves as a trustee of the Heinz Family Office, which manages the family business.

When his father was in the U.S. Senate, Hunter Biden’s work as a lobbyist came under scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal reported that Hunter Biden and his uncle had run a fund of funds that was being marketed exclusively by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford’s companies.  Mr. Stanford later was sentenced to 110 years in prison for masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme..

The hiring of Joe Biden’s son comes at a time when Ukraine is trying to get as much oil and gas as it can because it wants to wean itself off of Russian energy.  There will be little competition from other European nations.  $48 million in additional aid for the Kiev government was pledged recently by the United States.  

The optics make it look like the Biden family wants to somehow profit from this.  It doesn’t look good and there could be more to this.  It could become a point of contention with Biden’s potential Republican opposition.