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Water used for fracking has always been a headache for the oil industry but now, thanks to new technology being developed in the United States, produced water – H2O used in the process of oil and gas extraction – could soon be recovered and used to power the operation or be put back into the grid, saving operators a bundle.

Critics of fracking have long pointed to the prodigious use of water in the fracking process as one of the reasons to be against the controversial procedure, which props open layers of shale rock in order to let the oil or gas hydrocarbons flow into the well bore.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Delays in Amtrak service and agricultural product shipping have eased across the Upper Midwest in part because weak oil prices have prompted a drilling slowdown in North Dakota, officials said.

Along with recent track upgrades, a recently completed pipeline and a new North Dakota refinery also has resulted in fewer oil-laden trains, freeing up rail space and lessening the potential for another disastrous derailment, like the 2013 explosion in Quebec that killed 47 people, involving crude from western North Dakota's oil patch.

The average retail price for motor gasoline this summer (April through September) is expected to be $2.67 per gallon, the lowest price (in real dollars, meaning adjusted for inflation) since 2009, based on projections in EIA's July Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). This decline is mainly the result of the projected 41% year-over-year decline in the average price of North Sea Brent crude oil.

Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of U.S. electric power generation for the first time ever earlier this spring, a milestone that has been in the making for years as the price of gas slides and new regulations make coal more risky for power generators.

About 31% of electric power generation in April came from natural gas, and 30% from coal, according to a recently released report from the research company SNL Energy, which used data from the U.S. Energy Department. Nuclear power came in third at 20%.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced the issuance of a final rule to establish the process for evaluating State excavation damage prevention programs and enforcing Federal standards in states where such requirements are inadequate or do not exist.

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — While gas prices nationwide are on a downward trend, California is experiencing a spike that could see prices top $4 a gallon before easing again, according to analysts.

A shortage in oil and other components used in refining California's unique blend of less-polluting gas was one of the reasons for the price jump, industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said.

A slowdown in imported crude and a refinery shutdown in Torrance also caused wholesale prices to skyrocket, experts said.

NEW YORK (AP) — A partnership run by Marathon Petroleum will spend $14.69 billion to buy MarkWest Energy Partners, a company that splits natural gas into other fuels.

The combined company will have a market capitalization of $21 billion and tie up Marathon's huge pipeline network with the refiner.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Regional utility Black Hills Corp. is buying natural gas provider SourceGas, which serves 425,000 customers in Nebraska, Arkansas, Colorado and Wyoming, for roughly $1.2 billion.

Black Hills is buying control of SourceGas from investment funds Alinda Capital Partners and GE Energy Financial. As part of the deal, Black Hills is also assuming $720 million of debt and expecting to receive $150 million in tax benefits.

McDermott International, Inc. was awarded a large brownfield contract by Saudi Aramco for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of twelve jackets for offshore oil and gas fields in Saudi Arabian waters. Engineering and procurement is expected to be performed by McDermott’s teams in Dubai, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The jackets are scheduled for fabrication by McDermott’s Dubai, U.A.E.-based fabrication facility.

The latest Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) prepared by the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand and prices through 2040. This analysis focuses on six scenarios: a reference case, low and high economic growth cases, low and high oil price cases, and the high oil and gas resource case.

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