Oregon and fracking
Oregon currently has no active fracking wells. However, in the past natural gas extraction from the Coos Bay basin in Southern Oregon fracked nine wells in the basin. It has been reported that the Coos Bay Basin still has potential for future gas production.
Oregon LNG is a $6 billion liquefied natural gas development project in Warrenton, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River. The project began in 2004 as an import facility, but owner Leucadia has applied for it to become an export facility with liquefaction capabilities. They plan for construction to begin in 2015 and for the project to be fully operational in early 2019.
In July 2014 the Department of Energy (DOE) gave conditional approval to the facility to export liquefied natural gas to countries that don't have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. It is authorized to export up to 1.25 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas for 20 years.
In 2009, FERC approved the Jordan Cove LNG import terminal proposed near Coos Bay, Oregon. Environmental groups suggested import made little sense, given plans to build a natural gas pipeline delivering gas from Wyoming to Oregon. In September 2011, acknowledging little import market existed, the Jordan Cove project filed an application for an export license with the Department of Energy. Ohio Attorney General Kroger responded by asking FERC to set aside the license it gave Jordan Cove for an import facility and pipeline, saying an import-export project has the potential to harm Oregon’s environment and economy.
In December 2011, the Department of Energy granted the Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline project a license to export liquified natural gas, making Jordan Cove the first project in 40 years in which developers proposed a new pipeline and terminal primarily to export natural gas. A 230 mile pipeline would stretch from the Klamath Basin to Coos Bay, crossing hundreds of streams and rivers, protected federal forestland, and private property. Developer Jordan Cove filed a preliminary application with FERC in February 2012 seeking pre-filing status to explore the feasibility of a liquefaction export project that would be built and operated at the same site. FERC granted that status.
On April 16, 2012, FERC vacated authorization of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal, as well as the certificate to construct the pipeline, concluding that an export facility serves a different purpose than an import facility, and requires its own full analysis of environmental and economic impacts. Those federal approvals are now void. Jordan Cove said they are working on getting their export application ready by 2013.
On March 23, 2014, the US Department of Energy conditionally approved the Jordan Cove LNG project, permitting it to export up to 0.8 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas per day for 20 years.
A U.S. geothermal company is working on extracting geothermal energy from a dormant volcano in central Oregon through fracking. It has been reported that "AltaRock Energy and Davenport Newberry, the companies behind the $43 million plan, have been granted a permit to hydrofrack the hot rocks flanking the Newberry volcano in Oregon, where Davenport Newberry has secured federal leases on 62 square miles of land." The plan is in the early stages of development.
The Newberry geothermal project will inject some chemicals into the ground along with pressurized water that will break open cracks in underground rock.
There are two geothermal plants in operation in Oregon, a small one in Klamath Falls at the Oregon Institute of Technology. Geothermal energy provides heat for the city of Klamath Falls. A second larger geothermal plat is in Malheur County, which borders Idaho and Nevada.
- "Natural Gas Update: Technology and Regulatory Advances" Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon, December 2, 2011.
- "Oregon Gas Drilling: Different Challenges Between Sandstone and Coal Beds" OPB, Bonnie Stewart, July 31, 2011.
- "Home," Oregon LNG website, accessed July 2014.
- "DOE approves second gas export terminal in Oregon," The Hill, July 31, 2014.
- Amelia Templeton, "Department of Energy Gives Jordan Cove License to Export Natural Gas," OPB, Dec. 7, 2011.
- Rob Manning, "Backers Of Proposed Natural Gas Terminal Undeterred By FERC Decision," NPR, April 17, 2012.
- David Unger, "US approves more LNG exports as Europe looks to curb Russian gas," CSM, March 24, 2014.
- "Energy Company Plans to Frack a Volcano" Wired UK, December 4, 2012.
- "NW Forestland Could Be Leased For Geothermal Development" Jefferson Public Radio, APR 12, 2015.
Related SourceWatch articles
Click on the map below for state-by-state information on fracking:
|This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.|