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Inspections of both conventional and unconventional natural gas wells broke records during 2017 in Pennsylvania, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection reported on Aug. 31. Program efficiencies including faster form submissions for operators and progress on improved e-permitting options helped raise compliance inspections to more than 36,000, PDEP said in its 2017 Oil and Gas Annual Report.

Privately backed Flywheel Energy LLC has agreed to acquire from Southwestern Energy Co. the company’s Fayetteville shale business and related midstream gathering assets for $1.865 billion in cash. Southwestern will divest 915,000 net acres, 4,033 operated producing wells, 3.7 tcf of proved reserves as of yearend 2017, anticipated production of 225-230 bcf in 2019, and associated midstream gathering systems and compression.

The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jointly signed a memorandum of understanding on Aug. 31 to expedite coordination between the agencies during permit application reviews for proposed LNG export facilities.

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America asked congressional energy leaders to hold hearings examining natural gas pipeline cybersecurity. “It is well known that US national energy infrastructure is regularly under attack by entities that wish to do great harm. When so much is resting on the reliability of natural gas pipelines, we cannot help but be concerned that the security requirements under the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are voluntary, not mandatory,” said IECA Pres. Paul A. Cicio.

The light, sweet crude oil contract for October gained but held below $70/bbl on the New York market Sept. 4 when US commodity trading resumed after the Sept. 3 Labor Day holiday in the US. Brent crude oil for November also gained slightly, settling above $78/bbl.

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