Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "drilling" ...

  • Drilling Down: Big Oil’s Bidding

    When the government awards energy companies the rights to drill for offshore oil and gas, it’s supposed to make sure the American public, which owns the resources, doesn’t get screwed. The government is required by law to use “competitive bidding” and to ensure that taxpayers receive “fair market value.” However, decades of data suggest that the government has been falling down on the job, a Project On Government Oversight analysis found. Among POGO’s discoveries: Instead of taking the trouble to estimate the value of individual offshore tracts, the government has simply labeled many of them worthless and has awarded drilling rights on that basis. Energy companies have invested billions of dollars in tracts the Interior Department categorized as “non-viable”—in other words, worthless. Over the past 20 years, more than two-thirds of the leases that ultimately became energy-producing had been deemed worthless by the Interior Department.
  • Newsday Investigation: Pathway to Power

    In a panoramic, 30,000-word narrative, reporters exposed the underpinnings of Long Island’s corrupt political system through the life of a onetime street hoodlum who would eventually own a castle-like estate that became the Island’s unofficial political clubhouse and the site of a startling attempt on his life. Drilling deep below decades of numbing public scandals, the project is the defining document of how local power works on Long Island, how the public gets exploited and why unscrupulous operators persistently prevail.
  • Potter County, Pennsylvania: Private & Public Drinking Water Sources Contamination by Illegal Chemicals

    Public Herald broke the story about groundwater and surface water contamination from drilling operations by JKLM Energy in Potter County that impacted private and public water supplies. Since our first breaking report, we have been contacted by residents who informed us that they were not notified that the local groundwater had been contaminated, continued to use their water and experience stomach and digestive pain and discomfort. County officials applaud the industry for being "responsible" despite illegal operations and a refusal by the company to release a full list of chemicals that contaminated water sources.
  • The Shale Bargain

    The Shale Bargain uncovered systemic failures on the part of state regulators to enforce environmental, health and safety standards for the multi-billion-dollar drilling industry. http://topics.pennlive.com/tag/the-shale-bargain/
  • In North Dakota Oilfield Spill Problems Worsen; State Officials Misrepresent North Dakota’s Spill Problem

    Wastewater - also called saltwater or brine - is a common by product of oil and gas drilling. Wastewater spills are a common occurrence in North Dakota's oilfield. Inside Energy looked into state data to find out HOW common, and then used this analysis when the largest saltwater spill in state history occurred in January of 2015. We found that spills were on the increase, and that state officials regularly downplayed or misrepresented the spills. While oil spills generate headlines, wastewater spills are more devastating and can leave farmland sterile for generations.
  • Something In The Water

    For years, the state of Texas has said there is no link between water contamination and natural gas drilling. WFAA’s “Something In The Water” series has made it difficult for the state to maintain that stance. Our series, which is still ongoing in 2016, focuses on how a fireball erupted from a rural family’s water well in the Barnett Shale natural gas field. Our investigation found gas drillers not properly cementing their wells to protect underground water, and fudging permitting paperwork with state regulators. Our stories have prompted a board of top EPA scientists to now question whether drilling is linked to contamination. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151843222/9cb971b521
  • Danger Zone: Examining safety in the oil and gas boom

    In its "Danger Zone" investigation, EnergyWire found that lax safety procedures in the booming oil and gas drilling industry are killing workers. The series showed that many of the threats to workers, such as explosions and toxic gases, also threaten the general public.
  • Peril in the Oil Patch

    Deaths in the oil fields reached a 10-year high nationwide in 2012, and the Houston Chronicle spent more than a year examining the carnage behind the nation’s oil and gas boom. A kick-off series published in February 2014 identified the most death-prone oil patch employers and explored why the government has failed to keep its promise to enact specific onshore drilling regulations and why, as a result, offshore workers receive more protections than those in states like Texas. The stories mined government reports, examined workers' comp insurance claims, profiled workers and their families and confronted Texas employers responsible for a disproportionate numbers of deaths. The newspaper went on to explore information on deaths in traffic accidents related to the oil boom that were published and aired in September 2014 in a collaboration that included radio reports by a reporter from Houston Public Media. With that partnership, the series reached far more oilfield workers and their families – who are based in far-flung areas throughout Texas. The final story in the Chronicle series, published in December, revealed how oilfield accidents are often under-reported nationwide – benefiting drilling companies who sometimes hide accidents to win contracts. The series included print stories, interactive maps and audio reports.
  • Danger Zone

    The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the United States has turned the world's energy economy upside down. For the first time in 20 years, the country is producing more oil than it imports. The rapid increase in production, driven by hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," has also started a passionate argument about safety and environmental protection. But the drilling industry's status as one of the most dangerous in the country for workers is often overlooked. It's rarely mentioned, even though many of the threats to workers, such as explosions and toxic gases, also present a threat to the general public.
  • Big Oil, Bad Air

    Texas lies at the epicenter of the nation’s hydraulic fracturing – fracking – boom. What began in the Barnett Shale of North Texas 15 years ago has spread to the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and across the United States, to include regions unaccustomed to dealing with the fossil fuel industry. Until early 2014, the national media had paid little attention to the frenzy of drilling in the Eagle Ford, one of the most active shale plays in the world. It seemed the right place for us to explore a little-discussed yet critical aspect of the boom: toxic air emissions associated with wells, compressor stations and processing plants.