News bites: Report touts fracking boom as economic driver

An industry-financed study concludes that the U.S. surge in “unconventional” oil-and-gas production will trigger more than $5.1 trillion in capital spending and support more than 3.5 million jobs by 2035, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Bloomberg reports that BP’s deal with Russian energy giant Rosneft means that rivals like Exxon and Shell will lose out. From its story Monday:

BP’s agreement yesterday to sell its half of Moscow-based TNK-BP to Russia’s state-run oil company, OAO Rosneft (ROSN), for $12.3 billion in cash and almost one-fifth of Rosneft’s shares vaulted the U.K. energy producer to preeminence among foreign drillers in the Russian oil patch, said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in Houston.

Although other explorers may yet strike deals to search Russia’s vast untapped reserves, none will be able to replicate BP’s “seal of approval” from Russian President Putin, or match the London-based company’s access to powerful deputies such as Rosneft boss Igor Sechin, Molchanov said in an interview yesterday.

The New York Times reports that the deal could affect BP’s settlement with the U.S. government over the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

“The transactions would leave BP with a stake of nearly 20 percent in Rosneft and about $12.3 billion in cash, allowing the company to pursue drilling opportunities in the Russian Arctic and settle billions of dollars in penalties to be imposed by the United States government over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill,” the Times's item states.

The Los Angeles Times unwraps a new study on climate change and conflict in East Africa.