Petroleum News Story by Alan Bailey (NGP Photo). In a Sept. 15 letter to state Rep. Doug Isaacson, Brad Janorschke, general manager of Homer Electric Association, said that his utility had quit the Alaska Railbelt Cooperative and Electric Co., or ARCTEC, in early 2013 because, rather than pursuing cost-saving projects that would jointly benefit ARCTEC’s member utilities, ARCTEC’s sole purpose seemed to have become lobbying for grant funding from the state Legislature. A desire of some ARCTEC members to hire a CEO for the organization had also factored into Homer Electric’s decision, Janorschke said. * * * Joe Griffith, ARCTEC CEO, told Petroleum News Sept. 23 that, while concerns about the cost of hiring of a CEO may well have motivated Homer Electric to leave the organization, Janorschke’s accusations that ARCTEC had become purely a lobbying organization were essentially “balderdash.”
Observation: we may have more to say about this in a future editorial comment.
Suffice to say, we normally default to having the 'cost causer be the cost payer.' This means that -- in this case -- the rate payers receiving electric service have to pay for it.
Alan Bailey's article is all about the accusation that ARTEC members are seeking to have others pay for the rate payer projects and benefits in their service areas.
We tend to put significant credence on the Homer Electric decision and position while still leaving a little opening for valid counter arguments by the other ARTEC utilities. We would observe that the word, "Balderdash", adds little credibility to construction of a valid counter argument.
We would ask each of the ARTEC members to answer several questions: "If your utility, under your leadership, needs an ARTEC group, and is not capable of properly serving your customers, why are you still in charge?"
Another question might be, "If one of ARTEC's supposed values is having the member utilities coordinate with one another, why do you need a bureaucracy to communicate; why not do that as a matter of course, as good managers?"
Lastly, if you would justify your own request for state subsidy by saying, "Well, Fairbanks is trying to get the state to subsidize its natural gas system," I would suggest that should also be the responsibility of very highly compensated utility managers, rate analysts, lawyers and employees in that service area which they have pledged to serve.
Yes, the time honored concept of 'just and reasonable' rates arises from the foundational principle that the 'cost causer is the cost payer'.
When we try to have the state give public money, we take that money 1) from the taxpayer, and/or 2) from the citizens elsewhere in the state whose highway, port, public safety and education projects may go begging.
This makes ARTEC rate payers pay less for the service than it actually costs and thus creates the circumstance of 'an unjust and unreasonable' rate.
Usually an 'unjust' rate is too high a rate; in this case, it means rate payers pay too little for their service which politicians allowed other parts of the state, or other taxpayers to subsidize.
Lastly, being realistic, we acknowledge that politicians trade money and projects back and forth all the time, creating inequality of benefit wherever they go.
For example, ARTEC has already received over $50 million in state money grants while the votes to get that money required trading money to other parts of the state. Is that a 'just and reasonable' process? Probably not.
Is it likely to see reform? Not likely. -dh
WSJ: Alaska's Lessons For The Keystone XL Pipeline
|IOGCC's Gerry Baker reminds readers to register for the Columbus, Ohio meeting just weeks away.
Sister organization, NARUC, reminds us of its 126th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, coming in November.
Resolutions of both organizations go to State and DC Policy makers so energy company participation is mission essential. -dh
TODAY'S GASLINE MEETING IN FAIRBANKS: The Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) Community Advisory Council will hold its monthly meeting on September 25, 2014 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm in Fairbanks. The meeting will be held at the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center located at 3600 Cartwright Court. The meeting is open to the public.
Our readers may teleconference via this toll-free number 855-212-0212, meeting ID #:450-839-914. Find more information on the ASAP project webpage.
Globe & Mail Editorial Support For Jim Prentice (NGP Photo). When your predecessor lost her job by getting a lot of small things wrong in the most counterproductive way possible, it’s easy to engineer a change in direction. That fleet of private government planes whose flights of fancy grounded Alison Redford? Announce you’re selling them. The big cabinet that bugged voters? Cut its size. That partisan, paranoid plan to change the province’s license plates by removing the long-standing tag line “Wild Rose Country”? Ditch it. Jim Prentice did all of the above in his first days as Alberta’s new Progressive Conservative Premier. Not bad.
TODAY'S CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE ENERGY NEWS LINKS:
Alaska Dispatch News: Shell, ConocoPhillips plead with White House for flexibility in Arctic drilling safety measures
Oil companies hoping to find crude under Arctic waters north of Alaska are imploring the Obama administration to ensure new rules governing drilling in the region don’t force them to stash emergency equipment nearby or block them from using chemical dispersants to clean up any spills.
BuildKXLNow.org: Railing Against Keystone XL is Running Over Midwestern Farmers
Willie Nelson and Neil Young, boosters of America’s farmer, will take the stage on Saturday in Nebraska to oppose a pipeline that would help solve a major problem for farmers. A rail-jam caused by a spike in oil by rail shipments is delaying midwestern farmers from moving their harvest to market.
Sioux City Journal: More tickets available for anti-pipeline concert
Several hundred additional tickets are available for this weekend's Willie Nelson and Neil Young concert organized by opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Yahoo Finance: Why Canadian crude exports to the US are on a high
According to Statistics Canada, energy product shipments—including bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands, the world’s third-largest oil reserve—are the largest component of Canada’s exports. Canada’s largest pipeline company—Enbridge Inc.—is also undertaking a multi billion-dollar expansion program across all of its export network. The program will boost capacity.
Reuters: Harper says U.S. will approve Keystone XL pipeline eventually
Logic dictates that the United States will one day approve the northern leg of TransCanada Corp's controversial Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told an audience of executives in New York on Wednesday.
TD Waterhouse- Market & Research: Philadelphia energy firms seek rail line changes to boost Bakken crude
Philadelphia-area energy officials are in talks with the local commuter rail agency to increase access to a three-mile stretch of rail near the city's airport to allow for greater shipments of Bakken crude oil, people familiar with the talks told Reuters.
Dallas Business Journal: Why stagnant oil and gas prices don't worry T. Boone Pickens
U.S. oil and gas prices are lower than shale producers would like right now, but famed Dallas energy financier T. Boone Pickens told a Houston audience that he sees the American energy boom continuing for many years to come and maybe another three decades or so.
Houston Chronicle: Pickens expects cheap natural gas for the foreseeable future
Texas energy financier T. Boone Pickens, an advocate for natural gas as a transportation fuel, says he expects it to stay cheap - good news for drivers who adopt it as an alternative to gasoline and diesel but not necessarily for producers. "I don't think I'll ever see $10 gas," said Pickens, 86, during a Houston panel discussion this week hosted by the law firm Winston & Strawn.
Associated Press: GE to give Penn State $10 million for gas drilling center
Penn State University said Wednesday that General Electric Co. will give the school up to $10 million to create a new center for natural gas industry research. Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement that the center will produce tangible benefits to the industry, to communities that are affected by drilling or related activity, and to consumers.
Reuters: Henry Hub, king of U.S. natural gas trade, losing crown to Marcellus
For nearly a quarter-century, traders around the world have looked to a spot in Louisiana for the best price of U.S. natural gas. Now they're looking east. The Henry Hub in southern Louisiana, which connects to more than a dozen on- and offshore pipelines from Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, has been surpassed as the most active place for trading physical U.S. natural gas by hubs in shale-rich Pennsylvania.
ABC Denver: Shale panel begins study on land-use issues
A commission assembled by Gov. John Hickenlooper to study land-use clashes between Colorado's energy industry and homeowners will meet for the first time. The 21-member panel is charged with issuing recommendations to lawmakers next year on how to deal with conflicts arising from hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
The Times: Senate candidate makes pitch to LSUS students
This state should be teeming with dollars,” Maness said. “The oil and gas industry has been so restricted at the federal level that it can’t get the job done because it’s too expensive in a lot of cases, especially up here with Haynesville Shale operations. It’s because of over regulation.”
Capital New York: If Democrats take majority, Senate would take up HF bills
A number of bills to restrict fracking in New York State could make their way to the Senate floor if Democrats win control of the upper chamber in November. The state has had a moratorium on fracking for six years. At the same time, Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the state health department to study the health risks of fracking but has not said when, or if, the study would be released.
Albany Times Union: Propane storage urged in caverns
The state's propane industry is pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to clear the way for a long-planned underground natural gas and propane storage facility in the Finger Lakes region near Watkins Glen. Speaking at the annual conference of the New York Propane Gas Association in that city, President Rick Cummings said safety concerns, voiced by the region's wine and tourism industry, are unfounded and urged the state Department of Environmental Conservation to issue permits.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Gas industry wants final word on word
The Marcellus Shale industry is trying to reclaim a word that has become one of the most effective weapons of natural gas foes: Fracking. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which opened its annual conference Wednesday in Pittsburgh, is launching a campaign aimed at countering the negative connotations associated with fracking, the term derived from the gas-extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing. NOTE: The Tribune-Review and the Pittsburg Business Times also report.
Associated Press: Gas drilling public health risks get an airing
Garrett County residents are getting a chance to hear about the potential public health risks of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in their region. The local health department is hosting a presentation Thursday night on a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
Columbus Business First: ‘Crippling penalties’ urged for drillers not disclosing chemicals
Commissioners in Portage County, which is just west of some of the big Utica shale counties in eastern Ohio, say they’re concerned about nondisclosure. The county has 18 active underground injection wells and eight more permitted. Ohio hosts 205 injection wells, where drillers in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays dispose fracking-related waste.
Valley Biz: Eagle Ford Shale Business Boom
The Eagle Ford Shale oil boom is bringing a lot of new jobs and businesses to deep South Texas. New hotels, restaurants, stores and big city chains are coming to small towns on rural highways.
Times Online: Speakers: Shale support could decide White House, Congress
Attendees of the first full day of the annual Shale Insight conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center found themselves treated to a gas and oil industry pep rallyWednesday, coupled with predictions of who will be elected the next president of the United States.
National Geographic: The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard: It’s Not Just for Ethanol Anymore
The debate surrounding ethanol and federally mandated targets for its production tends to dominate the conversation about the United States’ Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a tweak to the RFS that also deserves attention.
Journal Advocate: EPA power plant rule a bad deal for everyone
It is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of readily available access to safe, affordable and reliable energy to individual prosperity and economic well-being. Energy impacts nearly all aspects of life, from the gasoline pumped into cars to the electricity needed to power factories and industries.
Smart Grid News: Up or down? The impact of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on electric rates
Last week we pointed you to an article by the Environmental Defense Fund suggesting that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan could lead to lower electric bills. So it's only fair that we point you to an article by a respected energy management expert that reaches a different conclusion. Quick summary below, but click through to the full post for the nuances.
TransCanada work on St. Lawrence port suspended by Quebec court order
CBC.ca, The TransCanada Energy East pipeline project includes converting an existing naturalgas pipeline to an oil transportation pipeline. This project is ...
Petroleum News by Kristen Nelson.
Three projects are under way to deliver North Slope natural gas to Alaskans - and on three different scales and timelines.
Personal note: While our duties found us out of State last week, we were honored to have been named Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress.
We have enjoyed our association with CI Energy Group and other conference organizers for over a decade, chairing conferences from Houston to Anchorage and from Edmonton and Calgary to Inuvik.
Last week we were particularly pleased to note the outstanding leadership of Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel (NGP Photo) and Anchorage Economic Development Corporation President Bill Popp (NGP Photo), both highly qualified for their Co-Chair assignments.
Lastly, we commend CI Energy Group for its support of the community, via memberships in the Alaska and Anchorage Chambers of Commerce, the Resource Development Council for Alaska and the Alaska Support industry Alliance.
Those groups also sponsor outstanding natural resource and energy forums, but CI has the only 3-4 day forum that provides in depth coverage and presentations to an audience that represents energy companies and users from throughout the Pacific Rim.
The 10th annual Alaska Oil & Gas Congress got an update on all three in Anchorage Sept. 16.
The smallest, and furthest along, would truck liquefied natural gas from the North Slope to Fairbanks, adding to the small amount of Cook Inlet LNG currently being trucked to Fairbanks.
The other projects....(More here.... We recommend our readers subscribe to PNA for in depth O&G reporting, Alaska and Canada. -dh)
TODAY'S CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE ENERGY LINKS:
Shale Reporter: Abundance of opportunities await schools in wake of energy revolution*Mike Butler Op-Ed
Schools saved more than $45.5 million in 2013, according to a recent study by IHS Global Insight, enough to employ more than 480 teachers. Pennsylvania public schools saved about 8.3% on electricity costs and 22.1% on natural gas. There’s more: The analysis said taxpayers saved another $19 million in government-related spending, or enough to employ 280 governmental workers. That’s tremendous news for communities and districts still tussling with the lingering effects of the Great Recession.
Downstream Today: OPINION: Railing Against Keystone XL, Willie and Neil Are Hurting Farmers *Michael Whatley Quoted
Two celebrity singers known for supporting America’s farmers will perform at a pipeline protest in Nebraska on Saturday despite the outcome of their advocacy damaging the livelihood of farmers throughout the Midwest.
Associated Press: US gas prices fall to lowest since February, Lundberg says.
Refiners are taking advantage of booming oil production from U.S. shale formations that’s expected to increase domestic crude output in 2015 to the most in 45 years. The surge in production has kept WTI prices below international benchmark North Sea Brent every day since August 2010.
The Hill: Report: Natural gas exports could hurt Russian state-owned company.
Increasing exports of liquefied natural gas from the United States could reduce revenue at Russia’s state-owned gas company by 18 percent, according to a new report. The report, released Monday by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, found that increased competition from the United States could hurt Gazprom and lower European natural gas prices.
Washington Post: Shale in North Dakota: Women in the drilling boomtowns.
Fracking has brought in an influx of oil workers—many of them women—from across the country attracted to the high salaries and burgeoning housing market created to accommodate the surge in residents. The result is the town’s population has nearly doubled in the past 10 years.
Star Tribune: Keystone XL operator seeks South Dakota approval
The operator of the long-delayed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline on Monday formally asked South Dakota's utility regulators to recertify the portion of the project that runs through the state.
Townhall: A good way to play the Keystone Pipeline Debate
The Greenbrier Companies (GBX) manufactures rail cars. The company was founded back in 1974 and is headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon. It may not be Alibaba (BABA), but rail car makers are doing pretty well these days thanks to the strong demand driven by the domestic energy boom and an ever-improving economy.
Michigan Radio: Enbridge completes work on final stretch of replacement oil pipeline
The Coloradoan: Oil and gas task force plans first meeting
Gov. John Hickenlooper’s oil and gas commission will have its first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 25, when the 19-member task force will plan for the next six months and five more meetings. The 19 appointees have six hours for their agenda on Thursday, which will be followed by a two-hour window for public comment, said Sara Barwinski, one of the task force’s members. From September to February, the commission will host six public meetings throughout the state.
The Coloradoan: Council to vote on appealing HF ruling
One month after a Larimer County judge overturned Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, the City Council is considering whether to appeal that decision. Fort Collins City Council will vote Tuesday, Sept. 23 on a resolution that would direct the interim city attorney to file an appeal of the decision, which overturned the citizen-initiated ordinance voters passed in November 2013.
Fayetteville Observer: HF is safe, but are well casings?
We need rigorous guidelines for those well casings and the joints that seal them. And we also will need to have enough well-trained inspectors in the field. Fracking may not pollute, but the wells can - and for a public or private water supply, the source of pollution isn't the issue. Preventing it is.
WRAL: Natural gas pipeline concerns some in Nashville
When it comes to a proposed natural gas pipeline through eastern North Carolina, Ronald Bunn sees its path as more than a line through a map. Bunn was at a public meeting in Nashville Monday night to question a plan by Duke Energy and Virginia-based Dominion Resources to build the $5 billion pipeline, which would run parallel to Interstate 95.
Newsmax: North Dakota Tops US Income Gains Thanks to Bakken
North Dakota leads the nation in personal income growth. No other state even comes close. From 2008 to 2012, North Dakotans' per-capita income jumped 31 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A day in the life of a longtime DEP inspector
Mr. Sengle, 56, has been working for the past four years in the Clearfield County area with the DEP’s oil and gas division working on natural gas sites, including Marcellus Shale well sites. “My experience for the most part is the companies have been pretty attentive,” he said of the natural gas companies he inspects now.
York Dispatch: Corbett, Wolf clash in Hershey debate
Wolf also said he'd like to see the gas industry drilling in the Marcellus Shale deposits in the state charged a 5 percent severance tax. That, he said, would generate an added $1 billion for the state, which could be used for education or other needs. "I'm not trying to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Let's share that gold with the people of Pennsylvania," Wolf said.
Columbus Business First: Production outpacing pipeline regulation, GAO says
Oil and gas production is outpacing both pipeline construction and regulation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation needs to consider making new rules, a federal agency saidMonday. “While the Department of Transportation has worked to identify and address risks, its regulation has not kept pace with the changing oil and gas transportation environment,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in its report on oil and gas infrastructure, including pipelines, rail and trucks.
State Impact Texas: Oil & Gas Trouble In Texas Ranchland: Whose Road Is It?
The Railroad Commission of Texas will meet Monday morning to consider an issue of huge importance to landowners across Texas. It has to do with how the state oversees energy companies that need access to private land. At issue at the hearing will be pipelines for oil & gas.
Chico Enterprise News: State Assembly, Senate candidates face off at Chico forum
While Jawahar was opposed to fracking, calling it a "dirty technology" that uses too much of the state's limited water resource, Nielsen said it is a safe method to develop needed energy resources and that it would be "foolhardy" not to use it. They also conflicted on climate change, with Jawahar saying it's real and that it needs to be addressed and Nielsen saying global warming is a natural process of the planet.
Pipeline stake expected to fuel Veresen LNG project, Calgary Herald, By Dan Healing, Calgary Herald September 22, 2014 7:37 PM ... US pipeline investment will better connect U.S. Rockies gas with Veresen Inc.'s ...
Alaska Dispatch News by Dermot Cole. The key question mark about the state-backed effort to expand natural gas distribution in Fairbanks remains the price, with the release of new information put off until the end of the year.
The staff and board of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority say the revised timetable on the gas trucking plan has nothing to do with the fall election, but is a consequence of a complex and challenging project with many moving parts made more difficult by a compressed schedule.
Alaska Senator Makes Hysterical Plea For Money Today!
This morning our friend, Pedro van Meurs (NGP Photo) writes us that:
"My well known course World Fiscal Systems for Oil and Gas is scheduled to take place again this year in Dubai during the week November 16 – 20, 2014.
"The course provides an overview of all fiscal terms and conditions for oil and gas licenses, leases, concessions, PSCs and risk service contracts around the world, including detailed analysis of economic results and government take. The course will also focus on the many new and possible new developments in Norway, UK, Brazil, Algeria, Colombia, Poland, Argentina, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Russia, Alaska and many other jurisdictions. Important new trends in petroleum arrangements will be discussed.
"I would be grateful if you could recommend participants for this course.
"The course is computer interactive. Please click here for the course program and other course information. If you have trouble with the link, please copy and paste the following URL:
"Ask for our discount schedule for more than one participant per company, entity or institution. If you need any further information please contact us."
Pedro van Meurs
President, Van Meurs Corporation
PO Box CR-56766 # 1261
Phone 1 242 324 4438
Fax 1 242 324 4439
As energy observers, we observe that the current U.S. Senator running for reelection has worked tirelessly on pork spending. However, he has done nothing significant to stop his party's efforts to shut down natural resource projects and energy/mining jobs in Alaska.
This is critical because Alaska's Constitution and the Statehood Act require Alaska to sustain its economy with natural resources and the primary, wealth producing natural resource is petroleum.
Hysteria, suggests emotional excesses.
Emotion in advertising and politics produces results: "...decision-making isn’t logical, it’s emotional, according to the latest findings in neuroscience."
In the solicitation letter on your left, the author provides no important facts supporting his reelection. (i.e. "Here are my major accomplishments and here are my major goals for the next 6 years.") He may have difficulty identifying factual accomplishments and plans but he knows that emotional pleas can easily leapfrog the more stodgy, slowly moving and uninteresting facts of any matter.
Instead, he describes "attacks" (i.e. an exciting word) by those supporting a competing candidate. In other letters he raises the specter that his opponent has damaged the Alaska Permanent Fund by "...costing Alaskans over $2 billion."
In the first instance, he adroitly seeks to summon emotion against the 'demons' attacking him and in the other produces a 'fact' that is misleading, at best.
In both cases, the writer must believe that the art of political communication consists of building emotional and financial support through any rhetorical means possible.
Avoiding or misrepresenting facts in politics may, in and of itself, not reflect hysterics.
But adding the additional emotional plea for help based on the fact that, "Roll Call came out with their '10 Most Vulnerable Senators' list -- and I’m #3," does seem to approach the level of political hysterics.
And, one cannot help but sense a certain hysterical theme, when we continue to see the writer launch daily and weekly emotional pleas to, "...defend against attacks from the Kochs and Rove," by giving money to his party's Outside Alaska money collector, ActBlue. (i.e. a grass roots fundraising vehicle, justifiably proud of the over half-billion dollars it has raised for its left leaning candidates over the last decade.)
Through this fog of war (i.e. a rising level of emotion and hysterics rising from the political battlefield), this man seeks reelection using virtually any means possible.
So what should thoughtful Alaskans do?
We counsel ourselves and others to always keep eyes on the prize. In short, "What candidate will best assure in a calm, hard working and credible way, that Alaska can indeed sustain its economy by properly developing its natural resource wealth?"
Is there a better way to decide which U.S. Senate Candidate to support as the November general election approaches?
Roll Call came out with their “10 Most Vulnerable Senators” list -- and I’m #3. (NGP Photo, U.S. Senator Mark Begich.)
I don’t know if I’d use the word “vulnerable.” I’d prefer “Most Spent Against’ or “Most Neck-and-Neck” or “Biggest Dead Heat.” But in the political world, that all boils down to the same thing.
We’re in a tight race in Alaska.
Grassroots supporters like you are going to make or break our campaign. If you can, please give $5 to help us reach our $220,000 goal before this month’s FEC deadline.
If you've saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:
Lots of recent polls show me and my opponent in the margin of error. Add that to over $12 million in Outside spending from groups backed by Karl Rove, the Kochs, and others, and we need a big response from you.
I’m counting on you to defend against attacks from the Kochs and Rove.
Today's Energy In Depth Energy Links:
- Listen: EID’s Katie Brown talks HF, economic opportunities from shale on radio program in Pa. (link)
Study says casing, not HF, at fault. Denton Record Chronicle. Steve Everley of Energy in Depth said that the study’s authors placed blame on well-integrity problems for the water quality issues, “but they never identified a single gas well that’s actually leaking.” Everley said the Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, completed a study on groundwater contamination in Parker County, one of the areas researchers sampled, which determined the gas wells were “constructed in full accordance with the law.”
Will America take advantage of its opportunity? Washington Examiner, Op-Ed. Not long ago, conventional wisdom was that America’s natural gas production would decline over time. Terminals were planned and built in anticipation of the need to import natural gas from overseas. Now, these facilities are either being converted to export terminals or are idle.
US shale boom writes a tale of two emerging classes of gas carriers. Platts. Growing natural gas liquids production spurred by the US shale gas boom has stoked interest in new classes of ships to move ethane and LPG across oceans: very large ethane carriers and ultra large gas carriers.
Pressure builds to allow US exports of crude. Boston Globe. Senator Edward J. Markey is fighting an increasingly lonely, and perhaps futile, battle to prevent the overseas export of crude oil gushing from shale fields in North Dakota, Texas, and other parts of the country.
The Science Is Settled: HF Is Safe. American Thinker, Op-Ed. The science is settled, as the climate change supporters like to say. Only this time, science confirms the safety of hydraulic fracturing. According to a new study published by the National Academy of Sciences, fracking is safe. End of discussion.
Energy boom can fuel big boost in world security. Boston Herald, Op-Ed. The ongoing oil and gas boom in the United States since 2008 has led some to herald the dawn of American “energy independence.” According to a November 2012 report of the International Energy Agency, the United States is set to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s leading oil producer, having already surpassed Russia as the largest producer of natural gas. The IEA report suggests the United States will be a net exporter of energy by 2017.
Siemens cuts multibillion dollar deal for Dresser-Rand. Houston Chronicle/Fuel Fix. The acquisition, announced by both companies late Sunday, marks a major move for the Munich-based engineering conglomerate, a rival of GE and other global industrial manufacturers, into Houston and in the U.S. oil and gas sector as steam turbines, engines, gas turbines and compressors have found a major market in oil and gas, power generation and other industrial uses in the United States as newly tapped shale plays yield a surge in domestic natural gas output. The deal is expected to close next year.
What Drives Anti-HF Zealots? Town Hall, Column. The shale oil production boom could boost US crude production to 9.5 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) next year, reducing America’s crude oil imports to 21% of domestic demand, the lowest level since 1968. Output from fracked wells represents 43% of all US oil production and 67% of natural gas production; its oil could reach 10 million bopd by 2016, the Energy Information Administration says.
Dangers Aside, Railways Reshape Crude Market. Wall Street Journal. Today, 1.6 million barrels of oil a day are riding the rails, close to 20% of the total pumped in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration, chugging across plains and over bridges, rumbling through cities and towns on their way to refineries on the coasts and along the Gulf of Mexico.
US shale exports to hit Gazprom revenue. Financial Times. Russia’s Gazprom could lose 18 per cent of its revenues as a result of competition from US liquefied natural gas exports, according to a New York-based think-tank.
Nova Scotia Should Not Ban HF. Huffington Post, Op-Ed. Nova Scotia's government recently announced it would table legislation to establish a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") for the production of natural gas in the province. The ban, which follows a lengthy report on the safety of hydraulic fracturing, is indefinite, but not permanent. (One is reminded of the saying that there is nothing more permanent than a temporary tax.).
Algeria's plans for shale has risks. International Policy Digest. Algeria’s state oil and gas company, Sonatrach, announced this summer that it plans to exploit the country’s shale gas reserves by 2020, taking advantage of what BP estimates to be the world’s third-largest reserves of shale gas. The plans currently estimate that the first stage of the extraction will produce enough gas to equal 40% of the country’s present production, a significant increase in supply if the estimates hold true.
How Coloradans are shaping their energy future. Denver Post,Op-Ed. While fracking has successfully been utilized by Colorado energy producers for decades, recent innovations such as horizontal drilling have unlocked vast shale resources once thought to be impossible or uneconomical to develop. And this process is overseen by dedicated professionals in environmental protection and environmental and public health.
John Hickenlooper could lose his job in November. Here’s why. Washington Post, Column. Republicans have even tried to turn a major Hickenlooper victory into a weakness. Last month, the governor brokered an agreement between environmental groups and the state energy industry to remove four controversial ballot measures related to oil exploration and fracking from November’s ballot.
Public meeting on proposed gas pipeline to N.C.. Fayetteville Observer. A public informational meeting on a proposed $4.5 billion to $5 billion interstate natural gas transmission pipeline that would run through Cumberland and Robeson counties is scheduled in Fayetteville on Tuesday. Dominion Resources Inc., the Richmond, Virginia, company that has announced plans to build the 550-mile pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina, is holding the meeting at the Holiday Inn on Interstate 95, according to a news release from Clean Water for North Carolina.
Symposiums to spotlight Pittsburgh's role as energy powerhouse. Tribune-Review. Pittsburgh's clout in coal mining and natural gas will intersect this week as it hosts two major energy conferences. “Pittsburgh is flexing its muscle as the energy capital of the East,” said David Spigelmyer, president of the North Fayette-based Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Trial and error approach in the Marcellus. Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Patrick Creighton, spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an advocacy group that represents nearly every major driller in the state, said in an email statement: “When incidents occur — as they do in any industrial process, and as rare as they may be — corrective action is taken to mitigate future events. Our member companies are doing just that.”
Gas industry remedies 'brain drain' in Western Pennsylvania. Tribune-Review. The Crawford County native is an example of what experts believe is the natural gas industry's gradual reversal of the region's decades-old “brain drain,” the mass exodus of young, educated workers to other states because there were no local jobs for them. It's a reversal that includes workers in fields other than those typically in demand by drilling companies, experts said, pointing to new positions in public relations, law, accounting and other specialized areas such as Welker's.
Cuomo foes pounce on shale indecision. Journal News. Despite taking steps early in his term toward lifting the state's de facto ban on large-scale hydraulic fracturing, Cuomo's administration abruptly added another layer of review in late 2012. Now, the moratorium Cuomo inherited in 2011 remains in place and a decision on fracking's future will wait until after Election Day.
Negative publicity does more damage to companies than fines. Pittsburg Post-Gazette. “The fine is nowhere near as damaging as the press coverage and the public attention” after an incident or fine is publicized, said Lou D’Amico, president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association. Matt Pitzarella, spokesman for Range Resources, the state’s second-largest Marcellus driller, agreed. “The attention, public scrutiny; it’s reputational. You don’t want that to happen,” he said.
Public meets with long delays in reviewing DEP files. Observer-Reporter. DEP spokesman John Poister said the DEP has neither the staff nor the space for many people to conduct file reviews at its Southwest Regional Office in Pittsburgh. He said the DEP has been overwhelmed with public requests to review natural gas drilling records, resulting in a seven-week backlog for people seeking appointments for access to them.
HF debate full of hot air. Union-Sun & Journal, Column. Hydraulic fracturing ranks among the most contentious issues in New York. For each person clamoring for the jobs and economic development it will bring to the state, there’s another who strongly opposes the method of natural gas extraction for its potential to damage the environment.
HF is safe if properly done. Columbus Dispatch, Editorial. A study led by an Ohio State University scientist and published in a national journal last Monday has good news for Ohio’s economy: If done correctly, the method of drilling for oil and gas known as horizontal fracking, which is fueling a jobs-and-energy boom, doesn’t pose a danger to drinking-water supplies.
Columbiana facility waits for ODNR approval. Morning Journal. A company using a site near a residential area to wash its trucks that haul fracking fluid remains closed until it receives the proper permit through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Why not use recycled water for shale? Canton Repository. Recycling wastewater and reusing it for fracking makes sense, but the cost will need to become competitive with injection-well disposal, Dick said. Drillers are using a percentage of recycled water to frack some wells, according to FracFocus and ODNR records.
Thirsty wells: HF consumes billions of gallons. Canton Repository. Water is key to fracking. Pumped under high pressure, along with sand and chemicals, it breaks apart underground rock formations to release the oil and natural gas trapped inside. Of the millions of gallons of liquid used to frack a well, water accounts for more than 99 percent, said Jeffrey C. Dick, director of Youngstown State University’s Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute.
Water consumption not disclosed for all wells. New Philadelphia Times Reporter. Ohio’s shale drillers have to report the volume of water, sand and chemicals they use to frack each well. Right now, those reports go directly to the state’s Department of Natural Resources in paper form or electronically to FracFocus, an online registry, said ODNR spokesman Matt Eiselstein.
Railroad commissioners say study confirms that HF is safe. Fort Worth Star Telegram. “When you get away from the sensational headline, [the study] says what we’ve been saying at the commission all along,” Commmissioner David Porter said during a meeting Tuesday. “The problem is not hydraulic fracturing or drilling.” Water contamination in the Barnett Shale has been a fiery subject in recent years, especially after Parker County resident Steve Lipsky set water from his well ablaze. He blames hydraulic fracturing and wells drilled by Range Resources for the problem. Water contamination also has been mentioned as a worry in the proposed fracking ban being considered by Denton residents.
Unconventional formations fuel the economy. Odessa American, Op-Ed. The current oil surge is generating millions of jobs across the United States. One of the key drivers of activity is the opening of unconventional oil- and natural gas-bearing formations through technological advances such as hydraulic fracturing. One of the first big plays to be unlocked by fracking is the Barnett Shale.
With emissions rising, it's time to embrace natural gas. Your Houston News, Op-Ed. Scientists recently recorded the highest average levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide in human history. In response, climate researchers and environmentalists have redoubled their pleas for a transition to alternative energy sources. Abandoning all forms of fossil fuel, however, isn’t a realistic strategy for reducing carbon pollution. Any short-term plan for cutting emissions has to involve one of the cleanest and most economically viable energy sources available right now: natural gas. The adoption of natural gas has already helped cut carbon pollution in the United States.
New Pipeline Will Link Barnett Shale Gas with Eastern US Markets. Rigzone. Next month's opening of a 140-mile pipeline from near Haslet in northwest Tarrant County to Paris in Northeast Texas can be likened to opening a multilane interstate around a growing suburb.
Texas Roads Rank Near the Top in National Study. WOAI. That is also largely due to the spike in fatalities in the Eagle Ford and Cline Shale fields, where massive exploitation of oil and gas has led to a boom in heavy vehicles rumbling through small towns and down farm to market roads. Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota have the best highways in the country, while the worst roads are in Hawaii, Alaska, and New Jersey.
The Department of Natural Resources is inviting the public to attend community meetings and provide input on its proposed Eastern Tanana Area Plan (ETAP). When adopted, ETAP will serve as the basis for the management of state lands and waters on approximately 6.8 million acres of state-owned and state-selected land distributed throughout the Tanana River Valley and the surrounding uplands and the Fairbanks North Star Borough north of the Tanana River.
Point of personal privilege. We were honored today to meet the Honorable Marcelo Cabrera, Mayor of Cuenca, Ecuador, presiding over a festival in San Sebastian Park, honoring the United States following a week of International art and cultural exchanges. Today's event featured traditional US and Ecuadorian food, music, dancing and speeches. We can attest that a good time was had by all and that nothing on this beautiful Saturday in the Andes had anything whatsoever to do with North American Energy Policies. -dh