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Articles Posted by thackney

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  • US, Canada Unveil New Crude-By-Rail Rule

    05/04/2015 5:27:00 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | May 01, 2015 | Deon Daugherty
    New safety rule on crude tank cars is coordinated through the US and Canada, likely to increase industry costs. With an emphasis on enhanced tank car construction and braking standards, U.S. and Canadian transportation officials have released a new rule to boost the safety of crude by rail in North America. “Our close collaboration with Canada on new tank car standards is recognition that the trains moving unprecedented amounts of crude by rail are not U.S. or Canadian tank cars – they are part of a North American fleet and a shared safety challenge,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx...
  • OTC Commentary: Baker Hughes taps the Lower Tertiary

    05/04/2015 5:11:33 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | May 4, 2015 | Richard Dunham
    The Gulf of Mexico’s Paleogene play, also known as the Lower Tertiary, has been described as the scene of a 21st century “gold rush” for the energy industry. It also has been characterized as an innovation rush. Both are true. The Lower Tertiary is estimated to contain between 14 and 40 billion barrels of oil—worth as much as $2.4 trillion at $50-$60 per barrel. Compared with total recent U.S. reserve estimates of 29 billion barrels, the scale of this ultradeepwater frontier is tremendous. The size of the Lower Tertiary prize is huge, but so are its challenges: water depths of...
  • Dewa reviews bids for first phase of Hassyan clean-coal power plant {Dubai}

    05/04/2015 5:05:39 AM PDT · by thackney
    Gulf News ^ | MAY 2, 2015 | WAM
    ubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has opened the bids it has received for the first phase of the Hassyan clean-coal power plant, which is based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. The first phase of the 1,200MW project is expected to be operational by 2020. Four global bidders have been shortlisted after opening the bids. The agency said in a statement on Saturday that the bids will be evaluated and the best bid will be selected based on the criteria developed by the advisory committee that oversees the project. Dewa previously extended the bid deadline for the first...
  • Ford Sees Growing Demand For Natural Gas Vehicles Like F-150

    05/04/2015 4:17:20 AM PDT · by thackney · 39 replies
    Forbes ^ | 5/04/2015
    Ford Motor Co. says the 2016 F-150 pickup will be available with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that can run on compressed natural gas or propane, part of a growing lineup of CNG vehicles from the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker. Ford’s commercial vehicle customers, in particular, have been asking for more trucks and vans that can run on compressed natural gas because it lowers their fleet operating costs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. CNG sells for an average of $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, as of April 30, 2015, and is as low as $1 in some parts of the country,...
  • Kemp: Forward Oil Prices Anchor Around $75

    05/02/2015 5:28:53 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | May 01, 2015 | John Kemp
    Market participants expect the price of Brent to average around $75 per barrel through the rest of the decade, not much above the current level. Spot Brent prices have risen around $20 per barrel from their mid-January low, from $46 to $66, an increase of more than 40 percent. Over the same period, however, futures prices for oil delivered at the end of 2017 have increased just $4.50 per barrel and remain semi-fixed a little over $70. As spot prices have risen, the slope of the forward curve has become flatter, ensuring prices for 2017 and beyond are almost unchanged...
  • Alaska residents are paid a unique yearly dividend from state’s permanent fund

    05/01/2015 6:17:14 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | MAY 1, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    The Alaska Permanent Fund, established using revenues paid to the state by oil and natural gas producers, provides Alaska residents with an annual cash dividend, which is unique among natural resource permanent funds in the United States. In 2014, the annual dividend was $1,884 per resident, more than double the 2013 dividend and the highest since 2008. All Alaska residents receive an annual cash dividend from the permanent fund. The fund was established by voters in 1976, as the extent of Alaska's oil and natural gas resources began to emerge, and retains at least 25% of the royalties that oil...
  • As U.S. cuts, Saudi oil-rig counts hit record highs

    05/01/2015 5:45:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Market Watch ^ | May 1, 2015 | Myra P. Saefong
    Saudi Arabia has been making some big moves lately, most notably in its leadership reshuffle, but the country also has raised the number of rigs it has actively drilling for oil and natural gas by 30% since March 2014. James Williams, an energy economist at WTRG Economics, suggests that the Saudis are working toward increasing their oil-production CLM5, -0.65% LCOM5, -0.99% capacity to gain even more leverage over the oil market than they already have as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ so-called swing producer. The concept isn’t totally new, as some media reports also mention Saudi efforts to...
  • U.S. Sends Ships to Strait of Hormuz to Shield Vessels After Iran Seizure

    05/01/2015 5:20:43 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    New York Times ^ | APRIL 30, 2015 | MATTHEW ROSENBERG and DANNY HAKIM
    The Navy on Thursday began deploying warships to protect American commercial vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz against any interference from Iran, which this week seized a cargo ship in the narrow waterway, though which about 20 percent of the world’s oil passes. Military officials said American warships and aircraft would maintain a presence in and around the strait and stay in contact with some American cargo ships traversing the sea lane, which separates the Persian Gulf from the Arabian Sea. But the officials drew a distinction between the new effort, which they characterized as “accompanying” commercial vessels, and...
  • The alphabet soup of oil patch recovery

    04/30/2015 5:39:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Platts ^ | April 30, 2015 | Starr Spencer
    The oil industry has always had buzz words and unique verbal shorthand. Remember the “Year of the MLP” (2007) and “Drill, Baby, Drill” (2008)? During the last down cycle in 2008-2009, oil executives debated whether the recovery – when it came – would be “V”-shaped or “U”-shaped. That is, a relatively rapid bottoming of oil prices in the former instance, followed by a fairly quick rebound – or, alternatively, a steep falloff of oil prices, a plateau as the market got its bearings and settled out, and then a fairly rapid climb back up the price ladder. It turned out...
  • Keystone on West Coast? Oil-sands crude could come to California

    04/30/2015 5:32:00 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | April 28, 2015 | David R. Baker
    Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer has a new mission — keeping oil from Canada’s tar sands out of California. Steyer’s NextGen Climate organization released a report Tuesday warning that an “invasion” of tankers and railcars carrying crude from the oil sands could soon hit West Coast refineries, which currently process very little Canadian oil. Steyer, a major Democratic donor who quit his hedge fund to focus on fighting climate change, has risen to prominence as a vocal opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline extension, which would link the oil sands to American refineries on the Gulf Coast. But Tuesday’s report, prepared...
  • Oil Hits 2015 Highs After First US Hub Stock Draw In 5 Months

    04/30/2015 5:05:07 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | April 29, 2015 | Barani Krishnan
    Oil prices hit the highest this year on Wednesday after the first crude stock draw in five months at the U.S. Cushing, Oklahoma hub suggested an oil glut may be starting to ease. Government data showing a smaller-than-expected rise last week in crude inventories throughout the United States also aided sentiment, although some traders felt the market was ignoring bearish elements like higher production. Oil has staged its strongest recovery this month since a selloff that began in June last year. U.S. crude futures are poised to end April up nearly 23 percent and Brent almost 20 percent higher, the...
  • How Microbes Helped Clean BP's Oil Spill

    04/29/2015 10:54:20 AM PDT · by thackney · 29 replies
    Scientific American ^ | April 28, 2015 | David Biello
    Like cars, some microbes use oil as fuel. Such microorganisms are a big reason why BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was not far worse. "The microbes did a spectacular job of eating a lot of the natural gas," says biogeochemist Chris Reddy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The relatively small hydrocarbon molecules in natural gas are the easiest for microorganisms to eat. "The rate and capacity is a mind-boggling testament to microbes," he adds. As Reddy suggests, the microbes got help from the nature of the oil spilled—so-called Louisiana light, sweet crude mixed with natural...
  • EIA: The U.S. will be a net natural gas exporter by 2040, even with the most conservative projection

    04/29/2015 5:09:47 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 28, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    The U.S. could export anywhere between 0.2 trillion cubic feet and 10.3 trillion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas annually by 2040, according to the latest government projection. Where along that spectrum the actual figure lands will be determined by global energy prices and the availability of U.S. natural gas, the agency said in a Tuesday rehashing of projections made in the Annual Energy Outlook for 2015. The wide range of outcomes hasn’t stopped U.S. companies from proposing dozens of new export facilities. While market watchers have said that it’s unlikely all of these facilities will come online, several are...
  • Oil-Industry Debt Mounts Up

    04/28/2015 6:17:41 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | April 27, 2015 | ERIC YEP And FIONA LAW
    Oil and gas companies are continuing to pile up debt, a trend some warn could extend the slump in energy prices and hit economies reliant on the sector for growth and tax revenue. Both independent and state-owned companies are involved in the borrowing bonanza, issuing $86.8 billion worth of bonds in dollars, euros and yen globally this year, up 10% from the same period in 2014, according to Dealogic, a data-tracking company. The rise is largely due to a high number of bond sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and in the U.S., where both Exxon Mobil Corp....
  • OFFSHORE VS. SHALE, Which will prevail in the long-term?

    04/28/2015 5:04:30 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Rystad Energy via Oil Gas Financial Journal ^ | April 9, 2015 | Per Magnus Nysveen and Leslie Wei
    As a response to lower oil prices, E&P companies have guided considerable cuts in their 2015 investment budgets. Preliminary budgets indicate a ~20% drop in global E&P investments this year, with shale declining the most. Observing historical trends, Figure 1 shows global investments for offshore and shale oil and gas. During the past decade, offshore investments have increased from ~ US$150 billion in 2005 to ~ US$360 billion in 2014. The growth in offshore investments is a combination of higher activity and higher unit costs (i.e., rig rates). Also over the last 10 years, shale activity accelerated as horizontal hydraulic...
  • Florida House passes legislation banning fracking bans

    04/28/2015 4:11:06 AM PDT · by thackney · 18 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 27, 2015 | Associated Press
    Local governments wouldn’t be able to ban fracking under a bill the Florida House passed. The House voted 82-34 for the bill Monday. It calls for a study of hydraulic fracturing and regulation of the drilling practice. Democrats opposed the bill, saying fracking should be banned in Florida because of the potential to contaminate groundwater.
  • South Dakota hearing on Keystone XL pipeline delayed

    04/28/2015 4:09:08 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 27, 2015 | Associated Press
    A key hearing to determine whether the state Public Utilities Commission will allow construction of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline to move forward through South Dakota won’t be held next week, the commission voted on Monday. The regulatory body met in Pierre and voted 3-0 to delay final arguments to ensure adequate time for parties to examine documents involved in the case, and the hearing will likely be held later this summer. The state initially authorized TransCanada Corp. to construct the Keystone XL pipeline project in 2010, but state rules dictate permits must be re-authorized if the construction of the...
  • India asks Qatar to cut LNG price by 60%

    04/27/2015 10:13:01 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    DNA India ^ | 27 April 2015 | PTI
    India has asked its largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier Qatar to cut gas prices to match the 60% slump in global rates in last one year. India buys 7.5 million tonnes a year of LNG on a long-term 25 year contract, indexed to a moving average of crude oil price. The price of LNG from Qatar comes close to $13 per million British thermal unit as compared to the $6-7 rate at which it is available in the spot or current market. The high price of LNG under the long-term contract has led to users in fertiliser and power...
  • Floating LNG regasification is used to meet rising natural gas demand in smaller markets

    04/27/2015 5:52:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | APRIL 27, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Floating regasification is a flexible, cost-effective way to receive and process shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Floating regasification is increasingly being used to meet natural gas demand in smaller markets, or as a temporary solution until onshore regasification facilities are built. Of four countries planning to begin importing LNG in 2015, three of them—Pakistan, Jordan, and Egypt—have chosen to do so using floating regasification rather than building full-scale onshore regasification facilities. Floating regasification involves the use of a specialized vessel called a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), which is capable of transporting, storing, and regasifying LNG onboard. Floating...
  • Oil price hovers at four-month high

    04/27/2015 5:38:18 AM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    BBC ^ | 4/27/2015 | BBC
    Brent crude oil is at $65.37 per barrel and has gained around $9 since March. A slowdown in US shale oil production and the conflict in Yemen have been cited as the main reasons for the rise in the oil price in recent weeks. It comes as BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil are expected to report sharp falls in first quarter earnings this week. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: "Overall we are in an upwards trend and we do appear to have found a short-term base. There's a good chance we could see $70 a barrel...
  • California's Imported Oil Problem

    04/27/2015 5:24:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Forbes ^ | 4/26/2015
    California is the most critical state in the country, with 38.2 million people and a GDP of $2.3 trillion, equal to Texas and Pennsylvania output combined. Depending on your perspective I guess, California has become famous/infamous for its progressive energy policies. California is our “clean energy” capital, with cap-and-trade, the most alternative fuel vehicles, unmatched efficiency laws, and a 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard for electricity by 2020. Yet, electricity (+40%) and gasoline (+$1.00) prices in the Golden State are well above the U.S. average, and oil and natural gas are still easily the state’s leading sources of energy. Stringent regulations...
  • Promising results, DOE publishes more findings from North Slope methane hydrate test well

    04/25/2015 8:17:05 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Petroleum News ^ | Week of April 26, 2015 | Alan Bailey
    The National Energy Technology Laboratory has published some new results from methane hydrate testing carried out in 2011 and 2012 in the Ignik Sikumi test well on Alaska’s North Slope. According to an article in the latest edition of NETL’s Fire in Ice publication, the results shed light on the potential use of injected carbon dioxide as a means of producing natural gas from methane hydrate deposits, while also demonstrating that producing gas by depressuring the deposits may work more easily than previously thought. Methane hydrate is a naturally occurring solid that traps concentrated volumes of methane, the primary component...
  • Northeast Gas – Coming Soon to a Market Near You

    04/24/2015 10:18:15 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    The dam is about to burst in the Northeast. The question is who will drown in the coming flood of natural gas? BTU Analytics is currently tracking 42 Bcf/d of Northeast projects coming online through 2018. Of that capacity, 14.6 Bcf/d will help carry gas out of the region. Some of the most notable of these projects are Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline at 3.25 Bcf/d, Spectra’s Nexus Pipeline at 1.5 Bcf/d, and a series of REX Pipeline expansions bringing the pipe’s total east to west capacity to 2.6 Bcf/d. Infrastructure constraints in the Marcellus and Utica have been the norm...
  • NERC: EPA should ease Clean Power Plan timeline to ensure reliability

    04/24/2015 9:33:27 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Utility Dive ^ | April 22, 2015 | Herman K. Trabish
    A study released Tuesday by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) concludes that more time is needed for utilities to develop new generation and transmission than is allowed by the timeline for carbon pollution reductions in the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). The draft carbon regulations aim to cut carbon emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and require steep carbon cuts from many states by 2020. According to NERC, utilities take 4-5 years to build new generation plants and 6-15 years to construct new transmission lines to support them, meaning that both the interim 2020 compliance date...
  • New Rules, Cheap Energy Heighten Battle Between Coal and Gas

    04/24/2015 6:07:55 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | April 23, 2015 | AMY HARDER
    Tough new environmental rules and cheap energy prices are heightening the battle between coal miners and natural-gas pumpers over which fuel will dominate the U.S. power market. At the IHS CERAWeek global energy conference here, there were some heated words on both sides of the debate. “Cleaner coal, there’s no such thing,” Eldar Saetre, chief executive of the Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA, told an audience of hundreds of people, most of them employed in the fossil-fuel industry. He added climate-conscious electric companies should burn natural gas instead. “The only thing that gets tense is when somebody like the head...
  • IHS CERA 2015: Resilient Marcellus gas drillers are the 'problem': E&P executive

    04/24/2015 6:03:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Platts ^ | 22 Apr 2015 | Arjun Sreekumar
    Major improvements by natural gas exploration-and-production companies have allowed them to continue to drill profitably in a period of depressed prices, adding to the glut of gas and putting further pressure on prices, an E&P executive said Wednesday at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston. "What's happening is that we continue to get better and get more production per rig," Kyle Mork, president of Energy Corporation of America, said in reference to the seeming paradox of growing US natural gas production despite a record low level of rigs. "We're the problem," he said. It is common knowledge in the industry...
  • Big Hit For U.S. Oil Production In January

    04/24/2015 5:51:32 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 23 April 2015 | Arthur Berman
    U.S. crude oil production fell at least 135,000 barrels of oil per day in January 2015 compared to December 2014 according to the EIA (Figure 1). Bakken Shale production fell the most of any play or jurisdiction losing 37,000 barrels per day in North Dakota and 4,000 barrels per day in Montana for a total of 41,000 barrels of oil per day (Figure 2). Production in California, the offshore Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and Wyoming also declined significantly. Figure 3 shows Bakken production based on DrillingInfo data. The 42,000 barrels of oil per day drop in January production is completely...
  • Areva’s nuclear reactor vessel flaws may be “costly”

    04/24/2015 5:26:25 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Power Engineering ^ | 04/17/2015 | Power Engineering
    The French nuclear regulator says anomalies found in Areva’s nuclear reactor technology are “very serious” and may be costly to fix. Areva announced April 7 that it found weak spots in the bottom and lid of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) vessel, which could reduce the resistance of the metal. Areva said it discovered the flaw during mechanical and chemical tests of a representative model and reported the findings to the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). The ASN told Reuters that a similar Areva forging technique had been used in five EPRs currently in the planning stage or under construction....
  • Kinder Morgan looks to expand natural gas route to Mexico

    04/24/2015 5:10:06 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 23, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    Kinder Morgan said Thursday it was considering another expansion along a pipeline linking its natural gas system to Mexico. The expansion would add another 200 million cubic feet of capacity along the Mier-Monterrey pipeline, which runs 95 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border near Starr County, Texas to Monterrey, Mexico. If Kinder Morgan moves forward, the project would add a new compressor station and boost total capacity along the line to 840 million cubic feet per day. The Houston-based company said it would solicit commitments from shippers for new pipeline capacity between April 27 and May 11. Pipeline projects usually require...
  • Idaho To Join Handful Of States That Charge Electric Car Owners Extra

    04/23/2015 5:28:25 AM PDT · by thackney · 15 replies
    Northwest Public Radio ^ | APRIL 15, 2015 | JESSICA ROBINSON
    The federal government and many states have offered car buyers incentives to venture into the electric car market. But now some states are going in a different direction -- they’re charging owners more. Idaho recently approved one of the country’s highest fees for electric cars. Here’s the problem: states traditionally fund highways with a gas tax. But you only pay that if you buy gas. Last week, Idaho lawmakers voted to charge electric vehicle owners an extra $140 annual registration fee. … which was news to Cleve Buttars. "Wow. Well, um ..." Buttars lives in Twin Falls and drives a...
  • Ex-BP Chief Sees Oil Bull Market Sooner than Many Expect

    04/22/2015 8:17:45 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | April 22, 2015 | Dmitry Zhdannikov and Silvia Antonioli
    Low crude prices will trigger consolidation in the oil industry but a new bull market might arrive much sooner than expected given the huge scale of capital and workforce withdrawal in the sector, a former boss of oil major BP said. "The actions the industry is taking to withdraw capital are laying the seeds for the next bull market," Tony Hayward told the FT Commodities Summit. "The peak of U.S. shale supply has arrived – earlier than anticipated ... The supply chain in the U.S. has been decimated ... It will take several years to take activity back," Hayward said....
  • Farmers and ranchers are tired of EPA doubletalk

    04/22/2015 5:09:20 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Drovers Cattle Network ^ | April 15, 2015 | Bob Stallman
    EPA claims that it’s simplifying regulations and making them easier to follow, but the fine print tells another story. Business owners around the country have joined with farmers and ranchers in speaking out on the Waters of the U.S. rule. More than 30 states also oppose the rule. Yet, even in the face of mounting opposition, the EPA still isn’t listening. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has unveiled her latest, campaign-style WOTUS spin, calling the effort the “Clean Water Rule” – as though a bumper-sticker approach to a complex regulation would change anything for people so profoundly affected by her agency’s...
  • Ground broken for Turkey's first nuclear power plant

    04/22/2015 4:59:08 AM PDT · by thackney · 18 replies
    World Nuclear News ^ | 15 April 2015 | World Nuclear News
    Government and company officials yesterday launched construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The Russian-designed Akkuyu plant in Mersin, on the Mediterranean coast, is the first of three nuclear power plants the country plans to build to help boost its economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports. Construction work is expected to begin on the first of Akkuyu's four 1200 MWe Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER pressurized water reactors this year or next. The plant is being financed by Russia according to a build-own-operate model, under an intergovernmental agreement signed by Turkey and Russia in 2010. The project is expected...
  • China cabinet approves building of home-grown nuclear reactor

    04/22/2015 4:56:37 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Reuters ^ | Apr 15, 2015 | Reuters
    China gave approval to build a home-grown "third-generation" nuclear reactor, a technology that will help optimize the country's energy mix and also one that Beijing wants to export. The State Council, or cabinet, said on Wednesday it had approved building a pilot reactor of "Hualong 1" on China's coast, according to a statement posted on the central government's website www.gov.cn, without giving further details. "It's not only an inevitable choice to diversify clean energy sources, but also helps raise global competitiveness of China's equipment manufacturers...
  • UNDERSTANDING THE VENEZUELAN DEBACLE

    04/22/2015 4:48:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Georgetown Public Policy Review ^ | APRIL 21, 2015 | LEONEL PRIETO
    Empty shelves in the supermarkets. Never-ending lines forming before dawn to buy whatever basics good from whatever brand arrives to the store. Hostile military officers threaten reprisal, ensuring that those lined up keep their grievances silent. This is how shopping for food or basic household goods looks like in Venezuela today. Rising shortages and inflation have submerged the country in a deep recession. This precarious reality is the result of actions carried out by the ‘revolutionary’ government in the past years: a model of poor economic management in a context of prevalent incompetence, corruption, and human rights violations. Did oil...
  • CERAWeek: Oil chiefs explain why U.S. shale boom hasn’t gone global

    04/22/2015 4:37:25 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 22, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    Has billionaire oil man Harold Hamm ever been tempted to take the U.S. shale revolution abroad and expand his oil empire from North Dakota to the rest of the world? “I have not,” Hamm told a gathering of energy executives Tuesday. The question had come from Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS. Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, one of the biggest oil producers in the Bakken Shale, was one of three oil-company chief executives speaking from the stage during a panel at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference at the Hilton Americas-Houston. So why haven’t U.S. shale producers tried to tap...
  • NASSCO launches 'green' containership

    04/21/2015 5:22:43 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    U~T San Diego ^ | APRIL 19, 2015 | Gary Robbins
    General Dynamics-NASSCO has launched Isla Bella, the first liquid natural gas-powered container ship that the Barrio Logan shipyard has built for the company TOTE. The 764-foot-long vessel slid down the launch ways Saturday at NASSCO, the last major shipyard on the West Coast. The company also is building a second vessel for TOTE under a contract that was signed in 2012. NASSCO said in a statement that the Marlin-class container ships “will be the largest dry-cargo ships of any kind in the world powered by LNG. The vessels ... will significantly decrease emissions while increasing fuel efficiency as compared to...
  • Anti-local fracking control bill advances in Texas

    04/21/2015 5:05:57 AM PDT · by thackney · 44 replies
    Platts ^ | 20 Apr 2015 | Platts
    A bill being debated in the Texas Legislature that would severely limit local municipalities' power to regulate oil and natural gas drilling moved one step closer to becoming law Monday. In a 125-20 vote, the Republican-dominated Texas House of Representatives approved on third reading H.B. 40. The legislation would "expressly pre-empt local ordinances that ban or limit oil and gas operations," including hydraulic fracturing. The bill will now move to the state Senate, which, like the House, is Republican-controlled. If passed by both houses of the legislature it will move to the desk of Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who has...
  • CERAWeek: Smaller budgets shouldn’t sacrifice on oil industry innovation, Saudi Aramco says

    04/21/2015 4:56:16 AM PDT · by thackney
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 20, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    Innovation is vital for the energy industry, even when times are tough, three industry executives told IHS Energy CERAWeek attendees Monday. Crude oil prices have fallen by roughly 50 percent since the summer of 2014, and the resulting squeeze has strained budgets and led to thousands of layoffs across the industry. But Muhammad Al-Saggaf, the acting head of Saudi Aramco’s shared operations and services, warned that while research might appear easy to cut, abandoning innovation during a downturn can put the future of a company at risk. “A downcycle is actually an opportunity,” Al-Saggaf said. “It is easier to find...
  • CERAWeek: U.S. and Wall Street take over OPEC’s role as global swing producer

    04/21/2015 4:54:13 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 20, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    Financial markets underpinning the U.S. shale boom have emerged as the world’s de facto regulator of global oil production, taking over from the Saudi Arabia-led cartel that effectively abdicated its decades-old role in November, a top IHS researcher said Monday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries “is not what it used to be; it’s no longer the balancer of the oil market,” said Jim Burkhard, chief researcher of global oil markets for IHS, during a panel on the first day of the week-long IHS Energy CERAWeek conference at the Hilton Americas-Houston. For a generation, Burkhard said, OPEC could influence...
  • CERAWeek: Former diplomat says lifting Iranian sanctions won’t flood oil markets

    04/21/2015 4:52:44 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | Rhiannon Meyers | April 20, 2015
    Lifting sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program won’t immediately flood the world with oil as some have feared, recently retired U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said Monday. His comments, made on the opening day of the five-day IHS Energy CERAWeek conference Monday, addressed the concerns that have rocked oil markets as diplomats met in Switzerland to hammer out the details of a deal to cut off Iran’s pathways to making a nuclear bomb. News leaking out of the negotiations caused oil prices to swing wildly in the days leading up to the framework...
  • EIA: Coal-fired generation alive and well in the coming decade

    04/21/2015 4:49:09 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Power Engineering ^ | 04/17/2015 | Power Engineering
    Coal-fired power generation from existing plants will increase through 2025, this according to the Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week. The report centers its expectations on a middle-of-the-road predictive model called the “AEO2015 Reference case”, but also compares this reference case to alternative predictive models which adjust for variables including: low and high oil prices, low and high economic growth, and high oil and gas resources. The report predicts tradeoffs between fuels used for electricity generation, primarily due to slow growth in demand, combined with rising natural gas prices, environmental...
  • MAGELLAN AND TRANSCANADA TO PURSUE HOUSTON PIPELINE CONNECTION

    04/21/2015 4:22:03 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Oil Gas Financial Journal | 4/15/2015 | OGFJ
    Magellan Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: MMP) and TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) have entered into a joint development agreement to pursue a project to connect TransCanada's Houston tank terminal to Magellan's East Houston terminal. The project would include the construction of a 9-mile, 24-inch-diameter pipeline, in which Magellan and TransCanada would have a 50/50 ownership interest. The project would give TransCanada's Keystone and Marketlink shippers access to Magellan's Houston and Texas City, Texas, crude oil distribution system. Michael Mears, Magellan's president and CEO, commented that this connection would provide its customers with additional supply options for the Houston Gulf Coast refining...
  • Bill to Standardize Drillings Setbacks Passes Texas House

    04/20/2015 9:45:18 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | April 17, 2015 | Deon Daugherty|
    Legislation to set standards for cities that wish to regulate the oil and gas drilling within their city limits passed the Texas House Friday with more than two-thirds approval. House Bill 40 heads to the Texas Senate Monday, where, if it can sustain the momentum that’s carried it this far, could soon become law. And that’s got some special interests groups in a tizzy. “If some Austin lawmakers are successful, oil and gas drilling could be coming to a school, playground of daycare center near you,” wrote Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas in an opinion piece published in the...
  • Oklahoma approves execution by nitrogen gas as a backup to lethal injections

    04/20/2015 5:37:18 AM PDT · by thackney · 31 replies
    The Verge ^ | April 18, 2015 | Lizzie Plaugic
    Yesterday, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that approves the use of nitrogen gas for executions in the state. The method, which would effectively asphyxiate death row inmates by forcing them to breathe pure nitrogen through a gas mask, is meant to be the primary alternative to lethal injection, The Washington Post reports. Fallin and other supporters of the procedure say it's pain-free and effective, noting that the nitrogen would render inmates unconscious within ten seconds and kill them in minutes. It's also cheap: state representatives say the method only requires a nitrogen tank and a gas...
  • Upstart Siluria Technologies Turns Shale Gas Into Plastics And Gasoline

    04/20/2015 5:29:34 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Forbes ^ | 4/14/2015 | Christopher Helman
    Siluria Technologies’ new ethylene plant is a 4-story-tall maze of pipes and valves and pressure vessels. If it were a standalone plant it might be impressive. But this one is tucked in among dozens of giant petrochemical complexes along the Houston Ship Channel and situated within a larger polypropylene site operated by Brazilian chemicals giant Braskem So how does this facility stand out? Because it’s unique. All the rest of the world’s ethylene is made the old-fashioned way: by breaking apart larger hydrocarbons such as naphtha (sourced from crude oil) or ethane (found in natural gas). In contrast, Siluria’s technology...
  • Georgia Slams Brakes on Electric Cars

    04/20/2015 5:25:42 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Government Technology ^ | APRIL 14, 2015 | ANDRIA SIMMONS
    Did Georgia just pull the plug on the electric car market? Many people are wondering after state legislators voted to eliminate a tax credit that last year helped catapult metro Atlanta to the highest U.S. market share for plug-in electric vehicles. The same bill will impose a $200 registration fee -- the nation's highest -- on noncommercial EVs. When the governor signs the bill, as expected, Georgia will go from first to worst on its support for the EV market. The electric vehicle tax credit ends June 30; the EV fee starts the next day. Local car dealers say they're...
  • EOG has lion’s share of 900 North Dakota wells awaiting fracking

    04/20/2015 5:21:24 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Bakken.com ^ | April 16, 2015 | Ernest Scheyder
    Oil producer EOG Resources Inc has the lion’s share of an estimated 900 North Dakota wells waiting to be fracked, according to state data, showing that even major oil titans are mothballing operations while they hope for a rebound in oil prices. For months the conventional wisdom in North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation had been that smaller producers with weak cash flow comprised the bulk of that estimate. While the estimate had been published monthly, it was not clear until a Tuesday update from the state’s Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) who was dominating the list. Oilfield service companies have...
  • Texas chemical company eyes another in-state methanol unit

    04/20/2015 5:18:26 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | April 17, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Celanese Corp. is considering expanding its South Texas chemical plant to produce methanol, the company has announced. Building a methanol unit at the plant in Bishop near Corpus Christi would be the latest move by the Dallas-based chemical company to capitalize on an abundance of cheap U.S. shale gas. Celanese has been building a new methanol unit in Clear Lake, southeast of Houston under a joint venture with Mitsui & Co., one of Japan’s largest generally traded companies. The project, which should be finished by October, will have the capacity to produce 1.3 million tons of methanol per year. Made...
  • New maps highlight geologic characteristics of U.S. tight oil, shale plays

    04/17/2015 5:25:39 AM PDT · by thackney · 15 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | APRIL 17, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    EIA is currently in the process of updating maps of major tight oil and shale gas plays, including the Eagle Ford and Marcellus plays, which will help to better characterize the geology of key areas of production in the United States. EIA's most recent maps focus on shale and tight oil plays, and characterize plays based on geologic characteristics, including rock type and age. Understanding geologic history and processes helps exploration and production companies reduce the risk of drilling dry, nonproducing wells and better understand hydrocarbon resource potentials. Production of crude oil and natural gas occurs in two classes of...