Posted June 20, 2014
Houston Chronicle: Oil, natural gas and coal have boosted living conditions around the globe, but policies to replace those fossil fuels "with inferior energy sources" could undermine those improvements, a former Texas environmental regulator argues.
In a 36-page paper - "Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case" - Kathleen Hartnett White, former chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, insists that access to oil, natural gas and coal are inextricably linked with prosperity and well-being.
Policies targeting heat-trapping greenhouse gases - including the Environmental Protection Agency's new plan for throttling carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants - overlook "the inestimable human benefits of fossil fuels," White says.
"Energy-dense, abundant, versatile, reliable, portable, and affordable, fossil fuels provide over 80 percent of the world's energy because they are superior to the current alternatives," White writes.
Posted June 18, 2014
Here’s a link to a well-done video produced by Fortune magazine, showing a little bit about what it’s like to work on an oil and natural gas production platform more than 100 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. The video’s producers visited Chevron’s Tahiti platform and interviewed a couple of the facility’s workers to gain insight into the two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off nature of life on the platform.
Posted June 17, 2014
A thought-provoking op-ed piece by the Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce in the Wall Street Journal last week (subscription required), in which he “does the math” on one group’s goal of reducing fossil fuel use 20-fold over the next few decades. It’s a must read if you fancy getting from Point A to Point B in a reasonable amount of time, warm houses in the winter, cool ones in the summer and other aspects of modern living supported by these fuel sources.
Global hydrocarbon consumption is now about 218 million barrels of oil equivalent energy a day, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, which includes 83 million barrels of oil as well as about 75 million barrels of oil equivalent from coal and about 60 million barrels of oil equivalent from natural gas. Reducing that by a factor of 20 would cut global hydrocarbon use to the energy equivalent of 11 million barrels of oil a day, roughly the amount of energy now consumed by India, where 400 million people lack access to electricity.
The math: The average person on Earth used about 1.3 gallons of oil-equivalent energy a day from hydrocarbons in 2012, Bryce writes, so a 20-fold decrease would mean allotting everyone 8 fluid ounces of oil-equivalent energy from hydrocarbons a day.
Posted May 23, 2014
Fracking has a history – and now it has an official definition, one of the new entries in the 2014 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. It’s nice to be thus recognized, though we suspect the term has been around in industry circles longer than 1953, as the dictionary states, since the commercial process dates to 1949.
One of the states where hydraulic fracturing has been used for decades is Ohio. In the video below, Ohioans talk about how fracking got its start there in the 1950s. Nowadays, the combination of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is being used in new wells and to revitalize old ones, they say.
Posted May 22, 2014
Here’s another one of our new videos – featuring residents of Colorado’s Weld County, where significant oil and natural gas development is occurring thanks to shale reserves and advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
Posted May 21, 2014
In Ohio, they’re seeing the benefits of oil and natural gas development with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. This “unconventional” activity generated more than $910 million in state and local taxes in 2012 – a number that should grow as development accelerates in the Utica shale that sweeps across the eastern part of the state.
In the video below, residents of Carroll County, located just southeast of Canton, talk about oil and natural gas benefits where they live.
Posted May 16, 2014
Industry’s commitment to enhancing the safety to offshore energy development in the four years since the Macondo incident was reflected in a half-day program on prevention and response sponsored by the Center for Offshore Safety(COS) at last week’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.
The COS hosted two panel discussions – one focused on developing effective safety systems, and a second that centered on the actions, processes and leadership needed to build strong safety cultures.
Posted April 29, 2014
Take a look at the fuels and products delivered every day by America’s sprawling network of liquid petroleum and natural gas pipelines, and you’ll develop a new appreciation for energy infrastructure: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other fuels and natural gas and heating oil for our homes. Plus feedstocks to make products ranging from eyeglasses to pharmaceuticals. Pipelines are integral for modern living.
That’s why API’s recently launched “Pipeline 101” website is an important resource – to better understand the need for pipelines, as well as how they work, how safe they are and more.
Posted April 7, 2014
U.S. Energy Boom Lifts Low-Income Workers Too
Wall Street Journal op-ed (subscription required): Mayors, governors and economic-development officials love natural-resource jobs—and today's North American energy revolution has been providing a lot of them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of new jobs in the oil and gas industry (technically a part of mining) increased by roughly 270,000 between 2003 and 2012. This is an increase of about 92% compared with a 3% increase in all jobs during the same period.
The people of New York and other states that have so far declined to take part in the boom might like to know what they are missing because these jobs pay well. The BLS reports that the U.S. average annual wage (which excludes employer-paid benefits) in the oil and gas industry was about $107,200 during 2012, the latest full year available. That's more than double the average of $49,300 for all workers.
At the other end of the wage spectrum are waiters and waitresses in food services nationwide earning about $16,200 a year, workers in the accommodations industry with average pay of $27,300, and those in the retail trade with average wages of $27,700. But the evidence from the oil boom regions is that energy development lifts wages for low-income workers too.
Posted March 14, 2014
Surge in Oil from U.S., Canada Helps Meet Global Demand
Wall Street Journal: LONDON—The dramatic increase in oil supply from the U.S. and Canada—coupled with a surprise surge in Iraqi output—helped stave off global demand pressures brought on by a cold U.S. winter and geopolitical concerns over rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The International Energy Agency, a watchdog for the world's biggest energy consumers, said North American output helped mitigate a bigger-than-expected draw from global crude inventories, caused by a colder than usual winter in the U.S. Surging Iraqi crude output, which rose to its highest level since 1979, also helped keep global markets supplied, and prices in check.