Posted August 28, 2014
Fuel Fix Blog: The Marcellus region is now the biggest natural gas shale play in the world, and there’s still about $90 billion to be made by tapping the area’s reserves, according to a study by energy analyst group Wood Mackenzie.
The Marcellus, which stretches from New York to West Virginia, produced about 15.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in August, about 38 percent of total U.S. natural gas production for the month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency doesn’t expect the boom to taper off anytime soon, and several of the biggest companies are cashing in.
Wood Mackenzie predicted that the top 20 operators in the Marcellus will earn nearly $86 billion over the life of the play after the costs of reaching the reserves. Among the 20 largest operators are Fort Worth-based Range Resources Corp., Pittsburgh’s EQT Corp., Houston’s Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and Denver-based Antero Resources.
For comparison, Wood Mackenzie estimated that there’s about $118 billion to be made by extracting the resources in North Dakota’s Bakken region — but most production there is higher-priced oil compared to the natural gas dominant in the Marcellus.
Posted August 27, 2014
USAToday Editorial: There is much news these days from the world's major energy producing regions. Almost none of it is good.
Iraq, Libya and Syria are in turmoil. Russia, the world's largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of oil, is bullying Ukraine and by extension Western Europe. And Iran's nuclear program may yet provoke a market-roiling conflict.
Amazingly, as all this has transpired, U.S. gasoline prices have been stable, even falling. The domestic economy is picking up steam. And the stock market has hit all-time highs.
Go figure. Perhaps the markets are in denial and Americans are in for an ugly surprise. They were blindsided in 1973 when an Arab oil boycott led to higher prices and long gas lines, and again in 1979 when the Iranian revolution led to a second oil shock.
But there are legitimate reasons why things would look relatively good here while so much of the world burns. First among them is a U.S. energy renaissance that has left the nation far less dependent on Mideast oil.
Posted August 26, 2014
After graduating from Penn State with a degree in petroleum engineering, Curry didn't have much of a choice but to leave. He got a job that required him to travel and "bounced around the United States for a few years," the 43-year-old said recently.
"I eventually settled in Dallas, working for multiple oil and gas companies during my time there," he said. "Around 2008, I began hearing more and more about Marcellus and Range Resources, and I saw the opportunity to move home."
Curry is director of business development at Range Resources in Cecil Township, Washington County. He and his wife, Heather, have three children, ranging in age from 4 months to 5 years old -- "all born in Pittsburgh," said Curry, who is from Lower Burrell, Westmoreland County.
Posted August 25, 2014
Because she relies so much on her lease checks from Greka Energy, she's concerned about Measure P and how it could affect her income. The voter-driven initiative to ban oil extraction methods of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, cyclic steaming and well acidization in Santa Barbara County is on the November ballot.
Posted August 21, 2014
Wall Street Journal: U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second half of 2013 before unexpectedly contracting early this year. But growth late last year was uneven across the nation, with some energy-rich states leading the pack while economies slowed in New England and on the Plains.
That’s according to new data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. The agency already reported gross domestic product for the nation on a quarterly basis and at the state level annually. Now, it has offered a quarterly breakdown for state-level GDP data through the end of 2013. The data are volatile from quarter to quarter, but allow a finer understanding of the ups and downs in regional economies.
Posted August 20, 2014
Offshore producers say safety precautions have improved dramatically since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and argue no areas should be ruled out as the Interior Department considers offshore drilling sites through 2022.
“Decisions on areas to include in the 2017-2022 [outer continental shelf] leasing program will have impacts well into the future,” a coalition of 11 industry groups wrote in comments filed to Interior. “Therefore, we believe that BOEM should fully consider all areas for inclusion in the program and keep as many areas as feasible in the draft proposed program.”
Posted August 19, 2014
It is challenging to strike a balance between traditional energy sources, such as coal, oil and natural gas, and emerging renewables like wind and biomass. The Virginia Energy Plan, updated every four years by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, serves as a guide.
Posted August 18, 2014
Albuquerque Journal (Former Sen. Pete Domenici): America has been handed a great gift, the gift of technological breakthroughs like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for oils and natural gas.
This gift, if we handle it properly, has the potential not only to free our nation from being hostage to other nations, but to allow Europe and other regions to free themselves from the tyranny of dependence on Russian sources of oil and gas.
Think how much differently our allies in Europe would behave in this time of crisis if they had the infrastructure, and the access, to handle natural gas and oil from America, Canada and Mexico.
New Mexico has played an important, I would say critical, role in this potential geopolitical and economic revolution.
Posted August 15, 2014
Forbes: The U.S. arm of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has been making news this week with a ‘new’ report claiming the Obama Administration drastically underestimated carbon emissions of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The report seeks to make the case as to why the final portion of the Keystone pipeline system should not be built.
As tantalizing as the report sounds, supporters of the pipeline have been quick to point out the report is actually a recycled 2013 SEI report which the State Department took into account, and largely dismissed.
Posted August 14, 2014
Wall Street Journal (Jay Timmons, NAM): In a town famous for inaction, Washington is gearing up to take action on a major policy issue. But there's a hitch: The outcome could be the most expensive regulation in the nation's history, possibly tanking the economy and costing jobs at a time when businesses, manufacturers and families are making a comeback.
Later this year, the Environmental Protection Agency will decide whether it should tighten the air-quality standard for ground-level ozone. There are several things about this possible new standard that are alarming.