Posted December 9, 2014
New research by the University of Texas shows what other studies have shown: methane emissions from natural gas production are lower than previously estimated. The UT study found that emissions represent just 0.38 percent of production – about 10 percent lower than a 2013 study by the same research team.
The UT study checked two sources of methane emissions in natural gas production: processes to clear wells of accumulated liquids to increase production, called liquid unloadings; and pneumatic controller devices that open and close valves.
The study found that just 19 percent of pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of emissions from that equipment, and that just 20 percent of wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 85 percent of those emissions. David Allen, the study’s principal investigator:
“To put this in perspective, over the past several decades, 10 percent of the cars on the road have been responsible for the majority of automotive exhaust pollution. Similarly, a small group of sources within these two categories are responsible for the vast majority of pneumatic and unloading emissions at natural gas production sites.”
The results suggest that technologies and practices already in use by industry – voluntary efforts and those to comply with federal green completions rules that become standard in January – are working to reduce methane leaks.
Posted December 2, 2014
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s recent announcement – that he plans to lift the state’s three-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, possibly clearing the way for future natural gas development – is potentially good news for the state, its citizens and America’s broader energy picture.
A new report by the state’s Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources details some of the possible benefits:Garrett County in western Maryland could gain as many as 2,425 new jobs while realizing $3.6 million in tax revenues and $13.5 million in severance tax revenues.Neighboring Allegany County could see as many as 908 new jobs, $1.8 million in tax revenues and $2.3 million in severance tax revenues over 10 years. “Royalty payments to the owners and lessors of mineral rights could provide significant income,” the report says.
Significantly, the department concludes what a number of other states have found and are demonstrating – that advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to develop natural gas and oil from shale and other tight-rock formations can be conducted safely and efficiently.
Posted November 13, 2014
A good deal of the buzz generated by America’s ongoing energy revolution has centered on the way surging domestic production is changing the crude oil imports picture. No question, it’s a pretty one, with net imports as a share of consumption falling to levels not seen in nearly three decades. That’s great news for job creation, the economy, our balance of trade and America’s energy security.
But here’s another pretty picture: declining imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Actually, “declining” is too mild a term for what we’re seeing. Thanks to energy developed from shale using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the U.S. has become the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer – which has dramatically cut the need to shop the world market for supplies of natural gas, illustrated in plummeting LNG imports.
Posted June 10, 2014
New York Times: DENVER — An impassioned national debate over the oil-production technique known as fracking is edging toward the ballot box in Colorado, opening an election-year rift between moderate, energy-friendly Democrats and environmentalists who want to rein in drilling or give local communities the power to outlaw it altogether.
If they make the ballot in November, an array of proposals will be among the first in the nation to ask a state’s voters to sharply limit energy development. Some measures would keep drilling as far as a half-mile from Colorado homes. Others would give individual communities the right to ban fracking.
The ballot measures reflect the anxieties that have accompanied a drilling boom across the West. As drilling sites are built closer to playgrounds and suburban homes in communities along Colorado’s northern plains, residents and environmental groups have called for more regulation and have pushed for moratoriums on drilling.
But in a bellwether state like Colorado, where views on drilling vary as much as the geography, the measures could ignite an all-out battle involving oil companies, business groups and conservationists that pulls in millions in outside money, sets off a rush of campaign ads and spawns lawsuits for years to come. That is why Gov. John W. Hickenlooper and other Democratic leaders are working feverishly on a compromise that would give communities more control of energy development in their backyards while keeping the fracking issue off the ballot.
Posted December 19, 2013
More from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s preview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook, released this week. EIA’s projections depict a United States gaining more control of its energy security with increased domestic oil and natural gas production. Let’s zero in on some of the things EIA says about natural gas.
First, domestic natural gas production is skyrocketing, thanks to output from shale.
Posted November 25, 2013
Interesting developments along the winter energy front from API Chief Economist John Felmy in a recent briefing for reporters.
First, though gasoline prices recently have been pushed higher by increases in world crude oil prices and higher U.S. demand, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that gasoline and diesel prices will hold steady through at least the first half of 2014, Felmy said.
Second, while annual heating costs for natural gas users in 2014 are estimated by EIA to be $665, which is slightly higher than last year, they’re still likely to be 19 percent lower than they were in the winter of 2008-2009. EIA also estimates that annual costs for families who use heating oil in their homes will be 4 percent lower this year than last.
Posted May 13, 2013
Associated Press – Natural Gas Export Plans Stir Debate
The AP highlights describes the natural gas export debate, which is being driven by an abundance of domestic supply. Sen. Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said officials should seek a "sweet spot" for LNG exports — allowing enough to spur drilling and increase gas supplies, but not enough to create export-driven price hikes.
Free Enterprise – Interior Secretary: Hydraulic Fracturing is "Essential"
Free Enterprise’s Sean Hackbarth recaps Secretary Sally Jewell’s recent testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee during which she stated that hydraulic fracturing is an “essential technology” that “can be done safely and responsibly.”
Posted June 14, 2011
Posted June 13, 2011
Posted June 10, 2011