Posted May 27, 2014
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Mark D. Caskey, president of Steel Nation Steel Buildings, a Washington County company that constructs gas compression stations for energy companies, is no stranger to having doors slammed in his face.
In fact, when he pitched the idea to build such stations to energy companies six years ago, that’s all that happened.
“We tried to talk to every big midstream company, trying to get our foot in the door,” Mr. Caskey said. “We’d knock on their door, they’d meet with us and they’d say, listen, ’You’ve never built a gas compression building before. We’re not going to be your guinea pig.’”
Gas compression stations, he explained, gather gas from wells. They also separate and cool the gas before transporting it to major transmission lines.
In 2008 when Steel Nation opened, the company focused on building prep plants that wash and separate coal for coal companies.
But after a friend from oil and gas company Range Resources took him to a drill site, Mr. Caskey realized he could take his talents to the natural gas industry.
Posted May 12, 2014
But over the past four years, Vitale and Van Blarcom have come to live in different economic worlds.
Vitale’s Organic Farm, located in New York’s Steuben County and beset by what its owner calls high taxes and a regulation-happy state government, has shrunk in size by almost 30 percent. He’s had to sell off land to stay afloat – and it wouldn’t have happened, he said, if the state had let him cash in on the riches buried thousands of feet beneath his property.
Posted May 9, 2014
Preventing spills, preparing for the possibility of spills, responding to incidents and restoration planning were the focus of the 2014 International Oil Spill Conference – a week-long discussion/demonstration of industry’s commitment to safe and responsible energy development and environmental safety. The exercise on the Savannah River shows how robotics, modern communications and other techniques pinpoint a spill’s location while feeding video, photos, water samples and other data to decision makers nearby or half a world away via satellite link.
Posted May 8, 2014
At the heart of the 2014 International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Savannah, Ga., is the exhibitors’ hall where the latest equipment, technologies and services – for spill prevention, preparedness, response and restoration – are on display. This is cutting-edge technology and know-how that’s key to industry’s environmental commitment and sustaining energy development.
The conference hall echoes with conversation. Aisle after aisle is stocked with dozens of display booths featuring the latest in skimmers, scoopers, soakers, detectors, boom manufacturers, deployment equipment, containment receptacles, pumps, amphibious tractor/crawlers and consulting services – including one outfit, Exponent, whose display table giveaway is a light gray, palm-sized squeezable tension/anxiety reducer shaped like a brain. Gray matter. And there’s more, much more.
Posted April 25, 2014
A couple of the main points in API President and CEO Jack Gerard’s speech to the STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference in Washington this week:
- America’s oil and natural gas industry offers the careers to attract motivated science, technology, engineering and math graduates – and it needs them.
- Industry’s dynamic job-creating ability must be sustained through strategies and policies that allow it to continue to be a global energy leader.
Kudos to U.S. News & World Report for hosting the conference that attracted so many bright young people – including one of the youngest people to visit the North and South Pole and a teen-ager who developed an early detection test for pancreatic cancer. Gerard used the opportunity to underscore the oil and natural gas industry’s need for science and technology workers.
Posted April 21, 2014
Posted April 7, 2014
Take a good look at the chart below – brand-new from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The green line disappearing into the horizontal axis between the years 2030 and 2040 is what U.S. energy self-sufficiency looks like.
This is a big, big deal – a goal of every U.S. president since Richard Nixon more than 40 years ago: the point where domestic production exceeds imports, which EIA never included in any of its projections. Until now.
Because of surging tight-oil production – oil from shale and other tight-rock formations, developed with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – the agency is including in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook a high-production scenario under which net imports would reach near-zero between 2030 and 2040.
Posted April 3, 2014
A competitive marketplace is the sowing field for innovation and investment. Look no further than the advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that launched America’s ongoing shale energy revolution. Shale development features cutting-edge technology to increase output and efficiency and to make operations as safe and clean as possible. An example of this can be found in methane emissions.
While some call for government-directed efforts to reduce emissions, industry already is on this – through its own leadership and investments – and is achieving good results.
Posted March 17, 2014
Happy birthday, fracking! What a fantastic, 65-year ride it has been – and here’s to another 65 years and more.
Advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling launched an oil and natural gas renaissance in this country – bringing dynamic job creation, economic stimulus that radiates well beyond the oil and natural gas industry proper and greater energy security. Thanks to fracking, the United States is an energy superpower that, with the right policies, can harness its vast resources to ensure a significantly better future for its citizens while reducing energy-related tension across the globe.
Posted February 10, 2014
How the U.S. Energy Boom is Changing America’s Place in the World
Time: It wasn’t even five years ago that Iran reelected hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a disputed presidential election, openly admitted it was building a uranium enrichment facility and brazenly test-fired missiles capable of hitting targets in Israel. Fast-forward to today: A more conciliatory president, Hassan Rouhani, is making historic overtures toward the West and negotiations are showing rare progress toward containing the country’s nuclear program, which has kept the region—and the world—on edge for years.
The difference, according to former Obama administration National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, can be summed up in one word: “fracking.” That’s hydraulic fracturing, the drilling method that’s helped fuel an unprecedented domestic energy boom in the United States.
“There’s a direct line between the U.S.-led sanctions effort to put pressure on Iran” and the flood of oil and gas coming out of the ground at home due to fracking technology, Donilon said Thursday night at an event announcing a new report from the Center for a New American Security, titled “Energy Rush: Shale Production and U.S. National Security.”
Before the North American energy boom—the largest-ever annual increase in domestic oil production took place in 2012—a harsh sanctions regime against Iran looked more like a suicide pact for the oil-import-dependent U.S. Instead, America’s sudden energy abundance dampened the blow of reduced oil exports to the global economy, making truly harsh sanctions on Iran possible.
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