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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Tech Breakthroughs on the Horizon for Natural Gas and Oil

innovation  technology  emission reductions 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted September 11, 2020

New groundbreaking technologies to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere provide a glimpse of what could very well be the next big breakthrough for the natural gas and oil industry.

New technologies have the power to change the impossible to possible. We’ve long argued that industry’s ability to innovate and develop new technologies – including game-changers such as fracking – are key to our energy future. But such technological breakthroughs have been underestimated in the past, and aren’t always reflected in formal projections that are based on what is currently known and available.

Just imagine a natural gas power plant that emits zero CO2 emissions. The first preliminary tests on just such a power plant were conducted two years ago by a collaboration led by the company Net Power. The tests were so promising that the plant made it into the MIT Technology Review’s list of the top 10 breakthrough technologies.


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API Continues to Lead on Safety During Pandemic

api standards program  safety standards  safety regulations 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted August 27, 2020

Despite the pandemic, API has moved forward with dozens of new safety standards, covering everything from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to pipelines, to manufacturing specifications for offshore wells – ensuring that safety and scientific rigor, through API’s standards program, remain front and center.

We have used this challenging time to help ensure that the natural gas and oil industry is focused on safely and sustainably meeting both the domestic and global need for energy through API’s world-class standards program.

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Appalachian Swing States Emerge as Energy Leaders in Pandemic

natural gas drilling  haynesville shale  ohio  west virginia  pennsylvania 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted July 24, 2020

Key Appalachian swing states continue to competitively produce the majority of America’s natural gas supply, despite a global pandemic that continues to pose major challenges for the industry. 

Natural gas production in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia has skyrocketed in the last decade, making the Appalachian region the No. 3 natural gas producer globally behind Russia and the remainder of the United States. This has transformed the region into an energy powerhouse, one that continues to show room for growth.  

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Q&A: New Center for Offshore Safety Director Talks Responsibilities, Goals

center for offshore safety  safe operations  offshore oil production 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted May 20, 2020

Capt. Russell Holmes is the Center for Offshore Safety’s (COS) new director after serving for nearly three decades with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Holmes, who retired from the Coast Guard in 2020, takes over for Charlie Williams, who had led the center since 2012 after a long industry career. Holmes will be taking the center’s mission of offshore safety and environmental protection into its second decade of existence.

The center was created soon after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the COS has enhanced the safety culture in offshore operations, while supporting federal regulations that mandate Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) at all operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Just prior to joining the center, Holmes served as the Coast Guard’s senior point of contact for offshore safety in the Gulf, overseeing marine inspection and investigation programs that ultimately support SEMS. As he explains in the Q&A below, Holmes says the industry’s professionalism and safety commitment matched his while he was serving as one of industry’s lead regulators.

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Creativity, Innovation and Expertise Help Address Storage Challenge

crude oil tankers  storage tanks  standards  spr 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted April 30, 2020

Meeting short-term crude oil storage challenges has our industry looking at a number of measures to safely route and handle the surplus resulting from the demand decline tied to global efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

API President and CEO Mike Sommers told CNBC that the industry is thinking outside the box to find “creative solutions” to ship and store an historic amount of oil beyond its usual means.

To be sure, there also are separate infrastructure challenges in getting crude oil to where there is storage. Many pipelines in the nation’s transportation network are full up or contracted – partly reflecting the country’s infrastructure needs that pre-date COVID-19. That’s a subject for a separate post. The fact remains industry is focused on finding storage as markets rebalance between supply and demand.

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New API Engine Oil Standards Good for Consumers, Environment

api standards program  motor oil  efficiency 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted April 27, 2020

Enhancing engine protection and performance with the co-benefit of improving fuel economy in cars, trucks, and SUVs is what the public can expect when API’s new engine oil standards go into effect on May 1.

The 18th edition of the API 1509 engine oil standard – Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System (EOLCS) – is a product of industry’s continuous process of updating motor oil specifications to meet the demands of the marketplace and consumers.

For example, the new standard includes a conservation specification to improve fuel economy – in addition to keeping a vehicle’s emissions control systems in check – while also being able to account for the introduction of more renewable fuels into the gasoline supply. This means that oil bearing the API licensing mark can both boost the number of miles driven on a gallon of gasoline, while improving the overall performance of the engine, which is good for consumers and the environment alike.

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Q&A: Industry Leadership, Partnerships Make Offshore Safer Than Ever

offshore safety  bsee  api standards program  deepwater horizon 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted April 20, 2020

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. A decade later, offshore energy development has never been safer, largely because of industry leadership in developing new technologies and creating a proactive safety management culture. This is critically important because the offshore accounts for 15% of U.S. oil production. Innovations in infrastructure and deep-sea equipment, plus rigorous safety training, safety protocols and the management tools to ensure those protocols are effective, reflect industry’s commitment to prevent such an incident, in which lives were lost, from happening again. In the Q&A that follows, Debra Phillips, API senior vice president for Global Industry Services, talks about what has been learned and industry’s responses – including hundreds of safety standards – to maximize offshore safety.


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Industry is Committed to Innovating Climate Solutions

ccs technology  carbon storage  climate 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted February 19, 2020

It will take new breakthroughs and technological know-how to build a cleaner energy future, and no one is better positioned to lead the way through innovation than our industry. …

Through new alliances and partnerships, our companies are investing in carbon capture, utilization and storage, or CCUS, to remove greenhouse gases from power-plant smokestacks, refineries and even directly out of the air itself.


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Best-in-Class Standards Improve Global Safety and Environmental Protection

api standards program  mexico  safety standards 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted January 29, 2020

The U.S. natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to safety and environmental protection standards is attracting respect and recognition worldwide, with many countries aiming to make API standards a key part of their future energy plans.

This week API, the International Association of Gas & Oil Producers (IOGP) and Mexico’s Asociación Mexicana de Empresas de Hidrocarburos (AMEXHI) signed a memorandum of understanding for enhanced coordination, joint forums on specific issues, the sharing of best practices and technical workshops. 

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Family Budgets, Home Heating and the Environmental Benefit of Natural Gas

natural gas  heat  consumers  renewable energy 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted January 16, 2020

Natural gas can’t be beat when it comes to its superior performance in heating a home, especially when compared to heat pumps and other appliances that rely solely on electricity.

Natural gas-powered appliances are both more cost-effective and environmentally friendly for homeowners when compared to their all-electric counterparts, according to consumer studies and government reports.

So, why are some groups campaigning to ban homeowners from using natural gas in favor of these more expensive alternatives?

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