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Energy Tomorrow Blog

On Fracking, EPA Should Stand With the Science

hydraulic fracturing  fracking  safety standards  epa  water 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 9, 2016

With EPA’s finalize report expected any day now, Americans should ask what scientific evidence has EPA accumulated since August that would compel the agency to drop or water down its conclusion. The answer is simple: None. The science and the data led to the conclusion in EPA’s 2015 draft report. The agency should stand by it. Any other outcome would be bowing to political arguments, not scientific ones.

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The Quantitative, Scientific Support for Safe Fracking

hydraulic fracturing  fracking  safety standards  epa  oil and natural gas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 17, 2016

As EPA nears the release of its finalized hydraulic fracturing/water report, the weight of scientific study and analysis backs the agency’s preliminary conclusion that there’s no evidence that fracking has led to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” Dozens of other recent studies reached similar conclusions – including peer-reviewed case studies and research by academics, government and industry, as well as state and federal regulatory reviews.

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Safe Offshore Energy Development is in U.S. Best Interest

offshore energy development  safety standards  safe operations  regulation  oil and natural gas  center for offshore safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 28, 2016

Safe offshore energy development is a by-product of advanced technologies and equipment, an ever-expanding knowledge base, improved worker training, an effective partnership of industry and regulatory authorities, constantly improving standards for deepwater exploration and production and, over it all, an industry committed to creating and growing a culture of safety in offshore operations.

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Rail Safety: A Core Value of the Oil and Gas Industry

crude oil tankers  safety standards  Oil and Gas  transportation 

Kate Wallace

Kate Wallace
Posted August 25, 2016

Safety is a core value throughout our entire industry. With increases in crude by rail transportation, our industry aims to help mitigate the impact of train derailments on local communities as we strive for zero incidents.

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The Facts About Natural Gas Storage

natural gas supply  safety standards  affordable energy  us energy 

Marty Durbin

Marty Durbin
Posted February 5, 2016

Our industry’s continuing commitment to safety is underscored in a new federal advisory bulletin on underground natural gas storage facilities that urges field operators to implement industry best practices developed by API and other organizations. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA):

Operators must adhere to applicable State regulations for the permitting, drilling, completion, and operation of storage wells. In developing, implementing, and updating their safety and integrity programs, we encourage underground gas storage facility operators to … voluntarily implement American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practices (RP) … and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) standards entitled “Natural Gas Storage in Salt Caverns – A Guide for State Regulators” (IOGCC Guide), as applicable. … API has an accredited process to develop recommended practices and standards that involves industry, manufacturers, engineering firms, construction contractors, the public, academia, and government.

API worked with other trade associations and  PHMSA to develop two recommended practices (RPs) last year – one focused on safe practices for designing, storing and operating natural gas in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, and another detailing how to safely design, store and operate natural gas in salt caverns. Both RPs discuss proper construction methods, materials and maintenance practices to ensure safe operations.

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Energy Infrastructure and Safety

pipelines  pipeline safety  infrastructure  safety standards  keystone xl 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 8, 2016

The United States is overdue for a fact-based conversation about energy infrastructure. The needs are great. IHS estimates that needed energy infrastructure through the middle of the next decade could spur $1.15 trillion in private capital investment and support more than 1 million jobs. But there are roadblocks.

The long fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has anti-progress, anti-fossil fuel advocates targeting other needed projects. During his State of American Energy 2016 remarks this week, API President and CEO Jack Gerard warned that ideological opposition to infrastructure will hurt the United States:

“The demonization of the Keystone XL pipeline remains a powerful cautionary tale of the dangers of energy policy driven by ideology rather than economic reality and has a chilling effect on expansion efforts for our nation’s energy infrastructure. That’s not just bad national energy policy. It is also bad news for our nation’s economy.”

Thus the need for a rational conversation about the country’s infrastructure needs that’s based on fact. Such as: America’s more than 199,000 miles of liquid pipelines deliver about 16 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products a year, with a safety rate of 99.999 percent. And another: Industry keeps working toward a goal of zero incidents by continually improving safety in the infrastructure sector.

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Industry’s Falling Methane Emissions

safe operations  safety standards  methane  hydraulic fracturing  epa  air quality 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 12, 2015

Methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems continue falling. EPA, in an update to its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, says that methane emissions decreased from 77 million metric tons CO2 equivalent 2013 to 73 million metric tons CO2e last year. This continues a significant downward trend over the past few years.

The significance is this: Further reductions in methane emissions argue strongly against EPA’s position that additional regulation is needed. And, indeed, the agency is working on new layers of methane regulation.

Let’s think this one through. Methane emissions are falling under current the current regulatory regime, yet EPA and its supporters say that further reductions won’t happen without more regulation. (If you feel like you’ve heard this argument before it’s because you have – see here and here on EPA’s ozone proposals.) But here’s what we know: Methane emissions associated with oil and natural gas systems are falling – at a time when natural gas production is dramatically increasing.  

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Systematizing Pipeline Safety

analysis  pipeline safety  standards  american petroleum institute  crude oil  petroleum products 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 8, 2015

A barrel of crude oil or petroleum product shipped by pipeline is safely delivered to its destination more than 99.999 percent of the time, but the industry’s objective remains: zero releases, zero incidents.

Toward that goal, API has just released a new standard to guide operators in the development of a systems approach to safety management – helping them to continuously evaluate their efforts and constantly improve safety. API Midstream Director Robin Rorick:

“Pipelines are safe and efficient, but we are always looking for new ways to make them better, which is why industry is embracing this new standard. It’s also a great example of what can be done when industry, regulators and all key stakeholders work together to achieve a common objective, which is to protect the public, the environment and provide the fuels Americans need.”

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Safety and Accountability in Offshore Development

center for offshore safety  offshore development  cera  safety standards  gulf of mexico  oil spill  bp  macondo well 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 22, 2015

Just a few minutes after BP Group Chief Executive Robert Dudley addressed a CERAWeek luncheon crowd on post-Macondo efforts that have seen the company spend  more than $44 billion on Gulf response and cleanup, I talked with Center for Offshore Safety Executive Director Charlie Williams about the center’s work to increase the safety culture in offshore energy development. Williams, who was named to his position in March 2012, talked about systems approaches to safety and what the center has learned about offshore safety in its first annual performance report, issued earlier this month. Highlights of the conversation below.

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Safe, Abundant Energy for America’s Future

safety standards  safe operations  offshore energy development  oil and natural gas  shale energy  crude oil  liquefied natural gas  exports  ethanol  renewable fuel standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 8, 2015

NOLA.com: Five years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil and gas industry can respond and contain well blowouts offshore faster than ever before, said Don Armijo, CEO of the Marine Well Containment Co. But he said work remains to make sure containment equipment keeps pace with industry's push to drill in deeper waters.

Armijo, who spoke Tuesday (April 7) at a business lunch at The Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans, said Marine Well Containment Co. has the equipment to respond to oil gushers in up to 10,000 feet of water. The industry will outgrow that equipment, he said.

"We know there has been drilling proposed in areas much deeper than 10,000 feet of water," Armijo said. "That's the big thing. How do we actually get the technology put together so we can be deeper? These are the kind of things that are on our minds all the time."

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