Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 15, 2014
Reuters: By now everyone knows the shale revolution was made possible by the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
But although fracking has captured the popular imagination, and is often used as a synonym for the whole phenomenon, horizontal drilling was actually the more recent and important breakthrough.
Mastery of horizontal drilling around 1990, originally for oil rather than gas exploration, was the decisive innovation that lit the long fuse for the shale revolution that erupted 15 years later.
"Horizontal drilling is the real marvel of engineering and scientific innovation," David Blackmon wrote in Forbes magazine last year ("Horizontal drilling: a technological marvel ignored", January 2013).
"While impressive in its own right, the main innovations in fracking have been beefing up the generating horsepower to accommodate horizontal wells rather than vertical ones, and refining of the fluids used to conserve water and create better, longer lasting fractures in the target formation."
Posted June 18, 2014
Here’s a link to a well-done video produced by Fortune magazine, showing a little bit about what it’s like to work on an oil and natural gas production platform more than 100 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. The video’s producers visited Chevron’s Tahiti platform and interviewed a couple of the facility’s workers to gain insight into the two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off nature of life on the platform.
Posted June 11, 2014
Last summer we published this post on the construction of Anadarko Petroleum’s Lucius spar that would support the company’s newest Gulf of Mexico production platform. A few months later we added this one, featuring three video clips of the spar being towed to sea and positioned in the Gulf, about 275 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas.
Now check out the new video below, showing Lucius’ 10,000-ton topsides – the production decks, living quarters and other features – being installed recently on the truss spar as it floats in approximately 5,300 feet of water.
Posted March 19, 2014
This week’s central Gulf of Mexico lease auction, which saw oil and natural gas companies pledge more than $850 million in winning amounts, certainly helps support the United States’ status as an energy superpower. Developing more of our own oil and natural gas – and this week’s auction is a big step toward production – makes our country more energy secure, creates jobs and boosts the U.S. in global energy marketplace.
The potential benefits from future energy production from this week’s auctioned leases – jobs, economic growth and revenue for government – also suggest a couple of “what ifs”: What if the federal government included the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in its next five-year leasing plan, the first step toward development in those areas? What if the U.S. opened more of the eastern Gulf to exploration and development?
Posted August 27, 2012
Ridiculing a New York Times editorial blog is like shooting unusually large fish in a barrel, but this one from last Friday is so fantastical and extreme that a commitment to an honest debate on energy compels me to fire away. And we don’t have to go far to start the fact check, as they lead with:
"The simple truth, as President Obama has recognized, is that a country that holds less than 3 percent of the world’s reserves but consumes more than 20 percent of the world’s supply cannot drill its way to energy independence."
Posted June 21, 2012
Posted June 20, 2012
Posted June 12, 2012
Posted June 6, 2012
Posted May 22, 2012