Energy Tomorrow Blog
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Posted January 28, 2015
Three maps, two views of America’s offshore energy wealth.
One reflects vast offshore oil and natural gas resource potential – nearly 50 billion barrels of oil and more than 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. We say potential because these areas represent the 87 percent of America’s federal offshore acreage that has been closed to exploration and development, dwarfing the areas where development is allowed.
Nonetheless, what’s visible is the profile of an offshore energy giant, an offshore superpower. This is energy muscle waiting to be flexed. These are resources that could benefit Americans in terms of energy security, as more oil and natural gas is safely and responsibly produced right here at home, as well as job creation and economic stimulus.
That’s what energy superpowers do. They develop their resources to increase their security in a world where secure energy is fundamental to overall security. They develop their resources to fuel economic growth and to help ensure the prosperity of their citizens.
Posted January 22, 2015
Small business owner Laura Ross in Washington, Pa., has a stake in safe energy development and environmental stewardship.
In the new television ad below, Ross talks about how her café and other businesses in town have seen an economic boost because of nearby energy development. But she’s also mindful of the environment, because her business carries items produced by local farms. The fact that hydraulic fracturing has been done safely for more than 65 years is reassuring to her and her patrons.
Posted January 21, 2015
In a new API television ad, energy industry geologist Barbara Pickup calls the forest trails of Colorado her “streets” and the towering trees “my skyscrapers.” The Dillon, Colo., resident says she is for protecting the environment – but also for safe energy development, noting that hydraulic fracturing has been around for 65 years:
“Fracking will help secure America’s energy future, and I want to make sure we’re protecting the land and water, too. There has to be a balance.”
Posted January 5, 2015
We’ve got an energy revolution taking place in this country, but can we keep it going – and even better, can we increase it?
These and more will be the focus of the State of American Energy event on Tuesday from Washington D.C. You can watch the event live here beginning at 12:15 p.m. Eastern. Join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SOAE2015.
Posted December 18, 2014
Some interesting perspective on New York’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing – from neighboring Pennsylvania, where safe fracking has lifted the state economy while directly benefiting cities and towns all across the commonwealth.
Jeffrey Sheridan, press secretary for Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team (to the Philadelphia Business Journal):
“Governor-elect Wolf opposes a ban, and he will work hard to make sure the process is safe. … Pennsylvania's natural resources should help the commonwealth become an energy leader, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as a magnet for investment and job creation. Governor-elect Wolf's priority is to ensure that Pennsylvania is an energy leader with all Pennsylvanians sharing in the prosperity.”
Pennsylvanians are indeed sharing in prosperity that’s being generated by shale energy development, via responsible hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling: More than $2.1 billion in state and local taxes paid by industry, more than $630 million distributed to communities since 2012 – including more than $224 million in 2014. Plus billions in royalties paid by operators to private landowners.
Posted December 17, 2014
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 21, 2014
Credit the U.S. Forest Service for adopting a revised plan for the George Washington National Forest that will allow safe and responsible energy development using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
As others said of the plan, science won out in the sense that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling can be conducted safely while protecting the forest itself as well as the watershed within it.
Posted October 28, 2014
In an interview with the Huffington Post, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in just a handful of minutes, does a pretty good job answering some of the most common attacks on hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made by opponents of fracking – many of whom apparently want no part of the job creation, increased U.S. energy security and reduced emissions of methane and carbon dioxide that safe and responsible fracking brings. Jewell:
“Fracking has been around for over 60 years. It is the ability to actually unlock oil and gas from reservoirs away from the wellbore. New techniques with directional drilling and staged fracking have enabled people to direct those fractures into formations that release a lot of oil and gas a long way away – maybe two miles from the actual wellhead.”
In a nutshell she describes the marriage of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that is responsible for America’s ongoing energy renaissance – dramatically increasing domestic oil and natural gas production from vast shale reserves to the point where the U.S. now is No. 1 in the world in natural gas production and is expected to be No. 1 in oil output soon.