Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 5, 2014
Wall Street Journal (Thomas Tunstall): The unexpected increase in the production of shale oil, a light oil called condensate and natural gas in the U.S. has upended many assumptions about the U.S. energy market. As the oil and gas bonanza continues, the U.S. ban on crude-oil exports looks increasingly outdated, arbitrary and economically damaging. With Europe poised to endanger its gas supply by imposing more sanctions on its major supplier Russia, the possibility of energy exports from America takes on an important security dimension too.
Thanks to fracking and other unconventional shale-extraction technology, natural gas is the biggest energy story in the U.S. now. In the early 2000s, natural-gas pipeline companies—such as Cheniere and Freeport LNG—spent billions on import facilities as U.S. production decreased, to less than 19 trillion cubic feet in 2005 from roughly 22 trillion cubic feet in 1970.
Since 2006, however, natural-gas production in the U.S. has soared. The U.S. now produces more than 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year, the most in the country's more than 100-year history of gas exploration and production. As a result, billions of dollars are now being invested to convert many of the facilities designed to receive imported gas into export facilities.
Posted July 21, 2014
The recent International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Savannah, Ga., underscored the oil and natural gas industry’s continuing commitment to safe energy development – using new technologies and deployed expertise to quickly and appropriately respond in the event of an accidental spill.
Below, check out a new video featuring conference attendees, talking about IOSC’s valuable role in bringing together experts, service providers and government officials in the broad effort to keep improving the safety of offshore oil and natural gas development.
Posted June 23, 2014
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.