Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted December 3, 2014
New Orleans Times-Picayune: After more than a decade of work and a $7.5 billion investment, Chevron has started oil and gas production at its Jack and St. Malo fields in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The fields are among the largest in the region, expected to produce more than 500 million barrels of oil equivalent over the next three decades.
The Jack and St. Malo fields, discovered in 2003 and 2004 respectively, are located 25 miles apart in the Walker Ridge region of the Gulf about 280 miles south of New Orleans.
Oil and gas from the fields will flow back to a single, floating production platform located between the two fields. The platform has the capacity to produce up to 170,000 barrels of oil and 42 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Posted November 26, 2014
The New York Times has an editorial urging Washington to regulate emissions of methane – no surprise as “The Gray Lady” has to uphold her “green” bonafides. But methane as an “overlooked” greenhouse gas, as the editorial’s headline states? Hardly.
While the Times may have just discovered methane, industry has been working to reduce emissions – and is succeeding, at a rate that casts doubt on the need for a new federal regulatory layer.
Posted October 23, 2014
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s new report on U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions details the major role in reducing CO2 emissions that’s being played by increased use of clean-burning, affordable natural gas.
While U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions ticked up slightly last year (2.5 percent), mainly because colder weather led to greater heating demand over 2012, EIA says 2013 emissions still were 10 percent lower than they were in 2005. Wider use of natural gas in electricity generation is a key reason.
Posted October 22, 2014
This from Judi Greenwald, the Energy Department’s deputy director for climate, environment and efficiency, talking about methane regulation during a panel discussion this week (as reported by Fuel Fix.com):
“We know enough to act. There are uncertainties about methane emissions — and part of the administration’s strategy is to improve our numbers — but we know enough to take some action, and this problem may be easier to solve than many characterize.”
While others talk about methane and problem solving, industry already is significantly lowering methane emissions – even as natural gas production soars, thanks to safe fracking.
Posted October 7, 2014
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera has a new piece that calls for federal regulation of methane emissions from oil and natural gas production and distribution. Reducing methane emissions is a good idea – and industry has been doing it for years – which makes talk of new regulatory regimes seem odd.
Voluntarily, industry efforts have reduced methane emissions from fracked natural gas wells 73 percent since 2011, according to recent EPA data. That’s actually a fantastic number – one that parallels EPA’s greenhouse gases inventory showing a nearly 40 percent decrease in overall methane emissions from 2006 to 2012 – while natural gas production grew 37 percent.
Posted September 30, 2014
Some talk – some take to the streets – pushing for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The oil and natural gas industry is actually doing it. New EPA data supports:
- Methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems decreased 12 percent since 2011.
- The largest reductions come from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells – down 73 percent since 2011.
- Industry’s overall greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalent) decreased 1 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.
Posted September 23, 2014
Environmental groups want more regulation targeting methane emissions from oil and natural gas production. While this is what environmental groups often do, the new methane alarm is especially curious given the fact situation.
This is reflected in the dramatic decline in emissions of methane (CH4) from 2006 to 2012, according to EPA’s Inventory of Greenhouse Gases – 39.4 percent to be exact. This occurred while natural gas production was growing 37 percent during the same time period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Posted September 11, 2014
Oil & Gas Journal: The US Department of Energy approved Cameron Energy LLC and Carib Energy LLC’s requests for authorization to export LNG to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US. Both applicants had completed reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act, DOE said.
It gave the Cameron facility in Cameron Parish, La., permission to export LNG up to an equivalent of 1.7 bcfd of gas for 20 years. Carib Energy, a Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary, received approval to export up to an equivalent 0.04 bcfd for 20 years from its proposed Martin County, Fla., facility in International Standardization Organization approved containers, DOE said on Sept. 10.
The decision marked the last regulatory hurdle for the Cameron LNG facility and cleared the way for execution of the largest capital project in the history of its sponsor, San Diego-based Sempra Energy, Sempra Chair Debra L. Reed said.
“This landmark project will create thousands of jobs and economic benefits for Louisiana and the US for decades to come, while delivering natural gas to America's trading partners in Europe and Asia,” she said.
Posted June 10, 2014
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday piece highlighted a conversation he had a few weeks ago with President Obama, during which the president talked about energy and climate change. A few things stand out:
The president signaled that climate policy should consider the real-world roles that are being played by various energy sources, saying:
“… we’re not going to suddenly turn off a switch and suddenly we’re no longer using fossil fuels, but we have to use this time wisely, so that you have a tapering off of fossil fuels replaced by clean energy sources that are not releasing carbon.”
Sounds reasonable, given the forecast of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook – that fossil fuels’ share of total U.S. energy use will be 80 percent in 2040, down only slightly from where it was in 2012 (82 percent). Oil and natural gas, which supplied 63 percent of the energy we used in 2012, are projected to supply 61 percent in 2040. Oil and natural gas are America’s energy today and tomorrow.
Posted April 3, 2014
A competitive marketplace is the sowing field for innovation and investment. Look no further than the advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that launched America’s ongoing shale energy revolution. Shale development features cutting-edge technology to increase output and efficiency and to make operations as safe and clean as possible. An example of this can be found in methane emissions.
While some call for government-directed efforts to reduce emissions, industry already is on this – through its own leadership and investments – and is achieving good results.