Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted January 15, 2014
Some eye-popping numbers from a new report by API and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines:
Liquid pipeline operators delivered 14.1 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products by interstate pipeline in 2012
Liquid pipeline operators operated 185,599 miles of pipeline in 2012 including 57,051 miles of crude oil, 64,024 miles of petroleum product, and 59,853 miles of natural gas liquid pipelines
Liquid pipeline operators spent more than $1.6 billion on integrity management in 2012 evaluating, inspecting and maintaining their pipeline infrastructure
Liquid pipeline releases are down 62% from 2001 to 2012
Barrels released from liquid pipelines are down 47% from 2001 to 2012
Corrosion as a cause of releases from liquid pipelines is down 79% from 2001 to 2012
Third-party caused damage to liquid pipelines is down 78% from 2001 to 2012
As API Pipeline Director Peter Lidiak put it:
“Pipelines are a vital part of this nation’s infrastructure and will be critical to creating jobs, growing our nation’s economy and securing our bright energy future… Statistically, pipelines have an almost 100 percent safety record and reaching a perfect record of safety.”
Posted December 26, 2013
U.S. crude oil production on track to surpass imports for first time since 1995
EIA Today in Energy: Monthly crude oil production in the United States is expected to exceed the amount of U.S. crude oil imports later this year for the first time since February 1995. The gap between monthly U.S. crude oil production and imports is projected to be almost 2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) by the end of next year—according to EIA's March 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.
According to EIA's projections:
- Monthly crude oil production could surpass net crude oil imports later this year.
- Monthly crude oil production is forecast to top 8 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014, which would be the highest level since 1988.
- Net crude oil imports are expected to fall below 7 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014 for the first time since 1995.
Posted December 2, 2013
As EPA opens a 60-day comment period on its proposals for next year’s required ethanol use levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), below is a light-hearted reminder that higher-ethanol blend fuels like E15 – which ethanol supporters advocate as a way to meet RFS mandates – pose significant risks for small engines.
Posted November 21, 2013
Legislation passed by the U.S. House would help preserve effective state regulation of hydraulic fracturing by limiting Interior Department enforcement of unnecessary fracking rules on public lands. Effective regulation has an important role in safe and responsible energy development, and states are best positioned to do just that. Erik Milito, API’s director of upstream and industry operations:
“Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are safe, proven technologies that have allowed the U.S. tooutpace Russia as the world’s number one producer of oil and natural gas. Job growth, energy security, andgovernment revenue are all rising due to the U.S. energy revolution, and state regulators are in the best positionto preserve America’s progress while protecting our natural resources with rules tailored to local hydrology,geology, and natural resources.”
The combination of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling launched the current shale energy revolution in America– a surge that can continue with increased access to oil and natural gas reserves, including those on public lands, and common-sense regulation led by the states. In terms of future economic growth and greater security in the world, U.S. shale energy is agame-changer. Below are 10 things everyone should know about it.
Posted November 15, 2013
Huffington Post (Andrew Browning): In the past few years, the use of the technology of hydraulic fracturing to produce oil and natural gas has dominated national energy policy discussions. Much of the discourse has been fraught with fear, misunderstanding and, in some cases, misinformation. However, in some cases, dispute is slowly being replaced by reasoned debate, acceptance and increasingly responsible regulation and use of this technology.
The reason for the change of tone is rather simple, the increased use of this technology has allowed our nation to produce tremendous amounts of natural gas that is cleaning our environment and reinvigorating our communities and our national economy. At the same time, as more individuals gain experience with the process they are seeing that the worst case scenario's outlined by the most polarizing voices in this discussion have largely failed to materialize.
Of course as with any political discussion, some groups will continue to advance discussion points that fit their view or brings more donations to their particular cause. However as more credible voices and scientific data are unveiled, it's becoming easier to understand that the benefits of this technology far are significant and that the choice that is currently being offered to the public - economic development vs. maintaining a healthy environment - is a false one.
Posted November 6, 2013
They’re at it again. The ethanol lobby’s biggest voice, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), issued a press release last week trying to defend E15, the controversial fuel blend containing up to 15 percent ethanol. Only in this case, RFA was defending against an imaginary argument.
RFA claims the development of new vehicle models that can withstand E15 – which research has shown could damage enginesand fuel systems in models that weren’t designed to use it – “shines a bright light on Big Oil’s long-sustained, detrimental resistance to infrastructure build out.”
It’s an imaginary argument because no one opposed the increasing availability of E15-compatible cars. The problem with E15 is the 95 percent of the vehicle fleet that isn’t built to handle E15 and the retroactive nature of the E15 partial waiver.
Posted October 7, 2013
It lurks on every car or truck dashboard, the little indicator light that indicates potentially big problems with your vehicle’s engine. If you’re like me, a glowing “check engine” light elicits a groan, a facepalm and maybe some choice words – if not instant fear that the engine might conk out right then and there. In any case a visit to the repair shop is in my future. There, my mechanic will try to figure out what the heck could be causing the “Malfunction Indicator Light” (MIL), to come on. It might be a problem, or it might be a false alarm, in which case you’re still out the time and inconvenience of a wasted trip to the mechanic.
Things to keep in mind as we revisit the issue of E15 fuel and falsely illuminating MILs, because research indicates that fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol could cause check engine lights to falsely illuminate.
Posted October 2, 2013
California Can Protect the Environment While Sharing in a Financial Bonanza
The Globe and Mail: Hydraulic fracturing — fracking — has been used to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock for decades. But technological improvements in recent years have made the process far more efficient. It’s expanded use in states like North Dakota, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado has sparked an energy revolution that is pushing the United States toward energy independence. It has also sparked major controversy over environmental concerns, nowhere more so than in California. On Sept. 20, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation regulating fracking. In this essay below, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, like Brown an environmentally oriented Democrat, makes the case that energy development and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive.
A 21st-century oil and natural gas industry in Colorado is recognizing that more rigorous regulations translate into broader citizen acceptance. This evolution, and the joining of innovations like horizontal drilling with long-accepted practices like hydraulic fracturing, is moving America toward energy independence.
In the process, we are improving the quality of the air, as well as beginning to fight back against climate change. Colorado has a proud history of leadership and innovation in the deployment of clean energy technologies. We have laws in place that require utilities to produce as much as 30 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Read more: http://bit.ly/GzZbrG
Posted September 20, 2013
Encouraging words on shale development via hydraulic fracturing this week from former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
First Salazar, who as Interior boss was the lead federal official on access to U.S. onshore and offshore oil and natural gas reserves. From coverage of Salazar at the Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces, N.M., by the Las Cruces Sun-News:
"(Hydraulic fracturing) is creating an energy revolution in the United States alone," Salazar said. He recognized the concerns many environmentalists have with the process, often called fracking, that pumps high-pressured water into holes drilled in the ground to extract gas and oil. Environmentalists are concerned the process contaminates water and air quality, along with other environmental impacts. "I would say to everybody that hydraulic fracking is safe," Salazar said.
Posted September 13, 2013