Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Methane Emissions From Fracking Are 97% Lower Than Calendar Year 2011 Estimates -- UT Austin -- Rigzone -- December 9, 2014


August 28, 2016: Fortune updates the original post with another article, very similar to the original. 
Original Post

Rigzone is reporting:
The level of methane emissions from the development and production of natural gas in the United States are down from previous studies.
A recent field study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin and sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and natural gas producers has found that methane emissions now represent .38 percent of production, 10 percent lower than the findings of a September 2013 study conducted by the same research team.
Researchers found that the majority of hydraulically fractured well completions sampled in the study had equipment in place that reduces methane emissions by 99 percent.
“Because of this equipment, methane emissions from well completions are 97 percent lower than calendar year 2011 national emission estimates, which were released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2013,” UT said in a statement.
While the level of methane emissions are lower from hydraulically fractured well completions, the study found that emissions from certain types of pneumatic devices are 30 percent to several times higher than current EPA estimates for this equipment.
Together, emissions from pneumatics and equipment leaks account for about 40 percent of estimated national emissions of methane from gas production, according to a press statement from UT.
The total methane emissions from gas production, from all sources measured by researchers, were comparable to the most recent EPA estimates. EPA reported in late September that methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing have declined by 73 percent since 2011, the American Petroleum Institute (API) noted in a statement.
Much more at the link. 

Memo To Saudi: Seventeen (17) New Permits In North Dakota -- December 9, 2014; 7/8 Wells To DRL Status

Wells coming off the confidential list Wednesday:
  • 25587, drl, KOG, Moccasin Creek 14-33-28-4H, Moccasin Creek, no production data,
  • 26272, drl, CLR, Rehak Federal 7-25H, Alkali Creek, no production data,
  • 27701, drl, BR, Haymaker 21-15MBH, Elidah, no production data,
  • 27922, A, Hunt, Alexandria 161-100-8-5H-1, Alexandria, s6/14; no IP; cum 24K 10/14;
  • 27972, drl, Hess, EN-Trinity-154-93-2833H-7, Robinson Lake, no production data,
  • 28302, drl, XTO, Omlid 41X-13C, Siverston, no production data,
  • 28478, drl, Slawson, Nightmaker 5-17-8TFH, Big Bend, producing,
  • 28505, drl, Statoil, Irgens 27-34 5H, East Fork, no production data,
Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Seventeen (17) new permits --
  • Operators: CLR (9), Hess (7), American Eagle,
  • Fields: Last Chance (Williams), Banks (McKenzie), Antelope (McKenzie), Alkali Creek, Mountrail, Big Dipper (Divide)
  • Comments:
Active rigs:

Active Rigs188193181200165

Halcon To Build Out CNG Facilities, Hawk Clean Fuels -- December 9, 2014

From the press release:
Halcon Resources Corporation today announced that it has commissioned its first compressed natural gas facility through its subsidiary, Hawk Clean Fuels.
This CNG facility is serving the Company's operations in its El Halcon area in East Texas and is being used to displace diesel fuel used in drilling operations. Halcon believes using CNG to displace diesel fuel used in drilling operations is not only better for the environment, but should also result in a nearly 50% savings on fuel costs. The Company expects to build similar facilities to service its operations in the Williston Basin in 2015.
Since the discovery of El Halcon two years ago, Halcon has drilled over 80 wells in the play, and believes it has de-risked its entire 101,000 net acre position. Natural gas fueling is one of many ways the Company expects reduce costs and increase efficiencies in the play as it transitions from lease capture mode to development mode.

Nuclear Energy Is Dead  ...  But We've Been Saying That For Years
But Now It's The Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago
Blame Fracking

Forbes is reporting:
No utility executive could propose a nuclear reactor ”in good conscience” in the U.S. today, the director emeritus of Argonne National Laboratory said in Chicago Monday.
Alan Schriesheim became the first industry executive to lead a national laboratory when he took the helm of Argonne in 1983, after serving as Exxon’s head of engineering and the director of its research lab, which developed more efficient processes for producing components of gasoline.
Whooping Cough Is Back With A Vengeance
In California
At Least It's Hard To Catch

ABC News is reporting:
California is again the the grips of a whooping cough outbreak, and this time it's even worse, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state is facing its worst outbreak in 70 years and has nearly 1,000 more cases than it did in 2010. As of Nov. 26, the state had 9,935 reported cases. 
Yes, Virginia, there is a vaccine for it. 

By the way, immunizations are no longer a medical issue; they are a social issue. Society decides if immunizations are needed and who requires immunizations and when.

Global Warming

Being tweeted now, 5:03 p.m. CT:
  • Update: 800 flights canceled in US today, 2,000 delayed, mainly due to Northeast storm and Dallas fog, according to FlightAware - @USATODAY 
  • New daily maximum rainfall records set in New York City, 2.54 inches, and at John F Kennedy airport, 2.95 inches, LaGuardia airport, 2.65 inches, Long Island airport, 2.05 inches, and Stratford, Conn., airport, 2.07 inches - @NWSNewYorkNY

North America To Be Net Exporter Of Oil; North Dakota Preparing To Export Refined Bakken Crude Oil -- December 9, 2014

The Dallas Business Journal is reporting:
Exxon Mobil Corp. predicts that North America will become a net exporter of oil and natural gas by 2020.
Advances in technology mean there's enough crude oil to satisfy demand for another 150 years, according to the study. To get an idea how far technology such as hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling has come, in 1981, it was estimated that crude oil would run out in 60 years.
More at the link.

Can you imagine that? Back in 1981, it was estimated that crude oil would run out in 60 years. Can you imagine what oil / gasoline would be costing now -- everyone would be driving an EV powered by coal. Wow.

And How Will This Happen?

Big warming: this post below may have typographical errors in it. It most assuredly will have factual errors in it. Actually, they are not factual errors; I am simply embedding opinions and predictions within "what-looks-like-a-news-article," similar to what The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times is often accused of doing in their front page "news" articles.  If this is important toyou, go to the source.

This is the story -- a huge thanks to a reader for giving me the opportunity to post it.

Reuters is reporting that the state of North Dakota, through its regulatory agency, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), working hand-in-glove with the Bakken oil and gas industry (aka Continental Resources), is in the process of assigning crude oil to two markets: the domestic market and the export market. Reuters did not explicitly say that but ... well, see for yourself.

With some exceptions, the US bans domestic oil exports. The US does not ban the export of refined petroleum products, and in fact, the amount of refined petroleum products the US has been exporting over the past year or so has increased dramatically.

Today, December 9, 2014, Reuters has a long article that is available everywhere. It begins:
North Dakota is poised to impose the strictest oil standards in its history on Tuesday, requiring every barrel of crude to be filtered for dangerous types of natural gas in an effort to make crude-by-rail transport safer.
If is interesting that Reuters uses the word "filtered." Bakken crude oil is not going to be "filtered." Beer and scotch are filtered; Bakken oil is not. Bakken oil is going to be "refined" at a temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit and then shipped by rail. And then exported.

The Reuters article continues:
Because most of the oil extracted in the United States via hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking," is transported on rail and because North Dakota is the second-largest oil-producing state after Texas, the new standards will have a ripple effect throughout the nation.
At its core, the standards will require crude extracted from the state's shale formations - more than 1.1 million barrels per day - to be processed through machinery set at mandated temperatures and pressures, which the NDIC believes will remove the most amounts of propane, butane and other volatile natural gas liquids (NGLs) naturally found in oil. 
Some producers do this now; the NDIC aims to make all comply
Note that Reuters says most of North Dakota's Bakken oil is shipped by rail; it would have been nice to see the percentage.

The crude oil that has its NGLs stripped at the site ("some producers do this now") is now a "refined petroleum product." There is no US ban on exporting "refined petroleum products." The oil will be run through a miniature "refinery" at a temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit located at / near the Bakken well site. That's not "filtering," that's refining.

[The unanswered question: will Bakken oil shipped by pipeline also have to be refined? If the regulators worry that at some point oil that leaves the state in a pipeline could eventually end up in rail tank car, then, yes, I suppose, this applies to all Bakken oil.]

This dovetails nicely with an earlier article that was just linked: "OPEC faces an insurgency, not a price war."

Tuesday -- December 9, 2014; OPEC Faces An Insurgency, Not A Price War; Global Warming's Olympian Venue

I'm going to quit for the day. Yahoo!Mail is down, the market is down, and even my wi-fi is getting slower. I'm eager to get back to some reading (a hardcover book). I will be back later today. 

Yahoo!Mail is down! This is really, really cool. There's a site out there that tracks other websites to see if they "down." If folks haven't noticed, Yahoo!Mail goes down a lot, especially in some of the large metropolitan areas in the south (aka Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex). So, whenever a site goes down (Yahoo!Mail, gmail, Sprint, etc), just check this site: https://downdetector.com/status/yahoo-mail. Two minutes ago, Yahoo!Mail had no reported outages, but now it's spiking. (Link is dynamic.) For any other site, just google "is xxxxx down?" Sprint is also down a lot. What a great country.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs191193181200165

RBN Energy: making sense of forward natural gas markets.

From The National Interest: OPEC faces an insurgency, not a price war. (In fact, it may be worse than they think; that will be in a stand-alone post that should get the attention of some folks. Stay tuned.) The linked article is very, very good; I'm not going to provide snippets like I usually do, but I am going to save it. It's a nice analysis. But what bothers me is that "Libya" keeps popping up. Libya is popping up so many times in so many stories it means one of two things: analysts are in-bred and keep repeating what others have said (most likely); or, in closed door, off-the-record meetings, anonymous spokesmen for Saudi have let it be known that their country is in a war with terrorists in the Mideast, including Libya, and that's what the euphemism "market share" is all about. My two cents worth. That and $1.89 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Kuwait Petroleum: $65 oil for six months.

From Finance-InPlay:
Baytex Energy Trust announces 2015 budget and change to dividends : Co announces that its Board of Directors has approved a 2015 capital budget of $575 to $650 million, which is designed to generate average production of 88,000 to 92,000 boe/d for 2015 after planned non-core asset sales of approximately 1,000 boe/d.
  • The Board of Directors has also approved a revised dividend level of $0.10 per share per month, down from $0.24 per share per month, currently
  • Commentary: "Given the recent collapse in world oil prices, we believe our 2015 budget strikes the right balance between preserving our operational momentum in delivering organic production growth and managing our dividends prudently to maintain strong levels of financial liquidity."
Job health insurance costs rising faster than wages. CNBC is reporting.  By the way, "Gruber" is "testifying" in Congress today; actually he's listening to his stellar reputation being defiled. By the way, most of ObamaCare was delayed, deferred, or waived until 2015 or 2016. Employees/employers haven't even begun to see how much this is going to cost them.

The only reason I'm linking this article is because it is the first time I have ever seen a nice photograph of the Bakken published by The New York Times. Oil has made it possible for North Dakota farmers to afford to farm again. I did not read the article, and doubt that I will.

The Olympics

US News is reporting
The current U.N. climate talks will be the first to neutralize all the greenhouse gas pollution they generate, offset by host country Peru's protection of forest at three different reserves, organizers say.
Now the bad news: The Lima conference is expected to have the biggest carbon footprint of any U.N. climate meeting measured to date.
At more than 50,000 metric tons of carfb/phbon dioxide, the negotiations' burden on global warming will be about 1 1/2 times the norm.
The venue is one big reason. It had to be built.
Eleven football fields of temporary structures arose for the 13-day negotiations from what three months ago was an empty field behind Peru's army's headquarters. Concrete was laid, plumbing installed, components flown in from as far as France and Brazil.
Just wait until China hosts the meeting in 2035. This movement will soon overtake the Olympics in size and relevancy.

A Note to the Granddaughters

Several books need to be read side-by-side, in bits and pieces:
  • Shakepeare's plays, particularly the history plays, and even more particularly, Richard II
  • Brenda James' The Truth Will Out: Unmasking The Real Shakespeare
  • Harold Bloom's Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
Today, just a bit of trivia. From Brenda James, p. 248:
However, Neville never lost his commercial acumen either. As late as 1614 we find him mapping out a trade route between England and India, envisaging a passage through Persia, up the Volga, then overland to the Baltic States and into Archangel, where English ships were habitually moored.
I vaguely recall having seen Archangel in print somewhere before. And then I recalled. Very early in Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, "Letter II" in volume I, written by the adventurer "Robert Walton" was written in the seaport of Archangel.

From wiki:
Arkhangelsk, sometimes Archangel, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, in the north of European Russia. 
I was always intrigued by, and and always wondered why Mary Shelley had picked Archangel. It was obviously a location that her readers would have known very, very well, even if American readers did not.  It was a well-known seaport during the Elizabethan/Shakespearean era and it regained some importance again during the 19th century (and was probably in the news) when Mary was writing Frankenstein.

It is interesting that the Baltic States and Russia are back in the news. This little bit of Shakespeare - Mary Shelley - Frankenstein trivia brought me to Kaliningrad Oblast which might figure in "our" own news in the not-too-distant future. See wiki.