Archive for the ‘Oil’ Category

Fears rise over oil tanker training of potential terrorists

WashingtonTimes

U.S. intelligence agencies last month reported that a group of 22 Yemeni-Americans were training in Houston to be seamen on oil tankers, raising terrorism concerns over the unusual activity.

The Department of Homeland Security issued an Aug. 26 report from its National Terrorism Advisory System about the case.

“Reporting revealed that 22 students of Middle Eastern descent from Michigan and California were enrolled in recent maritime training courses in Houston, TX to obtain training, licensing, and/or mariner ratings during calendar year 2014,” the report said. “All students were naturalized U.S. citizens from Yemen.”

The report said the U.S. government received confidential information from intelligence sources indicating suspicions about the Yemeni-Americans attending the seamanship classes. Most of the men were from Dearborn, Michigan, and their training in Texas was considered unusual because other marine training schools are located closer to Michigan.

An investigation revealed that all the students worked on oil carriers in the Great Lakes and came to Texas because similar schools in Michigan had closed. Twenty of the students were from Dearborn, and two were from Oakland, California.

The training they received allows them to qualify for work on ocean-going oil tankers and ships.

America’s Oil Boom Overwhelms Global Production Decline

Breitbart

The United States, sometime in the first quarter of 2014, passed Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of petroleum liquids, with daily output exceeding eleven million barrels per day (bpd), according to the International Energy Agency. Growth from January 2011 to July 2014 included three million bpd of crude oil and another one million bpd of hydrocarbon gas liquids and biofuels. U.S. crude oil production growth more than offset the 2.8 million bpd of global “unplanned supply disruptions” associated with the “Arab Spring.”

Global “unplanned supply disruptions” averaged 3.2 million bpd during the first seven months of 2014 and peaked at 3.5 million bpd in May. The recent supply disruptions are the highest since the 1990-to-1991 Iraq/Kuwait War, when supply disruptions peaked at 4.3 million bpd according to the International Energy Agency data.

However, over the last thirteen months, from July 2013 to July 2014, the international standard price of crude oil, referred to as “Brent Crude,” stabilized in a narrow $5 per barrel range between $107 and $112 per barrel due to booming U.S. production. This compares to the $21 range for Brent Crude during the prior thirteen-month period from June 2012 to June 2013.

U.S. production gains have been geographically concentrated in Texas and North Dakota, which together accounted for 83% of U.S. production growth. Production in the South Texas Eagle Ford formation reached 1.22 million bpd in December 2013, and production from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana reached one million bpd in November 2013. Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado saw smaller increases.

The U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline was $3.45 per gallon on August 25th, the lowest price on the Monday before Labor Day since 2010. The average price at the pump is also $0.25 per gallon lower than it was at the end of June.

Fuzzy Math Can’t Hide Shale Boom’s Green Credentials

AmericanInterest

Here’s the bottom line: natural gas is a cleaner fossil fuel than coal, and unlike renewables, it can supply power consistently (even on cloudy, windless days). We are well-served by unlocking new reserves of natural gas not just for the economic boost these plays provide, but also for their environmental benefits. One day, with the right technologies, we’ll be able to power society without relying on fossil fuels, but we’re not there yet. Until then, natural gas is one of our best options, and greens would do well to recognize the fracking boom for what it is: good news.

Shale gas displaces coal as a source of cheap baseload power, which this chart shows pretty handily, and it does so with just half the greenhouse gas emissions. There are other advantages that make natural gas—and the shale boom that’s supplying it here in the U.S.—a boon to Gaia, but its ability to help us wean ourselves off our dependence on dirty-burning coal is the reason why shale gas is fracking green.

Obama’s biting the hand that fed him in ’08…

Coal Miners Union In Full Revolt After Supporting Obama In 2008

Even though EPA regulations had lost Obama UMWA’s support in 2012, the president had still done little to tackle global warming — especially after the 2010 defeat of cap-and-trade in Congress.

But the EPA’s 2009 “endangerment finding” set them up for a huge regulatory once Obama began his second term. When he came into his second term Obama also made promises to issue more regulations to tackle global warming, which would inevitably impact the coal industry.

In June 2013, Obama put the full force of his administration behind fighting global warming. In a speech at Georgetown University he promised to use executive orders to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including ordering the EPA to slap carbon dioxide emissions limits on power plants.

In September 2013, the EPA proposed a rule that would cap carbon emissions from new power plants, effectively banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they installed unproven carbon capture technology.

Good. It’s way past time…

Hunt for oil and gas to begin off East Coast

The Obama administration opened up the Atlantic to oil and gas exploration for the first time in nearly four decades on Friday.

The announcement from Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) allows the use of air guns and sonic sensors to search off of the East Coast.

It is a major step toward allowing future drilling in the Atlantic, which has remained off-limits for over 30 years.

While the decision doesn’t guarantee that lease sales for drilling in Atlantic waters will be included in the Interior Department’s five-year plan for 2017-2022, it is a step in that direction.

Slip slidin’ away…

2014: Obama’s America – where scandals now come so fast that each new mess makes us forget the previous one.

What keeps the country afloat this terrible summer?

Some American companies produce more gas and oil than ever despite, not because of, the Obama administration. Most Americans still get up every day, work hard, and pay more taxes than they receive in subsidies. American soldiers remain the most formidable in the world despite the confusion of their superiors. The law, regardless of the administration, is still followed by most. And most do not duck out on their daily responsibilities to golf, play pool, or go on junkets.

It is still a hard thing to derail America in a summer — but then again, we have a long way to go until fall.

North Dakotan Shale Boom to “Surge” This Summer

AmericanInterest

You just can’t keep a good boom down. Oil production from North Dakota’s Bakken formation has quintupled over the past five years as drillers employ the dual technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling to tap previously inaccessible hydrocarbons trapped in shale. This summer, it looks as if Gaia will cooperate, offering mild weather to spur what one official is predicting will be a “big surge” in output. Bloomberg reports:

Better summer weather will lead to production growth in the region of 5 to 6 percent a month in June, July and August, said Lynn Helms, director of the state’s Department of Mineral Resources.

“We still expect the big surge to come in June, July and August in terms of completions and some really rapid production increases,” Helms said on a conference call with reporters yesterday.

The shale boom has been so sudden, and so unexpected, that we still lack the transportation infrastructure to deliver shale-sourced crude to refineries. Without pipelines to link North Dakota’s Bakken formation to Gulf Coast refineries, that crude is riding our nation’s rails and being transported by truck—more expensive and more dangerous options. Building new pipelines will cut down on bottlenecks, save money, and potentially save lives. This is a challenge, but it’s the kind we’d like to see more of: one of abundance, not scarcity.

Fracking Has ‘Cut Carbon Emissions More than All the World’s Wind and Solar Energy’

Breitbart

“Fracking has succeeded where Kyoto and carbon taxes have failed. Due to the shale boom in the US, the use of clean burning natural gas has replaced much more polluting coal by ten per cent. In 2012, the shift to gas has managed to reduce CO₂ emissions by about 300 megatonnes (Mt).

“Compare this to the fact that all the wind turbines and solar panels in the world reduce CO₂ emissions, at a maximum, by 275 Mt. In other words, the US shale gas revolution has by itself reduced global emissions more than all the well-intentioned solar and wind in the world.”

Oil and Gas Online reports that Faulker also called on Europe to follow America’s lead, saying that if other nations are serious about reducing carbon emissions, they should look beyond renewable energy:

“Many countries in Europe, and across the world, have similar opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint, and to experience the same economic benefits.”

“These are not opportunities governments should overlook, or discount, as carbon reduction targets will not be achieved through renewables or any other current energy generation technology.

Gas Prices Wallop Wallets

Thanks again, Barry…

A gallon of unleaded gasoline cost an average of $3.67 Wednesday, almost 20 cents above last year’s price, according to automobile club AAA. In California, drivers have been paying well over $4 a gallon for weeks.

Prices at the pump are tracking a sharp rise in oil prices over the past month, after Islamist militants took control of several cities in Iraq. Investors and traders have worried that the spreading insurgency poses a threat to the country’s oil production. Oil prices have given up some of their gains in recent days, but it will take some time for those declines to be reflected in the cost of gasoline.

“We could have another 30-cents-a-gallon increase nationally and I really don’t think it would have significant effects on consumer sentiment or major spending,” said James Hamilton, professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego.

But any escalation of violence in the Middle East or an actual disruption to Iraqi supplies could send oil prices, and subsequently gas prices, shooting higher, analysts said.

That would be unwelcome news for drivers like Tai Gabriel, a fitness trainer in Los Angeles, who said he noticed last month that he had spent an unusually high amount on fuel.

“Gas didn’t used to be this important. You didn’t think that about gas, and now it’s as high a priority as food. It eats away at your lifestyle,” Mr. Gabriel, 41, said as he filled his white Jeep.

Remember?

Texas Creeping up on Iraq’s Crude Oil Production

Breitbart

3 million barrels of crude oil are now being produced in Texas each day, according to new federal data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This means that the state has almost reached the production level of Iraq, the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Texas’ oil production has been increasing rapidly in recent years: in 2009, the state only produced about 1.1 million barrels of oil. The gas and oil industry continues to explode in the Lone Star State, thanks in part to the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin.

The EIA reported, “Gains in Texas crude oil production come primarily from counties that contain unconventional tight oil and shale reservoirs in the Eagle Ford Shale in the Western Gulf Basin, where drilling has increasingly targeted oil-rich areas, and multiple reservoirs within the Permian Basin in West Texas that have seen a significant increase in horizontal, oil-directed drilling.”

North Dakota’s oil production also saw an increase; the state produces about 1 million barrels per day.

Together, Texas and North Dakota currently produce about half of the nation’s total crude oil.

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