Content tagged “Natural gas”

Getting water from the moon

When actress Linda Hunt accepted the Academy Award for her role in The Year of Living Dangerously in 1983, she said she was reminded of an Indonesian saying she learned while working on the film.

La.'s appetite for natural gas may double in six years, report says

Louisiana has long been a net importer of natural gas, but sea changes in where that gas is produced and how it arrives at Louisiana homes and plants will bring changes in natural gas production, transportation and marketing. That is among the conclusions in a recent white paper published by ICF International, a leading energy consultant. The study—"How Louisiana Satisfies Growing Gas Market Demand: Implications for Portfolio and Investment Strategies in the Delta State"—explains that Louisiana, for decades the crossroads of the natural gas industry in North America, is in a ticklish situation. State offshore production is dwindling, and while an expected resurgence in production from the Haynesville Shale is a positive development, most of that gas actually is produced in east Texas. The infrastructure needed to get that gas to Louisiana petrochemical and other industrial users in the southern parishes is aging and inadequate, ICF says. Costly new pipelines may be needed...

Getting ahead of the boom

A playlist of the challenges and opportunities the coming industrial construction boom poses was laid out at a recent symposium in which veterans of previous upturns in the industrial sector told war stories and cautionary tales to a crowd of several hundred industrial contractors, suppliers, educators, lawyers and financiers.

Surge in fuel exports boosting U.S. trade balance

Growing production of U.S. oil and gas is helping to improve the nation's trade balance, according to a federal report released on Monday. As FuelFix.com reports, dramatic growth in the export of refined petroleum products, such as jet fuel and gasoline, has led the way. The value of net refined exports increased 55% in 2013 over the prior year, reaching $33 billion, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. refiners are finding cheaper domestic alternatives to overseas oil, causing a rally in the ratio of refined fuel exports to imports. Overall energy export values increased 8% in 2013 over the prior year. Total energy imports to the U.S. fell by 11% for the same time period. The shifts have helped push down the U.S. trade deficit to its lowest level in four years, because of the importance of energy imports and exports. Energy accounts for 15% of gross goods imports and 7% of gross goods exports, the EIA says. The increase in production also has dampened...

'Business Report': Big industry battles over whether LNG exports might hamper domestic economic growth

Chris John says when he was in Congress from 1997 to 2005, America's energy picture was very different. "We were building natural gas import facilities because we didn't have enough natural gas," the head of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association tells Business Report for a new feature in the current issue by staff writer David Jacobs. "The dynamics of the natural gas market has really taken a 180 [degree turn] over a short period of time." Today, thanks to the shale gas revolution, we have more natural gas than we know what to do with, which has deflated the price and fueled a resurgence for the Capital Region's gas-dependent chemical sector. But while cheap natural gas is great for the plants and for anyone who pays an electric bill, it's not so good for the oil and gas companies that try to sell the stuff. So the energy industry is keen to liquefy natural gas and export it to nations where it might fetch more than three times the domestic price, and the U.S.

Asian tigers stalk U.S. gas as La. shale profits taper

DeSoto Parish has a problem. And as Bloomberg reports, the solution may lie 10,000 miles away in Jakarta, Indonesia. DeSoto and other communities in the Haynesville shale formation have become victims of the energy industry's success in extracting natural gas from deeply buried rock, Bloomberg reports. Even as U.S. gas production surges to a record, outpacing domestic demand, Haynesville output has slumped 40% since 2011 amid falling prices, as companies shift rigs to reservoirs richer in lucrative oil and gas liquids. Tax revenue has tumbled by the same percentage over the past two years from a record $50 million in the parish. Meanwhile, Indonesia's energy use may more than double from 2010 through 2035, according to the Asian Development Bank. As early as next year, cargoes of liquefied natural gas shipped from Gulf Coast terminals to fast-growing Asian countries will propel the region into the ranks of global gas exporters such as Qatar and Australia for the first time. "LNG...

Profits from U.S. natural gas exports could disappoint, study says

New natural gas export terminals in the U.S. might not be as profitable as once imagined—at least for a few years—due to overbuilding, a new study from Rice University warns. From about 2016 to 2025, the cost of liquefying natural gas in the United States and shipping it to Asia likely will exceed the difference in the commodity's price in the two regions, according to the study, released today. Just last week, the sixth LNG export facility in the U.S.—and the second in Louisiana—received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy. Today, FuelFix.com reports, natural gas costs more than $18 per thousand cubic feet in Asia, while the U.S. price generally has held below $4 per thousand cubic feet during the past couple of years. That has helped fuel a rush to build liquefied natural gas export facilities along the Gulf Coast and in Canada, as producers view...

To export, or not to export

Chris John says when he was in Congress from 1997 to 2005, America's energy picture was very different.

Feds approve second La. LNG export terminal, sixth overall

Sempra Energy subsidiary Cameron LNG announced today that its plans to build a liquefied natural gas export terminal near Hackberry in Cameron Parish have been approved by the U.S. Department of Energy. The approval marks the sixth LNG export facility in the U.S.—and the second in La.—authorized to ship domestic natural gas to non-free-trade-agreement countries such as India, China and Japan—all huge markets for LNG. "Exporting natural gas will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs and economic growth here in the U.S. and enable our partners to deliver domestically produced natural gas to our allies abroad and to the world marketplace," says Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy, in a press release. It is a sentiment echoed by Sen. Mary Landrieu—the likely successor to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden as chair of the powerful Senate Energy and...

Words aren't facts

President Barack Obama gave a pip of a speech to the nation Jan. 28. If rhetoric and high oratory were the measure of such things, then the state of the Union would indeed be strong.

Lake Charles export facility to be most efficient in world, official says

The president of Magnolia LNG—whose parent company is Australian-based Liquefied Natural Gas Limited—updated Lake Charles Port Board members on the company's estimated $3.5 billion liquefied natural gas project on Wednesday. He also presented a check to extend the company's lease with the port for a year. As KPLC-TV reports, Magnolia President Maurice Brand told the board the export facility will be the most efficient in the world. "Most energy plants will use 9% to 10% of the gas that's utilized actually in the plant itself. We're typically going to be somewhere in the 6% to 8% range. So that has a big impact; it's about a 30% improvement in efficiency, therefore there's 30% less greenhouse gas emission," Brand told the board. Meanwhile, Magnolia—which announced the project last year and expects to break ground on it next year—also says it has reached an agreement with Kinder Morgan...

Leases for another 55,000 acres in Tuscaloosa shale under contract

Frisco, Texas-based Comstock Resources Inc. announced today it has signed contracts to purchase the leases of approximately 55,000 acres of land in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale for $54.5 million, including tracts in East Feliciana and St. Helena parishes. However, a company spokesman tells Daily Report that none of the lease purchase agreements announced today are among the 95,000 acres of land in the Tuscaloosa shale that Amelia Resources announced on Wednesday it has sold. Other than that, Comstock Director of Planning and Investor Relations Gary Guyton says he couldn't provide many further details on the purchase today or the firm's plans for the land. The seller, or sellers, of the leases was also not made public in today's announcement. Along with the land in Louisiana,...

Blowout off La. coast could tip regulator focus to shallow-water

Last week's blowout on a natural gas rig off the Louisiana coast could shift regulators' focus to shallow-water drilling and make an overhaul of safety equipment regulations more likely. Since the BP disaster in 2010, much of regulators' focus has been on drilling in Gulf water thousands of feet deep, The Associated Press reports. That's where the biggest oil companies are chasing large new fields and the risks seemed greatest in the wake of the spill. But inshore drilling continues as well, with some of the focus shifting to oil instead of natural gas as the price for gas has fallen because of onshore finds, including in shale formations. James Watson, director of the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said he plans to meet with executives from shallow-water drilling companies to discuss safety and risk reduction. "This vent and other recent...

Feds begin probe of Gulf gas well blowout

Federal drilling regulators have launched a formal investigation into the blowout of a gas well in the Gulf last week that forced the evacuation of 44 workers and ignited a fire that raged for nearly two days, The Houston Chronicle reports. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement began the probe on Monday, even as workers prepared to drill a relief well at the site so they could plug the original well with cement. Although sand and debris clogged the well on Thursday, halting the flow of natural gas and starving the fire of fuel, it could take at least two weeks to plug the hole permanently. Safety bureau officials say the agency will work with the Coast Guard in examining what caused gas to escape from the well on the morning of July 23 and ignite late that evening. The fire caused the derrick to collapse on the Hercules 265 jack-up rig that had been drilling the well for Houston-based Walter Oil and Gas Corp. Hercules Offshore, the rig owner, also is headquartered...

Scientists collect water near site of blown well

Scientists from several universities are working to learn whether a gas well that blew wild last week 55 miles off the coast of Grand Isle is polluting the Gulf. Joseph Montoya, a biology professor with Georgia Tech, was performing tests aboard a vessel near the site of the 2010 BP oil spill when the Hercules 265 well blew Tuesday and caught fire. All 44 people on the rig were evacuated unhurt. A 10-member crew used buckets, hoses and various canisters to collect water samples to measure levels of methane gas, radon gas, metabolic activity and bacteria, among other things. They did so about 5 miles away from the well because that's as close as the Coast Guard would let them get. They also released long cylinders that will drift with the current, tracking the likely path of any contamination. The "drifters" have global positioning devices and transmitters. Because the well was natural gas, not oil, experts say the pollution threats are far less than those posed by some previous...

Gas well continues to burn off Louisiana coast

An out-of-control natural gas well about 55 miles offshore from Grand Isle continued to burn this morning after it caught fire Tuesday evening. The fire was preceded by a blowout that prompted the evacuation of 44 workers, authorities tell The Associated Press. Meanwhile, officials stress that Tuesday's blowout won't be close to as damaging as the 2010 BP oil spill, in which the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and eventually spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf. No injuries were reported as a result of Tuesday night's fire, says Eileen Angelico, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. She says it wasn't immediately clear what caused the gas to ignite. It also wasn't clear early today how and when crews would attempt to extinguish the blaze. BSEE says a firefighting vessel with water and foam capabilities has been dispatched to the scene.Wild Well Control Inc. has been hired to try to bring the...