Content tagged “Energy”

I am a carbon criminal

i am not a global warming denier. Rather, I am a global warming contributor—if, that is, you accept that carbon emissions associated with the presence of me and my fellow earthlings are the principal driver in climate change.

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.

Oil export ban can be lifted piecemeal, analysis says

President Barack Obama should follow the lead of previous commanders-in-chief by creating exceptions to the United States' 39-year-old ban on exporting American crude, says Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. As FuelFix.com reports, the once-absolute trade restrictions—first imposed in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo—have been softened over time, as presidents created exceptions for exports to Canada, oil flowing from Alaska and California crude, according to a 51-page white paper Murkowski released today. The document, which traces the history of six separate presidential carve-outs to the oil export ban, revives the debate over the issue ahead of Murkowski's planned speech this afternoon to the IHS CERAweek energy summit in Houston. And it helps make the case that the Obama administration can lift the crude export ban in a piecemeal fashion, perhaps beginning with small exceptions for the estimated 1 million barrels per day of lease condensates that flow along with crude...

'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...

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...

CB&I lands contract to provide Dow with pipes for new plants in La., Texas

CB&I, which last year acquired Baton Rouge-based The Shaw Group in a deal worth roughly $3 billion, this morning announced it has been awarded a contract to make pipes for Dow Chemical Co. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Specifically, CB&I will be fabricating pipes for Dow's U.S. Gulf Coast Investment Program, which includes at least five new plants in Louisiana and Texas. "CB&I's strategically-located fabrication facilities, production management systems and manufacturing technology give us the unique capability to provide complete piping solutions for major energy infrastructure projects," says Luke Scorsone, president of CB&I's fabrication services operating group, in a prepared statement. "This distinct expertise offers our customers greater quality, efficiency and schedule reliability, and in turn, we help our customers get their products to market faster." Dow's Gulf Coast...

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...

Sumitomo completes acquisition of B.R.-based Edgen Group

The acquisition of Baton Rouge specialty pipemaker Edgen Group Inc. by Sumitomo—a combination of Japanese firm Sumitomo Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. of America, headquartered in New York City—has been completed, Sumitomo announced today. The acquisition, which saw Sumitomo buy all Edgen Group stock at $12 per share, was first announced last month. Dan O'Leary, president and CEO of Edgen Group, will continue to lead the company's strategic growth initiatives. In a news release issued today, Sumitomo President and CEO Kazuhiro Takeuchi says, "As a leader in the supply of steel products across the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas market in the United States, the acquisition of Edgen Group gives us a broader global distribution platform, including experienced staff, facilities, and an expanded specialized steel product offering that will allow us to continue our growth and to support the development of our global energy infrastructure." —Staff...

Oil industry may invoke trade law to challenge export restrictions

The U.S. oil industry, riding a domestic energy boom, is preparing to challenge restrictions on crude exports, possibly by arguing that limits designed to keep petroleum in America may violate international trade rules. "Export issues are something we're going to have to address," John Felmy, the chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute trade group, tells Bloomberg. "It's a debate we have to have." Felmy declined to discuss lobbying strategy or trade rules, though a June planning document on API letterhead obtained by Bloomberg says the group has begun to develop "the necessary legal analysis" to support export approvals. API is planning to "highlight potential violations of the World Trade Organization rules against export restrictions," according to the draft document, prepared for the group's executive committee meeting. Industry officials say the push is just starting to lift the 1970s-era restrictions, and they acknowledge it will be an uphill fight that raises...

Majority of voters see link between energy and economy

Nine out of 10 voters believe increased domestic oil and gas production can help the economy, but not all of them want to see it happen offshore, a new survey shows. The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Petroleum Institute, finds that 67% of voters endorse offshore drilling for domestic oil and natural gas resources—in line with the level of support documented by other surveys in 2012 and before the Deepwater Horizon disaster soured some on the idea. In general, the API-commissioned poll found that voters appreciate the role that domestic oil and gas development plays in the economy and in funding the government. For instance, 84% of respondents said they agreed that producing more domestic oil and gas can benefit federal and state budgets, and 89% said it would generally help the economy. At the same time, 87% agreed that producing more domestic oil and gas could help lower consumers' energy costs. Erik Milito, API's upstream director, says the survey...

Ten years after blackout, U.S. grid faces new threats

The U.S. electrical grid is better managed and more flexible a decade after its largest blackout but remains vulnerable to increasingly extreme weather, cybersecurity threats, and stress caused by shifts in where and how power is produced. Many worry the grid isn't fully prepared for the new and emerging challenges, even though an analysis conducted for The Associated Press shows maintenance spending has steadily increased since North America's largest blackout. "This job of reliability is kind of impossible, in the sense that there's just so many things that could happen that it's hard to be sure that you're covering all the bases," says William Booth, a senior electricity adviser with the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The industry has mostly addressed the failures blamed on a tree branch in Ohio that touched a power line and set off outages that cascaded across eight states and parts of Canada the afternoon of Aug. 14, 2003, darkening computer screens, halting commuter...

PSC delays energy efficiency program

The Louisiana Public Service Commission voted today to delay implementation of an incentive program meant to promote energy efficiency. The program was first approved in December but was overturned by the PSC in February. Chairman Eric Skrmetta, after nonprofits that support the program sued, acknowledged that he cut off discussion of the change too quickly and scheduled a re-vote for today. Commissioner Scott Angelle, who wasn't on the board in December, today convinced his colleagues to hold off on implementing the program. Among other concerns voiced, Angelle says the program treats commercial customers unfairly. While the rules had not been finalized, the program would have created rebates for home and business owners to make energy-efficiency improvements, paid for by a surcharge on ratepayers. Supporters say the upfront costs—perhaps an extra 45 cents a month for a residential customer, Commissioner Foster Campbell said today—would pay off in the long run. But...