Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 05:20 am
Even though crude prices are up a bit, the prcesof gas at the pump are stable and have even been declining. It appears that our increased refining capacity and increased domestic production (Kiss a geologist for that), has resulted in a time of relative calm in the market. Imagine that, say ten years ago, every middle east blow up (like that in Egypt and Syria) would add hlf a buck or more to the price of gas at the pump.

You may not like Canadian crude development or "fracking" here in the US , but, if we wish to have a few more quiet decades of reliance on fossil fuels , we are going about it in a reasonable fashion.
Wonder what happened to Okie and his ilk?
Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 05:35 am
I have mixed emotions about fracking. Perhaps I am not well enough informed.
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Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 05:51 am
Wonder what happened to Okie and his ilk?

It's no fun for them. We have a wild-eyed socialist in the White House who is not actually an American citizen, and who has stolen not one, but two elections in a row--and nobody seems to care. The financial catastrophe happened on Bush's watch, and can't be blamed on Obama, and the economy is slowly improving.

It's gotta be really depressing for them boys.
Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 07:42 am
shhh, gunga is listening and Dave is packing
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Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 08:47 am
I think it will take time for the economics of the industry to catch up with the new sources. But ultimately I think it's going to be a big win for the US and a bitter pill for the middle east. It's western money that props up those governments through oil purchases. Those governments are going to take a real beating once the money stops flowing over there.
Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 08:59 am
remember though, as with all "ARCS" of resources , the first nation to develop theirs,often becomes the last in line as that domestic product begins to deplete.
We have about a 40 year window of more energy independence. We can either squander it or plan ahead.
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Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 09:01 am
We should have achieved total energy independence by now. We'd be well on the way to that if Romney had won the 2012 election.
Reply Tue 27 Aug, 2013 07:15 pm
Romney was particularly clueless about the major new new gas fields on the planet , "wet gas ", slant drilling and fracking
Just enjoy the future , you've lost a campaign issue.

"We should have been energy independent earlier"---merely sounds like words of a loser who had his platform cut out from under him.
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Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 06:51 pm
Farmerman, if you don't already know about this incident, thought it might be of interest to you. It is supposed to be a very rare event.


COUNSELORS, N.M. (KRQE) - More than 200 barrels of fracking fluid, oil and water blew out of a traditional oil well on BLM land in the San Juan Basin in late September raising questions about who is responsible for the spill.

State regulators say the blowout on a Parko Oil well happened because of pressure from nearby fracking operations run by Encana Oil.

Fracking--short for horizontal fracturing--is a controversial practice that uses chemicals pumped under pressure to break up underground layers of shale to release oil and natural gas.

"The spill has been contained," said Jim Winchester, spokesperson for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which houses the state regulator Oil Conservation Division. "Fluids from the spill were removed by a vacuum truck quickly after the release."

On Sept. 30, one of Encana's fractures reached Parko's neighboring vertical well. The pressure was too much for the older well to handle.

"Our highest pressure is around 150 pounds," said Parko Oil pumper Johnny Aragon. "The pressure we were experiencing was in excess of 2,000 pounds, which is a lot more than what the wells are designed to hold."

Encana's operations were approximately 0.5 miles from the Parko well that had the blowout.

"An Encana well, undergoing stimulation operations, may have communicated with the well of a nearby operator," said Encana spokesperson Doug Hock. "That operator's well became over-pressurized resulting in the release of fluid from both the wellhead and a nearby tank."

"When Encana was made aware of the situation, it immediately ceased its own operations."

Well Spacing Concerns

The San Juan Basin is considered one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world. But with natural gas prices so low, many energy companies are making a play for oil.

"Many of the drilling rigs that are now operating in the San Juan Basin are exploring and drilling in parts of the basin that have the potential for oil and high levels of natural gas liquids as opposed to dry gas," said Wally Drangmeister of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

New wells are springing up quickly.

Some fracking operations are installing wells as close as 800 feet from traditional vertical wells.

"I don't understand why the state or the BLM or anyone else is letting them get so close to other wells," said Floyd Parker, president of New Mexico-based Parker Oil. "Encana's encircling our field entirely."

New Mexico has no standard minimum spacing requirement between wells.

Some experts warn New Mexico could be facing huge problems ahead with the close proximity of high-pressure fracking operations and aging wells.

"Other states have modified their rules to require, for example, that an operator intending to drill a horizontal well would have to identify all older wells within a certain distance from the route of the horizontal bore," said Bruce Baizel, energy program director for Earthworks.

But Drangmeister says he doesn't believe the proximity of the Encana and Parko wells caused the blowout.

"From my understanding of these very rare cases of well communication, the issue is one of local underground geology, not spacing or the age of wells," he said.

Environmental Questions

The Encana-Parko well hit resulted in soil contamination but no groundwater pollution, according to the state's Oil Conservation Division.

But there's a big risk when fracking fluid meets up with a traditional, aging well.

Fracking fluid includes water and toxic chemicals. Some chemicals are disclosed, but in New Mexico the OCD doesn't require the reporting of "proprietary, trade secret or confidential business information."

Encana declined to give a full list of the chemicals involved with this spill, but said nitrogen is used in their operations.

Even Parker says aging wells are prone to cracks. If fracking operations hit one of those wells, it could have devastating consequences, he said.

"If you had a crack in your casing or something like that, their fluid may go into the water reserve," he said.

Baizel says it's a real possibility.

"The scientific research shows that all wellbores and their cement eventually degrade and leak; it's just a matter of time," he said. "We also know that older wells were subject to less stringent standards at the time they were drilled, so that also adds to the potential for leakage."

Drangmeister said he couldn't speculate on whether cracks in aging wells could pose a risk for groundwater contamination.

"I can say that a regulatory structure has always been in place in New Mexico for well construction and cementing," he said.

The Cost and Responsibility of Cleanup

The half-mile stream of chemicals and soil contamination from the blowout was left for Parko to cleanup.

"The release was on their well," Hock said. "They took charge of the cleanup and shut-in of their well."

So far, Parko Oil has had to pay for the cleanup, too.

Parko Oil president Floyd Parker estimates current damages at $100,000 and says this isn't the first time Encana's operations have impacted his own.

"They said they'd pay the bills," he said. "They haven't paid any of the bills, and they haven't paid anything on this mess either."

State oil regulators don't have the authority to say who should pay for these messes, so the companies have to work it out, or go to court.

KRQE News 13 asked Hock who must take responsibility for the cleanup and pay for it during an incident like this.

"I don't know the specifics of this," he said. "However, I can tell you that in this case, Parko took charge of the cleanup."

Hock says Encana voluntarily provided Parko with "advance notice of its intended stimulation activities."
Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 07:32 pm
In NY, before drilling will be allowd, wells within some (as yet undetermined)radius will have to be pressure grouted BEFORE fracking will be allowed. NY is the only state that has disallowed ANY fracking until a means to assure against several types of environmental disasters could occur.
Im aware of the well Btfly. It changes EVERYTHING that wed known and used as fact before.

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Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 08:29 pm
It is worth noting that the 1980 Windfall Profits tax was a disasterous case of unintended consequences. Since it taxed the production of crude oil, it was not a tax on profits at the pump, but an excise of crude taken out of the ground. The oil companies were already getting tax breaks on oil production, but rather than repeal those--something the public would likely not notice or understand--the Congress took the grandstanding approach with the "sexy" name of windfall profits. The effect, however, was to discourage domestic crude oil production and exploration for new sources, and to encourage the importation of foreign-produced crude oil. It was actually driving the energy industry into the arms of OPEC, whose embargo had started the whole brouhaha.

That act was repealed in 1988, but the changes are just now being felt. The petroleum industry slowly began exploration to develop new domestic sources, wary of Congress, and that's now paying off. At no time were the windfall profits of the energy industry actually taxed, which would have meant a tax on profits at the pump. I don't doubt that energy industry lobbyists had a hand in the writing of the 1980 act--unable to avoid it, they just made sure that the industry's actual windfall profits were never taxed.

Finally, American energy companies were gobsmacked by the profits they reaped in the Arab oil embargo--no such shortage had ever occurred in the history of the fossil fuels industry. They began shutting down refineries rather than bear the cost of upgrades and maintenance, and when called on the low refinery capacity, they whined about the cost of building new refineries; not mentioning, of course, all the refineries shut down in the decades after the 1973 embargo. They've only been expanding refining capacity for about a decade because demand had risen so high that they feared a genuine windfall profits tax and began, finally, to keep up the maintenance on old refineries and to build new ones. (Of course, greed also got the better of them on the refinery capacity issue.)
Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 11:06 pm
I suppose that was a decent incentive but there still would have been no real O/G "Boom" without some specific new technology.

"Fracking " was developed in the late 40's but was initially used for cleaning up skuzzed up wells in high permeability rock. "MAssive Hydraulic Fracking'" wasn't really developed till the late 1970 and was used in VERTICAL HOLES in Ok, KErn Co Calif and then on to Canadia.
The really really big developmental event was when "Slant drilling" and "walkover tech" was developed. This allowed us to drill 7000+ foot holes and then "bend" a drill stem to drill horizontally through a specific rock layer. Now we seek out the really LOW permeability sandstones which trap oil/gas in the tiny connected cracks. "Walk over " tech, allows a driller to drill deep, turn in any direction and drill along a rock bed to reach a target area with just a few inches of error. Its like drilling a hole from your house in central park, and coming up in the subway tunnel in Battery Park. The horizontal component opens up an entire horizontal face of the shale or sandstone to exploitation after its then "Fracked"

That was what really fed the new boom , that and a fact that Dick Cheney exempted all exploration for o/G from all environmental rules starting in 2005.

Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 12:42 am
we are spending $200 billion a year to import crude, I am not ready for the energy independence party yet.
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 04:28 am
I was speaking about motive--i'll leave method to you.
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 06:11 am
Cant have one wiyhout the other.
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Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 06:21 am
ifyou analyze the numbers based upon our daily petroleum needs weve slipped below 40% of our energy needs coming from foreign sources. Its a trend Hawkee. It doesn't happn overnight.
Drilling one the Bakken and Marcellus fields didn't really kick off until 2003 and gas and oil didn't start making it to the market until about 2005
Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 06:32 am
A total of domestic production as a percentage function of total need will (according to projection) peak at about 35% of fuel needs and sorta of remain there as "Tight gas and oil" fields begin to flatten out in production and as other fuels make it to market

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Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2014 01:54 pm
A couple articles caught my eye and thought I'd share them for comment.

First one, I'm wondering if we could do something similar, or are we already doing so in places like the Geysers in California? What about the magma pool under Yellowstone?

By Lucky Tran February 4, 2014 23 COMMENTS | 3405 VIEWS | 1469 SHARES
In Huge Breakthrough, Iceland Has Uncovered the Ultimate Renewable Energy Source Image Credit: Andrew Cairnes

On Jan. 16, the Icelandic Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) announced that it has successfully built the world's first magma-powered geothermal energy system. Geothermal energy takes advantage of heat locked away inside of the Earth to generate electricity. Currently, geothermal energy supplies approximately 65% of electricity consumption in Iceland. However, all geothermal power is created from secondary methods, such as pumping liquid onto hot rocks below the Earth's surface — the resulting steam is then converted into electricity.

The ability to harness energy directly from the Earth's magma is a huge breakthrough.

Why this is important: Even with all of today's advanced drilling technology, striking magma directly is extremely difficult and rare. Iceland's harnessing of magma is only the third-ever occurrence, and the last time it happened in Hawaii, the drilling had to be stopped to plug up the opening with concrete for safety reasons. The Iceland drilling represents significant progress because engineers were able to install a specially-made steel casing, allowing the magma to remain contained and under pressure.
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Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2014 02:01 pm
Second article, I'm just wondering if this is true or is it hyped up because the keystone pipeline decision is getting closer.

Also, why must it be fresh water, why not recycled, non-drinking water?

Shortage of water and fracking in Texas
Aerial photograph taken on a flight from Dallas to Seattle in June, 2011, reveals a large field of hydro-fracking pad sites in a mountain valley in northwestern Colorado. Photograph: Susan Heller/Getty images
Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent

America's oil and gas rush is depleting water supplies in the driest and most drought-prone areas of the country, from Texas to California, new research has found.

Of the nearly 40,000 oil and gas wells drilled since 2011, three-quarters were located in areas where water is scarce, and 55% were in areas experiencing drought, the report by the Ceres investor network found.

Fracking those wells used 97bn gallons of water, raising new concerns about unforeseen costs of America's energy rush.

"Hydraulic fracturing is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the country's most water-stressed and drought-ridden regions," said Mindy Lubber, president of the Ceres green investors' network.


It can take millions of gallons of fresh water to frack a single well, and much of the drilling is tightly concentrated in areas where water is in chronically short supply, or where there have been multi-year droughts.
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