I attended EUCI's Utilizing Drones for the Canadian Energy Market on July 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. My biggest takeaway was that Canada is a leader in using drones to inspect hydro, pipelines and nuclear power plants and that Transport Canada, the primary regulator is working closely with the industry. Read my presentation. Read more about Utilizing Drones for Canadian Hydropower Projects
I believe most US natural gas industry executives largely discount decarbonization of natural gas since the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Agreement. Given the pace if shale gas, LNG export and infrastructure investments, some executives might believe a future without natural gas is unrealistic. Despite natural gas' superior qualities, it might be risky to think the fuel has gotten a pass for replacing coal in power plants. Read more about Challenges of Decarbonizing the U.S. Natural Gas Industry
This article doesn't rehash the costs of the plan. However, it offers some advice and sheds some light on the linkage between renewables and oil and gas. It also provides insights on what happens when nations try to fast track an energy transition and who actally pays the price. Read more about New Green Deal’s Effects on the US Energy Transition
The US Energy Information Administration said in October that US crude oil production had climbed to 11.3 million barrels a day. That also means production of associated gas from shale wells is increasing as well. That would put the United States on a par with Russia, which surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil last year. With news like this, it’s fairly easy for shale oil producers to get caught up in day-to-day challenges associated with production and its challenges, like moving crude, associated gas, and natural gas liquids to market.
Developers often don’t focus on large-scale changes that have drastically affected the oil industry. However, historically certain events have radically changed the oil industry. I believe that a growing “green wave” may change global power and transportation and adversely affect shale oil’s future in the next 10–15 years. With breakthroughs in technology, changes may come even sooner.
Read article at Russo, T. (2019, February). Gas from shale drilling to face strong headwinds next decade. Natural Gas & Electricity 35/.7. Read more about Gas from shale drilling to face strong headwinds next decade
Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) over the years has produced a lot of paper, delays, and high costs to make sure that projects consider the environment and adequately mitigate project impacts on proposed energy projects, including renewable energy. Current attempts by the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to revise the NEPA regulations and procedures will fail unless a cooling-off period coupled with dispute resolution with state agencies is established. Read more about Reworking NEPA in the Age of Uncertainty
We often overlook or take for granted the environmental improvements that will occur in developing countries that import LNG or countries that choose not to develop their shale gas resources. LNG imports to China, India and Mexico are largely driven by environmental concerns and government mandates. However, LNG prices are very high compared to pipeline gas. Now that Beijing has decided to impose tariffs on US LNG, China may turn to other suppliers or even develop its own shale gas resources. I discuss the pros and cons of these alternatives in:
Russo, T. (2018, September). Overlooked environmental improvements from US liquefied natural gas exports.Natural Gas & Electricity 35/2. Read the article Read more about Overlooked Environmental Improvements from US Liquefied Natural Gas Exports
One would think that renewables like wind projects would have an easy time in getting permitted. Think again. It took America's first offshore wind farm seven years to begin construction. Is this good for America? I don't think so. Nor is it good for coastal states and their rate payers who are relying on offshore wind to save the day instead of nuclear and gas fired power plants. Read more about Atlantic Coast states obstruct offshore wind despite saying it's wanted
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) turned 48 with the new year. I thought it would be a good idea to sit back and ponder whether NEPA has resulted in “environmentally responsible projects” or is just a long-winded compliance exercise, and an expensive one at that. The bigger question is whether we can ever get to a final decision in 2 years instead of 10 years as President Trump is advocating. Read more about Taking Stock of NEPA at 48