If We Are Setting Record Oil Production Levels – Why are prices so fracking high

I get this question all the time. The argument is always the trade off argument. We get jobs and cheap fossil fuels but  the environment is degraded. And boy and how. Destroyed is more like it but we do not even get the results that the fracking industry promised. Did I mention it is cold outside?

http://www.startribune.com/business/241382091.html

Record high prices for propane, natural gas in some markets as cold snap saps fuel supplies

  • Article by: JONATHAN FAHEY , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 – 6:12 PM

NEW YORK — A second fierce blast of winter weather is sapping fuel supplies in many regions and sending prices for propane and natural gas to record highs.

Higher natural gas prices are also leading to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices as power utilities snap up gas at almost any price to run power plants to meet higher-than-normal winter demand.

Propane users will get pinched the most. Those who find themselves suddenly needing to fill their tanks could be paying $100 to $200 more per fill up than a month ago. Homeowners who use natural gas and electricity will see higher heating bills because they’ll use more fuel. But prices won’t rise dramatically because utilities only buy a small portion of the fuel at the elevated prices.

A swirling storm with the potential for more than a foot of snow clobbered the mid-Atlantic and the urban Northeast on Tuesday. The snowstorm will be followed by bitter cold as arctic air from Canada streams in, causing homeowners to crank up the thermostat.

Record high prices for propane, natural gas in some markets as cold snap saps fuel supplies

  • Article by: JONATHAN FAHEY , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 – 6:12 PM

NEW YORK — A second fierce blast of winter weather is sapping fuel supplies in many regions and sending prices for propane and natural gas to record highs.

Higher natural gas prices are also leading to sharply higher wholesale electricity prices as power utilities snap up gas at almost any price to run power plants to meet higher-than-normal winter demand.

Propane users will get pinched the most. Those who find themselves suddenly needing to fill their tanks could be paying $100 to $200 more per fill up than a month ago. Homeowners who use natural gas and electricity will see higher heating bills because they’ll use more fuel. But prices won’t rise dramatically because utilities only buy a small portion of the fuel at the elevated prices.

A swirling storm with the potential for more than a foot of snow clobbered the mid-Atlantic and the urban Northeast on Tuesday. The snowstorm will be followed by bitter cold as arctic air from Canada streams in, causing homeowners to crank up the thermostat.

Michael McCafferty, a propane expert at Platts, an energy information provider, said the wholesale spot price of propane rose 70 percent between Friday and Tuesday to a record $2.45 per gallon. Both the size of the jump and the price itself he called “unprecedented.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

 

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There Are No Criminal Charges For The Frackers – So all they have to do is pay money

No Frackers will go to jail if they violate WHAT LAWS? IDNR might as well give away the state of Illinois to being totally trashed. Where will the Fracking start? In our State Parks?

Day 49   1/2/13

Topic:  Fines penalties, suspensions and revocations

For regulations to work, levied fines must exceed the financial benefit a company gains by violating the rules. None of the rulemaking sanctions meet this criterion. This results in the other 150 pages of rules being essentially meaningless because they will be ignored.   The draft rule sanctions place the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA)  on the road to failure before the first permit is issued.

Examples:

  1. Section 1-100(b) of the law specifies misdemeanor and felony criminal charges for a number of violations of the law.  Yet there are NO criminal charges in the rules
  2. In Section 1-60(a)1-6 of the law, there are six (6) grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit.  These are re-listed with a 7th in section 245.1100 of the rules.  But the very next  section of the Rules–245.1110–reduces the grounds for an immediate permit suspension to one: “an emergency condition posing a significant hazard to the public health, aquatic life, wildlife or the environment.” This is the most stringent requirement of the seven grounds listed in section 245.1100.  Why bother to list seven possible grounds for permit suspension or revocation in section 245.1100 if you then require the Department to identify the most stringent criteria for an immediate suspension.
  3. Section 1-60(b) of the law requires a much lower standard of proof to suspend, revoke or deny a permit than the rules (245.1110).  Under the law, the Department need only serve notice of its action (to suspend, revoke or deny), including a statement of the reasons for the action.
  4. In the law, if a well operator’s permit has been suspended, the burden of proof is on well operator to prove that the identified problem is “no significant threat to public health, aquatic life, wildlife, or the environment” [Section 1-60(d)].  In the rules, this phrase becomes something IDNR must prove before ordering a permit suspension [Rule Section 245.1100(b)3A].
  5. Sections 1-100 and 1-101 of the law have some stiff penalties that accrue on a daily basis until the reason for the fine is corrected.  These fines can go as high as $50,000 per violation and up to $10,000 per day.  These are replaced by fines so trivial ($50-$2500) that it will cost the IDNR more to impose and collect a fine than the dollar value of the fine itself.

Revisions Needed:  Return to the standards of the law with regard to fines, penalties and revocations.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
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Go there and comment. We are done with this.
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So Illinois Is Gona Protect Me From Fracking – Not the way it is going

When we got in the faces of the 5 renegade environmental groups, they claimed that IDNR would tighten up things to take in our concerns. So far that ain’t been ahappening. We will just have to see what happens after the comment period closes.
Today (Tuesday, 12/10/13)  is Day 26 of the Comment Period of IDNR.   Getting tired of making comments?  We understand.  But if we don’t fight, the industry will win because their fingerprints are all over these rules.  Fight back.  Make a comment today.
Today’s Topic:  IDNR’s Duties and Responsibilities to Protect the Citizens of Illinois
Comment:
In Section 1-130 of the regulatory statute, the legislature granted IDNR authority to adopt rules to carry out the legislature’s purposes.
There are at least two legislative purposes in the regulatory statute:
  1. To allow horizontal fracking in Illinois,
  2. To approve horizontal fracking conditionally based on the safeguarding of public health and public safety, and the protection of the environment.
This purpose is set forth explicitly in two places in the regulatory statute–Section 1-75(a)(2) and Section 1-53(a)(4).  IDNR has acknowledged 1-75 verbatim, in Section 245.800(2) of the proposed rules: “All phases of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations shall be conducted in a manner that shall not pose a significant risk to public health, life, property, aquatic life, or wildlife.”
But IDNR has changed the legislature’s language in Section 1-53(a)(4) of the proposed rules, lowering the standard explicitly created by the legislature.  Section 1-53(a)(4) of the legislation states: “The Department shall issue a high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing permit, with any conditions the Department may find necessary, only if the record of decision demonstrates that: the proposed hydraulic fracturing operations will be conducted in a manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution or diminution of any water source.”  The key phrase there is”will be conducted”.  Clearly the intent of the statute is that fracking will only be allowed if it is conducted in a safe manner.
IDNR’s proposed Section 245.300 changes the legislative words “will be conducted” to “as proposed, are reasonably expected to be conducted”.  This lowers the standard and is inconsistent with the legislature’s stated purpose.  “Will be conducted” is a mandate; “reasonably expected to be conducted” is not.
If hydraulic fracturing outcomes in Illinois mirror effects of other states, we can “reasonably expect” that the industry will cut corners and violate standards.  There have been over 3000 violations in PA since 2009 and they are not minor violations.  They involve infractions such as:
  • 224 violations of “Failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste.
  • 143 violations of “Discharge of pollutional material to the waters of Commonwealth.
  • 140 violations of “Pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.
The residents of Illinois are depending on IDNR to protect their health, their safety, and the safety of their water, air, and soil.  IDNR needs to return the legislation’s intent and mandate that hydraulic fracturing operations will only be conducted in a manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution or diminution of any water source.”
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alt

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow thank God.

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Fracking Should Be Banned In Illinois – But apparently the frackers have decided to forge ahead

I got an email from Southern Illinois that said 30 big rigs had rolled through town yesterday morning. I figure that that is enough for 2 wells. It seems like some drilling company has decided to “go for it”. Which makes sick and disgusting sense. Many of the leases die at the end of April. I suspect that these will be test wells, because no one knows what is down there. It takes about  7 days to to drill a well and frack it. That would have the wells beginning to come in as the lease expires. This is what I said in print.

Thursday, April 11,2013

Letters to the Editor 4/11/13

Fracking and litter control act

By Letters to the Editor

 

FRACKING STINKS

I am writing to argue for a moratorium against fracking in Illinois (SB 1418). Chicago environmentalists argue that “fracking is going to happen anyway.” That is a total capitulation to the industry. The bill that the environmentalists endorse (HB2615) is amazing in the things it does not prevent. It does not force the frackers to recycle their water, allows for methane flaring, allows wells within 300 feet of water sources, allows wells within 500 feet of a house, does not allow adequate testing of produced waters especially for radiation and then allows that waste to be deep well injected and finally allows for the state to overrule counties and municipalities who do not want fracking or more protective measures.

Many states have tried to establish hydraulic fracturing regulations that would allow the industry to drill safely. The problem is regulations do not work. The industry always violates the regulations and when caught pays the fine as part of standard operating procedure. These violations include injecting radioactive water underground, open pit storage of fracking and waste waters even where not permitted, the production of toxic fumes and the sickening of residents, well water contamination and the direct dumping of toxic water into springs and streams. They have gone so far as to sell toxic water to county townships to suppress dust in the summer and to de-ice roads in the winter as if that was safe. Homeowners are duped into selling mineral rights without being told that it will make their houses impossible to sell and wreck their mortgages. In Pennsylvania their violations include:

– 224 violations of “failure to properly store, transport, process or dispose of residual waste.”

– 143 violations of “discharge of pollutional material to the waters of Commonwealth.”

– 140 violations of “pit and tanks not constructed with sufficient capacity to contain pollutional substances.”

This does not include the actual damage that they do to the environment, like damaging the roads where they work, and flaring the natural gas that should be harnessed as a fuel source and the constant noise pollution that the above activities produce. I was visiting a friend in Colorado when such a well was put in and the noise and smell alone were enough to sicken me.

Doug Nicodemus
Riverton

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Go there and read. They did a whole 5 page article on the issue. More later.

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Methane Hydrates – Good for Japan but what about the rest of us

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster Japan has needed to find new power sources. This could be it and it is in their backyard. This could free up Japan’s stagnate economy because the cost would be so much cheaper and the money would stay in Japan. I need to know much more about how they extract the hydrates, how they process them and how they use them before I can say that this will be great for the rest of us.

http://theenergycollective.com/sbattaglia/200361/methane-hydrate-future-of-energy

Japan’s Methane Hydrates and the Future of Global Energy

Posted March 19, 2013

Authored by:

Sarah Battaglia

Sarah Battaglia has been one of the in-house Copywriters and the Social Media Specialist for Energy Curtailment Specialists since 2011.

All eyes are on Japan as they recently became the first country to successfully extract natural gas from methane hydrate deposits, commonly referred to as “flammable ice,” located nearly 900 feet below the seabed.  For a country that imports almost all of its energy, this discovery could be an incredible asset.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daichii disaster, Japan is in the process of moving away from nuclear power, and this new source of natural gas could be just the solution.  Spokesperson for the Japan Oil, Gas, & Metal National Corp. (JOGMEC) Takami Kawamoto stated, “Japan could finally have an energy source to call its own.”  The New York Times described methane hydrate as “a sherbet-like substance that can form when methane gas is trapped in ice below the seabed or underground.”  Even though it may resemble ice, it will burn when heated.  JOGMEC predicts at least 1.1 trillion cubic meters of this substance can be found in the eastern Nankai Trough located off the Pacific Coast.  That could be enough natural gas to last Japan 11 years!  Furthermore, an estimated 7 trillion cubic meters of “flammable ice” can be found throughout Japan’s waters, supplying natural gas for several decades.

When asked about the process, JOGMEC stated, “With specialized equipment, the team drilled into and then lowered the pressure in the undersea methane hydrate reserve, causing the methane and ice to separate.  It then piped the natural gas to the surface.”  The gas can also be attained by heating the solid methane hydrate, but this process uses a considerable amount of energy.

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Go there and read. More later.

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The Insurgents Attack On Algeria Failed – This is much ado about nothing

The insurgents who attacked the Algerian Natural Gas Plant have claimed victory but they were total failures. I am sorry that 40 people or less are dead. For the innocents anyway. Workers really just doing their jobs. But as far as I can see all of the attackers got wacked too. Ultimately I think their plan was to damage the plant and run off with the hostages and neither one of those things happened.  They probably lost many good weapons, many good explosive and many trained fighters. This was a dumb operation.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/algeria/9816767/BP-Algeria-gas-plant-raid-co-ordinated-by-a-Canadian.html

BP Algeria gas plant raid ‘co-ordinated’ by a Canadian

The BP gas plant raid was “co-ordinated” by a Canadian terrorist and claimed the lives of at least 37 foreign hostages, the Algerian prime minister announced on Monday.

Abdelmalek Sellal told a press conference in Algiers that a further five foreigners remained unaccounted for in the wake of the siege which ended when Algerian special forces stormed the remote Saharan plant on Saturday.

A total of 29 terrorists were also killed, with three others captured alive, he said.

Mr Sellal said the plot had been hatched in Mali and that the attackers had travelled through Niger and Libya before slipping into Algeria. He said that one of the hostage takers was believed to have been Canadian “judging by his English accent”. “He was co-ordinating the attack,” he said.

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Go there and read. More later.

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Most Diesel Engines Will Switch To Natural Gas – It is cheaper and cleaner

This has been so needed for so long. America pivots from gasoline to natural gas. When will we get over that to something that makes sense?

http://www.chron.com/business/article/Natural-gas-wins-place-as-oil-field-fuel-3900742.php

Natural gas wins place as oil field fuel

By Zain Shauk | Thursday, September 27, 2012

The biggest, baddest engines in the world, long chained to diesel fuel, are on the verge of a mass transformation because of cheap natural gas – with oil field equipment holding particular potential, executives said Thursday during a summit of heavy fuel users and producers.

“Here’s the first reason that large engines are going gas,” said JoelFeucht, director of gas engine strategy for Caterpillar’s energy and power systems division. “Large engines burn the most fuel. I could try to make it harder, but that’s pretty straightforward.”

Oil companies alone use nearly 1.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year just for pressure pumping equipment that supports hydraulic fracturing, said David Hill, vice president of natural gas economy operations for Encana Corp. Adding the diesel used to power drilling rigs themselves, the total is more than 2.8 billion gallons annually, said Pierce Dehring, a project engineer for Baker Hughes.

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Drought Will Move On – That is the nature of Global Warming

The unstable weather patterns created by Global Warming means that there will be drought and flooding somewhere in the world, more or less at the same time. So this impending hurricane just pushes the drought out of its way for a while but it will come back.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/30/us-usa-drought-idINBRE87T0Z620120830

Drought eases in U.S. Midwest, worsens in northern Plains

By Karl Plume

Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:30pm IST

(Reuters) – The worst U.S. drought in a half century loosened its grip on the Midwest in the past week, helped by rain and cooler temperatures, but the drought grew more dire in the northern Plains, a report from climate experts said on Thursday.

But the improved Midwest weather arrived too late for crops in major farm states such as Kansas, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, where severe corn and soybean yield losses have already been realized.

The portion of the contiguous United States suffering from at least “severe” drought fell to 42.34 percent from 44.03 percent over the prior week, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly synthesis representing a consensus climatologists.

The percentage of the Midwest in that category slipped to 49.96 from 51.06 the previous week, with the most notable improvement in Indiana, 64.07 percent of which was under severe drought or worse, down from 81.48 percent a week ago.

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Rain Friday Night They Say – When Isaac’s remnants get here

But the damage has already been done. The next question is what about next year. First, the seed corn was a total wash this year so right now they are trying to grow enough in Brazil to even get us going next year. But then the next question is when to plant and where. If anybody was a good enough predictor to get in during or right after the late frost then your corn would be fine and you would be sitting on a gold mine. This is contingent on us getting some moisture over the winter. If we don’t get enough moisture well then next year looks bleak.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/30/iowa-corn-crop-drought-farmers-prices?newsfeed=true

Rain comes too late for Iowa’s corn crop as drought weighs on midwest minds

Farmers hope for better next year after summer of record drought leads to rising prices and brings tensions to the surface

Thursday 30 August 2012 10.44 EDT

Flying into Des Moines, the corn fields look surprisingly green. America’s midwest produces half the world’s corn and Iowa its largest harvest, yet amid the worst drought in living memory all the untrained eye can see is the occasional brown mark, like a cigarette burn on the baize of a pool table.

But appearances can be deceptive.

In Boone, Iowa, 30 miles away from the state capital, traffic backs up for miles bringing 200,000 people to Farm Progress, the US’s largest agricultural show one. Here, all the talk is of the drought.

Pam Johnson, first vice-president of the National Corn Growers Association, says she can’t remember one as bad as this in her 40 years of farming. “My parents say you have to go back to the 1930s for anything comparable,” she says. In June, her farm in northern Iowa got an inch and a half of rain. “We usually get that a week. In July we got seven-tenths of an inch, for the month.” Rain may be coming soon, thanks to hurricane Isaac, but it’s too late for America’s corn crop.

The US planted 97m acres of corn for this year’s crop – the most since 1937. If everything had gone according to plan, this year’s harvest would have produced a new record, at close to 15bn bushels of corn (a bushel is 24 million metric tonnes). It’s too early to say what the final tally will be, but the US department of agriculture has slashed its forecast to 10.8bn. Dan Basse, president of AgResources, an independent agriculture analyst, says that figure is likely to come down. “We’ve lost 4bn bushels of corn. That’s the largest loss in history, and we could lose another,” he says. The USDA has declared counties in 38 states to be “disaster areas”. About 72% of cattle areas are experiencing drought.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Recycling By Anyother Name – Moves us to a steady state economy

Methane is the single biggest greenhouse gas that never gets talked about because environmentalists see it as a “bridge” to a clean energy future. Making power from food refuse makes complete sense. I hate to say it but backyard composters, as well meaning as they are, just throw the stuff up in the air.  Ashley Halligan sent me this article:

http://blog.softwareadvice.com/articles/cafm/resource-recovery-facilities-economic-efficient-energy-supply-1071212/

Resource Recovery Facilities: An Economic And Efficient Energy Supply

by Ashley HalliganProperty Management Analyst, Software Advice
July 12, 2012

Although the number of U.S. landfills has steadily declined since 1990, the size of landfills has increased. In fact, Americans generated 250 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2010 alone. It’s thus no surprise that MSW landfills are our third-largest, human-generated source of methane emissions. But this is more an opportunity than it is a problem.

Many landfills are becoming resource recovery facilities–places where waste or byproducts are reclaimed and converted into energy. Captured by wells installed throughout a landfill, naturally-occurring methane emissions (or landfill gas–LFG) can be converted into multiple energy sources, including electricity, a replacement for fossil fuels in industrial operations, or upgraded to pipeline-quality gas. Methane’s heat can also be used directly. Of the approximately 2,400 operating or recently closed MSW landfills in the U.S., 535 (around 22 percent) currently have resource recovery projects.

To learn more about these projects and the benefits they deliver, I spoke to several industry experts–including David Specca, Assistant Director for Bioenergy and Controlled Environment Agriculture at the Rutgers University EcoComplex, and Barry Edwards, Director of Engineering and Utilities at Catawba County–and looked at three examples of successful projects.

____________________________

Ashley M. Halligan
Facility Management Analyst
Software Advice

(512) 539-0016
ashley@softwareadvice.com

By the way, we’re hiring

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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