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Hydraulic Fracturing Video

A nicely done video by a group called, Energy From Shale. This is a must see (as well as my previously posted Life of the Well Series) for anyone wanting to know about oil and gas production.

Hydraulic Fracturing (YouTube)


Hydraulic Fracturing Is Just a Tool

There are appropriate uses for using hydraulic fracturing to get more oil and gas out of the ground. If a reservoir engineer believes that the earth around a well is solid, and in most cases it is, he may recommend hydraulic fracturing as a way to put cracks in the ground around an oil well so that oil and gas may flow more easily to a wellbore.

A hammer has good uses and bad uses; yet we should not ban hammers. Likewise, hydraulic fracturing.



EFO 2010 Conference, Day One

Each year the Engineers Foundation of Ohio holds a Continuing Professional Development Conference in the fall. These are one of two opportunities in a year when an Ohio engineer can earn all of his mandated 15 continuing education hours in one event. The conference is two days long, and today was the first day.

The morning was three hours of my industry, petroleum engineering.

Peter MacKenzie, a certified petroleum geologist and president of MacKenzie Land & Exploration, Ltd., talked about oil and gas exploration in Ohio for the first hour.  As my experience is mainly in Oklahoma and Texas, I found this quite informative.

Some notes:

  • Natural gas is a cheaper source of energy per BTU than oil. Wood is slightly more expensive than oil, and alternate sources of energy such as wind and solar can be up to 4x as expensive.
  • Conservation helps us reduce our dependence on oil, but world demand increases at twice the rate of our conservation.
  • China and India are still increasing.
  • Oil supply is plateauing, but doesn’t look to “peak” as some theorists are proposing.
  • Disruptive breakthroughs in energy storage and transmission are needed to make alternative energy sources viable.
  • Our petroleum infrastructure needs serious upgrading. We are using WWII-era oil conduits to move natural gas.
  • Our homes on average are 29% more energy efficient than in 1980.



Drill, Ohio, Drill!

AP reports:

COLUMBUS — Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish said state lawmakers might consider oil and natural gas drilling in state parks as a new revenue source amid the recession.

Budish said the Legislature would want to make sure any drilling on public lands would not harm the environment.

In February a nine-member state study committee, including two industry representatives, recommended drilling be allowed on state park land where the state holds mineral rights. The committee estimated drilling would generate at least $3 million per year for Ohio.

Drill, baby, drill. That oil and gas isn’t doing much thousands of feet below. Think of the jobs, too.

Would Gov. Strickland, a Democrat, be more open to petroleum than former Gov. Taft, a Republican? Taft signed an executive order in 2003 denying Ohio over 1 trillion scf from Lake Erie.

Please, please, please. :)


Voinovich Opposes Cap-and-Trade

Americans for Prosperity reports that 28 senators have signed a letter asking that cap-and-trade not be included in reconciling the budget between House and Senate versions.

Among those: “George Voinovich (R-Ohio)”. Thank you, sir.

The letter starts:

We oppose using the budget reconciliation process to expedite passage of climate legislation.

Enactment of a cap-and-trade regime is likely to influence nearly every feature of the U.S. economy. Legislation so far‐reaching should be fully vetted and given appropriate time for debate, something the budget reconciliation process does not allow. Using this procedure would circumvent normal Senate practice and would be inconsistent with the Administration’s stated goals of bipartisanship, cooperation, and openness.

That last sentence is interesting. Following that principle, nothing should be negotiated in reconciliation. :)


House Democrats Offer Drilling, With Disincentives

The Associated Press reports that House Democrats are offering a drilling proposal that gives coastal states the right to allow drilling 50 miles off of their coast and allows drilling in federal waters 100+ miles off the coast.

Unfortunately, the proposal has several land mines, according to the article:

  • Even if the state gives permission for drilling in state waters, it can’t collect royalties. All royalties go to the federal government.
  • In addition to rolling back tax breaks, which I’m not against, additional taxes would be assessed.
  • Utilities would be required to use renewable sources of energy for at least 15 percent of the electricity they generate.

I’m not feeling a lot of sincerity on the Democratic side for increasing supplies and lowering gas prices. Even if this passed, no state would allow rigs where they couldn’t collect royalties, and the utilities would raise prices to cover the additional expense of renewable energy.

More analysis, with numbers, here.