Friday, April 25, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

Shale Boom Sends U.S. Crude Supply To Highest Since 1930s
Europe's Leaders Prepare Ground For Return To Energy Realism

Britain's Energy Minister Michael Fallon says today is the kick off in the development of shale gas in the UK  -- Department for Energy & Climate Change, 24 April 2014

The U.S. is stockpiling the most crude since the Great Depression, thanks to the shale boom that has boosted production to the most in 26 years. Inventories rose 3.52 million barrels last week to 397.7 million, the highest level since 1931, according to Energy Information Administration data going back to 1920. --Mark Shenk, Bloomberg, 23 April 2014

Despite its doubters and haters, the shale revolution in oil and gas production is here to stay. In the second half of this decade, moreover, it is likely to spread globally more quickly than most think. What is unfolding in response is nothing less than a paradigm shift in thinking about hydrocarbons. --Edward L Morse, Foreign Affairs, May-June 2014

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says the country’s giant coal fields should become a cornerstone in Europe’s defense against a newly aggressive Russia. As politicians wrestle with how to respond to the crisis in Ukraine, Tusk argues Europe needs to “rehabilitate” coal’s dirty image and use it to break Russia’s grip on energy supply. “In the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the overriding objective is to lessen the dependence on Russia,” said Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst at Eurasia Group in London. “Climate objectives will be absolutely secondary to that.” --Ladka Bauerova,
Bloomberg, 24 April 2014

Over one third of the UK’s energy will come from shale gas in the next decade, with 4,000 wells set to be drilled across the country by 2032, a new report claims today. An astonishing 20m homes could be powered by shale gas, according to the government-backed study commissioned by the UK Onshore Operators Group and undertaken by EY. The UK’s burgeoning shale gas industry will attract £33bn of investment across the supply chain and create 64,000 jobs, the report says, with 50 drilling rigs needed to accommodate the soaring growth. --Suzie Neuwirth,
City A.M., 24 April 2014

Energy minister Michael Fallon was today urging the Lancashire community to get behind shale gas as latest estimates said “fracking” could be worth £33bn to the UK economy, creating 64,500 jobs over 15 years. Mr Fallon said: “I want this report to be a call to action for the UK supply chain for small and large companies, whether in Lancashire or Lowestoft, whether in the steel industry, the chemical industry or in other manufacturing and services. The message is: get ready for shale.” --
Lancashire Evening News, 23 April 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy plans to work with private U.S. companies to help Ukraine develop its shale gas resources. The White House outlined a new $50 million aid package to Ukraine during a visit to the country by Vice President Joseph Biden. The aid package pushed by the White House will include visits in the near future to Ukraine by officials from U.S. government agencies intent on helping the country improve its energy security. --Charles Kennedy,
OilPrice News, 23 April 2014

The story of America’s shale revolution involves classic Yankee ingenuity — although not on the part of big oil. Beginning in the 1970s, production from onshore U.S. oil and gas fields declined as those fields became what the industry calls “mature.” So the major oil companies were forced to abandon the development of new resources on U.S. soil. Oil, they recognized, was usually cheaper to buy on Wall Street than find in the ground. Meanwhile, smaller, independent companies — which earn the lion’s share of their revenue at the wellhead and little of it downstream (at the refining stage, for example) — were forced to innovate or die. --Robert A. Hefner III, Foreign Affairs, May-June 2014

The Russian invasion of Crimea is making Alberta's oil and gas more attractive in European capitals, says Poland's ambassador to Canada. Poland supports the idea of importing Canadian oil and gas, envoy Marcin Bosacki said Wednesday prior to the start of a two-day visit to his country by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. "This point of view is being shared in a growing number of European capitals in the last two months since the Crimea invasion," Bosacki said. "Of course, we are absolutely in favour of increasing the abilities of ... western Canada oil and gas to be exported also to Europe." --Mike Blanchfield,
The Canadian Press, 23 April 2014

China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec)’s discovery of the Fuling field in Chongqing may have set a milestone for the mainland oil and gas industry’s “shale gas revolution”, but the industry’s success in meeting the nation’s 2020 production target and emulating the success of the United States is not guaranteed. This is because drilling completed at the Fuling project is not sufficient to prove that the initial drilling success will be replicated in a much wider area beyond the 200 square kilometre pilot zone, analysts said. --Eric Ng, South China Morning Post, 23 April 2014

Britain Pushing G7 For Shale Gas And Nuclear To Loosen Russia’s Energy Grip
West Seeks To End Putin’s Stranglehold Over Energy

The British government is going to use the G7 meeting in May to urge ministers to focus on diversifying domestic energy networks, such as through shale gas and nuclear power, to pry away Russia’s grip on supplies. UK energy Secretary Ed Davey said that Whitehall will tell G7 ministers that Russia’s consistent use of energy as a geo-political tool holds too many countries to ransom and by ploughing time and money into domestic resources, this will loosen the superpower’s stranglehold over supplies. --Lianna Brinded, International Business Times, 22 April 2014

Britain is to lead an international effort to stop Russia from using its vast natural energy supplies to hold the world to ransom. As President Putin continues to stoke fears of civil war in Ukraine, energy ministers are preparing to weaken his power by reducing reliance on Russian gas. Ministers from the G7 countries — Britain, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy — are expected to agree to accelerate the development of alternative gas supplies, increase storage, build more electricity interconnectors and even restart mothballed nuclear reactors. --Ben Webster, The Times, 22 April 2014

The Western powers are scrambling to bolster defences against a halt in Russian gas supplies after the Kremlin tightened the energy noose on Ukraine, and paramilitary actions in eastern Ukraine increased the risk of a full-blown sanctions war. US Vice-President Joe Biden warned that Russia will pay a very high price unless the Kremlin withdraws troops massing on the Ukrainian border. “We will not allow this to become an open-ended process. Time is short,” he said in Kiev. Two key US senators have already called for sanctions on large Russian banks, mining companies and energy groups, including the state gas monopoly Gazprom. Any such move would freeze gas deliveries to the EU, since few European banks would risk defying US regulators by handling Gazprom transactions. --Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2014

Angela Merkel has been urged to end Germany’s moratorium on fracking as part of a drive to reduce dependency on Russian gas. The call to allow “demonstration projects” in hydraulic fracturing came from G√ľnther Oettinger, who is in charge of the EU’s energy directorate. Mr Oettinger, a senior member of Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said that fracking should be part of the German response to Russia’s use of energy as a political weapon. --David Charter, The Times, 23 April 2014

Ministers want to give energy companies the right to run shale gas pipelines under private land, Whitehall sources have confirmed. The planned move – aimed at kick-starting the fracking industry – will be included in the Queen’s Speech as part of an Infrastructure Bill. The companies will still need planning permission to drill for shale gas. But they will be able to install pipes to transport the gas under private land without fear of breaking trespass laws. --BBC News, 23 April 2014

Shale resources have been part of the Earth's "natural environment" for many thousands of years but have become usable natural resources only in the last six years, because of the human resourcefulness that led to breakthroughs in drilling and extraction technologies. Mother Nature provides us with an almost infinite abundance of natural resources but without any "instruction manuals" that tell us how to process them into useable products that improve our lives and raise our standard of living. On Earth Day, let's not forget to celebrate and appreciate the human resources — knowledge, ingenuity, know-how, creativity, entrepreneurship, and imagination, i.e. the "instruction manuals" — that transform otherwise unusable resources like shale hydrocarbons into energy treasures that will power our economy for generations to come. --Mark J Perry, Investor’s Business Daily, 22 April 2014

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