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The USA — Fracking its way to jobs, wealth and lower emissions

It’s everything the Green revolution was supposed to offer — jobs, energy independence, money money money, and massive reductions in CO2. Australians hear how bad fracking is but not much about the transformation of the US.  h/t GWPF…

The Black Gold Rush

Exploitation of new oil and gas reserves by fracking shale rock has transformed the US economy since it started just 11 years ago – creating at least a million jobs and slashing electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

The scale of this energy revolution is almost unimaginable.

The Marcellus shale bed in Pennsylvania is thought by geologists to contain enough gas to power and heat every home in America for 50 to 100 years. Yet a few hundred feet beneath it lies another giant formation, the Utica, that contains enough gas for a further century. – Daily Mail UK.

Emissions from electric power in the USA are back to 1987 levels

There’s a message here about how Australia could meet its obscene 28% reduction targets for carbon emissions. A caring Greenie would say No to more gifts for windfarms — and get cracking on the fracking. (Do they want to save the world or not?)

USA, Electrical emissions CO2, 2016.

AEI.org from EIA data

See The AEIdeas Blog — and their Charts of the Day.

Mid 2017, the USA will be the Worlds largest oil and gas exporter

“For the first time since Ike was in the White House and lead was in gasoline, exports of U.S. natural gas will outstrip imports in a shift that could occur as soon as the end of this year. The change will mark a significant milestone – the latest in America’s transformation into the world’s biggest oil and gas producer…” — US News

h/t GWPF…

*Update: oops. Added the “No” to the No more gifts to windfarms.

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59 comments to The USA — Fracking its way to jobs, wealth and lower emissions

  • #
    John Loop

    What is amazing about this is that it is in spite of Obama and his attempts to shut carbon down. And the Democrats actually tried to insert a plank in their platform to outlaw fracking! [lost 7-6] And this is even as the fracking infrastructure is depressed because oil prices are being held down. And what is infuriating is that Obama will try to claim credit for this -he has no shame at all -I believe the fracking is largely on private lands. I can only imagine how our economy would really recover if there were an administration which looked on all this -esp energy independence- as a plus!

    222

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Correct John Loop. Most of the shale gas and oil from fracking come from private lands. There are vast resources on federal and state land. But Obama wants electricity prices to “of necessity, skyrocket”. And EPA and dozens of regulation agencies and authorities are trying to minimize gas, oil, and coal production in any way they can.
      Let’s hope this all changes shortly after Jan 20, 2017.

      140

    • #
      Mari C

      Hillary would also like to see fracking stopped. It’s a shame – one thing that is being done well, affordably, and fairly cleanly, allowing for inexpensive fuel for heat and power, and the folks that are supposed to be for us “common” citizens want to shut it down.

      I don’t care if it lowers emissions – it is an affordable source. Better than burning up all the local woodlands when the windmills aren’t spinning and clouds are out.

      20

  • #
    OB

    It seems to me that hydraulic fracturing of wells started in the USA back in 1947 or there about and not just 11 years ago.

    130

    • #
      Rud Istvan

      True. The difference is horizontal drilling. The laterals now run up to 2km, and drilled at nearly 2x the former rate thanks to equipment improvements. The radius from vertical to horizontal drilling is now just 400 meters. And with the newer plug and perf frack method (versus the older sleeve method), much more fracking per unit lateral distance, with about 2x the well productivity of just 5 years ago.

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      • #
        James Murphy

        Reduction in the envelope of uncertainty (EOU) for directional surveys, and reduction in the cost of such tools and processing software has also increased the ability to pack wells much closer together, also leading to increased production rates while maintaining a small surface foot-print, which, in itself, saves money and time as rigs do not have to be moved between wells, just ‘skidded’ along a few metres to the next slot.

        To put that 400m radius of curvature into perspective, it’s equivalent to changing angle (Build Up Rate; BUR) at about 4 degrees per 30m (or 100ft, if you prefer) – if my directional drilling calculations haven’t been forgotten… Utica and Marcellus shale wells drilled by those who can afford a slightly better class of equipment aim for a build up rate of about 8-10 degrees per 30m, which yields an equivalent radius of curvature of about 200m, (round figures). the ‘rolls royce’ of shale drilling directional tools can yield a BUR of 16-18 degrees per 30m, but keep in mind that not only is a hole to be drilled, but other stuff has to be run in afterwards – casing, or liner, which also needs to be able to withstand bending without suffering from inelastic deformation (buckling).

        Much higher build rates are possible (up to about 25-30 degrees per 30m are common in Algeria), but the technology to do this reliably, effectively, and quickly is not always affordable to a lot of smaller operators, and metal fatigue is a seriously expensive problem when rotating pipe and tools at such severe build-up-rates. Consider what you are doing to (round figures) 3000m of 4″ drill pipe when rotating it all at 120rpm (realistic, but not a constant), and bending it, heating it up, putting some of it in compression, and other areas in extension…

        170

      • #
        Dean

        The other huge advantage the US has is that the primary stress direction is vertical in the vast majority of the country. The cracks preferentially form in vertical directions making horizontal wells extremely productive.

        Here in Australia, the primary stress direction is horizontal, so it is much harder to get high production from horizontal holes.

        30

    • #
      James Murphy

      hydraulic fracture stimulation is not new at all. It’s the application of this in relation to shale oil and gas plays which is recent.

      90

      • #
        ianl8888

        Well, as Istvan points out in #2.1, the economic impetus now is from improved drilling technology in horizontal drillholes. We geos drilled 2km+ horizontal holes 30 years ago – and often lost the (very expensive) drill string :)

        In fact, comments #2.1 (Istvan) and #2.1.1 (Murphy) are very accurate and helpful to the general debate.

        121

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Here’s a link that gives a quick view on The real history of fracking. Warning: written by people that don’t demonise oil, SJW’s may be triggered.

      100

  • #
    Spetzer86

    Now as long as the fracked wells don’t run out we should be fine. I suppose there’s the methyl clathrates next.

    20

    • #
      ROM

      Spetzer86 @ # 3

      Re Methane Clatharates or a number of alternative names for the same substance such as Methane Hydrates.

      It is estimated that the amount of Methane Hydrates or Fire Ice in the common lingo, found in immense quantities off the edges of the continental shelfs around the world and also under the permafrost in Canada and Russia probably exceeds by a very comfortable margin, the ENTIRE sums of energy contained in the grand total of all the global fossil fuel sources on this planet today.

      The first hurdle to tapping these Methane Hydrate deposits is the depths they are generally located in, beginning at around a minimum of 500 meters deep.
      The second problem to be overcome is the economic releasing of the Methane from within the water molecule cage, the Methane Hydrate molecular structures that tightly hold, trap and fix the Methane gas and to release the Methane Gas in situ in the deep sea Methane Hydrate deposit.

      The Japanese have a program that they believe will led to the extraction of commercial quantities of Methane from the deep sea deposits of Methane Hydrates in the Nankai Trough off Japan’s Pacific Central coast by about 2018.

      Quoted from; Challenges Of Methane Hydrates

      >in March 2013, Japan became the first country to successfully flow gas from methane hydrate deposits under the Pacific Ocean.

      Japan kick-starts exploration

      JOGMEC, the Japanese energy organization, estimates that there is some 1.1 trillion cubic meters of methane held in methane hydrate deposits in marine sediments in the Nankai Trough off the Pacific coast of central Japan.
      This is equivalent to around 11 years of the amount of LNG that is currently imported into Japan.
      A further 120,000 cubic meters of gas from methane hydrates has been discovered some 50 miles off the coast of Aichi Prefecture in central Japan following recent tests.
      These resources could represent just the tip of the iceberg.

      For the deep sea Methane extraction technology, three different methods are being researched.

      From the World Ocean Review site;

      Methane hydrate – a new energy source?

      WATER CIRCULATION: Hot water is pumped into the methane hydrate deposits through a well, raising the temperature to the point that the hydrate breaks down and methane is released.
      .
      DEPRESSURIZATION: High pressures prevail in the methane hydrate layers because of overlying water and sediment loads. Drilling into the deposits from above releases pressure like puncturing the inner tube of a bicycle tyre. With the drop in pressure the hydrate slowly dissociates and the methane is released.
      .
      CARBON DIOXIDE INJECTION: Methane is released from hydrates when they are infused with a gas. Carbon dioxide displaces the methane in the clathrate, replac-ing it in the molecular cage. One result of this is a stronger bond of the water molecule with carbon di-oxide than it had with the methane. The carbon dioxide hydrate is thus significantly more stable than the methane hydrate. Researchers suggest that the carbon dioxide needed for injection could be obtained from the exhausts emitted by gas and coal power plants. Thus the carbon dioxide would not be released into the atmosphere, but transported in liquid form by ship or pipeline to the deposit and sequestered in the hydrates.

      There is much more reading on Methane Hydrates, their extraction, use, size and etc in this article .

      To repeat my assertion in another of my posts below.
      There is so much energy and its sources available on this planet even our still rather primitive levels of energy source extraction technologies of today that we as a species and race will never ever run short of energy unless we allow it to happen through arrogance, stupidity and an excessive level of chutzpah from the elites in our human society.

      We are the only such species on this planet to systematically and deliberately extract, harness and convert those sources to energy for our own use , energy that has always been there but has been tied up by Nature since time began.

      50

  • #
    Peter Miller

    In Europe, the likes of Greenpeace, in an unholy alliance with Russia’s Gazprom, have managed to persuade supporters of the Green Blob that fracking is worse than child abuse.

    Fracking supposedly causes groundwater contamination and earthquakes; these fears are completely baseless, like so many other similar ones peddled by the Global Warming Industry.

    Last time I looked, over 750,000 drill holes had been fracked in the USA and prior to the oil price collapse, around 70,000 new hew fracking holes were being drilled every year. The success of the Greenpeace/Gazprom campaign against fracking can be measured by the fact that less than 100 fracking holes have been drilled in Europe.

    The UK is particularly blessed with huge amounts of oil and gas bearing shales, which could be used to totally transform the country’s economy. However, political vacillation and protests from serial ecoloons and rent-a-mob bully boys has almost paralysed this process of economic regeneration.

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  • #

    In the UK our new Prime Minister after the Brexit vote has relegated climate change to a minor issue and proposed various measures to encourage fracking.

    Makes sense, burning gas obtained by fracking produces far less CO2 emissions than conventional fossil fuel burning as the US has discovered.

    An additional benefit is removing dependence on unstable / unsavoury oil producers who have had a stranglehold on the western democracies for decades.

    The UK’s daft nuclear deal with China is also being revisited and looks less viable by the day.

    The left leaning self appointed elite who have controlled our politics for so long is in a real lather at the sight of their pet obsessions evaporating away.

    191

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The Greens are against anything that effectively reduces emissions because that would reduce their claims to be saving the world. And low cost solutions reduce the level in the subsidy troughs.

      151

      • #
        ianl8888

        Yes. The last thing serial whiners like Greenpeace need is a solution to the issues they are whining about.

        That works at the local level too, with NIMBY groups. If a resolution to whatever issue appears on the radar, the crux of the NIMBY energy is then used to counter the proposed solution. If an issue is resolved, these people are then forced to find a new topic to whinge about.

        81

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          The greenies only have clout becasue the powers that be are backing them…otherwise they’d be just another bunch of irrelevenat tree huggers….

          As i keep reminding people, the UN only has clout becasue the individual national govts who fund it and fawn all over it, give it any relevence. So when people say “the UN says” the UN is a private un-accountable bully boy pushing certain countries agendas.

          Its like putting a dove suit on a vulture….

          101

          • #
            Mari C

            Hey, I hug trees!

            But I am quite practical and pragmatic about the need for efficient and reliable power sources. Trees are not efficient power sources. They -are- great things for climbing in, getting fruit from, making cool un-sunlit spots to rest in.

            The greenies have slowly infiltrated the governments, from the local on up, and have, at their disposal, a massive amount of money and “advertising” know-how. They know the tricks and use them. Including the old political tricks of calling a foe a pig- and watching as the foe tries to deny it.

            Mudslinging, emotional manipulation, knee-jerk response training, it’s all there.

            Only the lack of a massive unending heat wave, or the start of an ice age, will slow them down.

            I’m sure that even if most of the northern US and Russia were under 2 miles of ice the global warmers would still yap on and on and on…

            10

    • #
      AndyG55

      I think I read somewhere that there are absolutely HUGE deposits under Gatwick airport.

      71

      • #
        Another Ian

        Andy

        I got a reply on this from one in the industry. Apparently it has been known for a while but the defining of potential is still in the “what number this week” area just yet.

        61

        • #
          Another Ian

          Andy

          A red thumb!

          Now would that be a “golden red thumb” from someone who’s doing a share punt or just a regular “nfid* red thumb”?

          * Starts with no and ends with idea

          30

          • #
            AndyG55

            They LUV me.. they strive for my attention.

            Hi little insignificant red thumb worms :-)

            20

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Hey I only got one thumb – must be the work experince kid got distracted by some new pokemon “find”….

            00

  • #
    RobK

    In Australia at least, regulators aren’t given anywhere near the credit they deserve regarding the fracking issues. Another difference in Australia compared to the US is the structure of the compensation arrangements and the redress paid. Private Property rights in Australia are not very good in comparison due to our dismal protection by state constitutions which are relics of our colonial past, these were not revised by, and are superior to, our federal constitution. This is the cause of much grief in this area, and of other environmental and planning concerns.
    Regarding energy, Australia has vast supplies of coal, gas and nuclear fuels, much of which is in undeveloped and unpopulated areas. The recent environmental rejection of the Yelerrie uranium deposited in WA on the grounds of some subterranean desert crustation (only found because of the exploration efforts ) is an indication of the stranglehold our enviro lobby has over our prosperity. Yeleerie was originally delineated by the then Western Mining Corporation around the same time they discovered Roxby Downs/Olympic Downs in SA.

    140

    • #
      RobK

      Oops, Olympic Dam.

      40

    • #
      RobK

      In revisiting my comment, I see I could have been clearer in making my points as I understand them.
      -often the hurdles to fracking are not the mining regulations which require safe and proper conduct but the environmental hurdles which are very sensitive to the green lobby. In many cases the enviro lobby presents as somewhat of a closed shop in that specialist consultants are required to have enviro degrees. In much of our EPAct the burden of proof is on the proponent since about 2004, so proposals can be subjected to vexatious claims from lobby groups or the crown. Often the same fraternity reviews legislation and submissions. In WA the EPAct is not subject to the State Administrative Tribunal(SAT), instead it has in internal appeal process that has been criticized by the law society for decades as not being seen to be unbiased.

      -Australia’s Federal Constitution has a clause requiring fair and just compensation (which mainly protects the states). The state constitutions tend not to be constrained in this way and can (and do) legislate to over ride common law.

      20

  • #
    Ruairi

    The energy Aussies are lacking,
    Could be met like the U.S. by fracking,
    Which would quickly be found,
    Even deep underground,
    If Alarmists and Greens were sent packing.

    350

  • #
    TimiBoy

    The real impediment to Fracking in australia is the lack of Below Ground Property Rights. If Farmers had them, we would be Fracking away like there was no tomorrow!

    160

    • #
      mark

      Right in one, Timiboy!

      60

    • #
      DaveR

      Unfortunately in Australia all mineral rights of ownership (including oil and gas) rest with the Crown, on all categories of land ownership. However, I think there is one category of private land ownership – “prior title” – granted before a certain date and continuously held in the same family – where minerals are privately owned. I remember seeing some of these title in old, rural Victoria.

      60

      • #
        RobK

        In Western Australia, land issued as a Crown Grant prior to January 1899 included minerals other than precious metals without a depth limit.

        50

      • #
        el gordo

        In NSW the farmers and graziers hold the top soil, while everything underground is owned by the state.

        The frackers ‘pay royalties to the state and must negotiate land access agreements with land-holders.’

        Political poison.

        50

      • #
        Dean

        There was a notable case in the Hunter Valley of an elderly lady who still held the mineral rights to her property near the Rio Hunter Valley mine.

        The mine developed around her property, and she was under considerable pressure from her family to sell and take the multi-million dollar royalty payment.

        To my knowledge she held out and did not sell while she was alive.

        10

    • #
      Steven Fraser

      This is solvable, if there is political will to do so.

      00

  • #
    TedM

    OT here Jo but a new Murray Salby presentation. Just data and science.

    https://youtu.be/sGZqWMEpyUM comments at “no tricks zone”.

    71

    • #
      DMA

      Another good Salby presentation and ,I think, the first in which he expresses his concern for effects on society that the modern climate pseudoscience has. Well worth a look.

      40

  • #
    DaveR

    Obama must be an economic genius. Imaging setting the conditions by which USA moves from a energy importer dependent on foreign supplies, to self sufficient within 10 years! Except that he didnt plan it.

    60

  • #
    thingodonta

    I suggest people who want to protest against fossil fuels should only be allowed to travel to/from such protests without use of fossil fuels. Same as for metals. Might reduce it quite a bit.

    100

  • #

    Thermalization blocks any significant influence CO2 might have on climate. Increasing water vapor is countering the expected global temperature decline from blank sun & decline in net ocean cycle temperature. http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com
    Changing from coal to natural gas adds water vapor.

    41

  • #
    pat

    meanwhile, in Australia, with a population of 24 million in a country rich in energy resources, we seem to be lurching from one energy crisis to another:

    8 Aug: ABC: Hazardous fire tackled at Silverton power substation in SA
    A fire at an electricity substation at Silverton on the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide, is now out…
    SA Power Networks said the fire was next door to its Starfish Hill wind farm but it suffered no damage and no other power customers were affected by the emergency…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-08/crews-battle-silverton-power-substation-fire/7699296

    8 Aug: ABC: Energy crisis inquiry: Matthew Groom, Treasurer Peter Gutwein to front inquiry
    Energy Minister Matthew Groom says he and Treasurer Peter Gutwein will front a parliamentary committee investigating the state’s energy crisis but did not say when…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-08/groom-defends-decision-to-withdraw-from-inquiry/7699982

    60

  • #
    ROM

    Ah! Bummer or is that O,bumma!

    Just lost my almost complete post on frakking and its consequences so here is the short version so be at least a bit grateful for that you lot!

    Perhaps the most surprising item in all the discussion, opinions and analysis being expressed about the incredible rise in hydrocarbon production created by the American frakking technology advances is the total concentration on just that same American frakking scene and technology and output.

    The plain truth is that the American frakking technology with suitable refinements so as fits each shale deposit’s characteristics, and they are all different, very different in many cases, can be directly transferred to just about any other shale deposit anywhere else in the world.

    And there is one hell of a lot of shale deposits to try frakking for oil and gas around on this planet.

    There is probably more oil and gas on this planet let alone other energy sources than mankind will ever need or exploit, particularly as new energy producing technologies such as fusion begin to make their mark in the still unknown future.

    Ref; US, EIA ; Shale oil and shale gas resources are globally abundant

    Quoted and note the date; June 2013.
    The productivity of the frakking wells and the shale deposits has probably doubled in amount since that June 2013 date of this quote.
    And there is one hell of a lot of further advances in frakking technology and oil and gas well productivity still to come.

    Estimated shale oil and shale gas resources in the United States and in 137 shale formations in 41 other countries represent 10% of the world’s crude oil and 32% of the world’s natural gas technically recoverable resources, or those that can be produced using current technology without reference to economic profitability, according to a new EIA-sponsored study (see Table 1) released today (June 10, 2013).

    The 2,2 million square kilometres, nearly a third of the area of Australia’s 7.7 million square kilometres, of the Russian / Siberian Bazenhov shale deposit where the Russians main oil fields are located and which like most conventional oil reservoirs have deep shale deposits underlaying them which will be more fully exploited one day by drilling and frakking of the shales.

    Then there is Argentina with possibly the second most potentially productive shale deposits of an immense size.
    Have a look at that US EIA map of the global shale deposits in my link further up and get some idea on the sheer size of the potentially hydrocarbon producing global shale deposits.

    There are a number of articles, its fashionable at the moment to be mixed up in oil and gas shale production, in the oil, gas and geological sites on the Bazenhov shales on the internet but this quote will give some idea of the size of the 2.2 million square kilometrers of the Bazenhov shales.

    And just for info and to put the size of the Bazenhov shales into a global context.

    ; The world has used around 1.3 trillion barrels of oil since the first oil well was drilled at Baku on the west Caspian Sea coast in 1846 about 13 years before the Canadians in Ontario sank the first North American oil well and then a few months later the Americans drilled their first oil well.

    An estimate by Wood Mackenzie of the Bazhenov Formation put oil in place at 2 trillion barrels, while in 2013, the Russian oil company Rosneft estimated recoverable reserves of 22 billion barrels for the formation. Meanwhile, the Russian government agency Rosnedra estimated in 2012 that the Bazhenov contained 180 to 360 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration – the most used source when it comes to estimating unconventional resources – in its estimates published in June 2013 said:

    “For the total Bazhenov shale prospective area in the West Siberian Basin, we estimate a risked shale oil in-place of 1,243 billion barrels, with 74.6 billion barrels as the risked, technically recoverable shale oil resource. In addition, for this prospective area, we estimate a risked shale gas in-place of 1,920 Tcf, with 285 Tcf as the risked, technically recoverable shale gas resource.”

    When it comes to global shales and the oil and gas that can be and no doubt will be extracted from those shales, the world has nothing to fear in the needed resources to drive our energy based, in its totality, civilisation for as far into the future as we are likely to envisage.

    We only have the ultimate stupidity and hubris aligned with outright ignorance of a small cabal of arrogant, ignorant self centred humanity hating hard left elitist greens and assorted ignorant do gooders and their fellow travellers and their political and media running dogs who could potentially but no doubt only temporarily deprive mankind of the energy sources needed to sustain our civilisation.

    [ Huge local population revolts are under way in Germany on the building of even more turbines against the locals demands; The end is near for further renewable energy in Europe; see NTZ ]

    Without fossil fueled energy for transport and so many other industrial processes not including electrical power production, our civilisation will just regress to a medieval type civilisation totally dependent on animal and human power to sustain itself. And an average life expectancy of around 40 or so years.

    And humanity collectively after tasting the fruits of a rapidly advancing, technologically capable and energy driven and sustained civilisation is not going to accept a return to a mediaeval type, limited in length , rough life style civilisation just to sataisfy some nefarious self centred arrogant and ignorant city centric and self proclaimed “saviours of the planet”.

    101

    • #
      RobK

      I see you seem to feel quite strongly about this ROM. :-)

      50

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      ROM, I suspect the powers that be are hell bent in trying to drive us back to the stone age, while they keep their tech – in effect an articial fuedalism…..

      On top of that, the push to demonize firearms and the 2nd Ammendment and you can see all its a push for global control. As such I have seen the bare evil of these people at work – they will literally stiop at nothing ( including formenting another world war ) to bring about thier twisted and evil plans.

      Eventually evil will be overcome, but we in the West will pay a high price for apathy….

      51

  • #
    PeterPetrum

    The new British PM, Theresa May, is going to change the legislation so that householders, not Councils, benefit from fracking close to their towns and villages. Oh, that we had a PM/Environmemnt Minister/Science Minister with such vision and commitment.

    50

  • #
    Alfred

    This headline is total nonsense.

    1- The US is a major importer of gas – from Canada. Exports are trivial in comparison. Most gas terminals were initially built to import gas

    2- The USA has already suffered its second peak oil and is on the down escalator – there will be no third peak.

    Download full report here:

    Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor, which includes details on oil and gas producers that have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of 2015 – most recent update August 1, 2016

    10

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      Alfred,
      The most important resource is human ingenuity.

      You make the mistake of many. The issue is energy, not oil. Boom & bust is the historic norm. You have linked to the latest bust, but it is no more important than the one before.
      Read the comments so far and contemplate the future.

      As homework, research “Peak Copper,” – from 1924 …
      “… the age of electricity and of copper will be short. At the intense rate of production that must come, the copper supply of the world will last hardly a score of years. … Our civilization based on electrical power will dwindle and die.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_copper#History

      Ask yourself why this did not occur.

      10

  • #
    Rob JM

    So what is more cost effective, fracking shale oil or coal liquidification?

    20

    • #
      ROM

      Frakking today is cheaper by a long shot as the costs per barrel of frakked oil have come down from around US $60 a barrel, to under US$30 a barrel as US frakking technology has gone ahead in leaps and bounds.
      Which has left the Saudi’s high and dry as they expected to break and destroy the American oil frakkng industry by just keeping right on pumping regardless of the prices received.

      Which has led to a huge glut of oil, a lot of it stored in tankers but nobody knows how much and a Saudi Kingdom now along with Quatar and the other major Gulf oil and gas producers and iran and etc all finding they are running some very heavy financial deficits as the oil price collapsed to around US $30 a barrel and has now settled at roughly around US $50 barrel.

      The American frakkers have just kept right on pumping with only small decreases in oil production despite a large number of frak drilling rigs being idled.
      The acceleration in frakking and oil and gas extraction technology plus only operating the best ground and locations in the American shale fields has almost compensated in production for the reduction in the number of drilling rigs.

      In fact one major operator in the choicest section of the [ I think ] Eagle Ford field in Texas claims he can no operate his frakking rigs for less than US $ 5 barrel if a newspaper report is correct .

      And there has been a rush to convert some quite new Gas importing terminals in Texas to export terminals as the Shale operators find ever new ways of increasing gas extraction from the shales.
      Consequently the USA has now very recently become a gas exporter and has exported and shipped their first shipload of gas to Europe which has shaken up the Russians and the Gulf states gas exporters that Europe has had to rely on for their gas supplies in the past couple of decades.

      And as the Brits get frakking their potentially immense deposits of shale with gas and oil deposits so thick that they might even rival the USA’s shale output , then who can even guess where it will all lead to as energy exports and imports are amongst the great export earners and also costs to many of the world’s nations.
      ——-
      Coal liquification requires lots of energy for heat to 400C a plus lots of hydrogen plus catalysts and etc.

      South Africa’s SASOL corporation is probably the lowest cost “coal to oil” liquefaction process currently around.

      Sasol said it expected “Brent” [ North Sea sweet light crude ] to trade at $50 to $60 per barrel during the 2016 financial year, which could hurt business.

      Which implies that SASOL costs of a “coal to oil” barrel are higher than US$60 barrel.

      [ "sweet crude" has a very low sulphur and heavy metal content which doesn't then have to be extracted from the source stock crude before the final refining process so it is easier and much cheaper to refine.]

      40

    • #
      Mari C

      Given that scrubbers (clean tech) exist that pretty much remove most all of the pollutants from coal burning, why go to such extremes as coal liquefaction? Just make sure new plants are outfitted with the best tech, and upgrade the rest.

      Some people get stuck on an idea, any idea, just to side-step the whole idea of burning coal.

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    David Maddison

    OFF TOPIC:

    Excellent windmill fire. One of the best of seen.

    https://www.facebook.com/RescueHumor/videos/1077853258961926/

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    • #
      AndyG55

      Now that is REAL POLLUTION, unlike the steam always depicted coming from cooling towers of coal fired power stations

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      • #
        David Maddison

        Correction: “Excellent windmill fire. One of the best I’ve seen.” not “Excellent windmill fire. One of the best of seen.”.

        Also, I didn’t notice before but there are actually two windmills on fire at the same time. How good is that?

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    DonS

    HA,HA! and mostly all under the Presidency of a man committed to ending the fossil fuel industry in the US by 2050, or so he said.

    Obama tells the rest of the world to stop global warming by giving up on their own abundant reserves of fossil fuels while presiding over the massive expansion of US fossil fuel industry. What a clown, or is he really clever? Trying to cripple the world energy supplies while his own country positions itself to take advantage. Smart guys these Americans. Playing both ends off against the middle I think you call it.

    Ever get the feeling you’ve been had?

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    richard ilfeld

    Application engineering is a wonderful thing.
    We have oodles of coal, and can burn it very cleanly and with minimal particulates.
    Yet we can, if we wish, abandon this in favor of Natural gas.
    We have oodles, and it burns cleanly. It can also be used for transport, so we can preserve
    our oodles of oil for use where it most efficient.
    We have learned enough about nuclear that we that available as well, with plenty of fuel around.

    We have a reasonable solar technology, still in in its infancy, that is useful for that remote cell phone tower
    or wandering satellite. OK power for small, disbursed, remote locations.

    And we have a bunch of green neo-luddites demanfing that we chuck all that, and allow scarcity to rule again so we can return to
    the short, brutish life of a peasantry ruled by them.

    Its time to get over the idea that they are nice people much like ourselves that we are having a policy debate with. No matter how it’s dressed up, I can’t see a green argument that doesn’t end with them ruling the world, rationing energy by force, and making all other decisions for the good of the collective.

    I’m sure there are useful idiots and fellow travelers who are idealists and truly want to save the world. But those terms have historical negative connotations that are well earned, as those such of the past have all been unwitting supporters of terrible tyrannies.

    There is nothing benign about a movement that wants to bathe the prosperous world in sackcloth and ashes, and keep the developing world undeveloped.

    Opposing an energy source that actually moves the world toward their stated goals is a tell stronger that perspiration in a poker game: the greens are autocrats unmasked and its time to get them to defend their venal domination plans along with their bogus science.

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    Duster

    “…We have a reasonable solar technology, still in in its infancy, that is useful for that remote cell phone tower or wandering satellite. OK power for small, disbursed, remote locations. …”

    As long as it stays on roofs or small installations like cell towers, OK. But Gov. Brown thinks the desert is a great place to “export” pollution: solar farms are apparently pollution. Honestly, they are ugly, unnecessary, and backward looking monstrosities.

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    Phil

    I highly recommend the documentary Fracknation. Phelim McAleer’s documentary is basically a response to Gasland.

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