Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Happy Birthday to the Pickens’ Plan

Pickens-Plan-LogoThis week marks the fifth anniversary of the announcement of the Pickens Plan. Mr. T. Boone Pickens has launched a video celebrating and summarizing all of the accomplishments of the Pickens Plan and an op-ed that he wrote which was published in the Dallas Morning News.

Congratulations on five successful years T.Boone! Here’s to five more.


Obama sets stage for Keystone XL approval

Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

In a speech yesterday in President Barack Obama stated the Keystone XL pipeline will be rejected unless it’s clear that it won’t exacerbate global warming.

“Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interests,” the President said, adding “our national interest would be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

President Obama has appeased the opposition while setting Keystone up for approval later this year because Keystone will easily meet the stated requirements.

First, with or without the Keystone pipeline the Alberta oil-sands will increase production over the coming years. The pipeline will not have an impact on this growth or the carbon emissions from the oil-sands production.

Second, the increased shipment of Alberta oil-sands product via the Keystone is intended to replcace heavy oil from Venezuala and other suppliers. So again, the keystone pipeline will not result in a net increase in emissions.

In fact, if the Keystone is not built there will be an increase in emissions as oil-sand bitumen will be shipped to the USA from Alberta buy diesel powered locomotives and also have an increased risk profile compared to shipping via pipeline.

President Obama has set the criteria know that it will be achieved and when approved will be able to defend his decision.

The alternative solution would be to build refining capacity in Canada and ship end products rather then raw bitumen to the USA. The Americans would happily buy it and it would create all those jobs in Canada rather then the USA (apparently they don’t want the jobs or don’t need them in the USA!)

Keystone XL will get built, and so will the Northern Gateway pipeline which will open a secondary market for Canadian oil and gas in Asia as it will also meet the same criteria. It is not good business to be dependent on just one customer just as the USA is not dependent on one supplier.

China may have largest shale gas reserves

The global potential of shale gas continues to be more apparent as countries outside the USA, and Canada begin to realize the potential of shale gas to meet part of their growing energy needs. China may have the largest shale gas reserves in the world, and their huge energy potential in this energy hungry country will not go unexploited. The USA started to work with China back in November 2009, when US President Obama, and Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a shale gas initiative (See HRN: Obama announces shale gas initiative with China).

On July 30, 2012, China’s Ministry of Land and Resources reportedthe world’s minable shale gas reserves are estimated to reach 187 trillion cubic meters, with more than 36 trillion cubic meters in China.

China’s interest in shale gas exploration is increasing with an estimated output of 6.5 billion cubic meters by 2015, according to Liu Tienan, head of the China’s National Energy Administration (Source: China Daily)


Another gas export terminal proposed for Louisiana; Japan consumption growing; Obama needs to get on board

As natural gas dips below two dollars, Sempra Energy Inc. says it will develop a $6 billion liquefied natural gas export terminal at its existing import terminal at Hackberry in southwestern Louisiana.

It’s the third LNG export terminal in the works for Louisiana. Cheniere Energy Inc. said late Monday that it has received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to modify its import terminal at Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish for exports, making it the first large-scale U.S. gas exporter. Energy Transfer Equity LP has filed for federal permission to build an export facility at its import terminal at Lake Charles.In Canada, Kitimat LNG leads the race to open an LNG exporting facility in Canada with two others in the planning stages.

Why? Because natural gas fetches a higher price in Asia then it does in North America where the spot price was at $1.95 today. Japan is bracing for what may be its first summer without nuclear power as safety concerns after a tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis last year ensured that all its nuclear reactors, except for one, remain shut. Asian liquefied natural gas spot prices have risen to around $16 since hitting a low in mid-February as buyers continue to stock up on summer supplies.

Japan is committed to moving forward without nuclear power. The one remaining reactor, Hokkaido Electric’s Tomari No.3, is scheduled to go offline on May 5 for maintenance. Before the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, about a third of Japan’s power came from nuclear utilities and the country has relied heavily on LNG to fill the nuclear gap, with February imports of the fuel up 23 percent year on year.

For the USA to become an exporter is simply driven by profit and not necessarily by policy or strategic interest. As oil continues to increase in price, and cost Americans more at the pump, the US must look to reduce consumption overall and provide valid alternatives to petro only power. As the biggest consumer of energy the US should seriously reconsider the long term benefits of exporting natural gas and not taking full advantage of this domestic energy source and its potential to offset imports of oil from those countries that do not share the same interests as the US.

The cost of gasoline will likely become a hot topic in the US presidential campaign as President Barack Obama seems to be trying to position himself as the defender of the middle class and the increasing energy costs they are dealing with now. Rising gasoline prices could threaten Obama’s political future, and in defence proposed new measures today to reduce oil market manipulation that are unlikely to get support from a divided Congress. A better solution may be to support natural gas and shale gas produces as well as encouraging increased use of natural gas in the American transportation system.

Canada on the other hand is better positioned to export natural gas surplus to Asia. The US use to be Canada’s largest customer, but as the US became the largest producer of natural gas in the world, it no longer needs to import from Canada. For Canada, its a matter of finding another customer to buy current and future surplus while also taking full advantage of natural gas as cheaper, cleaner energy alternative to oil and coal.

This year could be a pivotal time for the North American natural gas industry and who takes full advantage of this valued energy resource.


China eyes tech breakthrough before shale gas leap

The following story is a must read for those interested in fully understanding China’s current situation for unlocking its vast wealth of shale gas.

BEIJING – (Source: National Post) China wants to identify the right technology to unlock its potentially large shale gas resource in the next few years, aiming for a leap in shale production by 2020, two years after it embarked on a search of the unconventional fuel.

Top energy agency, the National Energy Administration (NEA) officially unveiled on Friday a target to produce 6.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of shale gas by 2015, or roughly 6% of China’s current total gas production.

But it intends to dramatically boost output to 60-100 bcm in 2020, a level some experts say is over-ambitious as it faces techonological, environmental and regulatory roadblocks.

“The U.S. technologies may not be fully applicable in China’s shale gas formation, they need to be revamped,” Zhang Yuqing, NEA’s head of Oil and Gas Department, said.

“The main task in the 12th five-year period is to lay a good foundation, especially some key technologies in shale gas exploration and development.”

China started the shale push in late 2009, inspired by a shale boom in the United States. Its state energy firms have since then entered multi-billion-dollar shale deals in the United States with Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy Corp.

At home companies have drilled several dozens of wells and brought in firms such as Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corp and Hess Corp for joint studies.

But China has yet to start commercial shale production, though it is widely believed to hold the world’s largest shale resource.

The Ministry of Land and Resources revealed early this month China may hold 25.08 trillion cubic metres (tcm) of potentially recoverable shale gas resources. That compared to a U.S. Energy Informationa Agency’s forecast in March 2011 at some 36 tcm.

NEA’s Zhang said foreign firms can enter product sharing contracts with Chinese firms or provide engineering services.

Shell, which has done more exploration works in China than the rest of foreign firms – having drilled an estimated five wells in the southwest Sichuan basin, has yet to land a PSC contract with partner PetroChina 0857.HK, an industry executive has told Reuters.

China aims to complete an evaluation of national shale gas resource potential, make shale gas technology improvements, and localise the manufacture of major equipment by 2015. It will also establish industry standards and perfect government policies, according to the NEA plan.

Exploration will focus on finding 600 bcm of proven geological shale gas reserves and 200 bcm of recoverable deposits by 2015.

Read the full story.

Natural gas prices back near 10-year lows as production booms, supplies at record levels

NEW YORK — (Source) The price of natural gas dropped back near a 10-year low Wednesday after Exxon Mobil and other energy companies declined to cut production.

Exxon, America’s biggest natural gas producer, has led a push by major industry players into U.S. gas drilling over the past few years that has boosted production to the highest levels ever. Supplies in storage are well above average, and some experts estimate the nation has enough natural gas to meet its needs for a century.

Investors hoped that Exxon would follow smaller competitors like Chesapeake Energy and shut down some natural gas rigs. But when it released its quarterly and annual earnings results Tuesday, Exxon said it will not slow natural gas production.

“We remain bullish on the future of natural gas as an energy source,” Exxon investor relations chief David Rosenthal said.

The company has started to shift its focus to developing more oil in the U.S., but “we have not curtailed any gas production,” Rosenthal said.

On Wednesday the price of natural gas fell 10 cents, or 4 percent, to $2.40 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York. That follows an 8 percent drop on Tuesday. Natural hit a 10-year low on Jan. 19 at $2.32 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price rose briefly, after Chesapeake and other companies said they would cut natural gas production. It slid back as investors lost faith that the reductions would significantly impact supplies and mild winter weather persisted, keeping demand weak.

Washington Post: Natural gas prices back near 10-year lows as production booms, supplies at record levels

Obama backs shale gas drilling

(Source: Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged support for the U.S. shale gas boom, but said government must focus on safe development of the energy resource.

In his State of the Union address, Obama called for government to develop a roadmap for responsible shale gas production and said his administration would move forward with “common-sense” new rules to make sure drillers protect the public.

“America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk,” Obama said.

Obama’s proposals on natural gas were similar to previous administration comments, and would do little to satisfy oil and gas industry backers who argue that the federal government needs to stay out of the way of burgeoning shale development.

Some industry groups had hoped Obama might streamline government oversight or offer specific plans to increase access for oil and gas drilling.

Instead, Obama pressed again for ending tax breaks for the oil and gas industry in his speech, something he has pushed for repeatedly without success.

The American Petroleum Institute, the top oil and gas lobbying group, said the policies Obama promoted in his speech are at odds with expanding energy output.

Full Story: Obama backs shale gas drilling

T. Boone Pickens Statement on President Obama’s State of the Union Address

“In his remarks in the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama again called for a national focus on developing a long-term energy plan for America. I agree we should use every available American resource. I applaud President Obama for highlighting natural gas and for calling on Congress to better promote its use.

“The expanded use of natural gas in America – in power generation and transportation – has enormous bipartisan support in the Congress and in the states. It is time to move from vague generalities to specifics on how we make this transition happen. I am confident that President Obama, as well as all the candidates for President, will lay out detailed plans on how they intend to achieve it.

“We cannot solve the OPEC dependency crisis without a focus on transportation. It is two-thirds of all oil use. Oil is not a major player in the production of electricity so creating more energy from natural gas, hydro, wind, solar or nuclear will not have a major impact on our dependence on OPEC for our oil. Finding a substitute for oil as a major transportation fuel will.

“We have massive amounts of natural gas reserves in the United States and we should immediately move to better utilize it. As a White House report on rebuilding our economy states, natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels.

“America does not have a natural gas production problem – we are awash in natural gas. What we have is a demand problem and unless we bring both sides of the equation in balance, we will see this cleaner, cheaper, abundant, domestic resource exported in greater and greater quantities.

“I hope the President and the Congress will call on American ingenuity and creativity to utilize all of our domestic resources. America is blessed with having the cheapest energy in the world right now. It is that cheap energy – including coal, oil and natural gas – that will not only fuel our factories, cars, and trucks, but will fuel the resurgence of manufacturing in America, while creating solid, well-paying, and permanent jobs.”

Source: The Pickens’ Plan

Obama Pushes Natural-Gas Fracking to Create 600,000 U.S. Jobs

“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy,” President Barack Obama stated in tonight’s State of the Union address.

For years, the Horn River News has been supporting the the opportunity that North America’s shale gas reserves represent to provide a domestically produced, lower carbon energy source to the United States’ and Canada’s energy needs.

President Obama’s support for the shale gas industry was a little short on reality. The solution for addressing the concerns of fracking is not in having the drillers disclose the ingredients of their fracturing fluids but in passing law and enforcing the use of non-toxic fluids, and double lining the drill holes that pass through the water table.

Companies like GasFrac Energy Services Ltd. of Calgary – a company often referred to here – is leading the charge using non-toxic fracturing fluids and recovering nearly all the fluid. Double lining can be easily done (oil tankers use to be single hulled until oil spills forced the use of double hulled ships only). Technology can be employed to make the shale gas industry safer. And we should always look to employing the best technologies available to continually improve safety.

Obama Pushes Natural-Gas Fracking to Create 600,000 U.S. Jobs

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama pushed drilling for gas in shale rock and support for cleaner energy sources to boost the economy in his final State of the Union address before facing U.S. voters in November.

Hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to free gas trapped in rock, could create more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, Obama said yesterday. The process, called fracking, is among a list of energy policies Obama said would fuel economic growth.

Full Article

Prime Minister Azarov: Ukraine will cut gas imports from Russia by 66% within 5 years

Following up on our early and ongoing coverage of the far reaching geopolitcal and economic impact of shale gas (See HRN Sept. 2010 Natural gas to bring about far reaching geopolitical changes), Ukraine Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has stated in no uncertain terms that his country will cut imports of Russian natural gas by 66% within 5 years.

Azarov’s comments emphasize the Ukraine’s worsening relations with Russia and the failure to re-negotiate a controversial 10-year gas agreement signed in January 2009. At the same time it also emphasizes the growing importance of shale gas reserves within the Ukraine to reduce dependence on Russia for natural gas.

The Ukraine estimates it will import 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia in 2011. Extensive exploration has already been completed on Ukraine’s shale gas potential, and plans to start shale gas production within years. The hopes shale gas production will reduce natural gas imports 5 Bcm per year.

Estimates are that the Ukraine has between 1.5 trillion and 2.5 trillion cubic meters of shale gas according to statements in June based on preliminary results of a survey that had been financed by the US government. The US government have also been very supportive of Poland’s desire to develop shale gas assets. Support that was confirmed with President Obama’s visit to Poland earlier this year.

Source: Ukraine to cut gas imports from Russia by 66% within 5 years: PM

See Also: June 8, 2011: Poland Targeting Shale Gas With Exxon, Chevron to End Russian Dominance