Tag Archives: Obama

Florida nuclear project cancelled in face of shale gas boom

Its unfortunate that Duke Energy scrapped plans for a $24-billion nuclear project in central Florida citing the boom in shale gas as the reason for the cancellation. This short sited view will only result in a the project re-emerging at a later date at a substantially higher cost. Though the Horn River News has long been supportive of the opportunity presented by the boom in shale gas globally, and called it as being the most important energy source of the next century, it is important to realize that no one single source can meet growing global clean energy needs. Nuclear will play a critical role in developing a sustainable, low emission energy mix.

HRN

(Source) North America’s nuclear industry received more bad news last week when Duke Energy scuttled a planned $24-billion nuclear project in central Florida, as competition from low-cost gas has cast a pall over a long-promised renaissance.

Duke is only the latest in a list of companies that have either cancelled construction plans or announced closure of reactors that had been scheduled for costly overhauls.

The industry has run into a number of problems including weak power demand and cost over-runs. But it has also become hard to justify new nuclear in the face of a shale gas boom that not only has brought low prices, but is expected to keep a lid on the fuel costs for decades to come.

Ontario is currently redrawing its long-term energy plan, and will be reviewing proposals from Westinghouse and Candu Energy to build two reactors to make up for the loss of capacity when older ones reach end of life in the next decade.

Full Article: Globe & Mail; Florida nuclear project cancelled in face of shale gas boom

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Deloitte: Shale gas, oil potential increasingly apparent

Oil and gas production from tight shale formations clearly is a long-term phenomenon and not a short-term trend, Deloitte LLP officials told reporters. The financial services company found growing confidence in unconventional energy resources in a survey it conducted last year, said John England, a vice-chairman and leader of its oil and gas practice.

“Huge investments are flowing into this sector from previously unheard from sources,” he said on May 21 during Deloitte’s 2013 Washington Energy Conference at nearby National Harbor, Md. “It’s a reason so many foreign companies have come into the US. Investment recently has flowed to midstream infrastructure, but there’s still strong interest upstream.”

More natural gas liquids are being recovered along with the shale gas, and that’s attracting investments too, he observed. “It’s interesting that we’re having this debate about authorizing more [LNG] exports when we’re already export significant amounts of NGLs,” England said.

Growing tight oil development also is generating more investments, he continued. “Even in the Eagle Ford and Bakken formations, recovery rates are still quite low so there’s a real technology opportunity,” he said.

Joseph A. Stanislaw, Deloitte’s independent senior energy and sustainability advisor, said the whole global energy equation is changing because of what North America is doing with shales. “This new fossil energy abundance could benefit alternatives if we use it not as an end, but a means,” he suggested. Read more…

Canada’s natural gas industry could be worth $1 trillion

The Conference Board of Canada published an analysis Monday that expects Canada’s natural gas industry to add more than $1 trillion to Canada’s economy over the next 24 years and support an average of 260,000 jobs a year over that time frame.  At HRN we completely agree!

The ambitious projection factors in all the direct investment, but also ancillary spinoffs down the supply chain and figures all regions of the country stand to benefit, even those provinces without any large natural gas holdings.

Read more: Canada’s natural gas industry could be worth $1 trillion

Shale gas a game changer for U.S. energy economy

A few years ago, when shale gas started to take off we wrote a series of articles that predicted the far reaching economic and geopolitical impact of shale gas. Slowly but surely these predictions are coming coming to fruition and also entered into the presidential campaigns of both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

Both candidates have stated that domestic shale gas, and domestic oil production are important to the US and must increase.Obama stated that both candidates agree on this point and adds that the U.S. must also explore alternative clean energy technologies and opportunities. Obama noted that domestic production of oil and gas was at a level higher than it had been in recent years, but Romney said it wasn’t due to Obama but instead in spite of his policies.Romney when on to state:

“Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half. If I’m president, I’ll double them.”

Over the years the HRN opinion is clear and consistent. Its going to take all energy sources to make the U.S. energy independent. We agree that it will take increased production of oil, natural gas from shale, clean coal technologies, increased energy contributions from solar, wind, nuclear and others. We  lean towards natural gas as being the leading opportunity to represent a greater percentage of the overall energy mix while reducing CO2 footprint.

However, the energy needs of the U.S. are massive. From a political point of view, it does not make sense to open up and increase the production of shale gas if its simply to going to be exported to Asia. That defeats the purpose. The U.S needs to encourage the domestic consumption of natural gas not export its benefit to Asia.

This will become one of the many top issues for this presidential campaign. Both candidates should provide a balanced approach to the issue recognizing all energy sources as valued long term investments, while understanding that natural gas provides the best opportunity to bridge the gap to a clean energy future. Today, the U.S. needs to increase demestic production; leverage the domestic and environmental advantages of natural gas and invest in clean energy for the future.

Shale gas a game changer for U.S. energy economy [Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.]

Shale gas top Obama agenda in Poland

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at College Green in Dublin May 23, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

When President Obama visits Poland this coming Saturday, the huge potential of Poland’s shale gas reserves to make it more energy independent and have significant geopolitical and economic impact is at the top of President Obamas agenda.

Both Exxon Mobil and Chevron are leading exploration and development efforts to tap Poland’s shale gas reserves, that some experts believe are the biggest in Europe at 5.3 trillion cubic meters. Such a massive amount of natural gas would have huge geopolitical and economic impact to Poland who is dependent on Russia for natural gas.

Perhaps Obama’s eagerness to see American companies develop shale gas assets should be followed up with a more firm position in supporting futher development, and increased usage of natural gas in the U.S.

Horn River News: Natural gas to bring about far reaching geopolitical changes (Sept 2010)
Horn River News: Polish shale gas to decrease dependence on Russian gas (April 2010)

MORE: Reuters: Missile defense, shale gas top Obama agenda in Poland

Obama announces shale gas initiative with China

Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama (London April 1, 2009. Xinhua/Ju Peng)

President Obama and President Hu Jintao recently announced a broad agreement to strengthen cooperation between the United States and China on clean energy including a shale gas initiative that states:

Shale Gas Initiative. The two Presidents announced the launch of a new U.S.-China Shale Gas Resource Initiative.  Under the Initiative, the U.S. and China will use experience gained in the United States to assess China’s shale gas potential, promote environmentally-sustainable development of shale gas resources, conduct joint technical studies to accelerate development of shale gas resources in China, and promote shale gas investment in China through the U.S.-China Oil and Gas Industry Forum, study tours, and workshops.

New technology, and techniques in fracturing and horizontal drilling  have made it economically feasible to unlock natural gas from tight shale rock formations. In the U.S. natural gas reserves as increased by approximately 40%, and in Canada,  some  estimates have more then doubled natural gas reserves in Canada. The global impact of shale gas could have far reaching economic, and geopolitical implications.

In the U.S. law makers are currently considering the Natural Gas Act that will increase incentives to use natural gas more in the U.S. transportation network, and power generation. Natural gas is emits 50% less carbon then coal and approximately 30% less then diesel and gasoline. For the U.S., by using more natural gas they can reduce carbon emissions but also leverage domestic supply and supply from Canada thereby reducing their consumption of foreign oil from countries that do not share political interests with the U.S.

A breakthrough in Chinese domestic natural gas reserves could have profound impact on that countries growing need for energy, and displace some coal power generation. China needs all the technical and real world experience the world can offer, and Canadian companies should take initiative to develop this opportunity with China and other nations by co-development and technology sharing. On the government level, future trade missions should include a shale gas / clean energy component.

At the same time, as the U.S. increases domestic natural gas consumption and production, Canada needs to increase the use of natural gas in the Canadian transportation grid and power generation. Even with  an increased domestic consumption, Canada would have a surplus of natural gas available for international export via a planned LNG plant in Kitimat, British Columbia. Despite low natural gas prices, the opportunity in natural gas going forward is very bright and will help reduce carbon emissions as a bridge fuel towards a renewable clean energy future.

White House Press Release: U.S. – China Clean Energy Announcements