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Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – May 5, 2018

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy. As usual, emphasis is added.

Cuomo Gives Second Circuit Court of Appeals the Heisman

Andrew Cuomo, Governor Corruptocrat, runs his Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) like he’s giving directions to his barber, (“cut a little off here, leave it longer in the front, make me look like a tough guy.”) He imagines he is, in fact, a tough guy, and DEC does nothing he doesn’t first approve. Now, running scared of Cynthia Nixon coming at him from the left, he’s telling them to give the Heisman to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The DEC is denying a Water Quality Certification for the Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline project:

First, the NYSDEC stated that Application lacked information on the Project’s compliance with New York water quality standards.  Second, the NYSDEC cited the incompleteness of FERC’s environmental review of the Project as potentially changing the record.  Finally, because FERC will not issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”) until September 17, 2018, the NYSDEC will not have the additional information provided by the FEIS upon which to make its final determination.  Based upon these findings, the NYSDEC denied the Application.  According to section 401 of the CWA, construction on the Project cannot begin – even if Transco has received all other necessary approvals – now that the NYSDEC has denied Transco’s Application.

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The NYSDEC’s decision to deny the Application without prejudice comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s determination that the CWA’s one-year deadline for the NYSDEC’s review of a different pipeline’s WQC application began when the NYSDEC received the WQC application, rather than when the NYSDEC deemed the application complete, and thus the NYSDEC waived its authority under CWA section 401 for that pipeline.

Cuomo, through his DEC, is telling the Court that if it doesn’t like its delays in processing applications, it can go to hell. They’ll just deny the applications for “lack of information.” This won’t end well for Cuomo, policy-wise, but he doesn’t care; it’s about election year pandering.

People Closest to Fracking Like It

No one familiar with places such as Bradford, Susquehanna and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania will be surprised at this, but I predict this study published by the Society for Risk Analysis will cause our fractivist readers to go apoplectic:

With the rapid growth of unconventional oil and natural gas development transforming the U.S. economic and physical landscape, social scientists have increasingly explored the spatial dynamics of public support for this issue—that is, whether people closer to unconventional oil and gas development are more supportive or more opposed.

While theoretical frameworks like construal‐level theory and the “Not in My Backyard” (or NIMBY) moniker provide insight into these spatial dynamics, case studies in specific locations experiencing energy development reveal substantial variation in community responses. Larger‐scale studies exploring the link between proximity and support have been hampered by data quality and availability. We draw on a unique data set that includes geo‐coded data from national surveys (nine waves; n = 19,098) and high‐resolution well location data to explore the relationship between proximity and both familiarity with and support for hydraulic fracturing.

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We use two different measures of proximity—respondent distance to the nearest well and the density of wells within a certain radius of the respondent’s location. We find that both types of proximity to new development are linked to more familiarity with hydraulic fracturing, even after controlling for various individual and contextual factors, but only distance‐based proximity is linked to more support for the practice. When significant, these relationships are similar to or exceed the effects of race, income, gender, and age. We discuss the implications of these findings for effective risk communication as well as the importance of incorporating spatial analysis into public opinion research on perceptions of energy development.

The full study is behind a pay wall but, clearly, if either the density of wells or proximity to wells had yielded a decline in support for fracking we’d be reading about it in this abstract. Instead, we find support for fracking increases the closer the respondent was to the nearest well. I think I can hear the shrieking from fractivists in the distance.

Peak Oil? Hah! What’s That?

I remember the first time I heard the term “peak oil.” It was at a planning meeting in the Town of Franklin, Otsego County, NY and an aging hippy type got up to make a short presentation on the subject, noting he had somehow got the town board  to appoint him head of a committee to deal with it. I suspect they found that was a the easiest way to keep him busy as they addressed somewhat more serious subjects.

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What they predicted then…

It was, in any case, one of those moments where I had to restrain myself from laughing out loud. I had read “Limits to Growth,” too, but had grown up. He hadn’t. Still this was the early 2000’s before the shale revolution. Now? Well things are different, aren’t they? Here’s an article from the Boston Herald:

The Energy Information Administration reports that the U.S. could surpass Saudi Arabia in oil and gas by the end of the year. With massive oil and gas shale reserves, we could be No. 1 in the world before the end of the decade.

The Wall Street Journal confirms that U.S. oil production “is expected this year to surpass Saudi Arabia’s” and that we will rival Russia for No. 1 in the world. American production will rise to almost 11 million barrels a day, the most ever in American history. Doesn’t it seem like yesterday when the left was running around shrieking about “peak oil”? More like peak idiocy.

Then, there’s this from OilPrice.com:

As global oil markets shift their attention from U.S. shale oil production back to a resurgent Saudi Arabia and Russia and geopolitical concerns bearing down on oil prices, Citigroup said last Wednesday that the U.S. is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia next year as the world’s largest exporter of crude and oil products.

The U.S. exported a record 8.3 million barrels per day (bpd) last week of crude oil and petroleum products, the government also said Wednesday. Top crude oil exporter Saudi Arabia’s, for its part, exported 9.3 million bpd in January, while Russia exported 7.4 million bpd, the bank added…

“We are seeing record arrivals from the US to Europe,” a trader said…

It’s beautiful when doomsayers are not just proven wrong, but spectacularly so.

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One thought on “Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – May 5, 2018

  1. Brief synopsis regarding supply …

    The next area to garner attention from shale oil development may be the Austin Chalk in Louisiana as Marathon, Conoco Phillips, and EOG have leased over half million acres along with EOG’s Eagles Ranch well success.
    At 16,700 foot vertical depth, this broached new operational frontiers as well as rekindled interest in the nearby Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.
    EOG is drilling and completing wells in the emerging Powder River Basin in the cost range of $2 1/2 to $3 million per.

    The SCOOP and STACK areas of Oklahoma are set to kick off a multi decade long period of very high hydrocarbon production.

    The Permian will be producing well over a million barrels a day a century from now with the real potential of reaching 5 million barrels per day in 3 years time.

    Closer to home for you folks in the North east …
    The 2011 and 2012 USGS assessments for the Marcellus and Utica had 1.1 and .6 Bcf EUR cum’d per well with 4 wells/square mile modelled.

    I’ll not prompt eye glazing disconnect with numbers and terminology, but I will leave you with this …
    In the next year or so, the USGS will release updated assessments.
    They will, with NO doubt, show the Appalachian Basin is the richest area on the planet for known hydrocarbons.

    You all may not fancy living like mid east potentates, but you and your families stand to reap several generations of cumulative wealth by prudently exploiting the natural bounty beneath your feet.

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