Friday, April 29, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Macondo will someday be produced, BP executive says

"When asked if BP will go back and try to produce Macondo, Wells said, "Clearly it was a discovery, clearly there is a good reservoir there, someday somebody is going to do that. I am not going to say it will be BP.""

Montara oil spill firm seeks permission for more drills

"The company behind Australia's worst oil spill in 25 years has told the federal government it should be allowed to drill two new wells just north of the ill-fated Montara field because it has a record of "responsible environmental management"."


The Oil Company Gusher

"Exxon-Mobil's first quarter earnings of $10.7 billion are up 69 percent from last year. That's the most profit the company has earned since the third quarter of 2008 - perhaps not coincidentally, around the time when gas prices last reached the lofty $4 a gallon. This gusher is an embarrassment for an industry seeking to keep its $4 billion annual tax subsidy from the U.S. government, at a time when we're cutting social programs to reduce the budget deficit. 
Especially embarrassing when Americans are paying $4 a gallon at the pump. 
Exxon-Mobil's Vice President asks that we look past the "inevitable headlines" and remember the company's investments in renewable energy. What investments, exactly? Last time I looked Exxon Mobil was devoting a smaller percentage of its earnings to renewables than most other oil companies, including the errant BP."


Oil prices to keep rising as peak production reached in 2006

"The age of cheap oil is now over – and that's official. 

For the first time, the International Energy Agency has conceded that global crude oil production has already peaked and that the commodity will become more and more expensive."

EIA updates energy outlook reference case

"Strong growth in shale gas production, increasing use of natural gas and renewable energy sources in electric power generation, and declining reliance on imported liquid fuels are some of the findings in the latest energy outlook from the US Energy Information Administration." Read the report

Wake Up! The Age Of Cheap Natural Resources Is Over

"Conclusion - 
The U.S. and every other country need a longer-term resource plan, especially for energy, and we need it now!"

How close is peak oil?

"The only obvious winners are electric and hybrid car makers and EV network operators. Their business is almost entirely an arbitrage play on rising oil prices. Given the current forecasts – the IEA predicted itself that sales of conventional gasoline cars will be negligible by 2050 – it's looking something like a sure bet."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Carnival sues BP and others over Gulf of Mexico oil spill-related expenses

Spoof Video - I Know What You Spilled Last Summer

Scientists surprised, cautious over environment's apparent post-oil spill recovery

The spill caused a dramatic reversal in the abundance of zooplankton — the tiny plants and animals that float in Gulf waters. In contrast, populations of oil-consuming bacteria soared. 

Based on environmental conditions before the spill, Graham said, 2010 should have been a very productive year for zooplankton. 

"I would say the concentration in the water was at least four times lower than it should have been," he said. [...] 

Overton noted that troubling issues remain, such as the hundreds of dead dolphins and turtles that have washed ashore this year."

Study: Gulf spill's social costs may linger for years

Mississippi barrier islands still recovering from spill


High gas prices and oily political rhetoric don't mix (CSM Editorial)

"Neither the president nor Congress have much influence over these trends. The best thing to do, then, is for the country's leaders to change America's fuel diet by encouraging less demand for oil through conservation and efficiency, and by supporting investment in nonoil fuels. 

President Obama got at this when he said "there's no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away." 

The harder truth is that high prices are likely to continue. They will actually help speed the coming and necessary transition from oil dependence, because high prices make the status quo so uncomfortable."

Letter from the President to Congressional Leadership Regarding Oil Subsidies

"One of those steps is to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks to the oil and gas industry and invest that revenue into clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Our outdated tax laws currently provide the oil and gas industry more than $4 billion per year in these subsidies, even though oil prices are high and the industry is projected to report outsized profits this quarter." 

Legislative Update from NRDC:
On 4/13 the House Natural Resources Committee gave a green light to the expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling at a markup on three bills introduced by the committee's chair, Rep. Hastings (R-WA). H.R. 1231 would mandate oil and gas leasing in all U.S. coastal areas, including those off the northeast, California and Alaska. The other bills (H.R. 1229,H.R. 1230) would force the Obama administration to offer leases off the coast of Virginia and in the Gulf of Mexico, sales it had canceled after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and to expedite the review of oil drilling permit applications. The committee passed the bills by votes of 29-14 (H.R. 1231), 27-16 (H.R. 1229), and 29-14 (H.R. 1230). All the Republicans on the committee voted for the bills, as did two Democrats -- Rep. Costa (CA) and Rep.Boren (OK). The full House is expected to vote on the bills in May.


Pallone: Offshore drilling isn't safe anywhere
"If we have learned only one thing from this disaster, it's that big oil sold the American people a bill of goods and all of us paid the price of severe environmental and economic damage. We can't afford to let this ever happen again."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oil Drilling News


New report calls for end to all new offshore drilling

"Lingering Threats addresses key reforms needed to help protect the environment, people and wildlife from offshore drilling in the Gulf, the Arctic and elsewhere.
With the use of multipliers from leading scientists, the CBD estimates that around 26,000 dolphins and whales, 82,000 birds, and 6,000 sea turtles were likely harmed by the spill.
More than 88,000 square miles of closures to fishing occurred after the spill, and with the Gulf being home to more than 500 fish species, an accurate count of fish impacted by the spill is difficult to measure. The oil and dispersed oil are toxic to all stages of fish life, affecting fish reproduction for decades."

U.S. Must Safeguard Environment in Ocean Drills, Activists Urge Court

"Lawyers representing the Sierra Club, the Gulf Restoration Network, the Center for Biological Diversity and other activist groups asked the court to force the Interior Department to rescind several deep-water drilling permits regulators approved last April, just before and after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history."
US drilling regulator: 'You can't drill your way to lower oil prices'
"Even if we permitted the hell out of everything tomorrow -- every pending permit, some permits that haven't even been filed yet -- it would not have a material effect on gas prices," Bromwich said. "That's the simple, clear reality."

Agenda - CA State Lands Commission
IV-02 "Consider a resolution in opposition to proposed federal legislation to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act that would offer new oil and gas leases off the California Coast, reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium. (HR 1231, Hastings, WA)."

Editorial: Protecting coastline should be priority


Breaking Our Oil Habit: Oceana Charts a Course to End Offshore Drilling by 2020, and Oil Imports by 2033.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oil Drilling News

Catching up after a week surfing in mainland Mexico...................


BP / Deepwater Horizon Oil & Gas Disaster - What's Changed? (Skytruth)

"Meanwhile BP itself is once again booking strong profits, moving forward with ambitious new drilling plans, and appears to be thriving. Polls show the public strongly favors more offshore drilling. The federal government is issuing new permits to drill in deep water, based largely on their faith in two new well-containment devices that would take weeks to assemble and deploy in the next emergency, allowing tens of millions of gallons to hit the water before these untested devices even arrive on the scene. I'd like to say we've got totally retooled oil spill cleanup plans and capabilities to deal with the inevitable next spill, but sadly that is not the case. As time goes by it's looking less likely that the well-researched recommendations of the National Oil Spill Commission are going to be implemented, meaning offshore drilling will continue to be a high-risk activity."

The Spill Washington Forgot

One Year Later: Assessing the 

Lasting Impact of the Gulf Spill

In the end, did huge Gulf oil spill underwhelm oil-hungry Americans?

More Questions Than Answers on Dispersants a Year After Gulf Spill

"After the spill, in November, the federal government's Oil Budget Calculator report said of dispersant use: "... were it a spill by itself, it would be one of the larger spills in U.S. waters.""

Quick Help for the Gulf

"The agreement announced Thursday under which BP will make a $1 billion down payment on its obligation to restore the Gulf of Mexico to good health is such welcome news that it seems almost churlish to offer caveats. But caveats there are. [...] But it does not relieve Congress of its responsibility to find other money to help the gulf. And it will not come close to achieving its promise unless the money is used well — which means using it to reflect science, not politics."

Fact-checking the Washington rhetoric on oil, drilling and energy

"In 2010, U.S. oil production reached its highest level since 2003. The United States produced about 5.5 million barrels of oil a day in 2010, according to EIA data. 

U.S. oil production peaked in 1970 when the country produced 9.6 million barrels a day.

The EIA says the United States has 20.7 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2009, the year with the most up-to-date data available.

U.S. proven reserves are significantly smaller than countries like Canada (178.1 billion barrels), Venezuela (99.4 billion barrels), Saudi Arabia (266.7 billion barrels), United Arab Emirates (97.8 billion barrels) and Libya (43.7 billion barrels). 

Overall, based on those numbers, the United States has about 2 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.

The United States consumes massive amounts of oil. The EIA says the United States consumed 18,771,400 barrels of oil per day in 2009. That's higher than any other country in the world. 

To put that number in perspective, the United State consumes more oil than Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America combined. 

In total, the United States consumed 6.85 billion barrels of oil in 2009 and 6.99 billion barrels of oil in 2010. That's about one-fourth of the world's oil."

Drill baby drill won't lower gas prices

"The problem is this: While increased oil and gas drilling in the United States may create good-paying jobs, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower the trade deficit, it will have hardly any impact on gas and oil prices

That's because the amount of extra oil that could be produced from more drilling in this country is tiny compared to what the world consumes. 

Plus, any extra oil the country did produce would likely be quickly offset by a cut in OPEC production."


3-state compact for offshore energy in NC bill

Poor timing may doom offshore drilling plan in Southeast

"North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina may have something to gain when it comes to offshore drilling, but the events of 2010 remind us that they also have plenty to lose."


Solid-State Batteries - 

High-energy cells for cheaper electric cars

Transparent Photovoltaic Cells Turn Windows Into Solar Panels

U.S. marks first for hydropower

"The startup of the first U.S. hydropower project in New Mexico completed with federal stimulus money is a milestone for a clean energy future, an official said."


Friday, April 15, 2011

Oil Drilling News

Note: Oil Drilling News will be on vacation next week. Publication will resume on Monday, April 25.  However, note that there will be many One Year Anniversary events next Wednesday.  As noted by Secretary Salazar below,  it's important that we do what we can to prevent Congressional amnesia.  Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.


One Year Memorial Events and Information (Gulf Restoration Network)

Oceana's Oil Spill Anniversary Event

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Upper Senate Park, Capitol Hill
10a.m. - 11:30a.m.

BP feels fishermen's fury over Gulf oil spill

"Diane Wilson, a shrimp farmer from the Texas Gulf Coast smeared her face and hands with a dark syrup resembling oil as she protested outside the annual general meeting (AGM) venue in east London. 

"My community is dead. We've worked five generations there and now we've got a dead community. I'm angry, I've been angry a long time." 

Wilson bought BP shares to gain entry to the meeting but police and security guards ejected her from the conference hall amid chaotic scenes."

Gulf residents at BP meeting: We were treated like 'criminals'


House GOP Scores Early Victory in Offshore Drilling Initiative

"While the administration rejected an invitation to testify on Hastings' bills, Salazar yesterday said they collectively reflect "amnesia" of the BP spill and the difficulty industry and regulators faced containing the oil. 

"Some people seem to have gotten amnesia of Deepwater Horizon and the horrific BP spill," he said. "I don't have amnesia.""



Oil severance tax plan slips into view

"Other huge oil states – Texas and Alaska, for example – have oil severance taxes. Alaska has a progressive, 25 percent oil severance tax, the largest in the country, and some two-dozen states have severance taxes on oil, gas or both. 

So why not California?"


Video of 'No Oil Drilling' Protest Signs


U.S. on track to meet 1 million plug-in autos goal: DOE

""We will march forward aggressively to promote clean energy and we've got the budget to do it," Sandalow said."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Experts Fear Another Oil Disaster

"The industry "is ill-prepared at the least," said Charles Perrow, a Yale University professor specializing in accidents involving high-risk technologies. "I have seen no evidence that they have marshaled containment efforts that are sufficient to deal with another major spill. I don't think they have found ways to change the corporate culture sufficiently to prevent future accidents." 

He added: "There are so many opportunities for things to go wrong that major spills are unavoidable.""

BP Not Alone in Lax Practices, Obama Spill Panel Says


'Oil above all': House approving offshore drilling

""This plan offered by the majority is not 'all of the above,' it is 'oil above all,' and it is a plan that would ignore the lessons of the BP spill, could make offshore drilling less safe and will continue high prices for consumers and robust profits for OPEC and Big Oil," said Rep. Edward Markey, D- Mass., the top Democrat on the committee."

Republicans push bills to boost offshore oil drilling


Algae could replace 17 percent of US oil imports: study

"A new PNNL study shows that 17 percent of the United States' imported oil for transportation could be replaced by biofuel made from algae grown in outdoor raceway ponds located in the Gulf Coast, the Southeastern Seaboard, and the Great Lakes."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Damage from BP oil spill lingers a year later

BP Spill's Next Major Phase: Wrangling Over Toll on Gulf

"A year after the worst oil spill to strike U.S. waters, oyster beds are struggling along the Gulf of Mexico, the dolphin population is experiencing what the federal government calls an "unusual mortality event," and red snapper with rotting fins are showing up on fishing lines."

Oil & gas industry spills happen "all the time"

"Next week marks the anniversary of the beginning of the BP oil disaster. It should have been a wake-up call for the industry and the federal government. Instead, spills, leaks and explosions still happen every day. 

A six month CBS News investigation found that spills of crude oil and toxic chemicals last year alone were three times the amount of the Exxon Valdez spill."


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar worried about bills to speed permits for wells

Surfrider and nearly 50 other environmental organizations are worried about this too.  See the letter we submitted here.

House gets moving on offshore drilling

"A pair of House panels will delve into offshore drilling legislation Wednesday amid a warning from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that GOP proposals reflect "amnesia" about last year's massive BP oil spill."


A Cleaner Energy Future
"Virginia's existing tourism and fishing sectors rely on clean beaches and healthy marine habitat, and would be jeopardized by developing a dirty fossil fuel industry on our coast, or worse, by the devastation of an oil spill. Investing in affordable alternatives to oil and in greener transportation systems will generate nearly four times more jobs than spending the same amount on oil energy resources, according to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Center for American Progress."