Rivers And Lakes Destroyed By Corn Ethanol Producers

 Issue 123 -Lake Erie Polluted From Farm Nitrate Runoff

Introduction… Iowa, largest corn producer, 2nd largest nitrate polluter In Mississippi River Basin. The downside to producing 15,909,400 gallons of Ethanol In 2015-2016 is the increase in nitrate pollution in the Mississipi River basin, Lake Eirie, and Midwest drinking water supplies.  This past summer, the Gulf of Mexico has its largest “dead zone” in modern history.

Why is Ethanol contributing to nitrate pollution?… Here’s the simple math.   In 2015-2016 the U.S. produced 14,586,000 bushels of corn of which 5,468,000 were used to produce Ethanol.  Out of the 78,000,000 acres of harvested corn, 29,337,000 or 38% was used to produce Ethanol.

It would be reasonable to assume that 38% of the nitrate pollution that comes from corn production is nitrate pollution that comes from corn production for Ethanol.

Conclusion…When the American people discovered that burning corn-based Ethanol had no net production of energy as sold during the 1973 Energy Crisis…we were then told that Ethanol would reduce air pollution.  But, the unintended consequence is our water supplies, rivers, lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico are getting destroyed by the related increase in nitrate pollution.

Sources: Geoff Copper, “How Much Ethanol Comes From Corn?” National Corn Growers Associaton; Elizabeth Royte, “The Simple River-Cleaning Tactics That Big Farms Ignore,” National Geographic, 7 Dec 2017; Bill Moist, “What Researchers Say About Ethanol CO2, oilandgasinsider.com/?p=899, Bill Moist, “Time To Cut Ethanol? oilandgasinsider.com/?p=841

U.S. To Dominate World Oil Markets

Issue 122 – U.S. Historic Oil Surge

Introduction…The U.S. will be a dominant force in global oil and gas markets for years to come as the shale oil boom becomes the biggest supply surge in history.  This predicted by the International Energy Agency (IEA,)

The report...U.S. production surge to equal Saudi Arabia expansion at its highest point.  The natural gas increases will surpass the former Soviet Union.  This stated in the annual World Energy Outlook.  This boom will turn the U.S. from an oil importer to the biggest exporter of fossil fuels.

“The United States will be the undisputed leader in global oil and gas markets for decades to come,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg television. “There’s big growth coming from shale oil, and as such there’ll be a big difference between the U.S. and other producers.”

Conclusion...The United States oil and gas production has come a long way since OPEC was able to create the 1973 Oil Embargo.  A sleeping giant was awakened causing the massive development of shale oil and gas fracking.

Source: Grant Smith, “U.S. to Dominate Oil Markets After Biggest Boom in World History,” Bloomberg Markets, 13 November 2017.

IEA Warns Oil Demand Peaks After 2040

 Issue 121 – Oil Demand Still Peaking

Introduction…Reuters- The Paris Climate Change Agreement is not expected to reduce long-term oil demand according to The International Energy Agency (IEA,)

Oil demand peak…The IEA expects oil demand to peak sometime after 2040. The Paris accord attempts to wean the world off fossil fuels in the second half of the century.  The demand for automobile fuel may drop, but other uses may rise in offset.

“The difficulty of finding alternatives to oil in road freight, aviation and petrochemicals means that, up to 2040, the growth in these three sectors alone is greater than the growth in global oil demand,” the IEA said in its annual World Energy Outlook.

Oil price to rise…“In the New Policies Scenario, balancing supply and demand requires an oil price approaching $80 a barrel in 2020 and further gradual increases thereafter,” the IEA said, leaving its price forecast under this scenario unchanged from last year’s World Energy Outlook.

In conclusion…The IEA is expecting the oil age still has many years to grow.

What Researchers Say About Ethanol CO2

 Issue120  – The environmental problem with Ethanol

Introduction..A new study from the University of Wisconsin researchers shows that crop expansion in the U.S. from 2008 to 2012 emitted 115 million tons of CO2 and that much of that can be attributed to biofuels.  It was during that time period that policy-driven biofuels production increased.

Why the increase…The researchers said that the carbon emitted from land clearing of soils runs contrary to the intent to reduce climate change and rather increases it instead.  It can take hundreds of years to recapture carbon stored in the soil.

An earlier report in this newsletter…The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (“IPC.”) in its Reports (WGI and WGIII) said, “Biofuels have direct, fuel‐cycle GHG emissions that are typically 30–90% lower than those for gasoline or diesel fuels. However, since for some biofuels indirect emissions—including from land use change—can lead to greater total emissions than when using petroleum products, policy support needs to be considered on a case by case basis” (IPCC 2014 Chapter 8).  To read continue reading click here.

In conclusion…Did you catch that both reports said that the production of corn-based Ethanol can increase pollution?  The original purpose of Ethanol was to reduce our dependence on OPEC produced oil.  Now the frackers have done that and changed the balance of oil production power in the world.  And since it appears Ethanol production can lead to greater emissions, it’s now time to end this Federal Government subsidy and let the markets work.

What is the future of oil?

 Issue 119 – Marcellus Shale Development Expansion

Introduction…Renewable energy will have tremendous growth in the future.  However, one source of energy growth is expected to be the fastest growing power source to 2040.  This source is expected to contribute the most to future energy demands.

The source…According to The World Oil Outlook 2017 report, developed by the Organizaton of Petroleum Exporting Counties, stated shale natural gas and shale oil – will be the power source of the future.  Shale oil has been promoted as the most important non-OPEC energy source, with gas accounting for a growing percentage of energy consumption.

Conclusion…Past reports have said OPEC doesn’t like shale oil as it has been a strong competitor. So, this report appears to be an honest study of the future of the worlds energy sources.

How To Communicate More Convincingly – Part 2

Issue 118 – We Talk About Ourselves 60% Of The Time

Introduction…This is Part 2 of the discussion “How To Communicate More Convincingly.”  We start where we last ended.

Communicate...Here are items 6 to 10 that will drastically improve our communications.

6.  Don’t equate our experience with others.  This does not build empathy and takes away their need to be heard.  We don’t know how they feel.  We all react differently to life’s challenges.  it’s more effective to listen and ask questions.

7.   Don’t repeat ourselves.  This is something I do to fill in blank space in the conversation. On average, we talk about ourselves 60% of the time.  (Source unknown)  That doesn’t leave us much time to communicate convincingly.

8.  Stay out of the weeds with too many details.  And avoid industry jargon.  Many may think they know what the jargon means,  but few listeners do.

9.  Listen.  Humans are not good listeners by nature.  How hard is it to get your children to listen?  We speak at 150 words per minute.  But, we think at 450 words per minute.  Listening takes practice.

10.  Be brief.  “A good conversation is like a miniskirt: short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject.”

In conclusion…The secret to communicating more convincingly starts with asking questions and listening to others.  None of the above items comes naturally, but they are worth mastering.  Work on one item at a time until you are ready to proceed to the next.

Source: Celeste Headlee Media

How To Communicate More Convincingly – Part 1

Issue 117 – We Talk About Ourselves 60% Of the Time 

When we talk, we are only repeating what we know.  But, if we listen, we may learn something.  Dali Lama

Introduction...On average, we talk about ourselves 60% of the time.  (Source unknown)  That doesn’t leave us much time to communicate convincingly.

Communicate…Here are five items that will drastically improve our communications.

  1. Don’t multitask.  Even if we are on a phone call, the listener can detect our distraction.  Our brains can focus only on one item at a time.  Trying to focus on two items, means we do two things poorly.
  2. Don’t pontificate.  Pontification sets us up as the preacher, talking down to others  Most people don’t want an education in a simple conversation.
  3. Ask open-ended questions.  The classic questions we can ask are;

Who?

What?

Where?

How?

Ask a question the other person or persons know a lot about.  What about your kids or grandkids do you love the most?  What attracted you to your line of work?

4.  Go with the flow of the conversation.  Join in where there is an opening.

5.  If you don’t know, say you will find the answer for them.  Everyone can smell and dislikes a poser.

In conclusion…Just employing one or two of these ideas, will help you communicate convincingly.

Source: Celeste Headlee Media

Corn Producers Pressure EPA To Rule Against Environment

  Issue 116 – Corn Producers Win Ruling

Introduction...”The closest thing to earthly eternal life is a government program,” President Ronald Reagan.

EPA Abandons Changes…The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) backed away from series of proposed changes the biofuels policy amid backlash from corn-state lawmakers worried that the movies would reduce demand for biofuels.  This according to a letter from the agency to lawmakers as seen by Reuters.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a letter dated October 19 that the agency will keep renewable fuel volume mandates for the next year at or above proposed levels, reversing a previous move to open the door to cuts.

This EPA about-face is a big win for the biofuels industry and lawmakers from corn-states like Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois.

The White House issued a statement hours after the Pruit letter was delivered to lawmakers expressing support for maintaining the renewable fuel plan.

In conclusion...The justification for this government give away, we’re told is that it would reduce pollution.  However, cars are already 95% cleaner than they were in 1970, so there is no real befit here.  Noting in the EPA change of heart had any consideration for “Environmental Protection.

References: Time To Cut Ethanol? “EPA abandons changes to biofuel program, dealing  a blow to oil refiners and boosting corn states,” REUTERS, 20 October 2017

Oil Prices Below $60 BBL Seen Through 2018 By Executives

Issue 115 – Expected Oil Pricing

Introduction…Almost two-thirds of U.S. oil executives expect oil prices below $60 per barrel through 2018 and not hitting $70 for two years.  This survey was published by Deloitte Services.

What the survey revealed…250 executives at companies that produce, transport, and refine oil and natural gas surveyed reflects a shift from last year when they expected commodity prices would rise and capital spending budgets would grow.

This year’s view comes as executives focus o cost controls and not on rising in commodity prices.  The new paradigm encourages shale producers to base executive compensation on the best uses of capital designed to keep costs low.

In summary…“The bottom line is that companies should focus on cost discipline and operational efficiency,” said Andrew Slaughter, head of Deloitte’s Center for Energy Solutions.

“The new reality seems to have set in; waiting for a significant price recovery may be a long haul.”

For more information, contact Bill Moist at bill@billmoist.net

Source:  “Most U.S. Oil Executives See Prices Below $60 barrel Through 2018, Oil Industry News, 13 October 2017

Sustainable Energy – Opportunity To Clean Produced Water

 Issue 114 – Cleaning 500,000 gallons of produced water in Midland, TX

What is produced water?  

Produced water is water found in the same formations as oil and gas. When the oil and gas flow to the surface, the produced water is brought to the surface with the hydrocarbons. Produced water contains some of the chemical characteristics of the formation from which it was produced and from the associated hydrocarbons.

Produced water may originate as natural water in the formations holding oil and gas or can be water that was previously injected into those formations through activities designed to increase oil production.

Why is produced water an opportunity waiting for a solution?

  1. The United States has 1 million producing oil and gas wells and nearly everyone generates water.  The sheer volume of produced water is staggering.  During 2012 (the most recent year data is available) is 21.2 billion barrels or 890 billion gallons was produced. Ninety-seven percent (97%( of the water was produced in 21 states with Texas generating one-third of the total produced water.  Just pumping that water back down is a waste of a tremendous resource.
  2. Water resources are declining especially in West Texas and the Western United States. Cleaning and reusing produced water is a  very sound sustainable energy practice.
  3. Oklahoma Regulators issued new limits to produced water being pumped underground.  Recent study links produced water to the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Oklahoma.

What are the produced water solutions?  Two processes discussed.

#1. In Midland, Texas Gradient Technology is being used to clean 500,000 gallons of water per day.  The Midland plant is proving more economical than the old strategy of re-injecting produced water back into the wells while purchasing clean water for the fracking operations.

The project is being joint ventured with Pioneer Natural Resources.  Pioneer claims it is able to re-use nearly 100% of its produced water and recycles 85% of the heat needed to keep the system running.

#2. Our American Mud Works, LLC project in Ohio will be using a ceramic membrane process that has low requirements of preliminary treatment with minimum need for support and maintenance.

Ceramic materials are very stable chemically, thermally, and mechanically.  The benefit to the operator is no additives are needed and the process is not temperature sensitive.  Filtration with ceramic is a mild process with running cost limited by a closed production cycles and continuous process.

American Mud Works expects to clean 9,000 barrels (378,000 gallons) of water and 3,500 barrels (147,000 gallons) of high-value drilling mud per day with this first installation.

in summary.

The oilfield industry is being pushed by regulators and possible lawsuits to adopt sustainable energy practices.  In locations of water shortages, such practice is imperative.  However, at least in the case of Pioneer Natural Resources in Midland, Texas, re-use of produced water is more economical than the old strategy.

For more information, contact Bill Moist at bill@billmoist.net