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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

Amazing New Global Opportunity For Texas Oil and Gas

Issue 113 – Ryan Sitton, Railroad Commissioner

Introduction...Amazing new opportunity could push the U.S., especially Texas, into to the forefront of global natural gas industry, says Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton.

The opportunity…Commissioner Sitton said Texas can produce a massive quantity of natural gas.  However, the real bottleneck between the state and regions where natural gas demand is in ocean-going shipping.

“Natural gas is an opportunity to take the world by storm,” said Sitton, who was speaking at the Sept. 21 Gulf Coast Industry Forum. “But in order to do that, there’s one big thing we have to do — we have to be able to get it to those markets.”

The growing demand in thriving energy economies is a global opportunity for Texas.  New tankers and coastal facilities that can handle this new volume of additional natural gas will give Texas the chance to take the lead in this market.

“This is something that will affect our state and our nation for a generation,” Sitton said.

Texas natural gas exports today…Texas has experienced an explosive growth in natural gas exports.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas exported 257.16 billion cubic feet in 2010.  In 2015, the latest year data is available, Texas exported 845.95 billion cubic feet of natural gas.  That’s a 70% increase in Texas exports in just five years.

In conclusion…While Texas has seen a 70% increase in export of natural gas, according to Railroad Commissioner  Ryan Sitton, the amazing global growth opportunity is just ahead if we provide the infrastructure.

We are taking advantage of a similar opportunity in another state where this demand is being addressed.  Click here for more details.

Reference:  Joshua Mann, “Texas oil and gas regulator: This is where the new action will come from,” Houston Business Journal, 25 September 2017

Now EPA To Add Energy Industry to Advisory Committees

 Issue 112 – EPA Swat Team, Something You Never Want 

Introduction…I’m not making a political statement with the photo of the EPA swat team.  But, clearly, this is something you never want to show up at your place of business.

Regulators muscle…It seems that most federal regulators and agencies have their muscle to enforce regulations and/or intimidate citizens.  I’ve had IRS agents with guns and badges show up at my office.  Fortunately, they were investigating someone else.  A friend had the EPA shut down his business for 40 days.  Only to decide he wasted causing pollution, but removing it.  At the end, the EPA was happy to leave after he paid a $35,000 fine to pay for their time.

Changes at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)…The EPA is making room for energy company representatives on its Science Advisory Board and the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Board.

The industry has always had a voice on these panels, now potential new appointees may suggest greater influence by the regulated companies, oil and gas industry specifically.

These panels in the past were typically populated by independent academics and researchers.  However, that does not mean they don’t bring an agenda to these panels.

The list of potential new advisory board members includes officials from Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, Alcoa, Nobel Energy, Total, and the American Chemical Council.

In conclusion…Whether this change in the EPA’s panels gives too much influence to the industry is yet to be seen.  However, it seems to bring a few people with actual experience to a committee made up primarily of academics might bring wisdom to regulations.

If you want to see how we are cleaning drilling mud and produced water from drilling sites, send me an email describing your interest.

Source:  Lee Fang, “How Exxon Mobil May Soon Have Greater Sway Over Science Used In EPA Policies,” The Intercept, 22 September 2017.

Did Oil and Gas Pass ‘Unprecedented’ Weather Test?

 Issue 111 – Refineries and oil storage flooded by Harvey August 30, 2017

Introduction…August 27 Hurricane Harvey pummeled Texas described by the National Weather Service as ‘unprecedented.’  This hurricane delivered torrential rainfall that was ‘unknown’ and ‘beyond any experience.’

The severity of the storm damage to the oil and gas industry of Houston and along the coast was unknown.

Valero Energy and Motiva, a Saudi Aramco subsidiary, experienced flood waters around storage tanks looking like serious and lasting damage.

Three weeks later it was apparent that lessons learned from Katrina and Rita in 2005 made operations recovery much quicker.

Harvey’s impact was considerable but short-lived.  At the point of greatest disruptions, August 29, about 3.9 million b/d of refining was offline.  Additionally, 1.5 million b/d experienced reduced capacity.

Just 17 days later, the impact was minimal with only three refineries with combined capacity of 325,000 b/d remained offline.  Another 1.4 million b/d was starting up and only 2.3 million b/d was operating below maximum output.

In conclusion...The industry was able to reassure the world, that it faced the unprecedented challenge of Harvey, and weathered the storm.

Source: Ed Crooks, “How US oil and gas passed the test of ‘unprecedented’ weather,” Financial Times, 16 Sept 2017.