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UK Survey: Africa Tops List Of International Priority Markets

April 15th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Oil and gas assets in North America are hot commodities, but they are not the top priority market for future international investment, according to a survey released this month by the Bank of Scotland.

Africa leads the list of priority markets for future international investment for a group of 100 U.K. oil and gas companies participating in the survey. Just more than one-fifth, or 21%, of the companies said they are targeting growth in Africa. Promising frontier areas are sprouting in many areas across the African continent and offshore Africa. These include the relatively underexplored acreage offshore Mozambique and Tanzania to offshore Angola and Ghana, where hopes are high for oil finds.

But the survey, conducted by the BDRC Continental research consultancy, showed that the Middle East and North America were not too far behind, with 18% and 17%, respectively, according to a news release about the findings.

International expansion was deemed a priority by 64% of those asked, the release said. Of the E&P companies participating, nearly half, or 46%, said they were already planning for growth in foreign markets in the next two years. The results also showed that 42% of those surveyed believe new international growth markets provide the biggest opportunity for the industry.

It should come as no surprise that U.K. companies see opportunities worldwide and have plans to pursue them. It’s a trend that Stuart White, commercial area director for the Bank of Scotland, expects to continue.

“The results also demonstrate the global nature of the industry as more firms look to expand internationally and tap into the markets with the largest levels of recoverable reserves,” White said in the release. “With 44% of income already generated internationally, this is not a new trend and reflects the reach U.K. firms have as the industry benefits from the expertise gained in the challenging North Sea environment.

“Our client base mirrors this trend,” he continued. “We have seen a significant increase in our support to the industry in recent years to facilitate international expansion, and we expect this trend to continue.”

The survey also predicted a bright outlook for employment—the possibility of up to 39,000 new jobs created by the oil and gas sector in the U.K. during the next two years. This figure is up by 5,000 from last year.

However, despite the prospect of thousands of new jobs, concerns about a shortage of skills in the talent pool lingers. The survey showed that 38% of the respondents, up from 33% in 2013, named a skills shortage as the greatest challenge they will face. Engineering companies were worried the most at 87%, compared to E&P companies at 20%, according to the release.

White pointed out that “positive action is underway to address this shortfall, with new partnerships between higher education institutions and industry as well as the creation of new specialist apprenticeship schemes.”

But the U.K. isn’t the only region that is seeking solutions to anticipated skills and labor shortage problems. It’s a global concern, including in the U.S. where retirements are expected to rise as baby boomers leave the workforce taking decades’ worth of experience with them.

Having a game plan to keep workers where they are most needed is something that not only oil and gas companies should plan for; governments that are reliant on the energy sector to add money to their coffers should be part of finding solutions as well.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Energy Means Opportunity For Minority Job Seekers

April 8th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

When it comes to diversity in the workplace, the oil and gas industry in the U.S. still has room for improvement.

African-American workers accounted for 8.2% of total employment for the U.S. oil, gas and petrochemical industries in 2010 with about 98,000 jobs, according to an analysis conducted by IHS and sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Hispanic workers held a larger share—8.2%, or 188,000 jobs—across the industry segments.

U.S. Census figures show blacks make up about 13% of the U.S. population, and Hispanics make up nearly 17%.

But the latest report brought by IHS and API on the issue points out that the energy revolution underway in the U.S. could pave the way for future job opportunities. About 408,000, or 32%, of the up to 1.3 million new jobs in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries are projected to be held by African-American and Hispanic workers by 2030, according to the report. Jobs are expected to be created as aging baby boomers leave the workforce.

The report also projected that African-American and Hispanic workers could make up nearly 20% of the management, business and financial job opportunities, and “tremendous opportunities” will exist for workers in blue collar occupations by 2030. All told, minority employment in these sectors is forecasted to surge from one-quarter of the total in 2010 to one-third of the total in 2030.

This is all good news, considering a diversified workforce brings a wider range of ideas, skill sets, experiences and other contributions to companies. And this could prove beneficial not only inside companies, promoting inclusiveness and perhaps increased staff retention and productivity, but also outside of companies. Diversity can be critical when companies try to tap into foreign or new domestic markets.

But diversifying the oil patch requires making sure there is a pool of qualified job seekers. That means getting students involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Earlier is better. Paula Jackson, president and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), and José L. Pérez, chairman and CEO of Hispanics in Energy, touched on this aspect in a news release issued by the API.

“As the study highlights job opportunities, it signals the tremendous need to prepare African Americans, Hispanics and women to be ready to fill the workforce gap,” Jackson said. “These jobs in the oil and natural gas industry don’t just put people to work, they help to transform communities.”

Pérez called the report a “road map for workforce development stakeholders to align the content of their training with a sense of urgency to adequately prepare people for energy jobs.”

As members of AABE gather in Houston this week for their annual convention, increasing minority employment will likely be part of the discussion as the association discusses issues impacting the global energy scene, innovative solutions and partnering opportunities. The group’s efforts toward filling the pipeline with minority energy professionals include offering scholarships to high school students planning to major in one of the STEM disciplines as well as hosting programs and participating in activities that promote energy industry careers, according to its website.

AABE and others with energy interests should work to make minorities more aware of opportunities in the energy sector, Jackson told the Houston Chronicle’s Fuel Fix. “There’s got to be some sort of education and conversation with people about this viable industry that’s innovative, that’s interesting, that also pays you well and gives you the opportunity to raise a family,” she said in the article.

Further diversifying the workforce is a goal that is well within reach with some hard work on the part of not only those advocating for the cause but those seeking the positions.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Tight Oil Boosts Overall U.S. Oil Production Level

April 2nd, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The U.S. continues to make strides in the area of unconventional resources. The latest news from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) touts surging tight oil production that pushed the nation’s overall oil production to new heights.

The EIA reported last week that tight oil production in the U.S. averaged 3.22 MMbbl/d, contributing to an average of 7.84 MMbbl/d of overall crude oil production. The amount equated to more than 10% of the world’s total production. That is quite an accomplishment for a nation that was heavily dependent on foreign oil not too long ago.

The production increase was attributed by the EIA to “technologically advanced drilling and completion processes to produce oil from tight formations.” And such oil, the EIA said, is not limited to shale reservoirs with low permeability.

But not surprisingly, the Eagle Ford in South Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana are leading the way. Figures show that 1.21 MMbbl/d, or 36% of total U.S. tight oil production, was produced in the Eagle Ford in February 2014, while 0.94 MMbbl/d, or 28% of total U.S. tight oil production, was produced in the Bakken that month.

Technology has brought the nation’s oil and gas industry a long way. But the future could hold even more advances as companies and government agencies look to technology in search of EOR techniques and new applications. Already, natural gas, carbon dioxide and nitrogen have been used as flooding agents to enhance oil recovery for conventional reservoirs. Companies are applying EOR techniques to increase tight oil production as well.

LightStream Resources, for example, has conducted simulation work using natural gas in EOR. The E&P company, which targets the Bakken Formation in Saskatchewan, Canada, said on its website that it believes natural gas is a more effective flooding agent for EOR in the Bakken.

“Our simulation work suggests reserve recovery factors could improve from approximately 15% under primary methods to over 25% with natural gas as a flooding agent,” the company said. “Initially, natural gas used in our planned EOR projects will come from our production facilities and is expected to be recovered and sold at a later date, further enhancing the full cycle economics of EOR.”

Imagine the possibilities if EOR techniques were successfully applied at tight oil formations across the nation. At 91%, the majority of tight oil produced in North America comes from the U.S., according to the EIA. The rest comes from Canada. The two countries led the world in commercial tight oil production, but others—specifically Australia and the U.K.—could join them.

“With industry conditions resembling those of North America, Australia and the United Kingdom have the potential to be among the next countries with commercially viable tight oil production,” the EIA said. “Outside these two countries, there are many examples of energy companies drilling exploratory wells and committing to large investment plans to develop tight oil formations. Many of these formations are located within basins that already produce conventional crude oil in Mexico, Russia, China and Argentina.”

Besides the U.S., only Canada and Russia have produced tight oil in commercial quantities, according to the EIA. In Canada, tight oil production averaged 0.34 MMbbl/d in 2013, mainly from reservoirs in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, while Russia produced 0.12 MMbbl/d of tight oil, mainly in the West Siberia Basin, that year.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Survey: Environmental Regulations Could Impact Production

March 25th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

It’s no secret that the oil and gas industry has been one of the few bright spots in the U.S. economy, which is still recovering from a recession, in the last few years.

But future investment decisions by the energy sector could be impacted the most by environmental regulations, some fear.

Results of a recently released EY survey show a segment of accounting, finance and accounting professionals in the energy industry are more concerned about the possible impact such regulations could have on the industry—even more so than tax reform.

The EY 2013 Energy Tax and Policy Survey showed that 88% of the respondents believe the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to regulate hydraulic fracturing will impact domestic natural gas development. And 93% of the oil and gas respondents believe the EPA will slow or stall domestic production. This comes as growing oil and gas production—boosted by unconventional resources from shale plays across the U.S.—further positions the nation to become an exporter of oil and gas.

But in a display of optimism and in the spirit of innovation, 60% of the participants said they believe the industry will comply with the new regulations by deploying technologies.

Another interesting finding concerned the amount that natural gas prices are predicted to rise over the next three years. Prices are already moving upward, although they are still much lower than many places on the other side of the globe. But 57% of the respondents said they believe the spot price of gas at Henry Hub will increase between 1% and 49%. “Mining and metals respondents were the most likely to forecast an increase of that magnitude; 68% said the spot price would rise at least 49%, compared with 65% of oil and gas producers and 57% of utilities,” according to EY.

Although environmental regulations and price increases are predicted to become, or rather remain, part of the energy industry’s future, survey respondents think major tax reform is unlikely to be passed by Congress during the current economic period. Just more than 70%, for example, said the repeal of IRC Section 174 would not impact their companies, while 26% said that a repeal of IRC Section 199 would increase their companies’ federal tax liability.

“The conventional wisdom is that the energy industry is fearful of changes to the tax structure,” Andy Miller, Americas mining and metals leader, said in a news release about the survey results. “But the response to the questions in this survey shows something different. It shows respondents recognize that Congress is not likely to pass meaningful tax reform during a time of slow economic growth.”

But most believe state and local government bodies will have no problem raising taxes for natural gas producers. However, the majority of those surveyed don’t expect these increases to impact domestic production overall, according to EY. If anything, tax hikes will cause companies to move to other parts of the U.S. with more favorable tax conditions.

Other highlights from the survey include:

• 51% said their companies had broadly increased capital spending in the U.S. in the last four years;
• 72% believe less than 50% of LNG facilities will be permitted and constructed; and
• 58% believe Congress will not modify the Clean Air Act to remove carbon emissions.

“One of the major takeaways from this survey is that these major energy sectors—oil and gas, power and utilities, and mining and metals—are united in a belief that the U.S. needs comprehensive energy and environmental legislation that defines a clear path for the future,” said Deborah Byers, the oil and gas leader for Ernst & Young LLP in the U.S. “A common theme we hear is that it is difficult for companies to plan and invest for the long-term without regulatory and tax certainty.”

Just less than 170 accounting, finance and tax professionals who work in the US energy sector— including oil and gas, power and utilities, and mining and metals—participated in the survey. About half of the respondents represented energy companies with energy operations in the US, while 34% represented U.S.-based companies that also have operations abroad, according to EY.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Chevron Continues HIV/AIDS Prevention Work

March 18th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Statistics show progress has been made worldwide when it comes to HIV/AIDS prevention.

Figures from UNICEF reveal new infections among children under 15 years old decreased by 35% globally from 2009 to 2012; 62% of pregnant women with HIV in countries with high rates of the disease received services to prevent mother-to-child transmission in 2012; and about 850,000 new HIV infections were prevented among children up to 14 years old living in low- and middle-income countries between 2005 and 2012.

But there is still more work to be done. Between 2005 and 2012, AIDS-related deaths among adolescents jumped by 50% and about 260,000 new HIV infections occurred among children in low- and middle-income countries in 2012.

Realizing the need, Chevron has stepped up its support for HIV prevention. The company announced Tuesday that it is directing its latest effort to Bayelsa State in Nigeria, contributing an additional $1.7 million to the Pact Institute-sponsored PROMOT Project. That increases the company’s five-year investment in the project to $5.3 million.

The project aims to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, while also increasing awareness and services that support HIV positive women who are pregnant. The project already has been deemed a success in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. The additional funding will extend the program throughout Bayelsa, which reportedly has the third-highest HIV prevalence rate of Nigeria’s states.

Since Chevron started its partnership with Pact in 2012, “Bayelsa State has achieved several important results, including reaching more than 6,500 people with critical HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention information, testing more than 7,000 women during prenatal care, and arranging for HIV counseling for nearly 700 people,” according to a Business Wire news release.

Rhonda Zygocki, executive vice president of policy and planning for Chevron, said, “This is a proven model that we’re motivated to expand as we work together to deliver real, measurable results in the effort to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV.”

The Pact partnership is part of a larger effort in which groups and businesses, including Chevron, joined the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief by pledging $20 million to prevent new HIV cases among children by 2015, according to Chevron’s website.

A similar initiative by Chevron is a partnership with the Business Leadership Council for a Generation Born HIV Free. This program is centered on Nasarawa State, and since the program began in 2012, health facilities offering prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services have jumped 109%, more than 52,690 women have been tested for HIV and more than 2,350 HIV-positive women have started anti-retroviral drug treatment for PMTCT, Chevron said.

These results are encouraging. Hopefully, with the additional funds, even more women will gain access to needed services and prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Past Due Bill Causes More Headache In Ukraine

March 12th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Money woes continue to hit Ukraine, which has an overdue gas bill, and Russia wants its US $1.89 billion.

The possibility of another gas shutoff could not come at a worse time for the former Soviet Republic, which appears to be on the brink of a civil war. One side wants to maintain strong ties with Russia, while others want to bond with the European Union (EU). Former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to pull out of talks for a partnership agreement and free-trade pact with the EU in late 2013 – instead accepting US $15 billion in loans and a gas price discount from Russia later – sparked the street demonstrations that have turned deadly, according to media reports.

And the violence has not stopped. Russian troops have even made their way into Ukraine, including Crimea.

Thankfully, US legislators in the House have put aside their differences and have agreed to give Ukraine $1 billion in loan guarantees to bring some financial stability to the county. The move came as the Obama administration also restricted visas for Ukrainian officials and those who threaten the country’s sovereignty, according to a Bloomberg report.

More financial assistance could be on the way. The EU may give Ukraine $15 billion in loans and grants in the coming years, The Associated Press reported. “The package foresees helping to modernize Ukraine’s gas transit system and providing technical assistance ranging from judicial reform to assistance in preparing elections, the [EU] Commission said. The package also calls for steps to accelerate achieving visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the 28-nation bloc.”

But until those plans are finalized and money flows into Ukraine’s coffers, the fuel bill to Russia’s Gazprom remains unpaid. Gazprom announced this month that it has decided not to give Ukraine the previously announced gas discount because the country is behind on its payments not only for this year but also for part of last year.

“The one who fails to pay for the supplied goods should be aware that it is fraught with adverse consequences, including those related to the revocation of previously reached agreements on beneficial terms of supplies,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting on the situation with Gazprom CEO Alexy Miller. A transcript of the meeting was posted on Gazprom’s website.

In another statement, Bloomberg reported Miller as saying, “We can’t supply gas for free. Either Ukraine pays off its debt and pays for current deliveries or there’s a risk of a return to the situation we saw at the start of 2009.”

Back then, Russia turned off gas supplies to Ukraine.

In the meantime, development that could reduce Ukraine’s reliance on Russia continues to remain at a standstill, and the future of some oil and gas projects, especially in the Crimea region, remains unclear. Companies including ExxonMobil and Shell have plans to drill in offshore the region.

Hopefully, when the crisis is over, those holding power in Ukraine will see the benefit of the country developing its own energy resources. Unfortunately, no end is in sight. For the meantime, let’s hope Russia does not act on its threat, money flows into Ukraine, and the country is able to get out of Russian debt sooner rather than later. Neither Ukraine nor its energy industry needs to be dealt another blow.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Industry Rises To Confront Water Challenges

March 5th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

A growing demand for water crucial to the hydraulic fracturing process is occurring in some areas that are experiencing the worst drought conditions in their histories. The situation has left many wondering what more can be done to address what appears to be a problem that is not going away any time soon.

Water use in fracking was the topic for one speaker’s presentation during this week’s DUG Midcontinent conference in Tulsa, Okla. But the issue surfaced on several occasions as other presenters pointed out the dire situation with maps showing the intensity of drought conditions in yellow, orange, and red. Drought conditions appeared to be the worst in California based on the US Drought Monitor, but other states are not unscathed. A large chunk of Oklahoma is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions.

Although several million gallons of water may be required for the multistage fracturing of a single horizontal shale gas, the amount of water used in fracking is small compared to its use in agriculture, manufacturing, and the municipal water supply, according to The chemical disclosure registry, managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, compared water use for electric generation to projected total demand for peak Marcellus shale activity as an example. The latter uses 8.4 MMgal per day, while the former uses nearly 150 MMgal a day in the Susquehanna River basin.

During the DUG conference, Rob Johnston, executive vice president for Apache Corp.’s central region, spoke about some of the problems the industry is facing and possible solutions. In some areas, the industry is starting to compete against municipalities and agriculture for water, he said.

Although surface water – such as fresh water from lakes and rivers – is mostly used during fracking, Apache has successfully used brackish water in its Permian basin operations. The company also has opened a water recycling plant in Wheeler County, Texas, that recycles produced water.

Another way to reduce water use is to simply use something else in its place. This could include the use of gelled propane fracs, Johnston said. Fracking with CO2 or nitrogen-based solutions is among the other techniques being used in limited operations in North America.

Col. Michael Teague, secretary of energy and environment for Oklahoma, asked the oil and gas industry for help during the conference. Of the industries that use water in their operations, Teague called the oil and gas industry the most nimble.

Recycling, at the very least, should be the norm for all operations.

Apache gets about 95% of its water from nonpotable sources, and about 48% of that amount is recycled or reused in secondary oil recovery operations, according to the company’s website.

The industry is capable of rising to the challenge, just as it has done in the past, with proof being the existing shale revolution that is not only boosting hydrocarbon production but also giving local, state, and national economies a lift.

The fact that companies have acknowledged that a major water resource problem exists in some areas and are actively seeking and trying possible solutions shows that the industry is already rising to the challenge.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Highest Rent Title Goes To Oil Town

February 25th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

It is not the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles that is demanding top dollar for apartment living. Nor is it the endless array of offerings in populous New York City or Florida beachfront towns with picturesque views.

Williston, N.D., has become the place with the highest rent prices for small apartments, according to a survey conducted by Apartment Guide. This rise to the top comes thanks to a booming oil and gas industry that has sent workers flocking to the town that had a population of about 18,530 people in 2012, US Census Bureau figures show.

In Williston, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment that is 65 sq m (700 sq ft) will cost more than US $2,000 per month, Apartment Guide said. The price tag jumps as high as $4,500 per month for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment.

Oil and gas activity in North Dakota, one of the largest crude oil-producing states in the US, has picked up in the Bakken shale formation as a result of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The activity has worked wonders for the economy. The state had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation for December 2013 at 2.6%.

“Its population has swelled to about 30,000 people,” writes Apartment Guide’s Courtney Craig. “The oil boom has created many high-paying jobs in the area, and apartments can’t be built fast enough to accommodate the influx of workers – many of whom make six figures per year. The apartments that are already there are in high demand, so they get snatched up immediately and for a pretty penny.”

Some of these apartment complexes have begun catering to the oil and gas workers. Mudrooms, where workers can remove dirty garments and shoes before entering their homes, are features of many of the apartment buildings. In addition to renovated interiors, some apartment complexes offer paid utilities and other features such as hardwood floors, washer and dryer inside units, and stainless steel appliances.

“A lot of the management companies have long-term projects projected, as long as the demand and infrastructure are there,” Pam Winter, Apartment Guide’s regional sales executive for North Dakota, said in the article. “Projects that will be 300 units by the end of this year are looking to be 800 if it continues to boom. Currently I have not seen many concessions, and one of the developers raised his rent in January.

“I think they are optimistic the oil boom will be around for the next 20 years because of the different levels of oil they now have access to through fracking,” Winter added. “I just don’t know with the weather that many people who are working in the oil fields will stay for more than a couple of years.”

The average entry-level price point for an apartment in Williston rose to the top – at $2,394 – after Apartment Guide conducted a survey that took the least expensive floor plan of each apartment community in US towns on Dec. 31, 2013, and then averaged them for each core based statistical area. Next in line was San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., at $1,881, followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif., at $1,776.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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Meeting Future Demand Requires All Energy Sources

February 18th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

If predictions in ExxonMobil’s latest energy outlook hold true, the planet will be home to 2 billion more people, the global economy will be 130% larger, and there will be a 90% growth in demand for electricity by 2040.

So the world will need to tap every energy source possible – including renewables – to meet global energy demand, which is expected to be about 35% higher.

Fossil fuels are still expected to overwhelmingly supply demand, reaching about 60% about 25 years from now. Although conventional crude oil production is predicted to drop slightly during the forecast period, ExxonMobil believes the decline will be offset by rising tight oil, deepwater, and oil sands production thanks to new technology. Moreover, “we estimate that by 2040, about 65% of the world’s recoverable crude and condensate resource base will have yet to be produced.”

Natural gas is anticipated to be the world’s fastest-growing major energy source through 2040, according to the outlook. It could replace coal in the No. 2 spot, following oil as the world’s top energy source.

Demand for oil could rise by about 25% through 2040, compared to 65% for natural gas, as coal’s demand continues to fall.

But the company believes renewable energy supplies will grow by about 60%, led by jumps in hydro, wind, and solar.

“Wind, solar, and biofuels are likely to make up about 4% of energy supplies in 2040, up from 1% in 2010. We foresee wind and solar providing about 10% of electricity generated in 2040, up from about 2% in 2010,” according to the outlook.

While the percentages of renewable energy supplies’ contributions to the overall energy mix are small, every bit of energy will be needed to meet growing worldwide demand, especially in China and India.

“The total number of households in the world will rise significantly in coming decades; we expect an increase of close to 50%, from 1.9 billion households in 2010 to 2.8 billion by 2040, due to increasing population and urbanization,” the outlook said. “At the same time, urbanization and rising incomes — particularly in China, India, and the other 10 key growth countries — are driving demand for energy not just for basic needs but also modern uses such as air conditioning, appliances, and electronics.”

This makes efforts to diversify energy sources important. Several steps already have been taken by companies and governments.

US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recently announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will allow Principle Power Inc. to submit a plan to build a 30-MW pilot project using floating wind turbine technology offshore Oregon.

“This pioneering project would demonstrate floating wind turbine technology capable of tapping the rich wind energy resources in deep waters offshore Oregon,” Jewell said in the news release. “As we look to broaden our nation’s energy portfolio, the innovative technology and its future application hold great promise along the West Coast and Hawaii.”

Citing the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the release stated that the West Coast holds more than 800 gigawatts of wind energy potential offshore. Total potential offshore US deep water is nearly 2,000 gigawatts.

The federal government plans to hold more competitive auctions for wind energy areas offshore Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts this year.

Additional oil and gas lease sales are also set for this year. The next two are scheduled for March 19, both offering blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. Lease sale 231 in the Central Planning Area could result in the production of approximately 1 Bbbl of oil and 113 Bcm (4 Tcf) of gas, while lease sale 225 in the Eastern Planning Area could result in the production of 71 MMbbl of oil and 4.6 Bcm (162 Bcf) of gas, according to BOEM estimates.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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New Mapping Tool Spotlights Oil, Gas Wells

February 12th, 2014 vaddison Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

News about how the oil and gas industry is setting production records, how Texas’ statistics soar above the rest, and the promising potential shown in other areas is abundant these days.

Now individuals can see exactly where these oil and gas wells are located across the US thanks to a new expanded energy mapping tool unveiled this week by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The new offering shows both offshore and onshore wells where crude oil and gas production is under way.

“This includes areas like Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Texas where crude oil and natural gas development in shale basins has increased significantly in recent years,” the EIA said in a news release unveiling the new mapping tool feature. “With the release of this tool, the public, policymakers, energy experts, and other stakeholders can easily track oil and natural gas field development over time.”

The oil and gas wells feature allows users to zoom into a certain geographical area to inspect wells by neighborhood, state, county, and congressional district.

With a few clicks, individuals can zoom into the Houston area, for example, and find that clusters of oil and gas wells are clearly visible. Gas, for example, is being produced in clusters along Interstate 10 between Katy and Brookshire. Farther west, another cluster is visible – gas wells in Waller County. North of Houston, east of Interstate 45 between Conroe and The Woodlands, there is a large cluster of predominately oil wells, although some gas wells are present.

After clicking on an area, users can peruse through the wells in that location and gain information about the well type, country, state, and basin.

In addition to the oil and gas wells location information, provided by Drillinginfo, a variety of other features and options are available through the energy mapping tool’s “layers/legend” menu, which can be customized.

Users can pinpoint the locations of coal fields, shale basins, shale plays, tight gas basins, and tight gas plays. The map includes the location of pipelines, including those that carry crude oil, petroleum products, NGL, and natural gas; NGL and natural gas market hubs; LNG import and export terminals; storage facilities; oil and gas refineries and processing facilities; coal mines; and power plants. And the latter includes the gamut – coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear, biomass, geothermal, solar, wind, and wood among others.

Individuals can even pinpoint areas with geothermal, photovoltaic solar, and wind potential.

This new oil and gas feature is a welcome addition to the EIA website, and it will most likely get plenty of use as the energy revolution continues sweeping across the US. It could be of benefit to not only policymakers and the energy industry as a whole but also citizens who just want to know what is happening in their neighborhoods.

Kudos should go to the EIA and Drillinginfo for teaming up to make this information available to the public. Check out the new mapping feature and its other offerings on the EIA’s State Energy Profile webpage at

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at

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