Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Fracking boom puts North Dakota hospitals in red

A less obvious form of corporate welfare.

The furious pace of oil exploration that has made North Dakota one of the healthiest economies in the country has had the opposite effect on the region’s health care providers. Swamped by uninsured laborers flocking to dangerous jobs, medical facilities in the area are sinking under skyrocketing debt, a flood of gruesome injuries and bloated business costs from the inflated economy.

via Boom in North Dakota Weighs Heavily on Health Care – NYTimes.com.

This post is an interesting companion to the one below.



UK Fracking Nervousness Mostly About Earthquakes
December 14, 2012, 00:17
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Poor blokes have been snowed. Quite.

Not only has the UK green-lighted fracking, it is also using tax breaks to promote shale exploration and development. Indeed, the UK hopes to see a shale gas revolution of its own. 

So what are the new rules for fracking? Right now it’s still a bit vague, but overall it involves a strengthening of oversight and an automated seismic activity detection system designed to halt operations in time.

via UK Lifts Fracking Ban, Now What?.



Livestock in fracking regions

After drilling began just over the property line of Jacki Schilke’s ranch in the northwestern corner of North Dakota, in the heart of the state’s booming Bakken Shale, cattle began limping, with swollen legs and infections. Cows quit producing milk for their calves, they lost from 60 to 80 pounds in a week and their tails mysteriously dropped off. Eventually, five animals died, according to Schilke.

Ambient air testing by a certified environmental consultant detected elevated levels of benzene, methane, chloroform, butane, propane, toluene and xylene – and well testing revealed high levels of sulfates, chromium, chloride and strontium. Schilke said she moved her herd upwind and upstream from the nearest drill pad.

via Livestock falling ill in fracking regions | Center for Investigative Reporting.

From February:

The Pennsylvania farmers I spoke with have lost cows, calves, a horse, a couple dozen chickens. Many of the animals succumb in the same way: seizure-like symptoms, gasping for breath and a quick wasting away. A Rottweiler and a Dalmatian also fell ill and died.

via http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-08/fracking-s-toll-on-pets-livestock-chills-pennsylvania-farmers-commentary.html

Gives new meaning to the term ‘tail risk.’



The amazing red mound

The happy talk on future production is crazier than ever in the latest IEA World Energy Outlook, but there are also some stunningly pessimistic predictions buried inside. Wild!

For instance: The US will become number one oil producuh again and rediscover our lost oil-producing prowess with about 11 million barrels/day (Yay!) — which must mean Saudi Arabia won’t approach IEA’s previous prediction for that country of roughly 15 mbd output (Ooof). And the predicted exporter status of the US (Yay!) relies as much on a huge drop in consumption as it does on increases in production (Ooof). So it’s a bit of a sad day in IEA land, where consumption always went up, up, up.

From Tverberg:

The International Energy Agency (IEA) provides unrealistically high oil forecasts in its new 2012 World Energy Outlook (WEO). It claims, among other things, that the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, and will become a net oil exporter by 2030.

Figure 1. Author’s interpretation of IEA Forecast of Future US Oil Production under “New Policies” Scenario, based on information provided in IEA’s 2012 World Energy Outlook.

Figure 1 shows that this increase comes solely from the expected rise in tight oil production and natural gas liquids. The idea that we will become an exporter in later years occurs despite falling production, because “demand” will drop so much.

via http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/11/13/iea-oil-forecast-unrealistically-high-misses-diminishing-returns/

Note that IEA and other maniacs add NGLs, biodiesel and even ‘refinery gain’ to the US oil production number, in a crude attempt to fool y’all.



Obomney wants to export U.S. natural gas

“We are confident that either one would be supportive of LNG exports,” Cooper told Rigzone.

U.S. LNG imports, which peaked at nearly 2.4 billion cubic feet per day in 2007, have fallen substantially as the growth in North American gas production due to shale gas, according to an Oct. 18 report by RBAC Inc., a company that develops and licenses management decision support systems for the energy industry. As a result, LNG facility backers are now seeking to outfit existing U.S. LNG import facilities with liquefaction equipment to ship LNG overseas.

Proponents say U.S. LNG exports will benefit the United States by creating construction jobs, and generate revenue to reduce the U.S. trade deficit through LNG sales and federal, state and local government tax revenues.

via RIGZONE – Romney, Obama Seen Favoring U.S. LNG Exports.

Know what else creates jobs and generates revenues? Cheap domestic gas. Exporting gas which would otherwise be flooding the U.S. market would raise the price for Americans. This would probably destroy a lot more jobs than would be created to build and maintain LNG terminals. The job-creation argument goes out the window.

In the meantime, the negative consequences of energy production would accrue right here in America.

Are western Americans willing to sacrifice their water so international companies can frack their shale gas and ship it to China? Robomney bets yes.



China’s Sinopec eyes Chesapeake shale gas assets in Oklahoma

All part of America’s new ‘energy security.’

Fu Chengyu, chairman of Sinopec Corp, was in Oklahoma last week to explore the possibility of a bid for a shale gas project, which is owned by Chesapeake Energy, the second largest shale gas producer in the US, Reuters reported.

via China's Sinopec eyes shale gas assets in US | China Economic Review.



Blowout in Wyo.

Niobrara fights back.

An oil well blowout in Wyoming prompted 50 residents to evacuate their homes amid concern that a spewing cloud of natural gas could explode.

Gas continued to erupt from the ground Wednesday after the blowout Tuesday afternoon five miles northeast of Douglas in east-central Wyoming. Witnesses told television station KCWY-TV they could hear the roaring gas from six miles away.

Residents evacuate after gas leaks from Wyo. well.



EPA issues fracking air pollution rules

From an EPA press release:

During the first phase, until January 2015, owners and operators must either flare their emissions or use emissions reduction technology called “green completions,” technologies that are already widely deployed at wells. In 2015, all new fractured wells will be required to use green completions. …

An estimated 13,000 new and existing natural gas wells are fractured or re-fractured each year. As those wells are being prepared for production, they emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to smog formation, and air toxics, including benzene and hexane, which can cause cancer and other serious health effects. In addition, the rule is expected to yield a significant environmental co-benefit by reducing methane, the primary constituent of natural gas. Methane, when released directly to the atmosphere, is a potent greenhouse gas—more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

via 04/18/2012: EPA Issues Updated, Achievable Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Natural Gas / Half of fractured wells already deploy technologies in line with final standards, which slash harmful emissions while reducing cost of compliance.

I’ll keep the line above as it was typed into the page’s description by some agency PR person, because that alone tells you all you need to know about the EPA.



Methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure

Alvarez, Pacala, Winebrake, Chameides and Hamburg, “Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sceinces of the United States of America, 2012.

Full article: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/04/02/1202407109.full.pdf+html



The Plan: Export U.S. natural gas, import higher prices for U.S. consumers

Energy independence? Not so much.

The government may decide as soon as next week on Cheniere’s request to build a $10 billion Louisiana plant that would be the largest in the U.S. to liquefy gas and load it onto ocean-going tankers. Regulators will discuss the project April 19. Cheniere’s shares rose as much as 11 percent in New York.

via LNG Export Plant Verges on U.S. Approval Amid Shale Glut – Bloomberg.




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