Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Rampant waste and environmental degradation have been part of the Bakken boom. The state doesn’t care about that, but it wants its taxes.

Helms estimates that about 30% of the gas produced in the state is flared, since development of takeaway infrastructure has not matched the pace of drilling.

Producers are currently allowed to flare gas for a year without paying royalties. The new bill would extend that tax-exempt period for two more years if an operator can collect at least 75% of the produced gas.

via N. Dakota tax bills pique industry interest –


Natural gas development in Bradford County, PA

A link to an animated map of drilling operations in Bradford County since 2008.


Vertical Drilling

It’s the next big thing!

It’s not just a U.S. story as well as a U.S. boom. Stanzione identifies Iraq, Canada and Brazil as all having great advantages from new oil discoveries and more effective drilling techniques such as vertical drilling.

via 'Forget Peak Oil – Oil Will Crash to $50,' Asserts Self-made Multi-millionaire Investor Who Sees the U.S. Being a Net Oil Exporter by 2020 – PR Newswire – The Sacramento Bee.

“It’s not just a U.S. story as well as a U.S. boom… vertical drilling…” Maybe the Sacramento Bee is using Wackenhut editors.

Hamilton on the future of U.S. shale oil

Throwing a little cold water on some recent, loudly reported unscientific predictions. When you read Hamilton, always be sure to read the comments by Jeffrey Brown for an important Big Picture view.

In addition to the uncertainties noted above about extrapolating historical production rates, the rate at which production declines from a given well over time is another big unknown. Another key point to recognize is the added cost of extracting oil from tight formations. West Texas Intermediate is currently around $85/barrel. With the huge discount for Canadian and north-central U.S. producers, that means that producers of North Dakota sweet are only offered $61 a barrel. Tight oil is not going to be the reason that we return to an era of cheap oil, for the simple reason that if oil again fell below $50/barrel, it wouldn’t be profitable to produce with these methods. Nor is tight oil likely to get the U.S. back to the levels of field production that we saw in 1970. But tight oil will likely provide a source of significant new production over the next decade as long as the price does not fall too much.

via Econbrowser: Shale oil and tight oil.

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.

The Fracking Won’t Save Us Chart

From EIA. Prudhoe Bay also “reversed the decline in domestic oil production” at one point.

click to enlarge

The fruits of propaganda
January 21, 2012, 11:46
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Recent production gains in the US have been accompanied by an all-out propaganda assault, from industry and their pocketed pundits and politicians, to convince the public that (1) water-intensive extraction methods are environmentally friendly, and (2) that the new production associated with it is a “game-changer” that will lead to “North American energy independence” and all that. A quick glance at the numbers shows (2) to be a far-fetched notion at best. Still, the propaganda campaign seems to be working.

This is my favorite massive mis-apprehension out of several published mis-apprehensions populating the papers this morning:

“Gas prices are holding steady thanks to the fact that North American production of crude oil is expected to hit an all-time high within the next five years …”

That little un-checked nugget from Michael Vaughn at the Globe and Mail..

Leaving aside the interesting question of whether blatant mis-statements like this, which have presumably survived review by editors of major international publications, are deliberate lies or just lazy stenographic journalism — Is the built-up wall of ignorance now too thick and high to get past? It’s a green monster.

Should we try to break down the wall or is it just much too huge? Should we stand back and admire it in all its glory? Should we paint subversive cartoons on it? What?