There's a revolution occurring in the United States, and it is spreading throughout the world. It is the shale gas revolution, and it has the potential to alter the global energy picture for many years to come. It began a few years ago when Texas oil man George Mitchell had a hunch that he could produce natural gas from the Barnett Shale formation in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Although some geologists were skeptical, Mitchell discovered that gas could be produced by using a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. When other energy companies learned of his success, they improved on his innovation and helped to create a new industry and thousands of jobs across the country.
North Dakota celebrated its 60th year of oil production yesterday. On April 4, 1951, Amerada Corp. struck oil in Clarence Iverson's wheat field near Tioga, which eventually led to North Dakota becoming the 4th largest oil producing state in the country.
Over the intervening years, the process of producing oil in North Dakota and elsewhere has advanced markedly. American ingenuity and investments by the oil and natural gas industry have fueled innovations making it possible to find and produce oil and natural gas in rock formations that were deemed too difficult to locate and assess or too dense to drill a few years ago.
With today's oil and natural gas innovations:
- The industry is using steam to melt oil as thick as a hockey puck in underground formations and coax it to the surface.
- It... more »
This past winter was very hard on my garden. A large number of flowering plants were killed by abnormally low temperatures, and ice damaged the few plants that survived. The winter weed crop, however, was quite healthy. So, yesterday I armed myself with a hoe and attacked the weeds. After a few minutes, I discovered something I hadn't seen before - a plastic corrugated pipe under one flower bed. I removed dirt from the top of the pipe and followed it for several feet. I even considered cutting into it. And then I remembered: Call before you dig. Every year millions of Americans - like me - dig in their lawns for a variety of reasons. But they don't consider the electrical wiring, water pipes, natural gas feeder lines, and phone lines that might have been buried safely below ground. A few d... more »
Energy isn't easy. It isn't easy to produce the affordable, abundant, safe, and secure energy our nation needs today; and it certainly isn't easy to put the policies in place to ensure that we can continue that production in the future. However, there is one thing that is easy; telling everyone what they want to hear, while actually doing nothing. And a review of recent developments indicates that some politicians are trying to protect their jobs by adopting conflicting or incoherent positions that threaten the jobs of others:
- The administration imposed a moratorium and a permitorium on offshore drilling, and then the president promoted Brazil's offshore drilling saying the United States wants to be Brazil's best oil customer.
The U.S. Senate could vote today on measures addressing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources. These measures and the EPA's regulatory proposal on ozone were the topics of discussion in a blogger conference call on Tuesday. Howard Feldman, API's director of scientific and regulatory affairs; Misty McGowen, director of federal relations; and Khary Cauthen, director of federal relations, took questions from bloggers about Congressional action to limit EPA overreach.
Ms. McGowen explained that there is a "groundswell of activity" on EPA regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. In particular, she highlighted Sen. McConnell's, Sen. Rockefeller's and Sen. Baucus' amendments... more »