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admin 06.02.2014

WASHINGTON — Keeping America’s energy future bright depends, in part, on oil and gas companies convincing the public that their drilling methods are safe, former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will tell landowners and industry representatives gathered in Houston on Wednesday. Salazar is set to speak at the North American Prospect Expo, a conference marked by a frenzy of wheeling and dealing, as landowners from around the globe look to make deals with oil, gas and pipeline companies. The enthusiasm is inspired by a surge in domestic oil and gas development as well as the prospect of new activity in Mexico and other countries. But “this new energy reality” brings formidable challenges, Salazar says, and the biggest may be quelling continued fears about the hydraulic fracturing process that is the root of today’s boom. There are now local bans on the practice across the nation, most notably in New York state, where dozens of municipalities block the activity.
Salazar, who left his post atop the Interior Department last April after four years as secretary, also will stress the need to balance energy development with conservation, including protections for endangered species. Salazar’s speech kicks off NAPE’s day-long business conference, a day after early conference activities got underway. During the traditional marketplace on Thursday and Friday, oil companies big and small will be looking to buy, sell and trade properties. The frenzy on the convention floor has been described as part farmer’s market, part Wall Street. This year’s marketplace comes against the backdrop of potential new foreign markets for American oil and gas. The Energy Department has approved five applications to export liquefied natural gas to countries that don’t have free-trade agreements with the United States.
Energy producers also are excited about the recent climb in natural gas prices, which moved past $5 per million British thermal units on Jan. This year, more than 900 exhibiting companies are expected at the conference, which is put on by the American Association of Professional Landmen, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. In todaya€™s competitive marketplace, all companies, regardless of their business, are concerned about the bottom line. Pumping systems are a major energy consumer and are mission critical to every planta€™s operation. In EPAct 2005, much emphasis is placed on the production, conservation and more efficient use of all types of energy in all settings, from private residences to commercial buildings to manufacturing and industrial plants. MexicoA has the highest average annual rate of growth in industrial energy use, increasing 1.9% annually. In many ways, Europe has been a leader in planned (and mandated) management of energy use and consumption. Energy and environmental policies are significant factors behind the projected contraction in industrial energy use in Europe. Soaring electricity demand has led to the construction of 50-100 GW (or more) of new capacity per year in the recent past, creating sustained financing and environmental challenges. The industrial sector accounted for 75% of China’s total energy consumption in 2007, and its share remains over 60% for the next two decades. India’sA growth is expected to be derived from light manufacturing and services rather than heavy industry.


This “exemption to the exemption” incentivizes diesel-free fracking by allowing companies to duck federal regulation as long as they don’t use diesel. While environmental groups continue to push for prosecution of what they see as illegal diesel use, the impact and significance of diesel fuel fracking is still a subject of debate. While flammability and BTEX contamination are certainly risks associated with fracking, it’s important to look at where these risks are coming from. So how much is diesel fuel fracking contributing to this effect?  Let’s take a look at some numbers.  Rep.
What do these calculations tell us?  Only around .003% of fracking fluid used annually is diesel. While the toxicity of BTEX—particularly benzene—should always be a concern, modern diesel fuel fracking seems to be a negligible source in comparison to produced water and oil and gas production itself.  Although regulatory battles are an efficient way to generate press, focus on produced water management may be a more efficient way to control BTEX contamination and effects. Since the implementation of oil and gas exemptions in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, large federal agencies such as the EPA have been forced to cede regulatory power over hydraulic fracturing to individual state governments.  While this power shift creates a lack of national standards, environmentalists and industry representatives alike have acknowledged the advantage of this decentralization as state governments are often better equipped to implement and enforce regulations for numerous and diverse local drilling operations. To comply with state regulations, gas drilling must not occur within 200 feet of drinking water supplies, within 100 feet of any surface water, or within 100 feet from any wetland greater than one acre in size1. These regulations have resulted in a much higher incidence of water pre-testing than in other states. In addition to being held responsible for contamination of drinking water supply, the state of Pennsylvania also holds drilling companies responsible for loss of water quantity due to other factors such as use in fracking fluid.  The Oil and Gas Act requires companies to restore or replace drinking water supplies significantly diminished by gas drilling activities1. The DEP also keeps a tight watch on water use for hydraulic fracturing.  The Water Resources Planning Act requires withdrawals of over 10,000 gallons per day to be reported to the DEP and all withdrawals resultant of Marcellus Shale drilling must be registered with either the Susquehanna River Basin Commission or the Delaware River Basin Commission1. In response to reports of methane gas contamination of water wells in Pennsylvania, the state implemented extensive regulations controlling construction and standards for well casings in the spring of 20111.  Additionally, this legislation requires drillers to report the quantity and chemical content of produced water created by individual wells1. The state also requires drilling companies by law to plug wells after production ceases.  The portion of well casing protecting groundwater must be maintained and its integrity verified before the well is further filled with non-porous material1. Although the adoption of Act 13 was met with gratitude by the oil and gas industry, the loss of power angered many local governments.  Directly after the passing of the Act, a collection of Pennsylvania municipalities sued the state government for the violation of established municipal power4. Judge Correale Stevens recently joined the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, becoming instrumental to decisions on Pennsylvania fracking regulations. While the state of Pennsylvania currently issues hydraulic fracturing permits according to established regulations, a de facto moratorium has been established in the northeastern part of the state due to legislative indecision within the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC).
The DRBC is a collaborative organization established in 1961 with the purpose of coordinating water management in the Delaware River Basin, which stretches 330 miles across parts of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware2. In the spring of 2010, the DRBC voted to discontinue issuing of drilling permits until new regulations addressing hydraulic fracturing could be established2.
Similar land swaps now take place in Pittsburgh and Denver, too, but the “winter expo” held at Houston’s George R. The technique involves pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to free oil and gas from dense rock formations.
But stringent restrictions on the practice also have been imposed in Dallas and parts of Salazar’s home state of Colorado.
He has since been working for the law firm WilmerHale, after launching its Denver office last summer.


Private equity firms, investment banks and law firms also will be on hand during the dealmaking. While some deals are inked on the spot, many negotiations end with informal handshake agreements and multi-billion-dollar transactions on the horizon. And policymakers in the nation’s capital are debating whether to relax a 39-year ban on exporting U.S. Around the world, energy costs continue to rise as demand increases for greater profitability through cost control. Industrial energy use accounted for about 60% of delivered energy use in Brazil in 2007 and maintains that share through 2035. The European Union passed the 20-20-20 climate and energy policy into law in June 2009, mandating significant reductions in energy consumption in the years ahead. But the developing countries within Europe, the Middle East, and Africa represent opportunity for industrial energy reform. Commodity extraction (mining) is an energy-intensive process, but does not support the expansion of industrial energy use on the same scale as the development of a widespread manufacturing base. The target calls for a 16% reduction by 2015, and a 17% reduction in CO2A emmissions per unit of GDP by 2015. This amounts to more coal than the United States, Russia, and India combined.A Expanding its supply of other energy sources, like nuclear power and imported oil, raises trade and security issues.
While daunting, the challenge of meeting China’s energy needs presents a wealth of opportunities, particularly in meeting demand through improved energy efficiency.
Industrial pumps (including centrifugal and positive displacement pumps) are witnessing a positive trend driven by infrastructure development in processing industries, and mega projects such as the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. Brown Convention Center is the biggest of them all, drawing an estimated 16,000 attendees this year. On Tuesday, futures contracts for next month’s delivery were trading at $5.375 per million BTUs on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In other words, the reduction of energy consumption is a key component in controlling costs. Energy consumption in other Central and South American countries will grow more slowly, but is projected to increase by 20% between 2007 and 2035. However, compared to the rest of the world, this still represents a significant growth opportunity.
Edward Roberts in 1865 for the “Roberts Torpedo”—literally an iron torpedo filled with 15-20 pounds of gunpowder and designed to explode when dropped down a well4.  Soon after, nitroglycerin joined gunpowder as a major player in the fracking industry4. Higher energy costs impact the bottom line of every company, particularly processing operations where, according to the Hydraulic Institute, pumps represent 27% of the electricity used by industrial systems. Canadian energy use is projected to grow at a slower rate of just 0.6% over the coming two decades.



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