Enhanced Energy Recovery Blog (8)
Published: 12 July 2014 11:02 PM
Denton has become ground zero in Texas in the fight over hydraulic fracturing.
A local and long-simmering fight over the effects of fracking on Denton neighborhoods is morphing into a statewide battleground over a city’s right to police what happens within its boundaries.
The city staff is preparing for a large crowd when the Denton City Council takes up a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing during its regular meeting Tuesday night, including requiring speakers to register in advance.
Outgoing Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman wrote a letter to Mayor Chris Watts and the City Council on Friday urging them not to approve the ban, calling oil and gas drilling a pillar of the Texas economy.
Under the city charter, the council must hold a public hearing on an initiative petition before taking a vote on the matter. A group of Denton residents organized the initiative in the spring, delivering the signatures of nearly 2,000 registered voters supporting the ban. If the council passes the ban Tuesday, Denton would be the first city in Texas to ban fracking inside its city limits.
New York’s highest court has upheld city-imposed bans on fracking in Dryden and Middlefield. More than 170 cities in New York have used their zoning authority, as Dryden did, to ban the drilling technique. In Colorado, several cities have declared a long-term moratorium or banned fracking despite pressure from the governor’s office.
In Ohio, some cities moved to regulate fracking under local control they had until the Ohio Legislature started rolling back the authority. In Pennsylvania, the state legislature made a similar move against local authority. A group of residents sued to strike down the law. The state’s highest court agreed that the law substantially violated due process and people’s reliance on rational zoning regulations.
Denton’s proposed ban taps a city’s well-established policing powers, including those that protect the health and safety of residents.
City staff released an advisory Friday saying they will open registration for speakers beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Speakers planning to bring audio or visual materials must submit their material to the city secretary by noon Monday.
Resident Cathy McMullen, who helped organize the initiative, said she expects a competing petition to be delivered Tuesday night.
Canvassers have been in town for several weeks working for Taylor Petition Management of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Owner Tracy Taylor declined to answer questions about the scope of work being performed in Denton and who had hired his company to circulate a plebiscite petition in support of fracking.
“Any questions or comments need to come from Denton Taxpayers for a Strong Economy,” Taylor said.
The group did not return multiple calls for comment.
Unlike initiative and referendum petitions, under the charter, a plebiscite petition does not bind the City Council to any action.
Originally, workers were being paid $2 per signature for the plebiscite petition. Organizers increased payment last week to $2.50 per signature with bonuses, according to a private Facebook group post obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle. If a worker averaged more than 50 signatures per day, they would receive another 75 cents per signature at the end of the drive. If they averaged more than 60 signatures, they would be paid $1 per signature bonus. The author of the post, Charles Chavez, also said the company would pay another 50 cents per signature toward hotel and travel expenses and the work had to be finished by Tuesday.
Taylor Petition Management is one of about 30 licensed petitioners in Colorado. Texas does not require petition companies to be licensed, according to Alicia Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Texas secretary of state.
If Denton doesn’t approve the ban Tuesday night — leaving the matter for the November ballot instead — Alpine may become the first city in Texas to ban fracking. Residents went before the City Council there on July 1 and requested a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Like Denton, Alpine, near Big Bend, is also a home-rule city.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.
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written by Neeraj Nandurdika
About Neera Nandurdikar: Consultant to Executives in Fortune 500 companies in Oil and Gas sector. Helping executives improve their capital projects performance and manage their capital projects portfolio with focus on very large projects.
Conducted due diligence work, risk assessment and risk mitigation on project systems, organizational structure reviews and quantified analysis of risks to project budgets, schedule, and production performance.
Worked with senior management in oil and gas companies on devising country entry strategies, building portfolio management tools, stakeholder management workshops, root cause analysis.
Business development, relationship building, and P/L experience of over 8 eight years in a business that has delivered more than 10 percent growth y-o-y
17 April 2014. Port of Spain
By Curtis Williams. Oil & Gas Journal Correspondent.
Oil & Gas Journal, PenWell Media; Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Spain’s Repsol has drilled a dry hole with its Pinter One offshore Trinidad and Tobago’s east coast. The dry hole represents a major failure for the company, which has been trying to boost its falling crude production from its Teak Samman and Pouis acreage.
Repsol began drilling Pinter One on Dec. 26, 2013, and wrapped up the well in February after reaching its total depth of 13,000 ft.
The failure also has major implications for the announced discovery of 32 million bbl of recoverable reserves by Bayfield Energy, which has since been sold to Trinity Exploration & Production Co.
Bayfield in 2012 announced on the London Stock Exchange that it made a discovery with its EG8 well on Galeota Block and that the discovery extends into Repsol’s acreage. EG8 was deviated from its surface location towards the southwest in order to target the crestal area of mapped horizons in the prospective EG2/EG5 Central fault block.
The well encountered 10 hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoir zones between 1,364 ft and 6,000 ft below mean sea level. Preliminary analysis showed the vertical thickness of net hydrocarbon-bearing sands. It was drilled to a total depth of 8,133 ft with well sands totals of 421 ft, of which 352 ft is gas and 69 ft is oil.
Trinity Chief Executive Officer Joel Monty Pemberton told OGJ that while his company was aware of the failure, it was not sure to what extent the size of the company’s discovery has been negatively impacted. He said it was logical to expect it meant the size of the discovery will have to be downgraded, but he could not tell without the information from the well.
Posted by Chris DeLucia, Senior Analyst, IHS Energy. April 8, 2014
Chris DeLucia is a Senior Analyst with the IHS Energy Upstream Competition Service in Washington, DC, where he focuses on company strategy and trends within the upstream oil and gas sector.
Prior to joining IHS, he spent several years working within the areas of investment banking and economics & capital markets research. Chris holds a BA in Economics and International Studies from Colby College, and an MPA in International Energy Policy Management from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Tier II independents are focusing on North America - unconventionals production which will rise to 50% of their total output by about 2020—compared with less than 35% of total current production. This focus has led to declining returns on capital employed from 21% to 10% in the last 4 years.
In contrast with the more diversified upstream strategies pursued by the Global Players and larger Tier I Independents (E&P companies with the potential to generate >1 mmboe/d in production), the North America-focused companies within the smaller Tier II Independents peer group — BHP Billiton, Hess Corporation, Marathon Oil, Murphy Oil, Noble Energy, and Talisman Energy — share the common theme of increased portfolio concentration within North America. Production from the US and Canada accounted for more than 50% of combined global volumes for the peer group in 2013, versus ~35% as recently as 2010.
This portfolio concentration is the result of an increased focus on US and Canadian onshore unconventional resource plays, a strategy which has driven output growth in recent years. This trend is expected to continue, with IHS Energy’s Upstream Competition Service forecasting a ~6% production CAGR for the combined peer group over the next five years (compared with ~4.5% during the prior five-year period.)
The other side of this coin is the increasing peer group exposure to the challenging oil and gas market fundamentals in North America—reflected in continued low gas prices and substantial, cyclical discounts in regional crude oil prices relative to Brent. The result has been shrinking returns, with upstream ROCE (on a 3-year rolling basis) among the peer group declining from 21% in 2009 to less than 10% in 2013. This returns challenge is compounded by increased pressure from shareholders to improve returns and increase distributions to equity investors.
As a result, several of these companies have identified the need to develop core areas in addition to North America, while also pursuing divestitures or farm-downs of interests in non-core areas in order to focus on higher-return and strategically important assets. The primary challenge for the Tier II peer group lies in determining the appropriate portfolio balance between the growth prospects provided by US and Canadian unconventionals, and the potentially stronger returns attainable outside the North America energy market.
Microbially Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) is the use of microbes in petroleum reservoirs to enhance the amount of oil that can be produced.
The microbes in MEOR are typically hydrocarbon-utilising, non-pathogenic micro-organisms that are naturally found in petroleum reservoirs or are introduced.
As a result of their metabolic activity, the microbes excrete natural and non-toxic bio-products such as alcohols, gases, acids, surfactants and polymers.
These can cause a series of very desirable changes in the physical-chemical properties of the crude.
There is also a marked improvement or a near-complete restoration of the lithological properties of the reservoir rock.
Improving production of Australia’s oilfields
Demand for fossil fuels approaches or even outstrips supply growth.
Despite advances in renewable energy sources and the likely move to a hydrogen economy, oil will remain a key energy source for 20-30 years.
However, globally it’s recognised that it is getting progressively harder to find more oil. Most likely, the majority of the oil provinces and giant oilfields have already been discovered.
The best way to influence oil production and hence Australia’s balance of payments is by improving productivity of known oilfields. Future oil exploration is focussing more and more on difficult targets.
The best way to influence oil production and hence Australia’s balance of payments is by improving productivity of known oilfields.
In 2003 Australia was 75 per cent self-sufficient in oil, but this is predicted to decline to 50 per cent by 2015.
This will contribute to an ever-widening trade deficit.
In mature basins a major component of the addition to reserves is derived from 'reserve growth' (field 'growth'). While finding and exploiting more subtle traps and oil pools in or near existing oil fields is important, as is exploring for oil in new petroleum provinces, Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), sometimes called Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) or tertiary oil recovery, will play a critical role in sustaining oil supply from mature fields.
Primary recovery usually only accesses 30 to 35 per cent of the original oil in place (OOIP).
Secondary and tertiary recovery methods may net a further 15 to 25 per cent OOIP, leaving 30 to 55 per cent OOIP left behind as irrecoverable or irreducible oil in the reservoir.
MEOR technology targets this remaining oil and aims to enable production of 80 to 85 per cent of OOIP.
While it is clear that biocatalysis performed by microbes may promote beneficial chemical reactions such as the production of biosurfactants in a very specific and energy-efficient manner, a sound understanding of the underlying principles is important to predict site-specific effects of microbial activity on fluid flow in porous media and hence on the efficiency of oil production.
EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery) is an enormous investment opportunity, with total global EOR recovery potential estimated to exceed 750 billion barrels of oil.
The Middle East has the greatest EOR potential with over 475 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
The U.S. DOE estimates that the U.S. has reserves of 100-160 billion barrels of stranded oil that could be recovered (equivalent to 35 years worth of crude oil imports at current levels).
Similar stranded oil extraction opportunities exist in Asia. Since the oil targeted for EOR is located in wells that have already been drilled, exploration risk is virtually eliminated. Effectively, depleted oil reserves can dramatically increase in value with EER's abundant, low-cost BBR TM process, which unlocks a large reserve of EOR producible barrels.
Crude oil production through conventional methods is only able to capture about 20-40 percent of the original oil in reservoirs. However, using EOR enables the recovery of between 60-90% of the reservoirs oil.
The use of CO2 for commercial EOR is an established oil recovery method that began in the United States over 30 years ago. There are now over 120 registered CO2 floods worldwide. However, limited supplies of naturally occurring CO2 and high costs of CO2 production, compression and transport have, to date, limited the wide utilization of EOR. Power plants generate large streams of CO2 from combustion of fossil fuels, but the cost of post-combustion capture remains very high and the technology is not yet commercialized.
MEOR (microbial) methods such as EER's BBRTM process, can achieve the same or better results for a significant saving per barrel, making it a highly attractive alternative with almost unlimited capacity to expand it's market into a multibillion dollar industry in the future.
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