Forbes.com articles

Dr. Ian Dexter Palmer is a frequent contributor to Forbes.com. Read the articles below:

2022

Russia Threatens, EU Reduces, US Industry Helps To Untangle The Natural Gas War in Europe.

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 28, 2022

One lesson from the Europe gas crisis is to preserve energy security. This needs to frame the new Inflation Reduction Act plus a follow-up bill on permits for oil and gas wells.

Both oil and gas exported from Russia bring in significant revenue that can be used to support the Russian war in Ukraine. But the export revenue from oil sales is much greater than the export revenue from gas sales. Read More.

Warren Buffet’s Big Money Bet on Occidental Petroleum Company

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 25, 2022

Warren Buffet may see business opportunity in carbon capture (CCS) growth in the US. This may be a safe investment in the short-term but in the long-term CCS looks to be impractical.

Since 2019 the billionaire Warren Buffet has been buying stock in Occidental Petroleum. His holdings have reached 20% of the company, worth about $180 million. Like all big-oil companies, Occidental’s stock price has soared and it’s risen about 80% year-to-date.

Some observers think Buffet has plans to buy out Occidental, similar to what he did with the railway conglomerate Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp that he started buying in 2006 and finished in 2010. READ MORE.

Big-Oil Was Right About Natural Gas Being A Bridge To Renewables

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 21, 2022

The proclamations that natural gas would be a bridge to future renewable energies have come true. And right now it looks like a pretty sturdy bridge.

Today’s news includes the threat that Russia will continue the recent cuts in gas supplies that Gazprom, the state gas company, has imposed. Moscow may not fully reconnect the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that carries gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany at the end of scheduled maintenance today. READ MORE.

Last Week, In “Games” That May Influence The Future Of Energy, President Biden Played Two Weak Hands.

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 17, 2022

The failure of Biden’s card hand in the Middle East left the oil and gas industry happy with the price of $100/barrel oil, at least for now.

Cards in the right hand.

President Biden was in the Middle East last week trying to work a deal with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries to increase their oil production. This would lower the international price of oil, now about $100 per barrel, and would result in lower gasoline prices everywhere.

In the US, as in other countries, gasoline prices are higher than they’ve been in years. They are part of the inflationary surge that is agitating US citizens mindful of mid-term congressional elections coming up in November. READ MORE

Energy Inflation, Energy Security, And When Fossil Fuel Is Not Coming To A Dead End.

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 8, 2022

Shortages of energy and rises in prices of gasoline, natural gas, and electricity are forcing policymakers to reevaluate the tradeoff between fossil fuels emissions and the need for energy security.

Energy inflation.

Inflation in Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 8.5% per year in May 2022, and is on everyone’s mind, particularly seniors whose income is limited. Energy is a significant part of CPI – without food and energy, CPI was 6.0% in May. The main sources of global energy are still the fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal.

Global oil has risen from zero dollars per barrel in mid-2020 to $102 per barrel now, and that has caused consternation about the prices of gasoline and diesel in the US, even though prices are still lower than most of the world. READ MORE

Big-Oil Lands On Huge Hydrogen Hub In Australia, But How Viable Is Hydrogen?

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 30, 2022

AREH may become one of the largest green hydrogen hubs in the world. Lots of sunshine and wind to corral for clean electricity to produce green hydrogen. And lots of markets nearby in southeast Asia.

In 2020, bp sat down as an oil and gas company and looked in the crystal ball. After a lengthy review of lots of data they came up with three scenarios for the future. In the main one, oil and gas consumption would be 36% of total global energy in 2050 (down from 57% in 2020) and renewables would be 45%.

So, by 2050 oil and gas would still be more than a third of the market, with renewables not quite 50%. bp decided to become an integrated energy company. READ MORE

Proppant Movement In Frac Casing Including Runaway Perforations And Limited Entry.

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 27, 2022

Results of a surface testing protocol, and an engineering model built upon the testing, should be an asset to operators in the field trying to optimize their perforating designs.

Perforations are the tiny holes in the casing of a well that produces oil or gas. The perforations allow the oil or gas to enter the well and flow to the surface.

But most wells, before they are put on production, are fracked in an operation that pumps water or slickwater down the well and out through the perforations to create fractures in the formation that contains the oil or gas. To prop the fractures open, fine sand called proppant is pumped along with the water. READ MORE

Proppant Movement In Frac Casing Has Been Nailed Down, But How Important Is It Really For Shale Wells?

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 22, 2022

When compared with other sources of variability, it’s hard to see that new measurements of variability in proppant exits from one to another perforation cluster could have a serious effect on oil or gas production.

Proppant consists of sand-sized particles injected with frac fluid during a fracking operation. In shale oil and gas wells, the frac fluid is usually water with some friction reducer (like soap) added to lower the frac pumping pressure. The purpose of proppant is to stop the induced fractures in the reservoir from closing after fracking stops and the elevated pressure fades away. READ MORE

Exponential Sales Of EVs Means Less Gasoline, Less Crude Oil, Less Greenhouse Gases.

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 18, 2022

Oil and gas companies who produce crude oil to make gasoline and diesel fuels should watch carefully the increase of electric vehicle sales — because continuing exponential growth may be disruptive.

The growth of EVs (electric vehicles) affects the oil and gas industry in an obvious way. Less gasoline for internal combustion engines means less crude oil refined into gasoline or diesel. Read More

Sanctions On Russian Oil And Gas Didn’t Work, And Now We Know Why.

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 14, 2022

In May 2022, Russia’s export revenue from fossil fuels had increased to $0.9 billion/day, an increase of 39% from pre-war May 2021.

The Russian war on Ukraine started on February 24, 2022, has been going on for about 100 days. Exports of fossil fuels from Russia have been widely quoted as funding the Russian war and its atrocities.

Sanctions have been applied by the West to reduce their purchase of Russian oil and gas. Russian oil is more important because Russia’s export revenue of oil and its liquid products is much greater than the export revenue of natural gas. Read More

How Scotland Is Juggling Oil And Gas And Jobs In Their Transition To Renewables.

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 25, 2022

As the tension between fossil and renewable energies increases, how quickly does a country have to cut back its fossil energies and what happens to lost jobs?

A global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies is underway, driven by one statistic: fossil fuels provide 83% of the world’s energy and about 73% of the world’s greenhouse gases (GHG). These gases cause global warming, in the opinion of most climate scientists, and the global temperature has increased by over 1 Celsius degree since 1850. Read More.

An Enhanced Geothermal System Uses Oil And Gas Technology To Mine Low-Carbon Energy. Part 2.

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 19, 2022

Success at FORGE means testing technologies that would not otherwise be considered, passing viable technologies to private industry, and encouraging geothermal development overall.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has funded a project called FORGE where hot granite rock will be drilled and fracked using the best oil and gas technology. An overall goal is to see if water pumped downone well can be circulated through the granite and heated before pumped up a second well to drive turbines that generate electricity. READ MORE

An Enhanced Geothermal System Uses Oil And Gas Technology To Mine Low-Carbon Energy. Part 1.

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 19, 2022

A new research program called FORGE is building a field laboratory in Utah to test new technologies that would allow commercialization of EGS.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has funded a project called FORGE where hot granite rock will be drilled and fracked using the best oil and gas technology. An overall goal is to see if water pumped down one well can be circulated through the granite and heated before pumped up a second well to drive turbines that generate electricity. READ MORE

Is Elon Musk Right Or Wrong To Dismiss Hydrogen Use For Low-Carbon Energy Storage?

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 15, 2022

Small and large-scale hydrogen projects are in planning stages, or already operating, and further innovation will cement hydrogen’s value as a niche energy component of a low-carbon future.

The context is transitioning from fossil energy to renewables. One key aspect of this is transport via gasoline or diesel vehicles and its transition to electric motors driven by batteries or hydrogen. The fossil fuel industry should be concerned about the efficiency and cost of sustainable transport, because that will determine the speed of the transition which will likely affect the decline of oil production and perhaps the oil and gas industry itself.

Elon Musk knows batteries. He builds them: to propel cars and trucks, at one bookend, to grid-scale behemoths that store and stabilize electrical power for hundreds of homes and commercial enterprises, at the other bookend. Read More

EU Bans Russian Oil — Sort Of — And What That Will Achieve.

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 4, 2022

The EU countries will have to scramble to replace the lost oil, but the decision announced by Ms von der Leyen is the right thing to do.

When the Russian army left behind their raping and pillaging communities around Kyiv, but continued the complete demolition of cities like Mariupol, and the selected bombing of theaters (600 dead including children), and shelling of hospitals and railway stations, there was a biblical cry of anger that rose up from European countries in an orbit around Ukraine. And sanctions took a new direction. Read More

An Alternative To Storing Carbon Deep Underground: Nanotubes.

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 30, 2022

By the year 2050, oil and gas will still be abundant: about 40% of the world’s energy consumption, down from roughly 53% now.

The fossil fuel industry is cheap and reliable and vast. But coal is on the way out — “phasing down” was the expression agreed at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. By the year 2050, oil and gas will still be abundant: about 40% of the world’s energy consumption, down from roughly 53% now. Read More.

The Russian Gas Ban On Poland, Is It Blackmail Or A Step Toward A Solution For The War In Ukraine.

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 28, 2022

Russia is actually moving the EU in the right direction – to ban more oil imports from Russia, which could be huge leverage in stopping the tragic war in Ukraine.

President Zelensky has been calling for a ban of oil and gas imported from Russia. Many in the West have supported this. The US announced a ban on Russian oil a few weeks ago, but the amount of oil was very small, and didn’t really affect Russia.

Zelensky’s call was based on huge revenues that Russia gets from exporting oil and gas. Russia gets roughly 74% of its export revenue from its oil exports (crude oil plus petroleum liquids). But it only gets about 10% of its export revenue from natural gas. Read More.

How Oil And Gas Is Being Affected By Climate Change – Response To A Presentation In Mid-America.

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 25, 2022

The subject is a dilemma because the oil and gas industry has lifted whole populations to a higher quality of living while also raising greenhouse gases to a controversial level. 

Independence, Kansas, is a small conservative town in the heart of the USA. The area produced oil for decades, before natural gas from coalbed methane became big in the 1990s and 2000s. Huge wind farms have sprung up in the past few years not far away and provided Kansas with over 40% of its electricity in 2019 — over 25 GWh (million Kilowatt-hours). The state is #1 or #2 in wind energy in the USA. The highest level of wind speeds occur in large areas around historic Dodge City. Read More.

Jump In Methane Emissions That Fingers Big Oil — But Wait, Not So Fast.

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 11, 2022

Oil and gas operators are working on finding and fixing methane leaks. This has an out-sized impact on arresting global warming, as well as a lift to oil and gas companies’ bottom line.

The methane bugaboo began around 2003 when a mysterious cloud of methane gas was found, by satellite, hovering above Farmington in New Mexico. It was easy to point the finger at the oil and gas industry because the San Juan basin, around Farmington was the largest gas basin in the USA in the period 2003-2009 with 40,000 wells drilled. Gas prices reached $13/Mcf in 2009 but then busted.

That was before shale gas became a phenomenon and pushed the San Juan basin down to number 5 of gas producers by 2015. Read More.

Cutting Oil Versus Gas From Russia – Are The West Scratching The Right Itch?

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 8, 2022

Outflows of oil versus natural gas from Russia, and their payments by the EU, are very different — the West should focus on cutting oil from Russia, not gas.

All the news is about embargoing Russia’s exports of oil and gas to hit the bear hard on its revenue intake. This is because certain European Union (EU) countries are overly dependent on imports of Russian oil and gas. But some countries like Germany would be hit hard by these embargoes.

Let’s turn to the data to clarify the situation. Read More

The King Of Shale Oil, The Permian Basin, Is Still Riding The Wave.

Originally published on Forbes.com on March 30, 2022

The Delaware portion of the Permian will continue to ride high and may assist the US and Europe in regard to Biden’s ban on buying Russian oil.  

Riding the wave.

The Permian basin, in West Texas and New Mexico, is producing over 5 million bpd (barrels per day) which is almost half of the total US supply. An analysis says the US has 76 billion bbl of untapped reserves and most of this is in the Permian. Read More.

The Concept Of Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions, And How To Measure Them For Carbon Management By Fossil Energy And Other Companies. Part 1.

Originally published on Forbes.com on March 24, 2022

NZero helps customers make data-driven decisions about decarbonizing homes, buildings, companies and communities.

There is a growing need for companies to adopt carbon management, meaning to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Bankers and public stakeholders are demanding it. Worldwide investments in ESG-focused funds in 2021 were 2.3 times larger than they were in 2019. Read More.

Natural Gas Versus Nuclear Energy In Europe: The Challenges Of War And Climate

Originally published on Forbes.com on March 20, 2022

The UK prime minister said last week that he may consider shifting to nuclear power to offset rising prices of natural gas, which have spurted up by about 150% in Europe since the start of the war in Ukraine. This price increase is more than double.

This would also support UK’s strong climate stance of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — because nuclear power delivers green energy. However, it’s not so clean in other respects – see below.

But high-energy countries have been shifting away from nuclear and toward natural gas. The Bloomberg Green Newsletter said Germany’s nuclear power generation in 2021 was 60% lower than its peak, the UK’s was 50% lower, and Japan’s was 87% lower.

With war raging in Ukraine, one observer suggested that Germany, if faced with a gas crunch, might reopen nuclear power stations that had been mothballed. Germany imports 49% of its gas from Russia.

Does nuclear power warrant another look as an alternative to natural gas energy and as a way to decarbonize the world? Read More

Russia And Ukraine — Oil And Gas Fallout For The World, Now And Looking Ahead.

Originally published on Forbes.com on March 15, 2022

Martin Rylance of THREE60 ENERGY has a long working relationship in the Russian oilfield, and provides an interview on oil and gas production, prices, and the future.

Martin Rylance is the Discipline Lead and Distinguished Advisor for Reservoir and Well Enhancement at THREE60 ENERGY Ltd.  Previously he worked at bp, their NOJVs and partner companies for more than 37 years. Having lived in 12 Countries (30 years connected with Russia) and pumped in 45 he has a truly international footprint in fracturing and stimulation services, well control and multilateral drilling.  He is a co-author of several books, including “Modern Fracturing: Enhancing Natural Gas Production”, and author of more than 200 industry technical papers, articles, and patents. Read More

A New Climate City In A Big Oil State – Saudi Arabia – Is It Future Or Fantasy

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 28, 2022

Progress at Neom will help decide whether this is just a token climate enterprise, or a real deal alternative to help reduce the country’s dependence on oil and gas.

Reading about this futuristic vision may provide a temporary respite from the calamities of war. READ MORE

Advances In Fracking – Low-Tech, High-Tech, and Climate-Tech.

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 21, 2022

A spread of oil and gas innovations continues to make fracking more efficient and even spills over to a green energy application.   

The Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference (HFTC) was held in The Woodlands, Texas, on February 1-3, 2022. The pandemic hiatus appears to be over at last, so long as no radical new variants pop up.

The hiatus hasn’t stopped innovation, which has always been a key ingredient of the oil and gas industry. Here are a few recent highlights, some of which came out of HFTC. READ MORE

Gas Flaring Falls Off In Permian And Bakken – And Why That’s Good News.

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 15, 2022

Flaring much greater than 1% is a loss of revenue and is environmentally unacceptable. By reducing flaring, companies are moving in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

Gas flaring refers to burning off excess gas at an oil or gas well. Flaring can be temporary or routine. Temporary flaring is when an operator is completing the installation of a well. Routine flaring refers to natural gas that has no pipeline so the gas is released to the atmosphere and burned because the operator can make a better profit by continuing to sell the oil that comes up the well along with the gas. READ MORE

Headwinds And Tailwinds Clash In Derailed New Mexico Hydrogen Bill.

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 10, 2022

Such a large concept, that would benefit by integrating with the oil and gas industry, was perceived by many as a tax credit subsidy to the industry.

Last month, House Bill 4, called the Hydrogen Hub Development Act, was voted down by the committee on House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources. There were various reasons for this. READ MORE

One State’s Passionate Debate About Developing A Hydrogen FueI Industry.

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 2, 2022

How does an oil-and-gas state keep or replace the revenue coming in and still find a glide path transition to renewable energies? One governor has proposed hydrogen as a solution.

If you thought this state was California which tries to be first in everything, its not. If you thought it was Texas, which tries to be first in energy everything, its not.

It’s a poor-sister state with a very rich oil deposit – the Delaware basin – and the state is number 2 in oil production. The Delaware basin is the premier oil and gas basin in the USA. The value of oil and gas at the wellhead in New Mexico was $24 billion/year in 2019 and probably a bit more in 2021 — a staggering amount of money. READ MORE


2021

Biden’s Climate Plan For ‘Un-Coal’

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 7, 2020

Biden’s climate plan states, “He will launch a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build a modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future.” It is worth clarifying what the plan may mean for energy companies, and in particular for coal, oil, and natural gas companies. READ MORE

Taking A Look At Biden’s Climate Plan For Cars And Trucks

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 19, 2020

President-Elect Joe Biden has unveiled a plan for building a modern sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future. It’s a vision based largely on the assumption of a massive wave of investment in electric vehicles. But Biden is not just dreaming, he intends to act: READ MORE

How Interior Sec. Nominee Haaland Can Support Biden’s Climate Agenda Even In Her Own Fracking – Happy New Mexico

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 23, 2020

Amidst the excitement of Deb Haaland’s nomination to Secretary of Interior for the new Biden administration, and the growing concern about climate change, it would be good to remember what the oil and gas industry has done for Haaland’s home state of New Mexico. Roughly a third (about $2 billion) of the state government budget comes from taxes and royalties from the industry. About $1.4 billion of this revenue provides a third of the state’s funding for public schooling. Let’s look at the two big oil and gas basins in New Mexico. READ MORE

Where Does Big Oil Fit Into Biden’s Plan For Net-Zero Emissions By 2050?

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 29. 2020

One of the biggest challenges facing Biden is the fossil fuel industry. Oil and gas has brought in the shale gas revolution in the past 20 years, with benefits ranging from cheap gas to the US becoming energy-independent for the first time since 1947. And along the way lifting many millions of people across the world into the middle class. READ MORE

Put It Underground: A Feasible Biden Plan For Fossil Energy Emissions – Except For The Cost

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 29, 2020

Climate change aficionados want the oil and gas industry to shut down now. But the industry gurus say that’s unrealistic – the world will need oil-and-gas for decades. Is there a middle ground? READ MORE

Feds Approve Plan To Drill And Frack 5,000 New Oil Wells in The Powder River Basin Of Wyoming

Originally published on Forbes.com on January 14, 2021

Wyoming oil and gas boosters succeeded a few weeks ago in pushing through Bureau of Land Management approvals for a massive campaign in the Powder River Basin that could see the drilling and fracking of 5,000 new wells. The region is better known as being home to America’s biggest coal mines — now in severe decline. READ MORE

The Risks And Rewards Of A Massive Fracking Campaign Planned For The Powder River Basin Of Wyoming

Originally published on Forbes.com on January 18, 2021

Last week we highlighted a plan approved by the Bureau of Land Management to drill and frack 5,000 new oil wells in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. Now let’s look under the hood to better understand the pros and cons of such a high-stakes bonanza. READ MORE

The Ins And Outs Of Biden’s Federal Oil Leasing Ban 

Originally published on Forbes.com on January 27, 2021

Several executive actions were signed by President Biden on January 27. One was to instruct the Department of Interior to pause approving new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. Another was to create a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative that aims to restore federal lands and waters, by reforestation and safeguarding biodiversity. READ MORE

What Makes The Permian Basin’s New Mexico Portion Such A Success?

Originally published on Forbes.com on January 27, 2021

New Mexicans are proud of their Land of Enchantment, because of the climate, the culture, outdoor activities, mountains views, white sand deserts, and the ubiquitous arts and crafts.

One other aspect that many people, but not all, are proud of is the Delaware basin – another way of spelling oil and gas. We will look into this. Why are some people proud? Why are some people not? READ MORE

Profit And Loss From Flaring Of Natural Gas In Permian Basin Wells Of New Mexico.

Originally published on Forbes.com on January 29, 2021

The Delaware basin, a part of the Permian basin, contributes massively to New Mexico’s oil and gas production. Yet it also contributes to problems – and one is flaring natural gas usually, but not always, at the top of wells. READ MORE

Rich In Oil And Gas But New Mexico Searching For A Safe Transition To Renewables

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 4, 2021

A balanced editorial appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday, January 31. It acknowledged the immense wealth of New Mexico’s Delaware basin, part of the Permian.

But the article lamented the lack of attention given to these oil and gas riches during the State of the State address last week by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Instead, the governor praised “the country’s toughest methane and air pollutant rules in the oil and gas industry…”

Here we look a little deeper into the wealth of this basin, what it has provided to New Mexico, and how oil and gas companies could work with the state and federal administration to meet their goals. READ MORE

The Transition From Fossil Fuels To Renewables Under Biden and Yergin

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 12, 2021

President Joe Biden has been quite aggressive in some of his actions that pertain to the oil and gas industry, such as banning drilling leases on federal lands and waters, stopping progress on the Keystone X-L pipeline, and elevating climate change to a national office in his government.  Biden’s goal is net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. This is one perspective. READ MORE

Tech-Savvy Entrepreneurs Make Inroads Into Fracking Operations In Shale Oil And Gas.

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 17, 2021

The price of oil dropped in 2015 and many oil and gas workers were laid off. But soon after, 2018 was called the year of the frac because the industry boomed again, led by the mighty Permian basin with its prolific oil and gas resource. Then the pandemic of 2020 hit, OPEC squabbled with Russia, and the oil price fell again – all the way to zero, unbelievably. Now in early 2021 it’s picked up to $60/barrel. READ MORE

Why Good Data Is Crucial To Evaluate Under-The-Radar Methane Emissions Around The World

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 24, 2021

After 10 years, it’s now accepted by most oil and gas companies that methane emissions are bad news. The emissions are mainly leakage of natural gas from wells, from pipelines, and from oil and gas facilities such as gas processing plants.

Most individual leaks are very small but a few big ones can really distort the picture. And tens of thousands of small ones in wells and pipeline miles adds up. Pneumatics which are devices that contain gas under pressure are a big contributor to leakage. READ MORE

Methane Emissions Data: Regulations Needed To Stop Atmosphere Warming In Permian Basin

Originally published on Forbes.com on February 26, 2021

In New Mexico, emissions from the oil and gas industry were 53% of state greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. This makes reducing emissions, mostly methane, the highest priority for the state. Governor Lujan Grisham has set a goal to reduce by 45% methane emissions between 2005 and 2030.

Several years ago, a plume of methane was discovered by satellite hanging over the town of Farmington, northwest New Mexico, the population center of the San Juan basin, one of the biggest gas producing basins in the USA. See Figure 1. READ MORE.

Climate Future Of Oil And Gas – Three Federal, One New Mexico Stepping Stones

Originally published on Forbes.com on March 28, 2021

Four stepping stones

The week of March 22, 2021 saw four independent “meetings” on the future of oil and gas in regard to climate change. Each meeting suggested changes that will definitely affect the future of the oil and gas industry in the USA.

The meetings focused on three sticky issues – the ban on federal leasing, methane emissions, and carbon pricing. These are all related to regulation at federal and state level of the climate crisis and the role of the oil and gas industry. The snowball is starting to roll…. READ MORE

Why The Permian Basin May Not Be The Best Place To Store Nuclear Waste

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 3, 2021

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has evaluated a proposal by Holtec International to build a storage site for radioactive nuclear waste in New Mexico, and determined that a license can be issued.

Last Monday, the attorney-general for New Mexico filed a lawsuit against the NRC intended to block the project because it would endanger the environment, residents, and nearby industries like agriculture and oil and gas production.

One of the risks evaluated by NRC is earthquakes. But earthquakes are often associated with oil and gas production, and the proposed Holtec site is close to thousands of new oil and gas wells in the Delaware basin. This deserves a closer look. READ MORE

As Electricity And Transport Turn ‘Green’ — Is There Any Future In Gasoline?

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 13, 2021

The snowball has begun to roll, and renewable energies like wind and solar are increasing rapidly. It’s hard not to notice if you are challenged to pass one of those giant wind turbine blades being trucked along the highway.

In President Biden’s proposed budget, just out, he has inserted a big chunk of money aimed at arresting climate change and including spurs for renewable energy. For example, the Energy Department would increase by about 10% overall, but with $8 billion (an increase of 27%) directed at a new generation of electric vehicles, nuclear reactors, and other alternatives to burning fossil fuels. READ MORE

How China And The US Stack Up On Greenhouse Emissions, And How They Might Work Together to Reduce Them

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 21, 2021

In 2016, President Trump came to power in the USA. In what now seems like a perfect irony, 2016 was the hottest year on record for the world since the 1880s, according to NOAA and NASA.In late 2019, Trump formally notified the UN that the US was withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Agreement had been signed by 200 nations to cut greenhouse emissions and to help poorer countries manage their mitigation efforts.  Ironically, the same year of 2019 turned out to be the second-hottest year on record. READ MORE

Green Electricity Can Be Unstable. Big-Battery Backups Are The Solution

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 29, 2021

The electricity system in the UK was its greenest ever on Easter Monday 2021: 76%. The very next day it fell to 45%. Obviously, it varies widely with how much sun is shining and how strongly winds are blowing.

The energy mix on Easter Monday was 39% wind, 21% solar, and 16% nuclear. Gas power plants provided 10% and coal plants provided zilch. Wood-burning biomass was 4%.

But the race to renewables had already been won by a large state with low population in Australia. In October 2020, South Australia’s electricity was carbon-free – for one hour – powered by large-scale wind and solar but also by rooftop solar collectors (one in four houses have rooftop solar in Australia). READ MORE

Role Of Oil And Gas Industry In Transition To Renewable Energies – An International View

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 26, 2021

Iman Hill is the executive director of IOGP (International Association of Oil and Gas Producers). On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, she gave a webinar on SPE Live called “Extraordinary Times for the Oil and Gas Industry – IOGP Fireside Chat.” READ MORE

Green Electricity Can Be Unstable. Big-Battery Backups Are The Solution

Originally published on Forbes.com on April 29, 2021

The electricity system in the UK was its greenest ever on Easter Monday 2021: 76%. The very next day it fell to 45%. Obviously, it varies widely with how much sun is shining and how strongly winds are blowing.

The energy mix on Easter Monday was 39% wind, 21% solar, and 16% nuclear. Gas power plants provided 10% and coal plants provided zilch. Wood-burning biomass was 4%.

But the race to renewables had already been won by a large state with low population in Australia. In October 2020, South Australia’s electricity was carbon-free – for one hour – powered by large-scale wind and solar but also by rooftop solar collectors (one in four houses have rooftop solar in Australia). READ MORE

Is Fracking Good or Bad?

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 4, 2021

Fracking of oil and gas wells is a conundrum. On one hand, fracking was a key to releasing oil and gas from shale rock, which led to the successful shale revolution that allowed us to buy cheap gasoline and also enabled the US to become self-sufficient in oil and gas for the first time since 1947. READ MORE

The Pursuit Of Proppant – Unheralded But Significant Ingredient In Fracking Operations

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 19, 2021

Proppant-sand quietly became a significant and expensive ingredient of fracking recipes in the shale revolution. But new data from shale wells that used smaller proppant-sand has revealed a significant uplift in gas and oil flowrates. READ MORE

Is DEEPROP A Missing Ingredient For More Efficient Fracking In Shale Wells?

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 19, 2021

What’s the use of proppant in fracking operations?

The shale revolution has occupied the first 20 years of the new century. It has enabled the US to become self-sufficient in oil and gas for the first time since 1947. Its benefits included cheap gas for cars, cheap heating for homes and offices, cheap plastics for car, home, and office.

The key to success was technology – a long horizontal well (up to two miles long) fracked up to 40 times along its length. Each fracking operation basically cracked up the shale rock around the horizontal well, and by using up to 40 separate fracking operations, the shale was cracked up along the entire length of the horizontal well. READ MORE

To Understand Its Energy Future, The US Should Look Down To Australia.

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 25, 2021

One of the issues in the USA regarding transition from fossil fuels to renewables (Figure 1) has been whether the country accepts the loss of oil and gas and coal production, and the jobs associated with it. It’s especially challenging to oil and gas companies who have spent the last 20 years succeeding in a spectacular fashion in shale oil and gas. READ MORE

Court Pressures Shell And The Oil Industry To Adjust To Climate Change.

Originally published on Forbes.com on May 27, 2021

The court ruling is that Shell has to comply with the Paris Agreement as well as local greenhouse emission laws, and the implications could be far-reaching. READ MORE

Why Norway Leads In EVs—And The Role Played By Cheap Renewable Electricity

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 19, 2021

In the Superbowl ad with Will Ferrell, the comedian punches his fist through Norway’s location in a globe of the world.  The ad took potshots at Norway because its number of electric vehicles (EVs) per capita exceeded those in the US. But GM, who sponsored the ad, warned that the US is coming: GM plans on 30 EV models in the US by 2025.

The fact is that Norway leads the world: 60% of new cars sold are EVs, compared with 2% in the US (Figure 1). How did they do it, and what can the rest of the world learn from Norway? READ MORE

As Norway And The US Move To Decarbonize Transport, Legacy Energy Sources Are A Key Differentiator

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 22, 2021

When considering the US transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, it is helpful to look at a country further along than our own. Norway has some significant commonalities with the US–most importantly, both countries are oil and gas rich. Yet Norway exports most of its fossil fuels, while the US consumes most of theirs. READ MORE

Green Energy Creates Commerce and Jobs – Look To Norway And Texas For How

Originally published on Forbes.com on June 25, 2021

Norway is a small country, about 5 million people, that has transformed their transport sector to renewable energies. They lead the world in uptake of electric vehicles (EVs): 60% of new cars sold are EVs. READ MORE

Will the Price Of Oil Keep Rising If Demand Declines: OPEC+ And Other Deliberations

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 12, 2021

The price of a barrel of oil has risen from $38/barrel in November 2020 to $75/barrel recently. This is a sturdy recovery given that the price went to $0 earlier in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and a squabble between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

New Mexico oil production hit a record high in 2020, although jobs remain depressed. In the Delaware basin, oil and gas revenue at the wellhead was roughly $24 billion/year. READ MORE

Heat Waves And Billion-Dollar Extreme Weather Events – Are They Linked To Greenhouse Gases And Fossil Energies?

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 14, 2021

Western US and Canada are going through a rough period of heat waves. This past week, Death Valley reached 130F and broke the previous day-record of 129F in 1913. Las Vegas shot up to 117F and tied the all-time high set in 1942. Drought conditions are rated from extreme to exceptional in much of California, Nevada, and Arizona. READ MORE

Not Good UN Climate Assessment Of Australia Has Much To Do With Production And Export Of Legacy Fossil Fuels.

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 19, 2021

Australia is well known for its fossil energies. It’s the number 1 coal exporter in the world, and the number 1 exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world. READ MORE

The Immense Value Of Oil And Gas To New Mexico – Can It Last?

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 23, 2021

The fabulous Delaware basin.

The Delaware basin is the premier oil and gas basin in the USA. The value of oil and gas at the wellhead was $24 billion/yr in 2019 — a staggering amount of money.

The Delaware basin has around 45,000 oil and gas wells down in the southeast part of New Mexico – near the towns called Carlsbad and Artesia and not far from Carlsbad Caverns.

Royalties and taxes on these wells provide revenue to the state and it’s been a windfall in recent years. Revenue to the NM general fund was $2.2 billion in FY 2018, $3.1 billion in FY 2019, and $2.8 billion in FY 2020.

For FY 2020, the $2.8 billion revenue was over a third of the state budget, with $1.4 billion going to education and over $0.6 billion to health services. READ MORE

Former Natural Gas Exec Weighs Climate Controversy: Interview Part 1

Originally published on Forbes.com on July 29, 2021

Kevin Kilstrom addresses extreme weather, greenhouse gas emissions, and Leonardo DiCaprio in an interview about the unfolding climate controversy as it relates to oil and gas. READ MORE

Former Natural Gas Exec Weighs Climate Controversy: Interview Part 2.

Originally published on Forbes.com on August 5, 2021

In this interview Part 2, Kevin Kilstrom further addresses extreme weather, greenhouse gas emissions, and Leonardo DiCaprio in regard to the unfolding climate controversy as it relates to oil and gas.  READ MORE

Fugitive Methane Worsens Warming: New Assessments Point To Urgent Oil And Gas Fix.

Originally published on Forbes.com on August 8, 2021

Detection of methane leaks is important to the oil and gas industry by saving wasted gas. Reducing emissions now rather than later will also lower the current rate of global temperature rise. READ MORE

Why LNG Exports From The US Are Off To The Moon

Originally published on Forbes.com on August 19, 2021

Where does LNG come from?

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) comes from natural gas by lowering its temperature to minus -260F, when it changes from gas to a clear, colorless, non-toxic liquid. This gives it portability – it can be shipped by truck or sea-going tanker.

The Marcellus and Utica shales in the Appalachian region in the northeast US provide about 30 Billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) which is about a third of the nation’s total natural gas (90 Bcfd). READ MORE

Haynesville Shale Resurgence – How Long Will It Last?

Originally published on Forbes.com on August 24, 2021

As the largest US natural gas assessment, LNG’s future looks good for the mid-term, but the longer term is not as rosy.

In 2021 the Haynesville shale in Texas and Louisiana has taken off. We look into what has changed, whether this surge will continue, and for how long. READ MORE

DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook 2021 Offers An Independent View Of Oil And Gas Through 2050

Originally published on Forbes.com on September 3, 2021

This week DNV made a live presentation of their Energy Transition Outlook 2021. This offered a forecast of things to come from an independent and reliable company. Oil and gas readers can get a better feel for the global role of government policy, the rate of changeover from fossil power plants to renewables, future oil and gas supplies, and liquid hydrogen. READ MORE

Connor Albrecht – How To Find And Keep A Job in Oil & Gas

Originally published on Forbes.com on September 18, 2021

One man’s keys to finding and keeping a job in the oil and gas industry. Connor Albrecht is in the Oil & Gas Engineering Division at Texas Railroad Commission in AustinPreviously he worked on the engineering teams with Halliburton in the Eagle Ford, Parsley Energy in the Permian, and at Ameredev in the Delaware basin of New Mexico. He graduated from Texas Tech in 2017 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Connor is unafraid to spell out the rewards as well as the difficulties of changing jobs within the oil and gas industry. He spoke about his career path, personal prospects, and where he thinks the industry is headed. READ MORE

Are Earthquakes In Delaware Basin Headed For An Oklahoma-Like Disaster?

Originally published on Forbes.com on September 19, 2021

If the exponential growth of earthquakes continue, mitigation efforts will need to be imposed in the Delaware basin.

Earthquakes are increasing rapidly in the Delaware portion of the Permian basin which is located in southeastern New Mexico and crosses over the southern border into west Texas. READ MORE

In The Shadow Of Climate Change – Interview With Kate Gaertner

Originally published on September 24, 2021

The largest global companies understand they need to and can transition away from fossil fuels to sourcing 100% renewable energy. And they are!

Industry, Fossil Energy, And Sustainability In The Shadow Of Climate Change – Interview With Kate Gaertner.

Kate Gaertner is in the business of helping companies determine carbon neutral paths. She is the Founder and Managing Director of TripleWin Advisory, a sustainability insight consultancy, and the author of Planting a Seed: Three Simple Steps to Sustainable Living. READ MORE

US Oil And Gas Is Lagging Behind Europe In Integrating Renewable Energy

Originally published on Forbes.com on September 29, 2021

What may change this is that the demand for oil and gas in the US will fall if the Biden administration achieves its goals of greening electricity and changing cars and trucks to electric vehicles. READ MORE

America’s Frackers Are Lagging Behind Europe’s Oil Giants In Integrating Renewable Energy

Originally published on Forbes.com on October 7, 2021

The issues are how quick to transition away from fossil fuels, the risks and consequences of extracting oil, and detrimental environmental effects of renewables energies.

The oil and gas industry has made headlines again, in the USA and the UK. There are learnings here that relate to the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies. READ MORE.

The Versatility of Natural Gas — Resources, Prices, And Future Valuations

Originally published on Forbes.com on October 17, 2021

A chameleon resource has advantages that may well serve as a bridge fossil fuel to a renewable energy future.  

Natural gas has a checkered history. Recently it has been connected with rising prices, good for the oil and gas industry, but accompanied by gas shortages in Europe, and especially in the UK, that are likely to worsen as winter approaches — not good for industry that depends on gas nor the consumer. READ MORE

Does Saudi Oil Still Matter? Interview With David Rundell.

Originally published on Forbes.com on October 21, 2021

Saudi Aramco is convinced that even if demand does not increase, the supply provided by major international oil companies will decline in coming years due to political pressure and thus leave more demand for OPEC oil. 

David Rundell, a former Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Riyadh and the author of Vision or Mirage, is one of America’s foremost experts on Saudi Arabia. He served as an American diplomat for thirty years, fifteen of which were spent in Saudi Arabia. READ MORE

Fossil Fuel Production — Dilemma – To Cut-back Or Top-up.

Originally published on Forbes.com on October 25, 2021

If the world follows the present US top-up approach, it will end up with one huge oil and gas industry plus an equally large carbon-capture and storage industry. If the world is serious about reducing GHG, the fossil fuel industry is the place to start. READ MORE

Coal Is Out At COP26 – Except For Countries Where It’s Still In!

Originally published on Forbes.com on November 13, 2021

The choice is to preserve fossil fuel industries that improve economic conditions and financial stability versus the desire for a green future without the predicted threats of climate change. READ MORE.

Can Build-Your-Own Solar System Help The US Reach Biden’s Climate Goals?

Originally published on Forbes.com on November 20, 2021

Studies show it is profitable to install rooftop solar everywhere in the US and Canada. Also viable is to electrify heating with a combination of heat pumps and solar PV, as studied in both Michigan and Ontario. READ MORE

Devon’s Upstream Business Reveals Challenges Faced By A Top Independent Operator.

Originally published on Forbes.com on November 22, 2021

The stock price declined from 2008 to 2020, hit hard by three oil price collapses. But an uptick in 2021 is hopeful even though climate change adds uncertainty. READ MORE

Chaco Canyon’s Buffer Zone Issue With Oil And Gas Wells In New Mexico.

Originally published on Forbes.com on November 26, 2021

Engineering issues are not compelling in supporting a 10-mile buffer over a 5-mile buffer zone. But other factors, personal and spiritual, provide a different perspective.

On November 15, 2021, the Interior Department placed a 2-year pause of new oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands within a 10-mile buffer zone of Chaco Canyon. The Department is evaluating a longer ban for this area: 20-years.

This part of the San Juan basin has seen drilling of shale oil wells in the past ten years, as the Gallup sandstone in the middle of the Mancos shale can support stable wells that are slowly spreading toward Chaco Canyon.

Is this a standoff between Native Americans and oil and gas companies? Let’s look at the facts and the perspectives. READ MORE

Scale Up Of Carbon Capture And Storage Looks Massive, Expensive And Impractical To Manage.

Originally posted on Forbes.com on November 29, 2021

Can CCS be scaled up to accept the enormous GHG volumes and costs needed to keep oil and gas production going, and will a new CCS industry be manageable? READ MORE

Exxon Mobil Promises Net-Zero Emissions For The Permian, But It’s Unsure Footing On The Climate Path.

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 9, 2021

The company illustrates an uncertain way forward to find a balance between investment recovery and climate action.

On December 6, Exxon Mobil announced its oil and gas operations in the Permian basin would aim at net-zero emissions by 2030. What does this mean exactly?

Many countries and companies have adopted the Paris-inspired goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Net-zero isn’t the same as actual zero. Net-zero means leftover GHG emissions must be removed from the air (called direct-air-capture) or collected before release into the air and burying them deep underground (called carbon capture and storage or CCS). Net-zero is an escape hatch because actual zero would be impossible to achieve by 2050. Read More

My Reaction To Oil And Gas Industry On Climate Change At World Petroleum Congress

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 12, 2021

At higher company levels the role of the oil and gas industry in addressing climate change seems incomplete.

A glide path of lowering oil and gas production, and greenhouse emissions, while cheaper wind, solar and battery sources replace conventional power plants, take their place in decarbonizing the world. 

The 23rd World Petroleum Congress assembled in Houston last week. Climate change was high on the agenda and oil and gas leaders addressed this. An insightful summary provides key points made by some speakers at the Congress.

In this response, I try to add balance where significant parts of the climate story were omitted. The authors Myles McCormick and Justin Jacobs, labeled “M and J” below, wrote the original article in the Financial Times. My responses are labeled by “IP”. READ MORE

Big Liquid Hydrogen Project In Teesside, UK – BP Are Still Pushing The Envelope.

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 17, 2021

Bp has a proactive goal of 50 Gw of net renewable electricity by 2030. That’s a stretch from 3 Gw in 2020, but knowing bp’s vision and resilience, you wouldn’t want to bet against it.

Bp have lived on the innovation edge for many years, as is clear by listing a few ventures and misadventures from the past. I have bent the list to include a bit of Amoco history before they merged with bp in 1998 (I joined Amoco in 1986). READ MORE

The Need For Fossil Fuels As Viewed By Oil Execs And Bill Gates.

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 21, 2021

Emphasizing the benefits of oil and gas for our civilization is appropriate. Many of the benefits are essential, and should not be taken for granted. Oil and gas will be needed for a long time.

On December 5, 2021, the 23rd World Petroleum Congress kicked off in Houston, Texas, the first time it’s been held in the US for 30 years.

Not surprisingly, many of the comments on the first day were aimed at the need for fossil fuels. The over-riding goal of many oil and gas companies, especially in the USA, is to keep the production of oil and gas going – and for a long time. READ MORE

Why Reducing Greenhouse Gases Is Like A Football Game For Oil And Gas Producers And Their Countries.

Originally published on Forbes.com on December 29, 2021

For the world to reach the goal line, oil and gas industries and their countries need to plan together and to collaborate, to share information and research in a transparent manner.

Fossil fuels provide about 83% of the world’s energy, and cause 73% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The GHG emissions are primarily carbon dioxide, CO2, and secondly methane, CH4. READ MORE


Read interviews with Dr. Palmer here 

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