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Friday, March 16, 2012

China Forecasts Soaring Shale-Gas Output


China Forecasts Soaring Shale-Gas Output
Wall Street Journal
In the US, by contrast, shale gas has already transformed the energy sector, fattening reserves and driving down gas prices. By 2015, the report said, China is expected to have identified total exploitable gas reserves of 200 billion cubic meters and ...

China eyes tech breakthrough before shale gas leap

China eyes tech breakthrough before shale gas leap
Reuters
Top energy agency, the National Energy Administration (NEA) officially unveiled on Friday a target to produce 6.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of shale gas by 2015, or roughly 6 percent of China's current total gas production.

Glacier-fed river systems threatened by climate change

Glacier-fed river systems threatened by climate change
Glacial meltwater increases biodiversity in mountainous freshwater ecosystems. As glaciers vanish due to global warming, so will those species dependent upon the icy runoff. This is the conclusion of a study authored by researchers from, among other institutions, the University of Copenhagen.

The Northern Lights and the Flying Squirrel: Ten Incredible Stories From the 40th Iditarod Sled Dog Race

The Northern Lights and the Flying Squirrel: Ten Incredible Stories From the 40th Iditarod Sled Dog Race 

Hot topic: Rethinking climate security

By Charles Arthur, March 16, 2012
Corinne Schoch asks if militarizing climate change might harm those communities most affected by the problem *** Once upon a time, climate change was  strictly an environment and development issue. Today, it has become a matter of national and international security. Efforts to link climate change with violent conflict may not be based on solid evidence, but they have certainly captured the...  » Continue...

ONE YEAR AFTER THE FIRST INJECTION-WELL EARTHQUAKE

ONE YEAR AFTER THE FIRST INJECTION-WELL EARTHQUAKE
Youngstown Vindicator
Ultimately, the story became less about the earthquakes and more about the industry. We learned the difference between fracking, the process in which water, chemicals and sand are blasted into shale rocks thousands of feet below the ground to release ...

PennEnergy Update This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News

This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News
Keystone XL amendment fails, but Congress likely to continue push for pipeline
World's largest Spar platform designed by Aker Solutions
The economic impact of the Keystone XL pipeline
Offshore lifting incident causes reviewed at PSA meeting
Chevron on track for 20% production-growth target by 2017
RWE Dea farm-in to production license on the Norwegian Continental Shelf
Anadarko achieves first oil at its Gulf of Mexico Caesar/Tonga development
Chief geologist warns shale gas deposits estimates may be lower than expected
Baker Hughes bringing new fracturing vessel to North Sea in 2013
Alberta oil sands project gets water recycling tech from GE
New Tomahawk ROV from Forum Subsea Technologies

Faulty wells, not fracking, responsible for water contamination

Faulty wells, not fracking, responsible for water contamination
The unconventional oil and gas sector has been hounded by concerns about the safety and environmental impact of standard practices like hydraulic fracturing, but recent evidence suggests that some of the most notable complaints might be off the mark.
Full Article

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Arctic Is Now: Economic and National Security in the Last Frontier

The Arctic Is Now: Economic and National Security in the Last Frontier

Captain Melissa M. Bert, USCG saysnow is the time for the Obama administration to advance a comprehensive Arctic strategy that addresses both governance and acquisition requirements, or it risks further harm to the economic and national security of the United States.

China to invest in water projects

China to invest in water projects

Marseille, France (UPI) Mar 15, 2012
China plans to invest $636 billion through 2020 in water-related projects, a government official said. Speaking at the Sixth World Water Forum in Marseille, France, Chinese Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei said no other country faces as many water challenges as China.

“Perfect storm" has arrived for efforts to reduce carbon emissions

By David Thorpe, March 15, 2012
Efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the UK and across Europe are facing a combination of factors strongly hindering investment in low carbon power generation and energy efficiency and promoting the burning of coal.Now who do you believe? Today, one British tabloid newspaper is reporting that the construction of gas power plants is “twice government predictions", while another is reporting the...  » Continue...

Health Threats From Flooding in a Warming World

Health Threats From Flooding in a Warming World

The Hidden Health Risks of Flooding in a Warming World, identifies the often overlooked health impacts of heavy rains and floods.

Corn insecticide linked to great die-off of beneficial honeybees

New research has linked springtime die-offs of honeybees critical for pollinating food crops -- part of the mysterious malady called colony collapse disorder -- with technology for planting corn coated with insecticides. The study appears on the eve of spring planting seasons in some parts of Europe where farmers use the technology and widespread deaths of honeybees have occurred in the past.

Sorting out Responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Sorting out Responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Why the Obama administration is likely to be quite accommodating to BP, Transocean, and the left's favorite whipping boy of the Bush era, Halliburton.

Faulty wells, not fracking, responsible for water contamination

Faulty wells, not fracking, responsible for water contamination
The unconventional oil and gas sector has been hounded by concerns about the safety and environmental impact of standard practices like hydraulic fracturing, but recent evidence suggests that some of the most notable complaints might be off the mark.
Full Article

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Small tsunami hits Japan after 6.9 quake

Small tsunami hits Japan after 6.9 quake

Tokyo (AFP) March 14, 2012
A small tsunami hit Japan's northeastern coastline on Wednesday, officials said, after a strong earthquake rocked the region almost exactly a year on from the country's worst post-war natural disaster. A 6.9-magnitude quake struck 26.6 kilometres (16 miles) below the seabed off the northern island of Hokkaido in the Pacific at 6:08 pm local time (0908 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.

China completes system to monitor Earth's crust

China completes system to monitor Earth's crust

Beijing (IANS) Mar 15, 2012
China Friday completed a system designed to monitor the movement of the Earth's crust and predict earthquakes, officials said. Based on satellite navigation, the system involves a network of 260 permanent observing stations and 2,000 part-time observing stations with data-processing technology. It will also be used for weather forecasting and scientific research, among other purposes

Multi-Agency Satellite Begins Climate and Weather Studies

Multi-Agency Satellite Begins Climate and Weather Studies

Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 14, 2012
NASA has completed commissioning of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (NPP), which is now making global environmental observations. The satellite will provide scientists with critical insight into the dynamics of the entire Earth system, including climate, clouds, oceans, and vegetation. It will also gather enhanced data for improving our nation's weather forecasting system

China to launch 12 weather satellites by 2020

China to launch 12 weather satellites by 2020

Beijing, China (IANS) Mar 14, 2012
China will launch 12 meteorological satellites before 2020 to boost the country's weather monitoring capabilities, an official said Saturday. The satellites would be among 14 scheduled to be launched as part of a 10-year plan of the China Meteorological Administration, its director Zheng Guoguang told Xinhua.

Strong scientific evidence that eating berries benefits the brain

Strong scientific evidence that eating berries benefits the brain

Washington DC (SPX) Mar 15, 2012
Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report. Their new article on the value of eating berry fruits appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Multi-Agency Satellite Begins Climate and Weather Studies

Multi-Agency Satellite Begins Climate and Weather Studies

Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 14, 2012
NASA has completed commissioning of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (NPP), which is now making global environmental observations. The satellite will provide scientists with critical insight into the dynamics of the entire Earth system, including climate, clouds, oceans, and vegetation. It will also gather enhanced data for improving our nation's weather forecasting system

MIT Study on Managing Intermittent Renewables

MIT Study on Managing Intermittent Renewables

On Monday, MIT released a study titled “Managing Large-Scale Penetration of Intermittent Renewables.” It’s 36 megabytes and 240 pages. Last April, MIT gathered more than 70 experts at a symposium to discuss how to manage the growth of wind and solar. The first 50 pages of the document is a summary of the studies and discussions that took place during the symposium. The following 190 pages are seven white papers that were presented.
After going through the document, the report would be a sobering read if I were in the renewables industry. The wind industry took part in the discussions but several of the conclusions contradicted the claims from the wind industry for its projected savings on costs and emissions from wind. There are five main areas of concern with wind and solar that emerged from the symposium

Millions of Americans at risk of flooding as sea levels rise

Millions of Americans at risk of flooding as sea levels rise

Nearly four million Americans, occupying a combined area larger than the state of Maryland, find themselves at risk of severe flooding as sea levels rise in the coming century, new research suggests. Researchers say that with so many communities concentrated on US coasts, the odds for major storm damage get bigger every year.

Shaky ground: Quakes suggest caution for deep disposal wells

Shaky ground: Quakes suggest caution for deep disposal wells
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
It is important to differentiate between drilling for natural gas and drilling a deep injection well to dispose of wastewater from the fracking process (water which, in this case, came from Pennsylvania). It is also worth remembering that these quakes ...

Fragrant new biofuel: Researchers develop a new candidate for a cleaner, greener and renewable diesel fuel

Fragrant new biofuel: Researchers develop a new candidate for a cleaner, greener and renewable diesel fuel

Researchers have identified methyl ketones, chemical compounds known for their fragrance and flavor, as strong biofuel candidates. Methyl ketones produced from glucose by engineered E. coli yielded high cetane numbers -- a diesel fuel rating comparable to the octane number for gasoline.

Exploring for Shale Can Lead to Earthquakes

Exploring for Shale Can Lead to Earthquakes

Ken Silverstein, EnergyBiz
Shale gas may have lots of possibilities, including the potential to cause smaller earthquakes. That's why Ohio's conservative governor implemented a moratorium on all shale-related activity at one of the state's locations while Ohio's Department of Natural Resources enacted new rules to mitigate the chance of self-induced tremors. During the exploration of shale gas, a concoction of sand, water and chemicals is pumped into the ground. Some of that returns to the top in the form of brine wastewater that must either be treated or re-injected ...

Sabine Pass Is the Next Keystone XL

Sabine Pass Is the Next Keystone XL

Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney
At the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico along the Texas-Louisiana border, Cheniere Energy could be just weeks away from breaking ground on the first natural gas exporting facility ever built in the lower 48 states.It's also where a new fight with echoes of the Keystone pipeline is building, pitting economic development against environmental protection.

6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan- regional tsunami alert issued

6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan- regional tsunami alert issued

March 14, 2012JAPAN - A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the northeast Japan coast today prompting a regional tsunami warning to be issued, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The earthquake hit 146 miles (235km) from Kushiro on the northeastern island of Hokkaido at a relatively shallow depth of 16 miles (26km). The tsunami was predicted to be around about 20 inches (50cm). No Pacific-wide tsunami threat was issued. It comes just over a year after 9.0-magnitude tremor struck the country’s northeastern coast, leading to a massive tsunami which killed at least 19,000 people. –Herald Sun

How Fukushima Led to a Radiation Panic

How Fukushima Led to a Radiation Panic

One year after Fukushima, independent scientists working for the UN say bluntly that irrational fears of radiation poisoning will cause far more harm than the radiation itself. Not a single individual from the Japanese public received a dangerous dose, according to the early and informal analyses by the scientists.

Biofuels and climate: a simple but troubling view

Biofuels and climate: a simple but troubling view

If biofuels benefit the climate, it's not when they're burned; those CO2 emissions are the same as from the fossil fuels they replace. Any potential benefit is due to the CO2 uptake when plants are grown.

Israel says it backs Gaza Strip desalination plant

Israel says it backs Gaza Strip desalination plant

Marseille, France (AFP) March 13, 2012
Israel said Tuesday it backed Palestinian plans to build a desalination plant in the Gaza Strip and was willing if requested to provide its skills for the project. Asked by AFP on the sidelines of the World Water Forum if Israel supported the scheme, Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said, "By all means." "We have been waiting for such projects for many, many years

Oceans Acidifying Faster today Than in Past 300 Million Years

Oceans Acidifying Faster today Than in Past 300 Million Years

Washington DC (SPX) Mar 14, 2012
The oceans may be acidifying faster today than they did in the last 300 million years, according to scientists publishing a paper this week in the journal Science. "What we're doing today really stands out in the geologic record," says lead author Barbel Honisch, a paleoceanographer at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "We know that life during past ocean acidificatio

The shape of things to come

The shape of things to come

Miami FL (SPX) Mar 14, 2012
When oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico in late April 2010, friends asked George Haller whether he was tracking its movement. That's because the McGill engineering professor has been working for years on ways to better understand patterns in the seemingly chaotic motion of oceans and air. Meanwhile, colleagues of Josefina Olascoaga in Miami were asking the geophysicist a similar questio

Heavy Oil Panel Discussion


 
NEW WEBCAST   REGISTER NOW!
Heavy Oil Panel Discussion

  Premieres LIVE: March 21, 2012
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What You'll Learn:
  • Updates on the XL Keystone Pipeline Project
  • The utilization of heavy oil in gulf area refineries
  • The response of the Canadian government to the delay of the XL Keystone
  • New technological advances in water remediation
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Project to 'Clean Up' the Use of Coal

Project to 'Clean Up' the Use of Coal
CARDIFF, Wales, March 13, 2012/PRNewswire/ --

The University of Glamorgan in South Wales, UK, as coordinator of a collaborative consortium of 13 EU partners, has secured over EUR9 million from the European Commission for a research project which will investigate how coal can be burnt so as to facilitate Carbon Capture and Storage, thereby minimising CO2 emissions to the environment.

The Reliable and Efficient Combustion of Oxygen/Coal/Recycled Flue Gas Mixtures project, known as RELCOM, is designed to undertake a series of applied research, development and demonstration activities involving both experimental studies and modelling work to enable full-scale early demonstration oxyfuel plant to be designed and specified with greater confidence as well as providing improved assessment of the commercial risks and opportunities.

Breakthrough on salt-tolerant wheat to boost yields by 25% and 20% of agricultural land that is salty

Breakthrough on salt-tolerant wheat to boost yields by 25% and 20% of agricultural land that is salty

Kurion System Responsible for Approximately 70 Percent of the Radioactivity Removed from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant

Kurion System Responsible for Approximately 70 Percent of the Radioactivity Removed from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant

China’s rare earth stranglehold in spotlight

Fight against China on rare earths
http://link.ft.com/r/FG6LAA/SPMLWN/PRJPK7/GDFA3O/OR2MYH/LE/h?a1=2012&a2=3&a3=14
 
China’s rare earth stranglehold in spotlight
http://link.ft.com/r/FG6LAA/SPMLWN/PRJPK7/GDFA3O/62RPGS/LE/h?a1=2012&a2=3&a3=14

The economic impact of the Keystone XL pipeline

The economic impact of the Keystone XL pipeline
REMI and Energy & Water Economics announce study examining the economic effects of the proposed expansion of Keystone pipeline.
Full Article

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Are honey bees headed towards extinction?

Are honey bees headed towards extinction?

March 12, 2012WORLDWe have all heard about several animal species becoming extinct, even in the modern world, humans have seen whole generations of some animals disappear. Will bees become one of them? Some experts believe that the bees could be about to die and at least one third of our food depends on pollination of flowering plants. Einstein once said: “If the bees disappear, mankind would have only 4 more years of life.” Over 3 million colonies of bees have died in the USA since 2006 and over a thousand millions of bees have died in this period in the world. Scientists believe that the main reason could be the pesticides (found more than 121 pesticides in samples of bees, pollen, and wax). Another phenomenon that has perplexed scientists is that many of the colonies are abandoned, but they are the bodies of bees, in what has been called the Mary Celeste Syndrome (as inexplicably abandoned ship). Some studies relate the effect produced by telecommunications towers with the disorientation of the bees, leaving them unable to return to their hive. Many of the companies engaged in beekeeping are facing serious economic problems while the research to find the causes of the disappearance of millions of bees has a number of funds proportionate to the seriousness of the problem. –News Pakistan

Climate-related disasters displace 42 million in Asia over 2 years by The Extinction Protocol

Climate-related disasters displace 42 million in Asia over 2 years

Sustainable fishing targets could put 15 million out of work

Sustainable fishing targets could put 15 million out of work

Between 12 million and 15 million fishers will have to lose their jobs if development goals are to be met, according to an analysis from researchers at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
That many of the world’s fish stocks are seriously depleted is not in doubt. But the sheer scale of the task of rebuilding these stocks is laid bare in a paper out today in Fish and Fisheries.

Oil-sands mining carves up carbon sinks

Oil-sands mining carves up carbon sinks

There has been much debate about the environmental damage being done by oil-sands mining in Alberta, Canada, from the carbon emissions to the water pollution produced by the energy-intensive process. Now an Albertan scientist well known for his concerns about the industry weighs in with another factor: the destruction of peatlands.

Greens Wants to Repeal Industrial Revolution by Marita Noon, Examiner

Greens Wants to Repeal Industrial Revolution

Where's the Action on Climate Change?

By Lou Grinzo, March 13, 2012
There’s been a minor amount of coverage in the blogosphere about the passing of Sherwood Rowland, Nobel Prize-winning scientist: Rowland is one of the true scientific heroes of our time — both for his research and for what he did with it: Nearly 40 years ago, Rowland and post-doctoral student Mario Molina made a shocking discovery: a single chlorine atom byproduct from aerosol hair sprays,...  » Continue...

Keystone XL amendment fails, but Congress likely to continue push

Keystone XL amendment fails, but Congress likely to continue push
Congress could still see further attempt to push through the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite a recent loss in the Senate.
Full Article
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Push for LNG exports draws opposition, concern from multiple corners

Push for LNG exports draws opposition, concern from multiple corners
Recent proposals from the U.S. natural gas processing industry to expand export of liquid natural gas have created some unusual partnerships to oppose the measures.
Full Article

Caesar/Tonga development achieves first oil in Gulf of Mexico

Caesar/Tonga development achieves first oil in Gulf of Mexico
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has announced first production at the Caesar/Tonga development in the Green Canyon area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Full Article

After Quakes, Ohio Plans Tough Gas-Drilling Rules

After Quakes, Ohio Plans Tough Gas-Drilling Rules
Sci-Tech Today
By Julie Carr Smyth Tough new rules for gas drillers have been announced in Ohio, after a series of earthquakes resulted from fracking. Well operators must submit more comprehensive geological data when requesting a drill site, and the chemical makeup ...

U.S. Causal Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes Deepens



Washington Times
U.S. Causal Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes Deepens
OilPrice.com
Now however, a secondary issue has emerged, that fracking has the potential to increase regional earthquakes, another charge that energy companies have strongly denied. The energy companies involved in the procedure have repeatedly demeaned their ...

Earthquake link casts cloud over fracking

Earthquake link casts cloud over fracking
Washington Times
By Ben Wolfgang In another blow to the natural gas extraction technique known as fracking, officials in Ohio now say wastewater produced by the popular process is likely responsible for a rash of recent earthquakes. The conclusions will almost surely ...
See all stories on this topic »

Gulf Oil Spill Feds Let BP Off Probation Despite Pending Safety Violations

Feds Let BP Off Probation Despite Pending Safety Violations

http://www.propublica.org/article/feds-let-BP-off-probation-despite-pending-safety-violations

Monday, March 12, 2012

Entergy is enhancing safety at nuclear plants

Entergy is enhancing safety at nuclear plants
Entergy has been working to enhance safety at all of its nuclear plants since the Fukushima Daiichi incident in Japan. Entergy's nuclear plants have undergone procedural reviews, and there are plans to increase emergency equipment at those sites, said company spokesman Mike Bowling. "We're adding more layers to make sure that any equipment we might need would be in place at any time we might need it," Bowling said. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

Nobel scientist who warned of thinning ozone dies


Nobel scientist who warned of thinning ozone dies
(AP) -- F. Sherwood Rowland, the Nobel prize-winning chemist who sounded the alarm on the thinning of the Earth's ozone layer and crusaded against the use of man-made chemicals that were harming earth's atmospheric blanket, has died. He was 84.

Water crunch loom without action on waste: UN report

Water crunch looms without action on waste: UN report
Water problems in many parts of the world are chronic and without a crackdown on waste will worsen as demand for food rises and climate change intensifies, the UN warned on Sunday.

More red meat consumption appears to be associated with increased risk of death

More red meat consumption appears to be associated with increased risk of death

Fracking Cracks the Public Consiousness in 2011

Fracking Cracks the Public Consciousness in 2011
February 23, 2012 | By Abrahm Lustgarten
Hydraulic fracturing has been growing in popularity as a means of extracting natural gas for several years. It was in 2011 that media and public attention began to focus on its possibilities and risks, bringing with it controversy and increasing concern. Read More »

Fracking: With the Gas, a Flow of litigation

Fracking: With the Gas, a Flow of Litigation
February 23, 2012 | By Mark P. Fitzsimmons
The rapid growth of gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing has drawn increasing allegations of property damage and health risks. In many cases, these allegations are being followed by a wave of lawsuits. Read More »

AEP Finally Flips the Switch on Beleaguered Ohio Plant

American Electric Power Finally Flips the Switch on Beleaguered Ohio Plant
February 23, 2012 | By Thomas W. Overton, JD
Timing is (almost) everything when it comes to building new power plants. Nobody knows that better than AEP, which finally got a happy ending to a story that took over a decade to complete. Read More »

The End of the Line for Pipe Cleaning with Natural Gas?

The End of the Line for Pipe Cleaning with Natural Gas?
February 23, 2012 | By Thomas W. Overton, JD
Piping at gas-fired plants has long been cleaned using compressed natural gas because of its easy availability. The big problem? It’s also explosive. The fatal 2010 blast at the Kleen Energy plant in Connecticut has begun an increasing shift toward safer alternatives such as nitrogen and compressed air. Read More »

US Govt poses next challenge for BP

US government poses next challenge for BP
Sylvia Pfeifer and Ed Crooks worked much of the weekend to deal with the guts of the BP settlement, the timing was nasty but the copy was good.

Direct air capture of CO2 is becoming a business, for better or worse

By Marc Gunther, March 12, 2012
  Klaus Lackner Since 1999, when Columbia University physicist Klaus Lackner wrote the first scientific paper [PDF, download] about capturing carbon dioxide from the air, his unlikely idea has grown into a nascent industry. Four start-up companies, including his own, Kilimanjaro Energy, are working on technologies to extract CO2 from the atmosphere using chemical processes. The air-capture...  » Continue...

Did Fracking Cause 12 Earthquakes in Ohio?



By Nathanael Baker, March 12, 2012
State officials have determined that at least 12 earthquakes that occurred in Ohio were caused by the injection of brine into hydraulic fracturing disposal wells.  As a result of its findings [pdf], the state has established, what it calls, the "nation's toughest regulations" for the fracking disposal wells. Brine is a toxic laden by-product of the fracking process.  According to the...  » Continue...

Whos' Really to Blame for Fukushima Health Impacts?

By John Wheeler, March 12, 2012
As is often the case, the passage of time yields clarity about events, and the nuclear power plant accident at Fukushima is no different.  It has become clear that the misinformation and hysterics by anti-nuclear groups and individuals were mostly wrong.  Their doomsday prophesizing actually worsened human suffering and environmental impacts by contributing to unwise decisions by...  » Continue...

Frac fluid disclosure call led by ExxonMobil in Europe

Frac fluid disclosure call led by ExxonMobil in Europe
Exxon Mobil Corporation is calling for the adoption of a systematic hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure program in Europe.
Full Article