For most people springtime means flowers, cleaning and putting away winter coats. For people in the energy business, warming weather means they can stop managing for the heating season and brace for the really big stage in the US power sector: cooling season.
With natural gas prices failing to settle lower despite the beginning of what are called the shoulder months in the energy business, when demand for temperature control and other power-sucking activity slips, many are entering the spring months with a renewed sense of uncertainty about their commitment to the fuel. Even a bearish storage report couldn’t weigh down natural gas prices earlier this week, and although prices are nowhere near historical highs the sector has become so accustomed to cheap gas every penny higher makes for a pause given the US large scale “dash to gas” in recent years. Keep reading →
With a bipartisan majority vote of 62-37, the Senate demonstrated its support for Keystone XL pipeline construction for the first time.
On March 22, the US Senate voted in favor of an amendment that supports construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL project, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to Texas refineries. The amendment, introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Max Baucus (D-Montana), passed the Senate by a 62-37 margin, with 17 Democrats joining all Republicans in the vote of support. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) abstained from the vote due to illness. Sens. Hoeven and Baucus also have proposed a separate bill that would facilitate Congressional approval of the project under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, bypassing the decision-making authority of President Obama. Keep reading →
Despite progress, US infrastructure continues to get a near-failing grade from the nation’s engineers, the Keystone debate drags on, climate change policy is back in the headlines and Europeans contending with Cyprus’ financial meltdown are wondering if oil and gas development could help resolve some of the island nation’s issues.
The American Society of Civil Engineers releases its 2013 Report Card for America’s infrastructure today, and the country’s parents wouldn’t exactly be enthusiastic. From deficient bridges to power outages and ever-growing traffic, the country’s score only “inched up” to a D plus, the group says. Find out more here. Keep reading →
The State Department released the latest documents in one of the highest-profile and highest-stakes projects in the North American energy sector today.
The Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement was released March 1, 2013, and includes extensive information on the project, which has attracted the ire of a wide swathe the environmental community and been treated by the oil and gas business as a litmus test of the Obama Administration’s commitment to securing energy supply and energy security through increased development. Keep reading →
Shell’s plans to build the world’s first oil sands carbon-capture storage facility in Alberta, Canada will make only a modest reduction in that project’s overall carbon emissions but could set an important precedent in establishing the credibility of CCS worldwide, analysts said.
The oil giant said Wednesday that the US$1.36 billion project will create underground storage starting in late 2015 for more than 1 million tones a year of C02 produced in the processing of bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands, one of the world’s largest reserves of crude oil. Keep reading →
Energy policy in the US has been a prominent issue leading up to the elections this fall and the topic could gain momentum along the way. Commodity price manipulation, fracking, the Keystone pipeline and environmental regulations were just a few of the topics discussed at a breakfast panel held by the American Petroleum Institute in Washington DC this morning.
Recent upward trending US oil and natural gas production is great news for the nation, but the political system is driven by negatives, said former Senator and Congressman of North Dakota, Byron Dorgan. Keep reading →
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma
President Obama stopped in Cushing, Okla., on Thursday to announce a fast-track approval process for a portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline — although it’s not the part for which he’s taken political heat for blocking. Keep reading →