Archive for the ‘emissions’ Category

New Frontiers: Cutting back natural gas flaring in North Dakota hits a bump

North Dakota has aggressively sought to cut the amount of natural gas flaring going on in the state. It’s made strides, but it has a new hurdle, as Brian Scheid discusses in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.

Read the rest of this entry »

The shipping business gets ready — with new fees — for the dawn of cleaner fuels

The bunker fuel market in the Atlantic Basin is just a bit more than 100 days away from the next shift in the sulfur emissions cap on ships traveling within 200 miles of shore in North America and North West Europe, a designated Emissions Control Area. And some of its impact on costs is starting to show up.

After several months of vague rumblings about higher costs, we’re beginning to see a clearer picture of just how much more shippers expect to pay to comply with this stricter rule. MSC on Monday became what we believe is the third company to announce per-container surcharges intended to offset its expected higher fuel bills come January.

Read the rest of this entry »

A small Maine city may have set off a big fight over oil movements

The next big fight in the war over oil and gas development in the US — or at least one of the next big fights – will be over local control. That issue ramped up this week and appears to raise a significant question of federalism.

The city council in South Portland, Maine, voted this week to approve a package of zoning restrictions that would affect the handling of crude oil in the city. But the laws were drawn to impact the handling of oil being put on to tankers. It doesn’t affect oil being taken off tankers.

Why this is significant is because South Portland is the eastern terminus of the Portland-Montreal Pipeline, which takes crude oil imported into Maine and brings it to Montreal near the St. Lawrence Seaway. It can be refined in Montreal, or moved down Line 9 to Canadian refineries in Ontario.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Daily: Colorado’s anti-fracking ballot initiative fizzles out…for now

After some local areas of Colorado last year passed fracking bans of dubious legality — that sort of thing is generally the responsibility of the state, not a city or town — there arose a clamor for an initiative that would give localities that power. It was seen as a way to severerly limit fracking throughout the state.

It was such a hot-button issue that Democrats in the state were concerned that the issue could create rifts in the party. But all that fretting was for naught; the issue won’t be on the ballot in November.

Read the rest of this entry »

Regulation & Environment: Cap & Trade comes to California oil product markets

California’s cap and trade law has been reality for a wide variety of CO2 emitters for several years. But they are all stationary sources. In January, it moves to a moving kind of source: motor vehicles. In this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment, John Kingston, fresh off a trip to the state’s capital city of Sacramento, discusses the implementation of the law in the fuels business.

Read the rest of this entry »

US Supreme Court opens the “BACT” door for EPA on CO2, but it could swing two ways

The US Supreme Court last week rejected the methodology the Environmental Protection Agency used to implement its first-ever regulations on carbon dioxide emissions, but did lay out a path the agency can follow to achieve the same end by using the Clean Air Act’s the “Best Available Control Technology,” or BACT, provisions.

And although the ruling could be viewed as a win for EPA, it may end up being a victory that does not advance the agency toward its ultimate goal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Letter from California: What’s missing in the LCFS, and C&T on the horizon for fuels

Here are a few observations after two days in Sacramento — and on the phone — talking about the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the arrival of the state’s cap-and-trade law into the fuels market on New Year’s Day 2015.

Read the rest of this entry »

Letter from the IAEE meeting: competitive response

To visit an energy conference in New York, or perhaps anywhere in the United States, is to feel the full force of the shale gale that has swept across the US oil and gas industry, transforming the country’s domestic and foreign perspectives. Its founding fathers have achieved legendary status and are provided the veneration that only America appears capable of giving business leaders.

Shale is variously described as a “revolution,” even a “miracle.” Benjamin Schlesinger, president of Benjamin Schlesinger and Associates, went that one step further to state that “natural gas is a renewable fuel.”

This was the international conference of the International Association for Energy Economics held in New York from June 15-18, where it was clear that America is the cat that has got the cream. It is the crucible of the revolution in drilling technology that has reduced the cost of previously unrecoverable oil and gas resources to affordable levels, and it is beginning to export those technologies to the rest of the world. It no longer has to concern itself with existing and emerging import dependencies. Instead it is discussing the possibility that it may soon be a net exporter of oil.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why polar bears are doing better than you think

Last year Greenpeace campaigners in the UK paraded a giant polar bear puppet the size of a double-decker bus through the streets of Westminster to protest against planned drilling in the Arctic. This year the polar bears made it into the Houses of Parliament, as a Canadian professor told a meeting there Wednesday night that the animals are not as endangered as many think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Marrying the sun and upstream oil production to cash in on LCFS credits

All along, the backers of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard have claimed that the standard, by not being top-down, is going to spur innovation in helping sellers of transportation fuels reach the state’s goals.

And sometimes, they’re proven right. For example, we blogged awhile ago about a plan to turn landfill gas produced somewhere other than in California into two things: natural gas vehicle fuel, and LCFS credits.

It’s hard to imagine how these little things are going to add up enough to help the state’s fuels industry reach its ambitious goal of a 10% cut in the carbon intensity of its transportation fuels. But it does support the suggestion that some companies or individuals will get creative and capitalize on LCFS processes in various ways.

Read the rest of this entry »