All errors should be reported to DonSurber@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

It is even better, Glenn



Instapundit was one of the first bloggers to see the potential of hydraulic fracturing, which digs deep in the Earth to tap into previously unrecoverable oil and natural gas reserves. Me too. This was, heck, 15 years ago when oil rigs began arriving in North Dakota to get the oil in the Bakken Field.

Warren Buffett also saw the potential and made billions by buying the railroad that would haul the oil to market. That's why he's a billionaire and I am a thousandaire. Good for him.

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds wrote today, "Right now, the country with the world’s biggest oil reserves — Venezuela — is putting out a fraction of its traditional production, as a corrupt and inept socialist government has lost the ability even to keep the golden goose going. Meanwhile, Iraq is in turmoil, Iran is crazy and Saudi Arabia has been looking shaky.

"Despite all this, oil and gas prices are holding steady, and while what’s going on in the Middle East constitutes a diplomatic crisis, it’s nothing like the sort of earthshaking trouble it would have been a decade or two ago.

"Why is that? Because frackers have turned the United States from nation deeply dependent on imported oil to a net exporter and the world’s single largest producer of oil and gas.

"For decades, U.S. foreign policy and defense strategy revolved around keeping the flow of oil from the Middle East going. Now it’s an afterthought. In fact, though the Navy used to have to be able to keep the Strait of Hormuz open so that oil could flow out against possible Iranian efforts to stop it, now the Navy only needs to be able to keep the strait closed, keeping Iran from selling the oil it produces for revenue it desperately needs."

Right on!

But fracking also is leading to a re-industrialization of the rust belt.

Shell invested $6 billion in a factory that will turn fracked natural gas in the Appalachians into feedstock for manufacturing. While this will never make Charleston, West Virginia, the Chemical Valley again, the plant will give the economies of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia a great boost.

Too bad New York state banned fracking. Rochester needs jobs.

Do not take my word for it. Nature.com wrote 2 years ago, "For decades, the industry's raw ingredients have mostly come from crude oil. Chemical plants break down long hydrocarbon molecules in crude to produce a smorgasbord of smaller molecules, such as ethene, propene and benzene — all important precursors to polymers.

"But shale gas, which is composed mainly of methane, ethane and propane, is turning that pathway on its head. The abundance of the gas has slashed the costs of these molecules. As a result, some are now usurping large hydrocarbons as the preferred starting point for industrial synthesis.

"This shift from oil to gas brings enormous opportunities. According to the American Chemistry Council, a trade group based in Washington, the shale boom has attracted about $160 billion in investment from the US chemical industry since 2011, and will help to create half a million jobs in plastics manufacturing over the coming decade1. But it also poses huge challenges. Some of the main techniques that are used to turn the components of shale gas into more valuable compounds — processes generally known as upgrading — are decades-old, dirty and energy-intensive. And they rarely produce the same mix of chemicals as conventional oil-based routes, which means that some relatively minor, yet valuable, chemicals such as butadiene, an ingredient of synthetic rubber, are becoming scarcer.

"These challenges are driving an intensive research effort, spanning industry and academia, to develop catalysts and reactors that can transmute small hydrocarbons in cleaner, cheaper and more efficient ways."

Which is why Shell is building that plant in Potter Township, Pennsylvania.

There is a third benefit. The cheap natural gas from fracking makes it an economically viable alternative to coal in the production of electricity. I have no problem with coal. The nation's 10th largest coal fired plant across the river from me.

But if natural gas is cheaper, go for it.

Fracking is safe. It leads to energy independence, an ability to leave the Middle East, chemical manufacturing jobs, and cheap electricity. We also are going to enter the European market and give old Vlad Putin conpetition. Only a communist or a puppet of Putin would oppose fracking.

Democrats oppose fracking.

I rest my case.

28 comments:

  1. "Democrats oppose fracking."

    That's 'cuz democrats are fracking idiots.
    -lg

    ReplyDelete
  2. Energy independence and re-industrialization. Two things liberals are against. Two things liberals hate. I hate liberals.

    ReplyDelete
  3. When you have the lowest energy costs in the WORLD, you damn well better believe every petrochemical processing plant is going to locate next door to the wells/refineries. Then, using all those rivers like the Ohio and Mississippi and Potomac, you can export your products all over the WORLD with some of the lowest transportation costs - ships. Your products will have a built in cost advantage over everywhere else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shipping costs are already artificially low.

      Delete
  4. an ability to leave the Middle East

    That's a laugh Trump won't even leave Iraq. Or Syria and Afghanistan. Trump wants their oil he said hes already taken Syria's oil. Iraq is next. Then Iran.

    And people wonder why they hate us? When we invade, bomb, occupy and steal? That's what tyrants do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did someone hear a tree falling in the forest? Oh, my bad. It's just the stupid hypocritical dishonest troll. Never mind.

      FLOlson

      Delete
    2. And you wonder why you don't have any friends, Nony...

      Delete
    3. Like Obama, your good buddy.

      Delete
    4. The only tyrants we have are people like Cuomo who would rather keep NYC in poliitcal control of the state than build a better life for his upstate NY constituents, most of whom rightly hate his worthless guts.
      Trump is in the Mideast because of bad actors there who can do damage here. He would be irresponsible if he didn't care about the bad guy's access to oil and its financial power. It is not something he would like to be doing but he has done his best to risk as little American force as possible.
      He could not be like Imam Zero who created Isis and empowered Iran while petulantly trying to rob GW of victory in Iraq. He then knowingly signed a deal that put off Iran getting nukes just long enough to get himself out of office. He planned to blame some other President who came after him for their eventual acquisition. Any one would do.
      Tyrants are mostly concerned about threats to their personal power and safety. Trump sees himself as the leader of a real movement trying to deliver economic freedom to his citizens, just as he told Pence. He is not a tyrant.

      Delete
  5. May there be no lacking in our fracking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The growth of a petrochemical industry around PA shale also reduces the country’s exposure to this in the gulf area, where hurricanes can shutdown the industry for weeks at a time after flooding and complex restart processes.

    Redundancy in critical industries sounds like an extra national security benefit and hedge against economic disruption

    Help me out here ... That’s good right ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NO, IT’S BAD!! HOW DARE YOU!!!

      If I were Betsy DeVos, I would make it mandatory for all high schoolers to spend 1 week in Caracas as a precondition of graduation.

      Delete
    2. 1 week in Caracas, followed by a written test. If the kids fail the test, they get to stay another week.

      Delete
  7. An Appalachian Storage Hub would also be helpful: you pump the natural gas and "liquids" in it to the surface, then store them so Shell and other petrochemical plants can use them as needed. This is under review by WV and the DOE.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Don't forget the other technology that made this energy Independence happen - horizontal drilling. Frac'ing has been around since the last 50's. Horizontal drilling is relatively new. Always amazed me how they can drill down 8000 feet and then take a hard right turn and go another mile through a shale bed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fracking was invented in 1948 but it was only good for large pools of oil/NG; many wells went dry due to the small amount of oil in those days. Horizontal drilling was envisioned in the 1960s, was in use in the 1980s but became increasingly mated with oil/NG exploration in 2013. Once horizontal drilling and fracking were combined, the pools could be interconnected giving large amounts of oil and NG available for removal. Horizontal drilling is guided by magnetic mapping of the drill's head's location. Recent horizontal drilling was used to create a tunnel for pipe under a local wide canal to interconnect a town's split water system piping. They missed the target by 1 foot. When I worked in the oil sands in northern Alberta, Canada we used such drilling to install 12-700 ft runs of perforated steam piping and 12 runs of oil recovery piping beneath the steam piping to recover the heavy oil from the sand.  Each of the "well heads" have the 24 runs of piping and associated recovery equipment within 2, maybe 3 footprints of my old farm house.  That is what we see in Alaska too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is why you don't see the forest of oil derricks depicted on early photos of petroleum extraction. One well pad can service cubic square miles of strata. Much easier on the aboveground environment too.

      TarsTarkas

      Delete
    2. I have a relative in the energy industry and he says that most of our refineries are very old and need upgrading.

      Delete
  10. In energy, nothing should be off limits. The US Navy is very good at small sized nuclear reactors. The coasts should have sea wind mills and desalination plants. Damning rivers can give old school hydroelectric. Oil and gas, of course. Solar where sun is plentiful. Fireplaces, wood and/or gas, should be a cheap options in homes.

    Alas, Dems only want certain powers and only if it does not interfere with their scenery and state of mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God, those windmills are butt ugly.

      Delete
    2. Why do we need dams? An aquatic version of the wind turbine would do nicely. No counting on fickle breezes, no sediment build up. No worries about a dam break. Most rivers and many streams have a continuous flow that is pretty much constant. All it takes is a rig near the river or on it and a shaft extending into the water with a screw that can be easily designed to not harm the fish.

      Delete
    3. Water turbines have the same effect on fish and aquatic invertebrates that wind turbines have on birds. And screens and guards to prevent bykill clog up very quickly. And don't even ask about what happens when a rock or a log meet the screen or the turbines during a flood . . .

      Too many of them would collapse the food chain in rivers, not to mention the effect on freshwater sport fishing.

      TarsTarkas

      Delete
  11. Coal is the remains of forests that photosynthesized back in the Carboniferous Period.

    When the coal fire crackles and sparks, that's a sunny day from long ago coming out in a rush.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fracking is turning Pennsylvania back into the Quaker State again.
    NB

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fracking is more than safe, it's a potential godsend in the future of "earthquake abatement" I predict there will come a day when fracking is intentionally done to safely de-stress faults that threaten major cities. No fracking associated earthquake has been over a 2 on the Richter scale. That makes sense because fracking activity is much shallower (about a mile deep) than any natural earthquake (6 to 10 miles). I think once a fault is stressed, something relatively minor like a receding glacier or fracking can potentially set it off. Absent those factors, the fault is going to let go anyway, at some later point. That's when you get "the big one" a 7 or greater which can cause devastation.

    We will never be able to control the stresses that build up in fault lines. We may, however be able to manipulate the upper crust over a dangerous area and move the location of the epicenter, or release the energy of a major earthquake into several small harmless quakes.

    If you think this is a bunch of malarkey, keep in mind how good the science has progressed on volcano prediction - a similar field. If there is a team monitoring, they can usually predict a major eruption in a 12-hour window!

    Eric W.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Here in the Permian Basin, it is rocking. I drive to work at 3am to Big Spring and the sky is lit up from all of the drilling rig flare offs. Right now, this area is the #1 energy producer in the world.

    Thank you Mr President

    ReplyDelete
  15. You're a gifted blogger. I have joined your feed and anticipate looking for a greater amount of your awesome post. Additionally, I have shared your site in my informal communities!
    MCAFEE.COM/ACTIVATE
    NORTON.COM/SETUP
    Office.com/Setup

    ReplyDelete