Blog Posts

  • Wednesday, December 16, 2020 10:40 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    Hoping for eased environmental reporting provisions, conventional oil and gas drillers were instead met with disappointment as Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a bill that would have accomplished that feat.

    Wolf stated that although the bill addressed challenges faced by the energy industry, it failed to sufficiently protect the environment. Additionally, public health and safety would have still been matched with concern. In his veto message, Wolf further stated his doubts of whether or not the bill could withstand legal dispute.

    In response to mounting questions, House GOP spokesman, Jason Gottesman, said lawmakers would gather in the near future to determine the agenda. This agenda will be reviewed in January’s approaching session.

    Necessity of the bill

    Sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), the bill was proposed to fulfill an agreement made by the Wolf administration and lawmakers that conventional drillers and unconventional operators should be treated differently. This thought process recognized that while unconventional operators utilize horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to achieve greater depths, conventional operators drill much shallower wells.

    Amended in January, the bill was designed to lower spill reporting requirements to two barrels of oil as opposed to the previous five. Additionally, brine or wastewater was reduced from fifteen barrels to five. Unless the spill posed harm to people, the environment or property, reporting was not necessary under the new requirements. The amendment further removed a clause allowing wastewater to be used to control dust covering roads.

    A Penn State study conducted in 2018, however, revealed alarming data. Drilling wastewaters can be radioactive and contain salt as well as other contaminants that far surpass drinking water standards. It also revealed that the metals found in wastewater could leach from roadways and make their way into the ground.

    Opposing views

    Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike voiced differences found within the bill. While some validated differences in drilling practices and the need for fair regulation, others focused strictly on environmental concerns.

    “There are major differences between unconventional deep-well drilling and conventional, shallow-well drilling … differences that this administration continues to ignore because it doesn’t fit their narrative,” said Representative Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint). “The industry is struggling immensely, and a significant cause of that struggle is the lack of understanding and purposeful misrepresentation of how our conventional oil and gas operations work in a safe and environmentally conscious manner.”

    According to State Impact Pennsylvania, Senator Katie Muth (D-Montgomer) determined that the bill’s provisions were unacceptable. She cited that corporations would be allowed to spill more than a bathtub’s worth of oil without any oversight from regulatory agencies.

    Countering and attempting to stress the bill’s importance, Causer stated that the majority of the state’s conventional oil and gas wells are owned and operated not by large corporations but by sole proprietorships and small businesses instead. He was quoted on as saying, “The men and women live, work and raise their children in the same communities where they are drilling for oil and gas. They are capable of and committed to producing this valuable energy source while also ensuring clean air and water for themselves and future generations.”

    Pennsylvania Governor Vetoes Environmental Bill

  • Monday, December 07, 2020 9:13 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    UAE Quitting OPEC?

    In the spring, when it was apparent that something had to be done, OPEC and the OPEC+ countries consented to implementing production cuts. And Russia and OPEC managed to set aside the price war they had begun in consideration of the global good. It was agreed way back then that the OPEC+ countries would reduce their production by roughly 10 million barrels per day (bpd). Russia agreed to cut its crude oil production by 2 million bpd, or 19% of what their production levels were in February of this year. 

    Compliance has not been 100%. Some countries, particularly Iraq, had not been cutting as they should have. To keep production near the promised levels, Saudi Arabia had been cutting their production even more. That seems to be at an end. And every country is now going to have to adhere to their designated production levels. 

    UAE, the first domino to fall away?

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is rumored to be considering leaving OPEC. Nothing official has been announced, but there are rumblings behind the scenes. Some of the contention seems to have to do with oil production cut discrepancies among the OPEC and OPEC+ countries.

    UAE Quitting OPEC?

  • Tuesday, December 01, 2020 10:31 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

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  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 10:55 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    The United States Department of Energy (DOE) today released their new Hydrogen Program Plan. The Plan will promote a strategic framework for the hydrogen research, development and demonstration activities they have already been promoting. 

    It is a coordinated effort involving participation from many U.S. departments and offices, including:

    • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    • Fossil Energy 
    • Nuclear Energy
    • Electricity
    • Science
    • Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy

    The program is intended to advance the affordable production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen across every economic area. The recently released 56-page Hydrogen Program Plan is meant to serve as the overarching document to set the Hydrogen Program’s strategic direction. You can read the entire document here

    Hydrogen is an exciting fuel

    “Hydrogen is an exciting fuel source that has the potential to integrate our nation’s energy resources, but to fully recognize its potential across the economy, we need to lower costs and see a significant increase in hydrogen supply and demand,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “This administration is excited by the Department-wide efforts and collaborations outlined in this Plan that will address these issues and help secure hydrogen as an option in the nation’s energy future.”

    There are several kinds of hydrogen being produced – gray, blue, and green.

    Gray and blue hydrogen are both made with the use of fossil fuels. The Steam Methane Reform method uses high-pressure steam and natural gas to produce hydrogen and CO2.

    Blue differs from gray only because carbon capture technology is employed to prevent the CO2 from escaping and entering the atmosphere. The CO2 is then placed in underground reservoirs, reducing the footprint of the hydrogen creation. 

    Green hydrogen is produced without emitting any greenhouse gases. Its most common method of production is electrolysis. This method splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using “green” electricity – electricity produced with sun or wind power. Hydrogen produced with this method is of a higher, more pure, quality than blue or gray. 

    All-of-the-above energy plan

    While it is being looked at as the energy of the future, hydrogen isn’t there yet. This is just the beginning. Fossil fuels are incomparable in price, availability, and an already-in-place infrastructure.

    DOE Releases Hydrogen Program Plan

  • Friday, July 31, 2020 9:36 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    “Petroleum energy demand dropped off the cliff sharply and rapidly at the same time crude oil production was peaking, particularly in Texas and the U.S.,” said Karr Ingham, Petroleum Economist for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers and the creator of the monthly statewide upstream activity index. “That would have been bad enough; throw in a market share temper tantrum between Saudi Arabia and Russia at the worst possible time, and you have a thoroughly devastating impact on energy markets.”

    The Texas Petro Index

    The composite index was based at 100.0 in January of 1995. That base number tracks growth or decline in Texas oil and gas exploration and production. The Texas Petro Index tracks specifically:

    • Crude oil posted price

    • Natural gas price

    • Rig count

    • Drilling permits

    • Crude oil well completions

    • Natural gas well completions

    • Crude oil production volume

    • Crude oil production value

    • Natural gas production volume 

    • Natural gas production value

    • Total oil and gas employment

    • Oil and gas extraction employment

    • Oil and gas support Employment

    Gasoline demand on the rise

    The COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop across the board. However, the industry was already in a state of contraction for a full year prior to the pandemic, but production itself continued to climb. It had just started to slow when COVID-19 hit. 

    After falling below zero, crude prices have come back and are continuing to hover around the $40 mark. Likewise, U.S. gasoline demand has recovered, but not to pre-COVID levels. It is unlikely to see those levels again for a long time. Jet and diesel fuel have seen less of a recovery. With the future of travel still up in the air, so to speak, it could be a long time before demand for either of them shows any significant rise.

    Production is still falling even as demand is increasing. This is a good sign for recovery. It shows the debate over prorationing to now be truly moot. The Texas Railroad Commission was looking at implementing a 10% reduction in production, but we have now gone well beyond that. Without any help or mandates by the RRC, production decreased 13% in three months.

    Industry employment losses

    The industry was already losing employees in 2019, well before COVID, but since March those numbers completely dropped. It could be three months or more before the unemployment levels bottom out. From December 2018 through June 2020, there were 66,150 Texas upstream oil and gas jobs lost. Of those, February through June of this year saw 46,100 of those lost jobs.

    To read the full report click here

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2020 6:35 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    In October of last year a new wind farm project began construction in Texas roughly 200 miles northwest of Austin.  Aviator Wind, LLC, once completed, will be a 525-megawatt farm with 191 wind turbines. It will be the largest single-phase, single-site wind project in the United States. With a projected commercial operation date of next month, it already has power purchase agreements with McDonalds and Facebook. 

    A first for McDonalds

    The agreement with McDonalds was signed last fall. It is the first wind energy contract McDonalds has signed. They are hoping that this contract, along with another signed with an unnamed solar company also in Texas, will help them meet their Climate Action Target. The target they have set for themselves is to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2030.

    Unlike McDonalds, Facebook was the largest corporate buyer of renewable power at the end of 2018. They even beat out Google for the title. Last September, they signed a power purchase agreement with the Aviator wind farm for 200-megawatts of power. 

    Aviator Wind is not a first for Kansai

    A Japanese firm, Kansai Electric Power recently purchased a 48.5% stake in the wind farm. This is their first onshore wind project in the United States, but most likely not its last. A press release by the company states, “ The global megatrend of decarbonization has been encouraging the installation of renewable energy infrastructure in North America. Kansai is committed to making our share of contribution to decarbonization through further development of renewable projects in the U.S. and other parts of the world.” The Aviator wind farm project is their fifth global wind project. They also have stakes in projects in England, Ireland and Finland.

    Wind farms are nothing new to Texas. In fact, Texas is home to many of the largest wind farms:

    • Roscoe Wind Farm covers 100,000 acres, produces 781.5-megawatts, and has 627 wind turbines.

    • Horse Hollow Wind Energy covers 47,000 acres, produces 735.5-megawatts, and has 421 wind turbines.

    • Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm covers 11,000 acres, produces 662.5-megawatts, and has 407 wind turbines. 

    • Los Vientos Wind Farm covers 30,000 acres, produces 910-megawatts, and has 400+ turbines.

    Wind power continues to grow

    According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Lone Star State had 14,198 wind turbines during the third quarter of 2019. Most of the wind best for wind farms blows on the western side of the state. So, years ago, Texas approved a $7 billion plan to support wind energy by constructing 3,600 miles of electric transmission lines. With that guaranteed support, wind energy companies flocked to the state. The wind power industry now supplies 25,000 jobs for Texans. With the fluctuations in fossil-fuel futures, wind farms will most likely continue to spout up in the landscapes of Texas.

  • Friday, July 17, 2020 7:08 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) is a group of oil and gas companies in 130 countries representing over 30% of global operated oil and gas production. You have most likely heard of many of their members: BP, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Total. The goal of the member companies is accelerating the fossil fuel industry’s response to climate change.

    A close target

    This week, OGCI announced a target date of 2025 by which to reduce the collective carbon intensity of their members’ companies aggregated upstream oil and gas operations. This reduction should go from 23 kg CO2e/boe to between 20 and 21 kg CO2e/boe. Many companies have been issuing target dates of 2050 for net or near net zero emissions. The OGCI target feels like it is already on our doorstep.

    Paris Climate Agreement

    They feel it is important to set a sooner date than most in order to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Agreement is an environmental accord drawn up in 2015. It has since been signed by nearly every nation on the globe. The Agreement itself is a 32 page document that proposes to:

    • Limit global temperature rise by reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    • Provide a framework for transparency, accountability and the achievement of more ambitious targets

    • Mobilize support for climate change mitigation and adaptations in developing nations

    President Obama entered the United States into the Paris Agreement through executive action in Sept. 2016. Upon entering office, President Trump started proceedings withdrawing the United States from the Agreement. But, because of restrictions within the Agreement, the U.S. will not be officially out until Nov. 4 of this year.

    OGCI want net zero 

    The OGCI, in a joint statement by its CEOs, said, “Encouraged by the progress we have made towards our target on methane intensity, we have come together to reduce by 2025 the collective average carbon intensity of our aggregated upstream oil and gas emissions. Together we are increasing the speed, scale, and impact of our actions to address climate change, as the world aims for net zero emissions as early as possible.”

    Their plan for doing this involves all member companies to implement action wherever it is possible. These actions include:

    • Improving energy efficiency

    • Reducing methane emissions

    • Minimizing flaring

    • Electrifying operations - using renewables when possible

    • Co-generating electricity and useful heat

    • Implementing carbon capture and storage

    The target will include both carbon dioxide and methane emissions. However, OGCI has decided not to include liquified natural gas (LNG) or gas-to-liquids (GTL) in their upstream target. Instead, these areas will work on a specific set of initiatives. 

    Originally posted on

  • Thursday, July 16, 2020 9:06 AM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    Texas Energy Advocates Coalition does not make robo calls. Our coalition is the victim of business identity theft. If you recieve a call from someone using our name it is not us. We will not call you. We have reported the theft to the proper authorities. If you recieve a call, please feel free to report it to your local authorities. We are sorry for the inconvenience, and we hope the ones doing this will be caught soon.

  • Friday, June 12, 2020 12:31 PM | Texas Energy Advocates Coalition (TEAC) (Administrator)

    On May 29, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy made a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). They are willing to provide up to $30 millionfor cost-shared research and development projects for the advancement of small-scale solid oxide fuel cell systems (SOFC) and hybrid energy systems technology. 

    The push for multi-use alternative energy

    Solid oxide fuel cells are not new. Currently, they are capable of running on a wide variety of gas or liquid fuels. Researchers in Switzerland have managed successfully to develop SOFCs that can reach 75% efficiency. The most efficient engines are only capable of reaching up to 50% efficiency. But there are a few drawbacks to SOFCs. It is possible for them to take up to 20 hours to reach their full efficiency potential, and they run rather hot, reaching temperatures between 932°F and 1830°F. This heat, on the other hand, can be utilized in hybrid SOFC systems for generating hydrogen, or it can be used where both heat and power, cogeneration, are both needed. The DOE is hoping this FOA will help advance the technology forward quickly making it more accessible and cost efficient to compete with other developing forms of alternative energy. 

    Energy of the future

    SOFCs may be the alternative energy of the future. They can be used to create not only electricity, but also hydrogen-rich synthesis gas while at the same time producing the heat as mentioned above. The researchers who developed the high efficiency SOFC stated, “The advantages of the proposed system, particularly in terms of investment cost and weight, would also prove beneficial in other applications related to the transport sector, such as cars, trucks, and airplanes, where the system’s weight constitutes a significant constraint for the design of the power plant.” And that is just what the DOE is hoping. “The Department of Energy plays an important role in advancing innovation to provide clean and reliable energy for the American people,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “This research on SOFC is intended to lower the cost of SOFC systems to a level where they are cost-competitive with alternate technologies with minimal subsidies. The Trump Administration supports researching these advanced technologies and working with private industry to make these systems commercially available for power generation and hydrogen production.”

    Applications are being sought in three general areas:

    1. Small-scale distributed power generation SOFC systems.Projects are focused on small-scale applications (5-25 kilowatt)

    2. Hybrid systems using solid oxide systems for hydrogen and electricity production. Proposal for projects will include the validation and development of materials and hybrid energy systems required for improving the cost, performance, and reliability of SOEC using a configuration of hybrid SOFC/SOEC

    3. Cleaning process for coal-derived syngas to be used as SOFC fuel and testing of single and multiple cells on syngas. Projects will leverage existing equipment and develop new processes to clean the contaminants in coal-derived syngas, as well as support developers testing existing materials with a shorter development cycle that have a potential for faster near-term commercialization (approximately 5 years). Existing equipment for the design, fabrication, and testing of a small-scale syngas cleanup system can be connected to a small-scale SOFC (at least 100 watts) stack and a gasifier.

    For more information visit the Department of Energy’s website here.



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