Tag Archives: Natural gas

The Week in Green Energy: Who Says Theres No Such a Thing as Bad Press

A natural gas power plant in eastern Michigan.

Natural gas occupies a tenuous position in the green energy hierarchy. Though certainly not considered truly “green,” it is nevertheless portrayed by its supporters as the most environmentally friendly of the hydrocarbons. In Barack Obama’s energy universe, natural gas (along with nuclear power) is classified as a “clean” energy source, and the president sees a vital role for gas in bridging the gap between the United States’ hydrocarbon-dominated present and its renewable energy future.

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Venezuelan Natural Gas Rig Sinks in Gulf: Maybe This Should Give Us Pause

Chavez: Don’t worry about that sunken drilling rig!

Maybe natural gas isn’t a “green” fossil fuel after all.

Early this morning, a Venezuelan natural gas exploration rig the Aban Pearl sank in (wait for it) the Gulf of Mexico, according to Reuters. The news broke on President Hugo Chavez’s twitter account and early indications are that there is no risk of a gas leak – though this not particularly reassuring coming from the Venezuelan government.

Let’s begin with a few caveats before the invective against offshore drilling:

No doubt, exploration and drilling rigs encounter problems all of the time and we are now hypersensitive about the issue because of BP’s deep sea gusher.

Also, this accident does not fundamentally alter the fact that natural gas is a cleaner-burning energy source than coal and is abundant in North America.

But…

We are getting a new view of the dangers of extracting fossil fuels and seeing that we have drastically underestimated the costs of drilling, both in monetary and environmental terms.

Previously, we had been concerned with how dependence on foreign oil forced us to prop up corrupt petrostates that encourage, actively and tacitly, anti-western sentiment and terrorism.

Now, we see one reason we had become dependent on foreign states for energy resources – extracting it from our own territories has become increasingly difficult and dangerous, both to human life and the environment.

True, Venezuela is one of those hostile petrostates, but we’re drilling in the same body of water and the companies that are extracting the gas are from all over the world, including the United States.

The rig that sank was owned by Petromarine Energy Services of Singapore, a company that is linked to India’s Aban Offshore.

American oil major Chevron also plans to tap some 7 trillion cubic feet of gas in a project off the Orinoco Delta.

All of this means that we should pause when Exxon-Mobil, BP’s Tony Hayward and converted greenie T. Boone Pickens exhort us to see natural gas as a fuel that will help us transition to the new green economy.

It still needs to be yanked out of the ground at great expense and environmental peril.

The Light Green Option: Energy Investors Funds To Build Gas/Solar Hybrid Power Plants

Energy Investors Funds has formed a joint venture with Saint Augustine, Fla., -based NTE Energy to build and operate hybrid power generation facilities in the U.S.

The plants will use a combination of natural gas and renewable sources like solar or biomass.

According to the joint release, the two companies are expected to announce projects in Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama in the near future. The two companies did not provide financial details.

Continue reading The Light Green Option: Energy Investors Funds To Build Gas/Solar Hybrid Power Plants

T.Boone Ditches Wind Power Project; Says Natural Gas is Clean Energy of the Future [Video]

T. Boone Pickens, the oilman turned renewable energy apostle, has shelved plans to develop the world’s largest wind farm in North Texas to instead push for massive adoption of natural gas for transportation. Continue reading T.Boone Ditches Wind Power Project; Says Natural Gas is Clean Energy of the Future [Video]

Exxon Mobil Confirms Dominance of Fossil Fuels with $31B XTO Acquisition

Today Exxon Mobil announced this year’s largest energy deal with its acquisition of XTO Energy, a domestic developer of natural gas, in an all-stock deal valued at $31 billion.

Wit the acquisition Exxon bolsters its natural gas reserves and it also confirms the company’s belief that fossil fuels are set to dominate over the long-term.

Exxon  (CEO Rex Tillerson is #5 in our November Top Ten Players in Green Energy ranking) and its competitors have invested in clean energy. However, they’ve also maintained that a carbon-free world is not likely. Continue reading Exxon Mobil Confirms Dominance of Fossil Fuels with $31B XTO Acquisition

BP CEO Tony Hayward: We Need to be Realistic – The Transition to a Lower-Carbon Economy Wont Happen Overnight

BP CEO Tony Hayward told attendees of the Oil & Money conference that’s being held this week in London that the goal of a carbon-free economy is not likely to happen anytime soon, if at all.

Instead, in his speech Hayward soberly promoted a “lower carbon” economy rather than a carbon-free economy; An energy “evolution” and not an energy “revolution”; And the pricing of carbon through a cap-and-trade system.

Hayward said:

The sheer scale of the energy industry makes this impossible. To give you an example, it takes more than 30 years to turn over the capital stock in the power sector and 15 years for cars. Such long lead times mean that like it or not, fossil fuels will continue to play a very significant part in the future energy mix.

While Hayward’s predecessor, the charismatic Lord John Browne, was all about “beyond petroleum” and creating a pan-energy company that delivered oil and gas as well as sun or wind power. Hayward, who before taking over the top slot in May of 2007, headed BP’s exploration and production unit, has worked hard to refocus BP’s capital to grow its core business: the exploration, production, and distribution of fossil fuels. Hayward believes that oil and gas will deliver shareholder value now and for the foreseeable future. Continue reading BP CEO Tony Hayward: We Need to be Realistic – The Transition to a Lower-Carbon Economy Wont Happen Overnight