Plane Geometry

March 11, 2010

It is said that all one needs to stabilize (or to form) a plane are three discrete points: one, two, three. Completely unrelated to that, Greenwire has three discrete points in three discrete articles today. Put these in your tailpipes and smoke them:

1) Shale plays create ‘new world’ for energy industry:

Talk of vast new reserves in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale and Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale has filled the corridors and even the keynote speech Tuesday on what had been billed as “oil day.”

ConocoPhillips CEO Jim Mulva used that keynote to tout shale gas as “nature’s gift to the people of the world.” He praised the ingenuity of an industry that learned how to employ horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to open up shale, a rock that had long been considered too difficult to drill.

Now the gas-laced rock has doubled the discovered gas resources of North America, providing 100 years of supply to a country that a few years ago was planning a host of new terminals to import liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Shale gas now accounts for 20 percent of the country’s gas supply, up from 1 percent in 2000.

2) Pairing oil recovery with carbon capture a win-win for U.S.

Enhanced oil recovery — a technique that stimulates aging wells — combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) could slash U.S. petroleum imports if there is a strong price on carbon, according to a report commissioned by an environmental group and released yesterday.

The Natural Resources Defense Council backed the report that says combining CCS with enhanced oil recovery could boost U.S. production by 3 million to 3.6 million barrels a day.

“Significant growth is dependent on sourcing affordable carbon dioxide,” said Mike Godec, vice president of Advanced Resources International, which prepared the report. “Climate legislation obviously would give enhanced oil recovery a kick start and allow the technology to grow most rapidly.”

Oil companies for years have wrung as much oil as they could from maturing wells. And for the past 35 years or so, they have been pumping CO2 into aging reservoirs to displace oil and enhance production.

3) Injection well is ‘plausible cause’ of Texas earthquakes:

Researcher Brian Stump of Southern Methodist University, one of four researchers who worked on a study published in the magazine Leading Edge, said the injection well at the airport was a “plausible cause” of the earthquakes that started seven weeks after the well began operating in 2008 and stopped when the well was closed.

The last article is basically on hydraulic fracking, though there are similar concerns about CCS too. If true, I think it raises questions about the stability of this plane.

One comment

  1. Right now the cheapest CO2 is that separated out from natural gas streams (natural gas has tremendously varied amounts of water vapor and CO2, depending on the well. In particular fields, there is a ton of CO2 which increasingly is being injected back into the well to push more gas and oil out.

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