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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Today's ENERGY News - 4 May 2016

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Coal Demand Has Fallen in Nearly Every State Since 2007  

Consumption of steam coal used for electricity generation in the U.S. electric power sector fell 29% from its peak of 1,045 million short tons (MMst) in 2007 to an estimated 739 MMst in 2015. Consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period. States with the largest declines were concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast, with six states in these regions accounting for nearly half of the national decline. Smaller declines in power sector coal consumption occurred in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana, all in the Rocky Mountain region. In the United States, 97% of all steam coal is used to generate electricity. With little or no growth in electricity sales in most states between 2007 and 2015, coal use for electricity generation is closely related to coal’s share of total generation. […]

Slow Electricity: The Return of DC Power?

Stationary steam engines drive DC generators by means of leather belts. Source . In today’s solar photovoltaic systems, direct current power coming from solar panels is converted to alternating current power, making it compatible with a building’s electrical distribution. Because many modern devices operate internally on direct current (DC), alternating current (AC) electricity is then converted back to DC electricity by the adapter of each device. This double energy conversion, which generates up to 30% of energy losses, can be eliminated if the building’s electrical distribution is converted to DC. Directly coupling DC power sources with DC loads can result in a significantly cheaper and more sustainable solar system. However, some important conditions need to be met in order to achieve this goal. Electricity can be produced and distributed using alternating current or direct current. In the case of AC electricity, the current […]

Statoil Sells Marcellus Assets to EQT for $407 Million

The Norwegian oil and gas producer said Monday the divestment includes 62,500 acres of operated properties in West Virginia with a production of about 9,300 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the first quarter. Statoil said it would retain its operated properties in the state of Ohio and its non-operated Marcellus positions. The company entered Marcellus and the U.S. shale industry through a 2008 joint venture with Chesapeake Energy Corp. CHK -4.08 % and in 2012 became an operator in the area through the acquisition of additional acreage in a liquids-rich part of the formation. EQT said the acquired assets, primarily located in West Virginia’s Wetzel, Tyler and Harrison counties, would add a sizable amount of acreage within the company’s core development area and complement its adjacent operations in Wetzel County. The acquisition would boost EQT’s core undeveloped Marcellus acreage […]

Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’

Each morning at 3:30, when Joann Bourg leaves the mildewed and rusted house that her parents built on her grandfather’s property, she worries that the bridge connecting this spit of waterlogged land to Louisiana’s terra firma will again be flooded and she will miss another day’s work.  Ms. Bourg, a custodian at a sporting goods store on the mainland, lives with her two sisters, 82-year-old mother, son and niece on land where her ancestors, members of the Native American tribes of southeastern Louisiana, have lived for generations. That earth is now dying, drowning in salt and sinking into the sea, and she is ready to leave.  With a first-of-its-kind “climate resilience” grant to resettle the island’s native residents, Washington is ready to help.  “Yes, this is our grandpa’s land,” Ms. Bourg said. “But it’s going under one way or another.”

Gasoline Consumption in U.S. Rises Most in Nearly Four Decades

U.S. gasoline demand rose at the fastest annual rate in almost 40 years in February as stronger economic growth and cheap fuel prices spur driving in the world’s biggest oil consumer. The Energy Information Administration said late on Friday that U.S. gasoline demand rose to 9.2 million barrels in February, up 556,000 barrels a day from a year earlier and the biggest annual increase since May 1978. Gasoline has become the star performer among fuels, offsetting weakness in diesel and heating oil after an unusually mild winter in the northern hemisphere and helping refiners to earn strong margins. The U.S. strength — consumption in February was the highest ever for the month — comes as gasoline demand in India, China and other emerging countries also booms. Wards Auto, a consultant, estimates that global vehicle sales reached a record in March at 8.87 million, surpassing the peak set in March […]

These Two U.S. Drillers Just Filed For Bankruptcy

Two more oil companies have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection , as crude oil prices hover just above $45 per barrel and financial woes take their toll. Oklahoma-based Midstates Petroleum Company and Texas based Ultra Petroleum have now filed for bankruptcy, citing combined debts of more than US$5.8 billion blamed on a long run of low commodity prices that have led to irreparable financial damage. Last year, Midstates Petroleum recorded a net loss of $1.8 billion, compared to net income of $116.92 million a year ago. The company operates in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and produced 12 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2015. It owns assets worth around $680 million. According to the company, it reached a plan support agreement with a majority of its lenders for restructuring. As for Ultra Petroleum , the company had disclosed that it has a debt of nearly $4 billion against […]


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