Archive for October, 2022

More Halloween horror reported by our friends in Wyoming:

The supply of diesel in the United States has dropped to its lowest seasonal level since 1945, according to federal data, meaning there’s less than a month of the fuel stockpiled in the country. 

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LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim that London said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.

No evidence was presented to support the Russian claim; nor was any information provided on the results of their blitz investigation.

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Advice from Lars Herbst, distinguished offshore energy leader: “Help the Energy Crisis – Drink more Jack Daniels”

Tennessee Twist:TC Energy’s $29.3 million investment in a RNG (renewable natural gas) production facility near the Jack Daniel’s Distillery will see the Canadian operator producing RNG with a carbon-intensity score that is 50% lower than traditional natural gas, saving up to 16,000 tonnes of CO2e per year, according to the company.

“This investment is our first in the production of renewable natural gas,” said Corey Hessen, TC Energy executive vice president and president, power & Energy solutions. “The production of RNG onsite at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery offers TC Energy one more opportunity to meet the challenge of growing energy needs and reducing emissions while providing customers with access to an affordable, reliable, source of energy.”


It’s a great country! 😀

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It looks like it might be.

Nord Stream AG, or the operator of Nord Stream 1 pipeline, sent a specially equipped vessel on Thursday to investigate damage to the pipelines under the Baltic Sea.

Nord Stream AG, whose majority shareholder is Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom, said the chartered vessel arrived at the location of damage in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone. 

The vessel, bearing the Russian flag, would have specialists aboard to assess the damage within a day and investigation would take three to five days, the company said.

Nord Stream AG said it didn’t have relevant permits to conduct an investigation until now.


That’s a fast investigation!

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NASA has identified 50+ super-emitters of methane including sites in Turkmenistan (image below) that emit an estimated 111,000 pounds per hour.


By comparison, vented Gulf of Mexico methane emissions in 2021 totaled 1953 mmcf. This converts to 82 million pounds at atmospheric pressure and 60°F. The identified Turkmenistan sources would thus release the amount of methane in a month that all Gulf of Mexico facilities vent in a year (2021).

East of Hazar, Turkmenistan, a port city on the Caspian Sea, 12 plumes of methane stream westward. The plumes were detected by NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation mission and some of them stretch for more than 20 miles (32 kilometers).

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ONRR mandatory production reporting data are being sorted to assess GoM flaring and venting trends. This will help resolve inconsistencies previously identified. In the meantime, the table below summarizes the 2021 data. 1.03% of the gas produced that year was flared or vented. 0.25% of the gas production was vented.

Interestingly, more gas-well gas was vented than flared. This is presumably because older shelf facilities without flare booms still produce 25% of the gas (versus only 7% of the oil), mostly from gas wells. More to follow.

flared (%)vented (%)flared &
vented (%)
OWG582,2045919 (1.01)1405 (0.24)7324 (1.26)
GWG209,779311 (0.15)548 (0.26)859 (0.41)
total 791,9836230 (0.79)1953 (0.25)8183 (1.03)
OWG=oil well gas; GWG=gas well gas; all volumes are in MMCF

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Per BOEM’s leasing data base, all 94 of the Sale 257 “carbon sequestration leases” (blue) were issued with an effective date of 10/1/2022. However, Sale 257 was an oil and gas sale, and the leases do not convey carbon sequestration rights. Each lease will expire in 5 years absent oil and gas production or ongoing drilling operations.

These oil and gas leases may not be repurposed for sequestration or other purposes unless an alternate use RUE is issued competitively in accordance with 30 CFR § 585.1007.

So what’s next for these 94 leases, 31% of the entire sale?

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Kudos to ONRR for posting complete flaring and venting data for all oil and gas operations on US Federal and Indian lands. These data, which distinguish between oil-well gas and gas-well gas, are included in the large “Production Disposition by Month” file that can be downloaded here.

The data should give us a good read on flaring and venting trends and help resolve the inconsistencies previously identified.

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Where is the leadership? Offshore decommissioning costs should never fall on the taxpayer. See the attached notice (excerpt below) and a previous post on this topic.

BSEE intends to execute a multi-award IDIQ Quantity Contract inclusive of a Base Year and Four (4) Option Years; however, the government reserves the right to award the IDIQ contract to a single firm. Time & Material, Labor Hour, and/or firm-fixed price task orders will be awarded for Decommissioning Services necessary to take nine (9) orphaned facilities, located in the OCS of the Gulf of Mexico, to the point of Temporary Abandonment (TA). The estimated decommissioning cost for temporary abandonment is $10,000,000 to $20,000,000.

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The 23 platforms in Federal waters offshore California are from 33 to 55 years old. Most are no longer producing and 8 are on terminated leases. Some of the platforms are massive structures in water depths up to 1200′ (list of platforms and map below).

BOEM’s draft programmatic EIS evaluates 4 decommissioning alternatives, none of which appear to be workable for a combination of economic, environmental, and legal reasons:

  • Alternative 1 involves the complete removal of platforms and pipelines. This alternative is cost prohibitive and environmentally unfavorable.
  • Alternatives 2 and 3 evaluate prudent and environmentally responsible partial removal options. Unfortunately, partial removal and reefing are not feasible under the California Resources Legacy Act (AB 2503). This legislation holds the donating company perpetually liable for any damages associated with the reef structure. While not assuming any liability, the State nonetheless collects 80% of the savings (reefing vs. complete removal). As a result, it’s no surprise that no company has applied to participate in the State’s program.
  • Alternative 4 calls for leaving platforms and pipelines in place after emptying tanks and flushing pipelines. This “no action” baseline alternative violates the lease agreement and 30 CFR 250.1725, and would only be permissible if an alternate use was approved for the platforms per 30 CFR Part 585.
  • The EIS, with minimal discussion and no supporting data, rules out alternate uses at any of the 23 platforms. This exclusion would seem to be premature given the win-win-win opportunities for industry, government (Federal, State, and local), and academia. These include deferred decommissioning liabilities, a wide range of research opportunities, security and defense applications, weather observation and climate studies, maritime communications support, education programs, marine seismicity studies, and hydrokinetic energy projects. With proper maintenance, platforms can continue to provide social benefits long after all wells are plugged and production equipment is removed. However, once removed, replacement costs would be prohibitive.
  • Lastly, the EIS avoids the thorny financial responsibility issues that will complicate decommissioning decisions. Note the questions raised in the “troubling case of platforms Hogan and Houchin.
  • Those wishing to comment on the draft EIS should follow the posted instructions.

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