Canyon Creek Energy—Arkoma LLC is planning to boost drilling activity across its 100,000-gross-acre position in the Arkoma Stack play through a new joint venture (JV). The Tulsa, Okla.-based E&P said April 19 it entered a joint development agreement with Pivotal Petroleum Partners II LP to jointly fund Arkoma Stack development on Canyon Creek’s acreage in southeastern Oklahoma. Luke Essman, president and CEO of Canyon Creek, said the agreement marks a revival of the Arkoma Basin, a region where drilling activity dates back to the 1930s.


Tom.jpg?resize=75%2C95Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy.

Rolling Stone Bumps Into Truth

Our guest blogger, Robert Bradley, Jr., from the Institute for Energy Research, has a nice piece in Forbes making mincemeat of yet another failed Rolling Stone attempt at independent investigative reporting. The conclusion is a beautiful thing:

Ironically, activists’ obsession with discrediting fracking blinds them to the well-established truth that fracking is an ecological and environmental godsend. Fracking has enabled an unprecedented boom in American natural gas production. Natural gas isn’t just cheaper than coal; it also burns much cleaner.

It’s no wonder that as a power plants have switched from coal to natural gas, air quality has improved. Air pollutants, as well as carbon dioxide emissions, have dropped. And a recent increase in natural gas exports has done wonders for energy market competition.

Activists ought to be celebrating a new era of energy plenty and reliability. Instead, they remain determined to smear fracking with shoddy science. It’s almost as if they have a hidden agenda — one that has nothing to do with what’s good for people and the planet.


Well said, Robert. When will Rolling Stone just go away?

A New Hybrid Ag Work Horse

I’ve done some consulting work in the San Joaquin Valley of California and it is agricultural nirvana with almond groves stretching as far as the eye can see, huge olive farms, mega-dairies, citrus operations and vegetable farms all existing side by side between the mountains. Now it has a new hybrid work horse:

Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI) has integrated its EDI PowerDrive 4000 into a Class 4 General Motors Low Cab Forward platform, creating what EDI calls an “industry-first” electrified work truck for agriculture applications.

The vehicle combines the benefits of a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system and plug-in hybrid technology, says EDI.


The truck will be operated in California’s San Joaquin Valley, a 250-mile-long region susceptible to air pollution due to its bordering mountain ranges, says EDI.

While in operation in San Joaquin Valley, the new vehicle will provide 40-plus miles of all-electric, zero-emissions driving, as well as range extension using cleaner-burning CNG – resulting in a significant elimination of particulate matter that its traditional diesel counterparts expel, says EDI.

Nice! And, it will use natural gas twice; once to make the electricity and, second, to extend the range of the vehicle itself. Love it!

A Second Shale Revolution?

The Permian Basin suggests there’s a second shale revolution  on the way:

In less than two decades, Permian Basin operators have unleashed a shale revolution that has virtually tripled crude production from the region and upended global energy markets.

Now a second revolution is on the horizon as operators prepare to re-enter those wells that launched the first revolution and implement secondary recovery projects. That can consist of operators reinjecting gas into the reservoir to restore pressure and then producing the additional crude and natural gas.


“It looks like the second shale revolution will be huge,” said Lewis Matthews, data scientist with CrownQuest Operating.

He said the Permian Basin has been producing for close to 100 years and “we’re not even close to getting all the oil.”

CrownQuest alone has 200 years of drilling inventory, said Matthews, who expects companies such as Concho Resources and Pioneer Natural Resources have similar inventories.

This dose of happy news is sure to give many fractivists heartburn, but, then again, they thrive on misery.

Tony the Tiger Resorts to Whining

Tony the Tiger Ingraffea’s declining influence, following his descent into political advocacy, is obvious from the fact he’s not resorted to whining about the natural gas industry’s success. Here’s what Desmog Blog reports he said at some fractivist mutual whining session where everyone reflected on what might have been:

So what happened?

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, U.S. natural gas production was flat or falling. If that trend had continued along the same track it was following from 2006-2008, then wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources might have had a chance to displace both natural gas and coal as major energy sources in America, according to Ingraffea.

Instead, the shale gas rush, propelled by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), swept across the U.S., with drillers snapping up land to drill for previously inaccessible fossil fuels locked in geologic formations of shale rock from coast to coast.


Chart from Tony the Tiger Ingraffee’s whiny presentation

If the shale gas rush hadn’t disrupted trends around that time, Ingraffea estimates that the wind energy sector alone could have produced roughly triple the amount of energy expected by the end of this coming decade, a difference of roughly 400 gigawatts.

“We can easily see there is a loss of potential — large amounts of wind energy — because of the injection of shale gas into our energy economy,” Ingraffea explains in the lecture.

It’s all ideology all the time with these folks. Their whining says it all.

The post Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – April 21, 2018 appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

While Canadian crude production has been growing for the past decade, the country’s refining industry hasn’t been able to reap the full rewards of this growth. In fact, some of these refineries are importing light crude to maintain run rates. Despite having the 11th largest total refining capacity in the world, Canada’s refining industry is only processing about 30% of domestic production.  According to a recent report from Canada’s National Energy Board, “Canadian Refinery Overview: Energy Market Assessment,” not all of the country’s refineries are able to process heavy crude. However, the bulk of the country’s domestic crude production is heavy crude from the Alberta oil sands. In total, Canadian refineries are operating at a high level without much available capacity for additional volumes. In 2017, Canadian refineries operated at 84% of capacity with the majority of the downtime being attributed to planned and unplanned maintenance. More than half of the crude processed in 2017 at Canadian refineries was light conventional—much of which was imported, and a bit more than one-third of refinery receipts were from the oil sands. The rest was conventional heavy oil.

ConnieMellin.jpgConnie Mellin
Natural Gas NOW


Fuel cell power plants made possible by the plentiful natural gas unleashed by the shale revolution are changing the world of heat and power as we know it.

A fuel cell is a source of power which will efficiently convert clean natural gas into virtually emissions free electricity. You can almost compare a fuel cell to a battery, but the fuel cell will never run down or need to be charged.


Fuel cell power plants are gaining momentum as they are relatively inexpensive to setup and operate.  They need considerably less real estate and have no moving parts making them extremely quiet. They are also very versatile; powering whole communities or serving as backup power to places such as hospitals.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration published a report today explaining the diverse ways fuel cell power plants are being used:


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report

At the end of 2016, the United States had 56 large-scale fuel cell generating units greater than 1 megawatt (MW), totaling 137 megawatts (MW) of net summer capacity. Most of this capacity (85%) has come online since 2013. Fuel cells collectively provided 810,000 megawatthours (MWh) of electricity in 2016, representing 0.02% of total U.S. electricity generation.

Fuel cell systems typically produce hydrogen gas from hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas using thermochemical processes such as steam reforming. The hydrogen reacts with oxygen across an electrochemical cell similar to that of a battery to produce electricity and water. Although nearly 85% of fuel cell capacity in 2016 used natural gas, fuels such as landfill gas or biogas from the decomposition of sewage at wastewater treatment plants were also used, potentially allowing the generation from fuel cells to qualify for renewable portfolio standards in certain states.

Fuel cell power plants are sometimes used for backup power at small facilities such as hospitals. They can also be used to operate data centers for large private corporations that have committed to consuming 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

Commercial and industrial sector fuel cell power plants are sometimes used in combined heat and power application, meaning they produce heat and steam in addition to electricity. Overall combined heat and power applications made up 26 MW of the 137 MW operating in 2016; the rest provided only electricity.

Fuel cell capacity factors in 2016 ranged significantly, reflecting a wide operating range for these fuel cells. Some were operated infrequently: 8 of the 50 plants in operation for all of 2016 had a capacity factor of 30% or lower, likely reflecting limited-use applications such as peak shaving or back-up capacity. Some were operated more frequently: about 25% of fuel cell generators had capacity factors exceeding 85%, likely reflecting primary power supply applications.

Fuel cells with combined heat and power applications typically had much lower capacity factors than those that delivered electricity only, with median capacity factors of 44% and 81%, respectively.


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report, Form EIA-923, Monthly Power Plant Report

In 2016, 36% of total U.S. fuel cell capacity was in California, which has a number of incentives for distributed generators such as fuel cells. Fuel cell generating units in Connecticut accounted for 27% of U.S. 2016 fuel cell capacity, and plants in Delaware accounted for 22%. Both states allow fuel cells with nonrenewable fuel to meet requirements for renewable portfolio standards. The remaining fuel cell power plants are located in North Carolina and Utah.

Thanks to the shale revolution, fuel cell power plants are sure to be a large part of our future electricity generation.

The post What the Shale Revolution Wrought: Fuel Cell Power Changing the World of Power appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

The New York Building Congress stressed that New York City needs more natural gas pipelines before the planned closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant.


New York City’s need for energy will expand as Indian Point’s scheduled 2021 deactivation approaches. It points out that 81.5% of the city’s electricity comes from natural gas burned in the five boroughs—and that more will be needed to keep New York’s lights on once the Indian Point nuclear plant is taken offline. The city’s move to transition public and private buildings away from burning heavy oil for heat has accelerated this need.

Last winter’s tumultuous weather conditions also provided an important reminder of the growing demand for affordable, reliable energy – and the urgent need for efficient energy infrastructure.

Williams’ Northeast Supply Enhancement project is a direct response to this urgent need, providing enough natural gas to serve 2.3 million American homes in time for the 2019/2020 winter season. Northeast Supply Enhancement will also support more than 3,000 jobs and generate approximately $327 million in additional economic activity (GDP) in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Click Here to ADD YOUR NAME NOW and COMMENT to the FERC requesting the prompt approval of this critical project.

Thank you for supporting this key piece of natural gas infrastructure and helping to keep the lights on in New York City.

Joseph F. Barone

Freeport LNG, a privately held U.S. LNG company, said on April 19 it pushed back the projected start date for its $13 billion export terminal under construction in Texas by about nine months to around Sept. 1, 2019. Freeport LNG now expects the first liquefaction train to enter service around Sept. 1, 2019, with the second and third trains seen in service around Jan. 1 and May 1, 2020, respectively, said Zdenek Gerych, a spokesman at Freeport. Previously, the three trains under construction had been expected to enter service between fourth-quarter 2018 and the final quarter of 2019. Each train will have the capacity to liquefy about 0.7 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day of gas. One bcf is enough gas to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.


Keep It Grounded In Fact
(American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers)


There’s something incredibly wrong when the ordinary citizens of a neighborhood are robbed through taxation to subsidize electric vehicles for the wealthy.

Electric vehicle (EV) subsidies are an often-overlooked yet pernicious example of handouts to the wealthy disguised as environmentalism.

The federal government provides tax credits of up to $7,500, with states like California kicking in additional breaks of up to $2,500 to entice consumers to buy EVs. Many states also throw in free charging, free parking, and/or access to HOV lanes to further sweeten the pot.

This all sounds like the government generously helping consumers become more eco-savvy … until you realize that these benefits are accruing almost entirely to the wealthiest consumers.


Consider: A 2015 analysis found Tesla owners have an average household income of $320,000, which is over five times the 2016 median US household income of $59,039.

It’s no surprise that a 2015 National Bureau of Economic Research paper found that “the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits” for EVs, given that the $74,500 MSRP for a Tesla Model S is more than the annual income of the average US household.

As The Washington Post recently editorialized, EV subsidies truly are “a Robin-Hood-in-Reverse Policy.” And this policy is taking real money out of the pockets of average consumers in order to help the rich—the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal EV subsidies will cost $7.5 billion through 2019. That’s a lot of money that could be going to meet education, public safety, or infrastructure shortfalls.

And this income inequality is in the process of getting worse. States like California and Oregon are instructing utility companies to build thousands of EV charging stations … and have utility customers foot the bill. So, not only are middle-class tax dollars being diverted to offset EV purchases, but utility bills are going to rise in order to help the rich keep their EVs charged.

In times of widespread deficits, policymakers should not be taking billions from taxpayers to help the wealthy get a better deal on EVs. As The Washington Post editorialized:

If electric vehicles are the wave of the future, they’ll have to survive on their own economically sooner or later. It should be sooner. Car corporations, billionaire entrepreneurs and their well-heeled customers have received enough assistance from the rest of us already.

Editor’s Note: Electric vehicles may have their role. There’s no reason to oppose them as they’re mostly powered by shale gas used to make the electricity these days. There’s also no reason to subsidize them, though. They operate cleaner, of course, but CNG and LNG vehicles offer far more appeal for real drivers who don’t live in metro areas where there’s already mass transit and have to drive longer distances.


What happens when your Tesla can’t get you there.

Moreover, let’s be honest; the Tesla, is simply an opportunity for status and virtue signaling. I don’t want to spend one dime of my money subsidizing those seeking the rewards of such activity. The folks determined to signal their stands and virtues can afford to do so on their own and shouldn’t  be asking us to pay them to do it. That’s not Robin Hood; it’s robbin’ the hood.

The post Why Are We Robbin’ the Hood to Subsidize Electric Vehicles for the Wealthy? appeared first on Natural Gas Now.