Morning Volt for 05/16/2017

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Morning Volt

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Strength in Oil/Gas Sector Bolsters Industrial Economy

Thomas Duesterberg, RCE

The initial report on 1st-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was weak, but showed encouraging growth in the oil and gas production sector. Capital investment, which has been historically weak…

Trump’s Energy Plan Coming One Deadline at a Time

Siciliano, Washington Examiner

President Trump’s executive order on energy independence reached a crucial first deadline over the weekend for all agencies to report regulations that could hurt energy production from fossil fuels, marking the opening salvo of what is expected to become the Trump energy agenda.Although he has signed orders to establish task forces to review and dismantle all manner of regulations, his latest energy independence order and another on offshore drilling are probably the most centered on what will become Trump’s environmental and energy policy legacy in the next four years.

Study Shows Why Trump’s Plan to Bring Back Coal Jobs Won’t Work

J. Deign, GTM

A new study confirms what nearly every energy analyst (and even coal executives) have already said: President Donald Trump’s plan to bring back mining jobs won’t work.The report, written by a team at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs Center on Global Energy Policy, concludes that rolling back environmental regulations, as Trump has done, would only have a minor impact on coal’s fortunes.

Trump’s New China Trade Deal Hurts Coal Industry He Promised to Help


The Trump administration pledged to bring the struggling coal industry roaring back by eliminating environmental regulations, shrugging off renewable energy and boosting fuel exports to China, which nosedived in 2012.But on Thursday, the White House announced a new trade deal with China to bolster the natural gas industry that analysts say starved coal into a slow death by devouring the U.S. electricity market it once dominated.

OPEC Nearly Killed This US Oil Company. Now It’s Back

Matt McFarland, CNN Money

Saudi Arabia-led OPEC launched a price war in late 2014 that sent oil prices spiraling lower, forcing dozens of American shale companies into bankruptcy.Lilis Energy, a tiny shale driller that took on too much debt during the boom years, quickly ran out of money and nearly went out of business, too. The company laid off almost its entire work force, ceased drilling and its stock plunged so low that it was kicked off the Nasdaq.

OPEC Is Staring Down the Barrel of a Double Cut

Julian Lee, Bloomberg Gadfly

OPEC is going to have to do much more than simply extend its current production deal when it meets next week if it’s serious about addressing surplus inventory. In fact, its own figures show it needs to double the cut it made in January. That means finding another 1.2 million barrels a day to take out of production.

Three Reasons to Believe in China’s Renewable Energy Boom

Beth Gardiner, NatGeo

The squares of silicon are hardly thicker than sheets of paper, each about six inches by six, with narrow stripes of silver. They come into the factory by the thousands, stacked in cardboard boxes, and within hours, they’ll be ready to leave again.The squares are solar cells, and in this plant two hours’ drive from Shanghai, workers in bright blue uniforms and white lab coats run the machines that assemble them, row by row, into more familiar-looking panels, ready to be installed on rooftops or in large arrays and begin turning sunlight into electricity.

Use of Nuclear Power Is in Decline; Why?

Tom Ward, Futurism

Many have billed nuclear fuel as a utopian source of electricity: efficient and potentially limitless. A modern nuclear reactor generates 34 years worth of electricity from 1 kg of fuel, but it has declined from accounting for 18% of the world electricity market in 1996 to 11% today; experts expect it to drop further.

Comparison of Energy Efficiency and CO2 of Gasoline, Electric Vehicles

Post, EC

Many articles have been written about the comparison of the energy efficiency of gasoline and electric vehicles. Most such articles have various flaws. This article will avoid these flaws and will show, electric vehicles are only slightly more energy efficient than gasoline vehicles, on a source energy-to-wheel basis, which is the most rational way to make the comparison.Many studies fail to use the lower heating value of the fuel, or fail to use the correct heating value of the fuel.

The Surprising Story of Electricity Use Decline in US Households

Lucas Davis, EP

Americans tend to use more and more of everything. As incomes have risen, we buy more food, live in larger homes, travel more, spend more on health care, and, yes, use more energy. Between 1950 and 2010, U.S. residential electricity consumption per capita increased 10-fold, an annual increase of 4% per year.

Are Floating Solar Panels Energy’s New Frontier?

David Gorn, KQED

When you’re trying to generate a lot more solar power, you’re limited by the size and heft of those big solar panels.Where can you put them? The answer so far has been the desert, or on rooftops. There have even been efforts to put panels on top of landfill sites.

Total’s Plans for Brazil’s New Oil Frontier Snagged on Amazon Reef


Deep beneath the waters of the Atlantic off Brazil’s most northern coast, French major Total SA (TOTF.PA) is hunting for what it hopes will be Latin America’s next big oil discovery.Metal drill bits, pipes and containers filled with equipment sit in the tropical port of Belm, near the mouth of the vast Amazon River, ready to sink the first exploratory wells 120 km (75 miles) offshore.Some geologists say the area, known as the Foz do Amazonas Basin, may contain as many as 14 billion barrels of petroleum, more than the entire proven reserves of Mexico.

Argentina’s Shale Hoping for Cash Windfall

The American Interest

The shale boom has thus far remained a uniquely American phenomenon (for a long list of reasons), but the issue of other countries replicating that success has always been a question of when, not if.

Signs of Oil Boomlet in North Dakota After Pipeline Finished

James MacPherson, AP

There are hundreds more jobs than takers in the heart of North Dakota’s oil patch. Finding a hotel room, parking space or table at a restaurant is no longer easy.More than two years after the state’s unprecedented oil bonanza fizzled to a lull, North Dakota – the nation’s No. 2 oil producer behind Texas – is experiencing a sort of boomlet that has pushed daily production back above 1 million barrels daily.

Artificial Intelligence Is Crucial for the Energy Industry

Haley Zaremba, OilPrice

As the world begins to turn away from fossil fuels and depend increasingly on renewable resources, the energy sector is presented with a problem. Renewables are simply not as reliable as oil and gas, as they are largely dependent on weather conditions such as sunny skies and windy days. In a world where we become fully dependent on renewables, there is concern that supply may not always be able to meet demand.

Time to Stop Confusing Nuclear Weapons With Nuclear Power

Ted Nordhaus, Hill

News of the partial collapse of an abandoned storage tunnel at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state has stoked predictable reactions from nuclear energy opponents. Despite the fact that Hanford was a facility dedicated to the production of nuclear weapons, anti-nuclear groups have been quick to draw a connection to nuclear energy.The liberal news site Common Dreams trumpeted the accident as evidence of the nuclear power industry’s global collapse.

Big Energy’s Surprise Warning: Trump, Slow Down Deregulation

Amy Harder, Axios

They want to ensure changes endure through legal and congressional fights. Several of Washington’s top fossil-fuel lobbyists and lawyers held at least three post-election meetings around a tricky topic: ensuring Trump’s bombastic campaign rhetoric about killing Obama-era regulations doesn’t end up backfiring when put into practice. Similar discussions are ongoing across the energy industry.

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