Thursday, October 31, 2013

REPOST: Oil futures fall below $96 on ample U.S. supply

Status of supplies of crude in US has been affecting the prices of crude oil per barrel. Read more from this article:

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Oil futures dropped below $96 a barrel on Friday, as ample U.S. supplies of crude continued to put downward pressure on prices.
Crude oil for December delivery CLZ3 -0.92%  fell 77 cents, or 0.8%, to $95.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract declined 0.4% on Thursday. Compared with the close of $102.33 a barrel for the front-month contract at the end of September, prices lost 5.8% for October.
The broader slide has come as stockpiles have risen for six weeks in a row, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In its latest report, issued Wednesday, it said crude supplies rose 4.1 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 25. Analysts polled by Platts expected a climb of 3.5 million barrels.
The decline in U.S. oil futures is good news for consumers since it should depress gasoline prices at the pump.Read: Goodbye, $100 oil. Hello, $3 gasoline.
December Brent crude UK:LCOZ3 -1.47% , the European benchmark, fell $1.24, or 1.2%, to $107.60 a barrel on Friday on ICE Futures. The gap between Nymex and Brent crude prices is around $12 a barrel, with Brent getting a boost from ongoing supply outages in Libya.
While Nymex crude prices continued “to be weighed down by higher refinery maintenance in the U.S. and the associated build in crude stocks seen there in the last two weeks, the Libyan supply situation is rather more bullish on the other side of the Atlantic,” wrote analysts at JBC Energy GmbH. “With supply decimated, the Libyan government’s latest efforts to find a solution for the problems have so far been met with indifference.”
In the corporate sector, oil major Chevron Corp. CVX -0.59%  reported a decline in third-quarter profit primarily due to lower margins for refined products. 
More updates on oil and gas industry can be accessed on this Dr. Ali Ghalambor Facebook page

Monday, October 28, 2013

REPOST: French delegation shows interest in Ghana’s oil & gas sector

This article from talks about the GEP-AFTP, French Oil and Gas Suppliers Council's possible investments in Ghana's oil and gas sector. 

A French Oil and Gas Industry Trade Mission is in Accra to explore the possibility of investing in Ghana’s oil and gas sector.

The GEP-AFTP, French Oil and Gas Suppliers Council, led by the Business Development Manager, Claude Bouty, as part of the visit, on Monday, called on the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, at the Ministry in Accra.

A statement issued by the Ministry and copied to the Ghana News agency on Tuesday said the delegation was accompanied by Madam Cecile Vignaud, Deputy French Ambassador to Ghana.

Mr. Bouty said they were in the country to explore business opportunities, particularly in the oil and gas sector.

According to him, Ghana continues to attract more companies due to its political stability, stating that, they will engage with their Ghanaian counterparts to look at investment opportunities.

He said the GEP-AFTP represents the interests of about 180 suppliers of equipment and services to the international oil and gas industry, which have a significant activity in France.

Mr Buah said Ghana’s relationship with France has been solid and is growing stronger; adding that, the record of French companies operating in Ghana is something to be proud of.

He said the government of Ghana is bent on ensuring transparency in the oil and gas sector and has passed laws to guide its operations in the industry.

“We are fully committed to the ideals of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative,” he said.

The Minister further stated that the country is taking seriously, its local content policies and is making sure that Ghanaians and Ghanaian companies are empowered through capacity development and skills and technology transfer.

He welcomed the delegation and encouraged them to explore business opportunities, adding that, ‘we shall work together to ensure shared value’.

Source: GNA


This Dr. Ali Ghalambor Twitter account offers more updates about the oil and gas industry.

Friday, October 25, 2013

REPOST: Shell moves ahead with Peace River in situ expansion

"Shell said for the startup of Phases 1 and 2, Carmon Creek will produce from 13 well pads." Read more about Shell Canada's plan for expansion in this article:


Shell Canada Ltd. will proceed with its wholly owned, 80,000 b/d Peace River in situ expansion of the Carmon Creek project in Alberta.
Shell submitted its regulatory application for Carmon Creek in 2010 (OGJ Online, Jan. 25, 2010) and received approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator in April.
Shell’s Peace River complex is licensed to produce 12,500 b/d of crude bitumen using thermal techniques. The company initiated development of its Peace River leases in the 1970s and expanded the in situ project in 1985 to its current operating capacity.
Shell said for the startup of Phases 1 and 2, Carmon Creek will produce from 13 well pads. An interfield pipeline system will transport steam to the wells and produce bitumen, water, and natural gas.
Cogeneration units are expected to produce an average of as much as 630 Mw/year of electricity, of which about 500 Mw is expected to be sold to the northwest Alberta power grid.
Shell is taking a well manufacturing approach to drill and complete the wells using the Sirius Well Manufacturing Services joint venture.
To minimize surface disturbance, about 48 wells will be closely spaced on each well pad, Shell said. Each well pad will have a life of 10-15 years and as pads come to the end of their life, the well pad equipment will be refurbished and reused on new pads and the land will be reclaimed to minimize project footprint.
Dr. Ali Ghalambor has over three (3) decades of experience in the oil and gas sector. For more about him, visit this Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

REPOST: Batista oil firm OGX files for bankruptcy

OGX has filed for bankruptcy protection. Read more about this news from


OGX, the Brazilian oil and gas company controlled by the billionaire tycoon Eike Batista, has filed for bankruptcy protection in a Rio de Janeiro court.
The move came after talks with creditors to restructure some of its $5.1bn (£3.2bn) debt failed on Tuesday.
The company, run by Mr Batista, a colourful former speedboat racer, has struggled with large debt and a crisis in investor confidence.
It is believed to be Brazil's biggest corporate bankruptcy.
The failure of OGX is seen as a significant chapter in the demise of the vast business empire controlled by Mr Batista, which also includes steel, mining, infrastructure and property companies.
Mr Batista, a well-known business figure in Brazil, was a key player in Brazil's successful bid to host the 2016 Rio Olympics, once boasted of ambitions to become the world's richest man.
His personal fortune was estimated by Forbes magazine at $30bn in 2012, but analysts suggest that troubles at OGX have all but wiped out his wealth.
Some critics say his business tracks that of Brazil itself, a country which has long been expected to deliver riches, but has consistently failed to move convincingly beyond the developing market stage.
The country, one of the Brics group that defines those nations with the most promising opportunities for investors, recorded growth of 7.5% in 2010, but last year grew by just under 1%.
Cassia Pontes, an oil industry analyst with the Rio-based Lopes Filho consulting firm, said: "The entire thing [OGX] has had a really negative impact on Brazil's image and reinforces the need for stronger corporate governance in this country.
"Reality didn't live up to the exaggerated expectations created by Batista."
OGX has 60 days to present a restructuring plan.
Its investors, who collectively hold $3.6bn in debt, will then have six months to accept or reject the plan - if they do not accept the company will be liquidated.
The company has suffered poor output from its oil fields in Brazil, which has led to a loss of confidence among investors and creditors.
There were signs of trouble earlier in October when OGX missed a $44.5m interest payment owed to bondholders.
Analysts say the business model was based on securing loans to be paid back with oil that had not yet been produced.
More articles about oil and gas production can be found on this Dr. Ali Ghalambor blog site.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Study disputes gas leak concern on fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a process of extracting natural gas or oil applying pressurized fluid deep into the ground so that fractures in rocks will be formed. This process increases rock permeability, which provides pathways for natural gas or oil to move upward.

Image Source:

At a certain extent, hydraulic fracturing generates concerns and contestation within the country and around the world. Some skeptical individuals and organizations hold their ground until other alternative techniques come up.

For instance, many fear that drilling for shale gas causes huge amounts of gas leaks into the air. However, The New York Times presents a study that contests this. Conducted by the University of Texas and supported by the Environmental Defense Fund and nine petroleum companies, the study reinforces the uses and advantages of hydraulic fracturing, as advocated by several groups that stand strong on their belief that shale gas is a better energy source than coal.

Image Source:

The study showed that fracking makes significantly smaller leaks of methane gas than the Environmental Protection Agency had estimated and shale gas detractors had thought. Furthermore, it stated that 99 percent of methane gas that escapes from new wells is captured through containment measures.

While the researchers of the study expect questions of objectivity, petroleum experts believe that the research and its proponents are reputable and reliable.

Image Source:

The oil and gas sector holds an unending interest among oil professionals, such as Dr. Ali Ghalambor. Find more materials about the industry by following this Twitter account.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Boat-building industry booms as energy production increases

The energy boom is gradually spreading influence over several industries, and one of which is shipbuilding. The shipbuilding sector is enjoying a major growth which is considered as the biggest boost in decades. At present, it pitches in some $36 billion to the US economy.

Image Source:

Fox News gathers that this development has not been observed since the 1970s. “The movement of more oil has built up a real commercial shipbuilding renaissance,” said Matthew Paxton, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America.

Image Source:

Despite the struggling economy, this period of new growth and activity is taking place, thanks to the increase in the production of natural gas in the country. Fox News attests that the huge amounts of gas and oil extracted from shale, through hydraulic fracturing, have contributed to the country’s energy boost. Hence, industry experts have dubbed the country as “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.”

Image Source:

Natural gas is a promising alternative source of energy for industries, including the shipbuilding industry. More about the discussion of natural gas can be found on Dr. Ali Ghalambor and Dr. Boyun Guo’s highly acclaimed book, The Natural Gas Engineering Handbook. For more resources about the production of natural gas and sustainable energy sources, access this Facebook page.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Natural gas: Strengthening local economies

Image Source:

Experts of the oil and gas sector consider natural gas a key to not only help improve environmental conditions but also strengthen local economies by decreasing their dependence on imported oil and fueling job growth.

As in the case of Pennsylvania, natural gas is lifting the state’s rural areas from poverty. This article from Topix attests that companies, like Marcellus Shale, have provided significant economic contribution to the natural gas sector sustaining Pennsylvania’s economy even in difficult times. They have also helped revitalize rural fortunes and have put things in perspective.

Image Source:

Over the years, the use of natural gas extracted from shale rock formations has been gaining recognition in the United States and in several other countries as well. Oil experts are looking into more possibilities of how they can put this sustainable energy source into good use. Many oil and gas companies, like Chevron, recognize that natural gas has become a popular source of alternative energy for many industries. The reason being is that it generates multiple benefits, including safety, affordability, and easy distribution. That is why Chevron has partnered with Marcellus Shale in developing more natural gas to benefit other local economies.

Nomac Drilling Corp.'s Matthew Brown (right) steadies a section of drill pipe as Richard Lane cleans it during operations in Bradford County, Pa.
Image Source: articles.philly.comshale-coalition

Drs. Ali Ghalambor and Boyun Guo’s book The Natural Gas Engineering Handbook is a great resource that discusses more about this matter. This Facebook page, meanwhile, contains more updates and other related topics on the natural gas and petroleum industry.

EPA proposes greenhouse gas emission limits from new coal power plants

Image Source:

As part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s efforts to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US, it has proposed to set the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.

NPR reports that EPA’s proposal was made to address climate change, push for a better economy, and deal with “the most significant public health challenge of our time.”

The proposal would make it hard for companies to build coal-fired plants, which have been the country’s main source of electricity for several years now. In addition, any new coal plant would be allowed to emit only about half as much carbon dioxide as an average coal plant expels.

While EPA’s intentions are noble and legally sound, several electric utility companies think otherwise. They argue that it would be too expensive to meet the proposal’s demands in keeping coal plants clean enough. Moreover, the available technologies for cleaning plants have not yet been commercially approved. It would take more than hundreds of millions of dollars to add to the already very high cost of coal power plants.

Image Source:
One of the largest utilities, American Electric Power, says that customers won't go for the approval of this proposal. Nick Akins, the company’s president and CEO, says that if this proposal pushes through, companies would have to stop building coal plants and instead go for natural gas plants, which are cheaper. However, they would also be “vulnerable to future spikes in natural gas prices.”

For the meantime, environmental groups are closely checking on the proposal to see how conscientious the government is in implementing strict rules over coal plant clean-up.

Whatever the argument is, power plants must do their fair share in stopping the ill effects of carbon pollution for the good of humanity and the environment.

Image Source:

For those interested in learning more about sustainable energy from Dr. Ali Ghalambor, this Facebook page serves as a useful resource.