HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     
Welcome to the SkyscraperPage Forum

Since 1999, the SkyscraperPage Forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web. The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics. Welcome!

You are currently browsing as a guest. Register with the SkyscraperPage Forum and join this growing community of skyscraper enthusiasts. Registering has benefits such as fewer ads, the ability to post messages, private messaging and more.

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Mountain West

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:43 PM
Orlando's Avatar
Orlando Orlando is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,202
Utah Energy Development Thread

This thread is regarding energy and environmental development related issues in Utah
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:44 PM
Orlando's Avatar
Orlando Orlando is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,202
FOCUS - Industry giants pumping $1 billion in capital investments into increasing production of low-cost Uinta Basin oil

The HollyFrontier refinery in Woods Cross will begin increasing its capacity for black wax crude sometime after the first of the year.

By Andrew Haley

The Enterprise

Several national oil giants are pumping $1 billion in capital investments into the state in an effort to increase production of a high-value, low-cost type of oil found in abundance in the Uinta Basin. The oil, black wax crude, is just that — black and, at room temperature, the consistency of candle wax. Unlike sweet light crude, which is of lighter color and much thinner consistency, black wax crude cannot be transported via pipeline, but must be shipped in specialized heated tanker trucks to refineries that possess the adequate machinery to break it down into gasoline and other commodities.

On both the supply and refining ends, black wax crude poses unique challenges to companies seeking to bring it to market. Drilling companies operating in the Uinta Basin must invest in the specialized trucks needed to transport the crude, which must be delivered to refineries relatively close by. The limits of existing transportation infrastructure and the geographic isolation of the Uinta Basin leave supply companies with no practical refining alternative than to deliver black wax crude to Salt Lake’s refineries, which currently are unable to refine black wax crude in meaningful volumes.

On the refining end, Tesoro, HollyFrontier and Chevron, which operate three of the oil refineries along the I-15 corridor in Salt Lake City and Woods Cross, are in various stages of nearly $500 million worth of capital investment projects to increase black wax crude refining capacity at those refineries. Tesoro received an approval order from the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on Sept 13, meaning DEQ had reviewed and given the green light to the company’s proposed $180 million upgrade and expansion. HollyFrontier is still in the initial stages of the permitting process of its $225 million capital project, according to vice president and Woods Cross refinery manager Lynn Keddington.

“What we’re proposing to do is increase [refining capacity for] black wax and potentially yellow wax crudes from the Uinta Basin, and eventually double the refining capacity,” Keddington said. “It’s still under the permitting process. They came back with a series of questions. I would anticipate in the next month it would go to public comment.”

He said he anticipated HollyFrontier would receive DEQ’s permission to proceed “sometime after the first of the year, in January or February.”

Greg Hardy, a spokesperson for Chevron, said Chevron is committed to $83 million in capital investments aimed at modernizing older equipment and meeting more stringent structural requirements. Unlike HollyFrontier and Tesoro, Chevron’s upgrade is not specifically tied to increasing production capacity for waxy crudes, Hardy said. Nor is its refinery upgrade under the same urgency as Tesoro and HollyFrontier’s expansions, which have both already made significant headway in the DEQ permitting process.

Stacee Adams, an environmental planning consultant for DEQ’s office of planning and public affairs, said Chevron is not currently in any stage of the permitting process.

Concurrent capital investment at the three refineries has been reported as though the three projects are part of the same trend, when in fact the Tesoro and HollyFrontier projects are transformational while Chevron’s is merely an upgrade. Both HollyFrontier and Tesoro are more than doubling their refining capacity for black wax crude, while Chevron’s investment will not change the refinery’s black wax crude production capacity.

“Ours is not an expansion. It is an upgrade. We will not be expanding our capacity,” Hardy said.

According to Hardy, the upgrade will focus on installing new pumps and piping, a desalter, columns, and heat exchanges near where crude enters the refinery. Hardy said the Chevron refinery currently possesses the means to refine black wax crude and refines some that is delivered by truck from eastern Utah. He declined to elaborate on what percentage of Chevron’s refining volume consists of black wax crude.

With their substantially larger capital investments, Tesoro and HollyFrontier are betting big on the future of Uinta Basin black wax crude. Both companies recently agreed to multi-year supply agreements with Newfield Exploration for a combined 38,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Uinta Basin black wax crude. Newfield, which has doubled its in-state extraction volume in the last few years, signed a 10-year, 20,000 bpd supply agreement with HollyFrontier in January 2012, and a seven-year, 18,000 bpd supply agreement with Tesoro in December 2011.

In April, the Associated Press reported that Newfield plans on investing $500 million, a full third of its 2012 operating budget, in its Uinta Basin drilling operations. The Uinta Basin is in the midst of an oil boom, and no company has been as successful as Newfield. According to figures from the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining (DOGM), Newfield produced more crude oil in Utah in 2011 than the top four producers, Exxon, Inland, Texaco, and Mobil, produced in Utah in 2001 together.

According to DOGM’s figures, Newfield produced 7,717,767 barrels in Utah last year, up from 7,317,226 barrels in 2010, 5,861,970 in 2009, and more than double the 3,401,371 barrels it produced in 2005, its first full year operating in the state. In 2004, Newfield purchased its Monument Butte oil field in Duchesne and Uintah counties from Inland Resources for $575 million. Since then, Newfield has led a vanguard of innovative, new oil exploration and production companies that have used cutting edge technologies and business acumen to unseat the stalwarts of the Utah oil industry and bring about the ongoing oil boom.

A decade ago, the top 10 oil producers in the state included such household names as Exxon, Chevron, BP and Texaco. In Utah, in 2002, Chevron produced 825,802 barrels, BP 632,706 barrels, and Texaco 631,532 barrels of crude. In the first five months of 2012, Newfield produced 3,473,871 barrels, with over 2,277,940 barrels, more than the 2002 Utah production volume of Chevron, Texaco and BP combined, coming from its Monument Butte field alone.

Newfield plans on drilling 180 new wells in its Monument Butte field this year, bringing the total number to 1,980 in the area. Though it is still committed to Monument Butte, the company is beginning to shift its operations north into the Central Basin area, where it acquired 70,000 acres in 2011. Thirty existing wells in the Central Basin have proven successful and Newfield plans on building 60 more there, with four of the company’s seven operated rigs drilling in the Central Basin.

According to DOGM officials, the vast majority of the oil in the area where Newfield operates is either black wax or yellow wax crude. Like black wax crude, yellow wax crude is high in paraffin and requires specialized supply and refining solutions, though, like black wax crude, its component commodities are ultimately of higher quality than those derived from sweet light crude. With production booming, Newfield’s bonanza is held in check only by the unique transportation and refining challenges of waxy crudes.

Meeting those challenges will ultimately prove profitable, according to Keddington. Because it is so difficult to transport and refine, black wax crude sells for less than sweet light crude, though the products refined from it sell at a premium. That means that for HollyFrontier and Tesoro, their 20,000 bpd and 18,000 bpd supply agreements, which go into effect in 2014 and 2013, respectively, guarantee a steady and abundant supply of a lower cost raw material it will ultimately manufacture into higher price goods.

Read more: The Enterprise - FOCUS Industry giants pumping 1 billion in capital investments into increasing production of low cost Uinta Basin oil
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:46 PM
Orlando's Avatar
Orlando Orlando is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,202
FOCUS - Canadian oil shale firm closer to breaking ground for eastern Utah project
2 days 6 hrs ago
By Andrew Haley

The Enterprise

U.S. Oil Sands Inc. has moved closer to breaking ground on an ambitious project to extract oil from bitumen deposits in eastern Utah.

With a favorable decision in late August from Administrative Law Judge Sandra Allen, U.S. Oil Sands overcame a significant permitting obstacle to its proposed operations. Allen, appointed by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ), decided against two environmental groups, Living Rivers and Western Resource Advocates, which argued that U.S. Oil Sands’ proposed Uintah County mine would contaminate groundwater.

“U.S. Oil Sands [is] not going to discharge [contaminants] into groundwater because the nearest ground water is 1,500 feet underground,” said U.S. Oil Sands’ lawyer, A. John Davis III.

“I think the administrative law judge’s position was well taken and we certainly agree with it,” he said.

With the ruling, Davis, who is a partner in the Salt Lake office of Holland and Hart, said U.S. Oil Sands will face a final hearing before the DWQ “followed by what I think will be a very brief hearing before the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.”

U.S. Oil Sands, a Calgary-based company, holds bitumen leases for over 32,000 acres of public land in Utah through a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary. According to the company, Utah possesses more than 50 percent of U.S. stocks of bitumen, also known as tar sands and oil sands. The company intends to develop its bitumen properties using a patented extraction process that utilizes a biodegradable, citrus-based solvent to wash oil from the sands in which it is found.

The words “tar sands,” particularly when conjoined with “Canada,” are a war cry for environmentalists, who point to ongoing, large-scale bitumen strip mining operations in Alberta as one of the most allegedly egregious examples of corporate greed and environmental degradation in recent memory. But U.S. Oil Sands’ proposed Utah operation is vastly distinct in both technique and scale from the tar sands mining under way in Canada, said Barclay Cuthbert, the company’s vice president of operations.

Cuthbert said the traditional tar sands mining ongoing in Canada differs in almost every way to the operation that U.S. Oil Sands is proposing in Utah. Most of the bitumen deposits being mined in Alberta are so far underground that they can be efficiently developed only by stripping away hundreds of feet of overburden, resulting in large open-pit mines, he said. Canadian tar sands mining employs variants of the Clark Hot Water Process, patented in 1926, which uses very hot water and mechanical mixing to separate the oil from the tar sands, he said.

One chief complaint of environmental groups is that Canadian tar sands oil production is highly inefficient, since vast amounts of oil are required to power the machinery that removes overburden and heats and mixes the slurry during separation. In addition to a large carbon footprint, Alberta tar sands mining is also allegedly to blame for contaminating tracts of Canadian wilderness with a hazardous byproduct of the separation process. Potential groundwater contamination was the central argument of Living Rivers’ and Western Resource Advocates’ complaint.

“The problem [with traditional oil sands mining] is the mixing of the hot water and sand is very vigorous. It creates a sludge, composed of very fine solids, oil and water, that sits in tailing ponds,” Cuthbert said. “The tailing ponds get to be enormous. The old mines sit. Instead of recovering them, they turn them into tailing ponds, so you create these lakes with oil in them. If wildlife get in that, they’ll die. Environmentally it is very challenging. And lots of water gets tied up in that because it has to be at a very large scale to be successful. Exxon’s oil sands project produces 100,000 barrels per day. It is Exxon’s largest project anywhere. Oil sands development in Canada is the largest industrial development in the world.

“We’ve got a brand new technology. Instead of mixing hot water vigorously, we mix a solvent and not so hot water and mix it gently. Because the process has small mechanical mixing, you don’t get a sludge, so there’s no tailing pond. Our byproducts are clean water, clean sand and clean oil. We don’t require much water, because we reuse it as we go. It uses much less energy and you get clean products.”

U.S. Oil Sands’ initial development proposal is for a 213-acre site called the P.R. Spring mine. The bitumen deposits at P.R. Spring consist of oily sands that lie on the surface and reach depths of 150 feet. The site lies in the arid uplands of the Book Cliffs, east of the Green River, between I-70 and U.S. 40, about 10 miles from the Colorado border.

In a nutshell, U.S. Oil Sands will dig up the oily sand, wash the oil out of it, and put the sand back where it came from, Cuthbert said. Both the water and the biodegradable, orange-peel-based solvent will be brought to the site, reused on site, and removed on completion, he said. Cuthbert said it would take three years to return the site to its pre-mining condition, compared to 50 years for reclaiming Alberta tar sands mines.

“We reclaim as we go. At any one time, we’ll probably only have 30 or 40 acres open. The operation is very straightforward. The extraction is very straightforward. The solvent is a bio-solvent. It comes from citrus. It’s biodegradable. We recycle all our solvent, but if there’s any trace left over, it’s biodegradable,” Cuthbert said.

Even if it weren’t, the potential for contaminating area groundwater at the P.R. Spring mine site is nonexistent, Davis said; the only groundwater in the area lies more than 1,500 feet underground, beneath an impervious rock layer. Davis said Living Rivers and Western Resource Advocates had changed their reasoning multiple times over the course of the year-long hearing, ultimately arguing that damp sands would mobilize residual oil and contaminate aquifers, which he said was not only impossible but disingenuous, since oil is already present at the site, and if anything U.S. Oil Sands was making the site cleaner.

“My view is that it has become the poster child for all the alternative fuels. It’s become this cause célèbre. What they’re comparing it to is nasty — using tons of water, strip mining. It’s nasty, and if that was going to be what happened in Northeast Utah it would be a disaster, but that’s not what’s going to happen,” Davis said.

Cuthbert said he thought environmental opposition to the P.R. Spring mine was motivated less by the specific allegations made in the hearing than by an anti-oil agenda using the permitting process to delay and run up the costs of development.

“Environmental groups are against all oil. The better it is, the more they hate it. [People who say,] ‘I don’t want to develop it, but I do want to fill up my car’ just made a choice to import it from Venezuela,” Cuthbert said.

“People have a hard time imagining that an oil sands project won’t just get bigger and bigger, but it won’t. We have the smallest surface footprint, the smallest water footprint, and the smallest greenhouse gas footprint of any oil program. There is higher quality oil in Utah than in Canada. Most global heavy oil is high in sulfur, which means costly sulfur refining. If you don’t have the sulfur [like in Utah] you save on costs and greenhouse gas. All in all, from the environmental side, there are a lot of benefits to Utah oil in Utah refineries.”

If U.S. Oil Sands can overcome environmental opposition, the company stands to make a fortune. According to a 2007 paper by J. Wallace Gwynn of the Utah Geological Survey, “Utah’s measured tar sand resource, though small in comparison to that of Canada, is the largest in the United States.”

“Utah’s tar sand deposits contain 14 to 15 billion barrels of measured oil in place, with an additional estimated resource of 23 to 28 billion barrels,” the article states.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States had 25.2 billion barrels of proved reserves as of 2010. With as much oil in its bitumen deposits as the entire U.S. proved oil reserves, Utah could become one of the largest oil-producing states in the country, if companies like U.S. Oil Sands can figure out an economical solution to tar sands development. According to the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, Utah is currently ranked 11th in the country in crude oil production.

“This is a highly economic project. It’s very economic at a small scale. You can spend a lot less money to do it [than in Alberta], and then it generates a lot of revenue, including for the royalty owner, [with] $2 million per year going into royalties,” Cuthbert said.

According to Davis, the royalty owner of the P.R. Spring mine is the state of Utah’s education fund.

“Utah’s oil sands are large, quite a bit larger than the country’s conventional reserves — 30 billion barrels,” he said. “Unlike in Alberta, where over 80 percent is deeper than 300 feet, in Utah it’s mostly shallow. You can get at it from the side of a hill. That’s how they are up at P.R. Spring. If you can only get 10 percent out, that’s 3 billion barrels. If you get $100 a barrel, that’s $300 billion. We’re not dreaming that big yet. We’re talking about 2,000 barrels per day.

“So far we’ve invested about $25 million in leases, tests, development. We expect to invest an additional $30 million more in local construction, storage tanks, and surface structures mostly built in the Salt Lake area, so that $30 million will be driven into the local economy,” Cuthbert said.

Cuthbert said the P.R. Spring mine would employ 25 full-time workers, with an additional “100 or more” hired during the construction phase. The mine would operate year-round. Workers at the mine would live in a mining camp operated by a camp outfit from Grand Junction, Colo., with food supplied from there and Vernal.

“Most of our operators will live in the camp. They’ll work for a week then go home for a week. Most of the skills we’re looking for are available locally. Vernal and Moab would be easy for people to work from. A significant part of this is service and support. If you have 40 guys living in a camp, you need to hire someone to feed them. [There are] mechanics and yearly overhauls. In any given year we expect to spend $20 million in support and service, and much of that is local,” Cuthbert said.

U.S. Oil Sands expects to break ground next spring. After the spring runoff, large tanks and other infrastructure manufactured in Salt Lake would be transported to the remote site on skids. Though two hearings remain before its permit is officially approved by state agencies, Cuthbert said he expects to ultimately win an approval process that started in 2005.

“The $25 million we invested [is] because we are confident this will be approved. This recent win is one of many. We expect to be active out there in the spring. I have quiet confidence we’ll continue to meet expectations and show people a better way to do stuff,” Cuthbert said.

“We’re always telling people, if you guys have a better solution, please let us know.”
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:49 PM
Orlando's Avatar
Orlando Orlando is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,202
Energy alliance: Utah's huge oil and gas potential being by 'choked' by feds


2 days 6 hrs ago

By Brice Wallace

The Enterprise

Utah’s huge potential for growth in the oil and natural gas extraction industries the next few years is being “choked” by the federal government, according to an official with the Western Energy Alliance.

Testifying at last week’s meeting of the legislature’s Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee, Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs for the trade group Western Energy Alliance, said economic and job growth is being thwarted by federal government policies and regulation.

Sgamma said a study released last year indicated that by 2020, the West could produce enough oil and natural gas to “significantly replace” imports from several foreign countries combined. “So that’s pretty significant, replacing unfriendly sources of oil,” she said.

The potential exists for investments to double to $58 billion annually throughout the region, which could mean 5,700 new jobs in Utah. Another study has an even a higher figure, “provided that the federal government cooperates,” she added. And Utah’s severance taxes could grow by $104 million by 2020.

Currently, Utah’s 15,000 workers in the oil and natural gas industries produce the equivalent of $4.3 billion annually.

But federal government action and, in some cases, inaction, are stemming the possible growth, she said. In western states, natural gas production is up 26 percent on private and state land but down 4 percent on federal lands. Oil production is up 54 percent on state and private lands but only 26 percent on public lands.

“We in the industry have to laugh quite a bit at last night’s [presidential] debate and certain other information coming out of the [Obama] administration,” Sgamma said. “We really believe that the huge increase in oil and natural gas production across the nation has come in spite of the federal government, not because of it.”

Sgamma described oil and natural gas as being among the most heavily regulated industries, with a “great” safety record, a reduced footprint the past 15 to 20 years, and with efforts to cut air emissions and protect water resources. But she stressed a need for the balancing of regulation with economic and job growth.

The federal government, she contended, has added regulations for operators seeking extraction on federal lands. On private and state lands, a lease can be obtained and a company can be operating in six to 18 months. On federal lands, operators are lucky to be working anytime within the 10-year lease time frame.

“And that’s not because the operators are choosing not to operate on their leases,” she said. “It’s because the federal process takes so long, and that’s why production today is the result of policies that took place at least three to five years ago, often 10 years ago.”

And even with a lease, operators have to wait for the feds to complete environmental analyses of projects. Additional levels of analysis “have choked down leases,” she said, adding that master leasing plans also are putting more areas off-limits. “So that’s more energy being locked up by the federal government on top of lots of other administrative processes that are already in place — designations that already lock away quite a bit of resource.”

Sgamma said that in Utah, companies have proposed projects over a 10- to 15-year time frame that could create 62,400 jobs and have a $12.7 billion annual economic impact, but all are in the environmental analysis phase. Projects that have been delayed three years or more have at stake 30,975 jobs and $6.3 billion in economic activity. “And the federal government is just choosing not to move forward with those projects,” she said.

A lengthy permitting process and possible new rules on hydraulic fracturing are not helping the situation, she said. “All of these things combine to disadvantage federal-land states like Utah compared to other parts of the country. And that just means that investment and job creation goes elsewhere, because there are plenty of other areas in the country” with less public land. “It’s cheaper to operate there and with natural gas prices where they are, it’s becoming so the public lands policies add so much cost that that investment is going elsewhere.”

The solution, she said, is to “peel back” the bureaucracy layers and put more control of energy matters in the hands of states. She said Mitt Romney’s energy plan would do just that. “What we really think needs to happen is true delegation to the states so they can do that balancing act between environmental protection and economic and job growth that the federal government has not been able to do,” Sgamma said.

“We think that the state needs to help with that balance. Obviously, the federal government is focused on just whatever is in front of them. If it’s protecting the sage grouse, if it’s protecting a cactus, they’re going to put in whatever restrictions they want, they’re going to try to pressure the states into putting in the restrictions they want, whereas the state has that balancing act down better.”

Without more control, states are subjected to “so much uncertainty” from the federal government, she said. In some cases, states work on energy issues and produce great plans, but if the federal government says they are not good enough “then all that hard work is for naught,” Sgamma said.


Read more: The Enterprise - Energy alliance Utah s huge oil and gas potential being by choked by feds
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:53 PM
Orlando's Avatar
Orlando Orlando is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,202
Energy alliance: Utah's huge oil and gas potential being by 'choked' by feds


2 days 6 hrs ago

By Brice Wallace

The Enterprise

Utah’s huge potential for growth in the oil and natural gas extraction industries the next few years is being “choked” by the federal government, according to an official with the Western Energy Alliance.

Testifying at last week’s meeting of the legislature’s Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee, Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs for the trade group Western Energy Alliance, said economic and job growth is being thwarted by federal government policies and regulation.

Sgamma said a study released last year indicated that by 2020, the West could produce enough oil and natural gas to “significantly replace” imports from several foreign countries combined. “So that’s pretty significant, replacing unfriendly sources of oil,” she said.

The potential exists for investments to double to $58 billion annually throughout the region, which could mean 5,700 new jobs in Utah. Another study has an even a higher figure, “provided that the federal government cooperates,” she added. And Utah’s severance taxes could grow by $104 million by 2020.

Currently, Utah’s 15,000 workers in the oil and natural gas industries produce the equivalent of $4.3 billion annually.

But federal government action and, in some cases, inaction, are stemming the possible growth, she said. In western states, natural gas production is up 26 percent on private and state land but down 4 percent on federal lands. Oil production is up 54 percent on state and private lands but only 26 percent on public lands.

“We in the industry have to laugh quite a bit at last night’s [presidential] debate and certain other information coming out of the [Obama] administration,” Sgamma said. “We really believe that the huge increase in oil and natural gas production across the nation has come in spite of the federal government, not because of it.”

Sgamma described oil and natural gas as being among the most heavily regulated industries, with a “great” safety record, a reduced footprint the past 15 to 20 years, and with efforts to cut air emissions and protect water resources. But she stressed a need for the balancing of regulation with economic and job growth.

The federal government, she contended, has added regulations for operators seeking extraction on federal lands. On private and state lands, a lease can be obtained and a company can be operating in six to 18 months. On federal lands, operators are lucky to be working anytime within the 10-year lease time frame.

“And that’s not because the operators are choosing not to operate on their leases,” she said. “It’s because the federal process takes so long, and that’s why production today is the result of policies that took place at least three to five years ago, often 10 years ago.”

And even with a lease, operators have to wait for the feds to complete environmental analyses of projects. Additional levels of analysis “have choked down leases,” she said, adding that master leasing plans also are putting more areas off-limits. “So that’s more energy being locked up by the federal government on top of lots of other administrative processes that are already in place — designations that already lock away quite a bit of resource.”

Sgamma said that in Utah, companies have proposed projects over a 10- to 15-year time frame that could create 62,400 jobs and have a $12.7 billion annual economic impact, but all are in the environmental analysis phase. Projects that have been delayed three years or more have at stake 30,975 jobs and $6.3 billion in economic activity. “And the federal government is just choosing not to move forward with those projects,” she said.

A lengthy permitting process and possible new rules on hydraulic fracturing are not helping the situation, she said. “All of these things combine to disadvantage federal-land states like Utah compared to other parts of the country. And that just means that investment and job creation goes elsewhere, because there are plenty of other areas in the country” with less public land. “It’s cheaper to operate there and with natural gas prices where they are, it’s becoming so the public lands policies add so much cost that that investment is going elsewhere.”

The solution, she said, is to “peel back” the bureaucracy layers and put more control of energy matters in the hands of states. She said Mitt Romney’s energy plan would do just that. “What we really think needs to happen is true delegation to the states so they can do that balancing act between environmental protection and economic and job growth that the federal government has not been able to do,” Sgamma said.

“We think that the state needs to help with that balance. Obviously, the federal government is focused on just whatever is in front of them. If it’s protecting the sage grouse, if it’s protecting a cactus, they’re going to put in whatever restrictions they want, they’re going to try to pressure the states into putting in the restrictions they want, whereas the state has that balancing act down better.”

Without more control, states are subjected to “so much uncertainty” from the federal government, she said. In some cases, states work on energy issues and produce great plans, but if the federal government says they are not good enough “then all that hard work is for naught,” Sgamma said.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2013, 12:31 PM
delts145's Avatar
delts145 delts145 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,467
Nation's first helium well planned for Utah may help with worldwide shortage

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...-shortage.html


"...This exploratory well has the potential to thrust the state into an entire new dimension of value for its natural resources...It's a pretty important project," said Lisa Bryant, with the BLM in Moab...
The Utah well has interesting implications, especially given that the global helium shortage has been labeled a crisis by federal regulators."



SALT LAKE CITY — What is poised to be United States' first exploratory well devoted solely to the extraction of helium has received the go-ahead from federal regulators, with construction slated to begin in a remote section of Grand County in the next two months.

The 1,100-foot-deep well will go in 1.3 miles from the Utah/Colorado border, just north of I-70, on federal land owned by the Bureau of Land Management...

...While most commonly associated with party and parade balloons, helium has critical military, aerospace and medical uses. Helium is used in rocket engine testing, air-to-air missile guidance systems and to cool the magnets in magnetic resonance imaging machines, among other things...


...this exploratory well has the potential to thrust the state into an entire new dimension of value for its natural resources.

"It's a pretty important project," said Lisa Bryant, with the BLM in Moab.

Bryant said the Harley Dome gas field is unique because it is believed the helium reservoir contains unusually high concentrations of helium — as much as 5 percent — and low concentrations of flammable gasses like methane.

Peterson termed that concentration as "very significant," pointing out that most helium ranges between 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent as part of the volume of natural gas.

The Utah well has interesting implications, especially given that the global helium shortage has been labeled a crisis by federal regulators...



.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 12:28 PM
delts145's Avatar
delts145 delts145 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,467
Natural gas may be the future at Utah's giant coal plant

By John Hollenhorst, Deseret News

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...oal-plant.html


IPP power plant near Delta Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Intermountain Power Project located just north of Delta, Utah, were created in 1976 to meet the power needs of some 23 public agencies and municipalities in Utah photographed Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, according to the Utah Geological Survey. Winston Armani, Deseret News

DELTA — One of the nation's largest power plants is on the verge of a momentous change of direction.

Pushed by the science and politics of climate change, Utah's Intermountain Power Project will likely hitch its future to natural gas instead of coal.

For three decades, the plant has had a huge appetite for coal. It comes in by rail — 100 rail-cars a day — 100 tons of coal per carload. The carbon-rich fuel fires boilers that drive turbines generating 1,800 megawatts of electricity.

Last year alone IPP burned 5 million tons of coal.

But coal may be on its way out. IPP's participants are on the verge of approving a gigantic billion-dollar makeover involving new power units fueled by natural gas instead of coal.

"We're hoping that this year we'll get things wrapped up and the scope of that project fully put together," said John Ward, spokesman for the Intermountain Power Agency...



.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 2:54 PM
wong21fr's Avatar
wong21fr wong21fr is offline
Reluctant Hobbesian
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Denver
Posts: 10,883
This is news? That a baseline power station is switching over to natural gas because it's costumer won't accept coal-generated power due to government mandates? It's happening all over the country. Though I don't know how comfortable I feel knowing that this country is hinging baseline generation to a source where fuel is 90% of the cost.

The LNG export terminals can't come fast enough to start jacking up the price of natural gas as it evolves into a global commodity. Should make for a rosy future where baseline power costs just as much as peak power.
__________________
"You don't strike, you just go to work everyday and do your job real half-ass. That's the American way!" -Homer Simpson

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field. ~Albert Einstein

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 3:36 PM
Deek1978's Avatar
Deek1978 Deek1978 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spanish Fork, UT
Posts: 208
My wife's uncle is an engineer at that power plant. I'll have to see if I can get some info from him about the switch. My concern is in how this effect's Utah's economy. Right now the IPP gets most or all of it's coal from Utah, but I don't think Utah produces enough natural gas for them to consider getting gas from Utah. Most likely will come from Wyoming or Colorado. This means that jobs and $$$ will be leaving the state.
__________________
Why is everybody always picking on me?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 3:50 PM
wong21fr's Avatar
wong21fr wong21fr is offline
Reluctant Hobbesian
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Denver
Posts: 10,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deek1978 View Post
My wife's uncle is an engineer at that power plant. I'll have to see if I can get some info from him about the switch. My concern is in how this effect's Utah's economy. Right now the IPP gets most or all of it's coal from Utah, but I don't think Utah produces enough natural gas for them to consider getting gas from Utah. Most likely will come from Wyoming or Colorado. This means that jobs and $$$ will be leaving the state.
The pipeline that would be necessary for this project would offset some of that loss. You'd be looking at a dedicated 24-inch pipeline being built for that plant and it could also spur additional gasfield development in the Unita Basin.
__________________
"You don't strike, you just go to work everyday and do your job real half-ass. That's the American way!" -Homer Simpson

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field. ~Albert Einstein

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 4:20 PM
delts145's Avatar
delts145 delts145 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 12,467
As of 2011 these were the top 10 natural gas producing states. I'll see if I can find something closer to 2013-2014.

Top Ten Natural Gas Producing States in the United States

http://voices.yahoo.com/top-ten-natu...-12159029.html

1. Texas - 7,838,866 million cubic feet

By a large margin, the state of Texas produces the most natural gas in the United States. Texas produced 7,838,866 million cubic feet of natural gas in 2012. That was well over 28% of the 25,319,457 million cubic feet of natural gas produced in the United States in 2012.

Texas also consumes the most natural gas of any state on a yearly basis. Over the last five years or so, natural gas production has increased some 18% in the Lone Star State.

2. Louisiana - 3,002,937

Louisiana is the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States. It produced over three million cubic feet in 2012. Natural gas production in Louisiana was relatively flat from 2011 to 2012, but production doubled from 2009 (1.5 million cubic feet) to 2011 (3.03 million).

3. Wyoming - 2,055,244

Wyoming produced the third most natural gas in 2012 at 2.06 million cubic feet. Highly impressive, but natural gas production in Wyoming is the same today as it was in 2007.

4. Oklahoma - 2,021,001

Oklahoma produced 2,021,001 cubic feet of natural gas in 2012. That is the fourth most in the country, and is up some 13% from 2007.

5. Pennsylvania - 2,000,000 (estimate)

Pennsylvania produced an estimated 2,000,000 million cubic feet of natural gas in 2012. Without any doubt, the state of Pennsylvania has had the biggest boom in natural gas production in the United States in recent years.

The state of Pennsylvania only produced 182,277 million cubic feet of natural gas in 2007, so production has just skyrocketed in the Keystone State, as energy producers have tapped into the Marcellus Shale reserves.

6. Colorado - 1,637,576 (2011)

Natural gas production has been steadily increasing in the state of Colorado, which produced 1,637,576 million cubic feet in 2011. That was up roughly 32% from 2007.

7. New Mexico - 1,266,099

While New Mexico ranks seventh in natural gas production in the United States, its production is down over 16% since 2007.

8. Arkansas - 1,072,212 (2011)

After Pennsylvania, Arkansas has seen the second largest increases in natural gas production. In 2007, Arkansas produced 269,886 million cubic feet of natural gas. That figure grew astronomically to 1,072,212 in 2011.

9. Utah - 457,525 (2011)

Natural gas production in Utah has risen 21.5% since 2007.

10. West Virginia - 394,125 (2011)

Natural gas production has risen almost 71% in West Virginia since 2007. Most of that increase came from 2010 to 2011, which saw a one year increase of 48.6%, as natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale formation is booming in West Virginia.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 4:58 PM
wong21fr's Avatar
wong21fr wong21fr is offline
Reluctant Hobbesian
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Denver
Posts: 10,883
EIA has results for 2012 by state, the 2013 numbers are not yet out. Utah fell to number 10 with West Virginia moving up to Utah's old slot. If natural gas infrastructure is built in North Dakota you would see their ranking shoot up into the top ten, probably top five.
__________________
"You don't strike, you just go to work everyday and do your job real half-ass. That's the American way!" -Homer Simpson

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field. ~Albert Einstein

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 10:15 PM
ToysNoiz's Avatar
ToysNoiz ToysNoiz is offline
Destroy 200 S. Carl's Jr.
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by delts145 View Post
Nation's first helium well planned for Utah may help with worldwide shortage



.
This is really interesting to me, seeing as how the Earth could run out of helium in the next 50 years. Once helium leaves the tip-top of the atmosphere and ticked off by solar wind, it's gone forever. I really don't think helium should be wasted on balloons for parties and holidays. In 2045, a helium balloon could cost $20 a pop. (No pun intended) We really need more helium preserves. Otherwise, we'll have to make trips to Jupiter to collect more.
__________________
'Cause at night the sun in retreat made the skyline look like crooked teeth in the mouth of a man, who was devouring us both...

Salt Lake City throughout 2014 in the My City Photos Forum >>>http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=210541
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 10:28 PM
StevenF's Avatar
StevenF StevenF is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Posts: 894
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToysNoiz View Post
This is really interesting to me, seeing as how the Earth could run out of helium in the next 50 years. Once helium leaves the tip-top of the atmosphere and ticked off by solar wind, it's gone forever. I really don't think helium should be wasted on balloons for parties and holidays. In 2045, a helium balloon could cost $20 a pop. (No pun intended) We really need more helium preserves. Otherwise, we'll have to make trips to Jupiter to collect more.
I first heard about this a couple years ago and didn't know helium was such a commodity. I decided I wasn't going to waste it anymore on balloons as it seemed to be such a waste. Who knows, maybe one day helium will be easier and cheaper to make in a laboratory than what it would cost to dig up out of the ground.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2014, 10:06 PM
JMK JMK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 114
Rocky Mountain Power plans large-scale solar farm

Source: KSL.com 3/26/2014

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=29217175&nid...&s_cid=queue-5

Quote:
Rocky Mountain Power says it will build its first large-scale collection of Utah solar panels.

The utility in a Wednesday statement said it's working on a project designed to gather enough sun-fueled electricity for 500 homes.

The plan would set up 9,000 panels paid for in part by customers choosing to pay extra toward renewable energy efforts.

Rocky Mountain Power President Richard Walje said in a statement the proposed solar project would be the state's most expansive yet.

The utility says it has not yet decided where to put the panels.

Before building, it must get approval from the Utah Public Service Commission.

Officials say the planned solar farm would initially generate two megawatts of power, but could later grow to produce five megawatts.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2014, 11:13 PM
StevenF's Avatar
StevenF StevenF is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Posts: 894
Why not just place those 9000 panels on 500 homes via some kind of voucher system and Rocky Mountain Power won't have to worry about leasing a large amount of land to put them all on. Then those 500 homes get direct benefit of the solar power and anything extra they don't use goes back into the grid.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2014, 11:22 PM
Stenar's Avatar
Stenar Stenar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 2,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenF View Post
Why not just place those 9000 panels on 500 homes via some kind of voucher system and Rocky Mountain Power won't have to worry about leasing a large amount of land to put them all on. Then those 500 homes get direct benefit of the solar power and anything extra they don't use goes back into the grid.
Similarly, I was thinking they could put them on all the flat commercial and industrial rooftops, but homes work, too.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2014, 1:36 AM
StevenF's Avatar
StevenF StevenF is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sandy, UT
Posts: 894
Another option could be where Rocky Mountain Power partners with a developer or 2 as a test partnership and place these panels on newer construction. Garbet Homes is known for eco friendly developments and they could be a great company to start with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2014, 5:53 AM
AllOutOfBubbleGum's Avatar
AllOutOfBubbleGum AllOutOfBubbleGum is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 152
So the follow up story on the Coal Plant out by Delta switching to Natural Gas, there's this

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=29254420&nid...&s_cid=queue-4

I remember reading about this a few years ago but never thought they would go through with it. I wondered how could they pump water down into salt and not have the water keep dissolving it. After watching the video I realized that it would probably stop dissolving once the salt to water ratio was to a certain leave. We have so much freak-en salt in this state.
__________________
"Oh, now we see the violence in the system"
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2014, 6:03 AM
AllOutOfBubbleGum's Avatar
AllOutOfBubbleGum AllOutOfBubbleGum is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: West Jordan
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stenar View Post
Similarly, I was thinking they could put them on all the flat commercial and industrial rooftops, but homes work, too.
That and how about build power poles along the main power lines (or use the ones in place now) you know the ones were they don't want trees or any plant life around the towers. Build towers that could hold solar panels and feed into the grid. It doesn't even need to be a lot of panels. Maybe a 10 x 10 area or 20 x 20 what ever. Easy for the sun to hit and I'm not sure but I think there are a whole bunch of them. Like a lot.

I personally do not like solar power fields. If you are all gun hoe about the environment then how is putting 5000 solar panels down on the ground environmentally conscious. You are tearing up a ton of land to put those things there. Think of the gophers.
__________________
"Oh, now we see the violence in the system"
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
   
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Mountain West
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 1:36 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.