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April 11th, 2012 Archives
By JAD MOUAWAD April 10, 2012
THE reversal of fortune in America’s energy supplies in recent years holds the promise of abundant and cheaper fuel, and it could have profound effects on what people drive, domestic manufacturing and America’s foreign policy.
Cheaper fuel produced domestically could reduce the cost of shipping and manufacturing, trim heating and cooling bills, improve the auto market and provide tens of thousands of new jobs.
It might also pose new environmental challenges, both predictable and unforeseen, by damping enthusiasm for clean forms of energy and derailing efforts to wean the nation from its wasteful energy habits.
But for Americans battered by rising gasoline prices, frustrated by the dependence on foreign oil, skeptical of the benefits or practicality of renewable fuels and afraid of nuclear power, the appeal of plentiful domestic oil and gas could far outweigh the costs.
Just a few years ago, the dominant theme in discussions about energy was of declining production and the fear of running out of oil. Even today, political tensions in the Middle East, particularly in the Persian Gulf, have fanned fears of supply disruptions that are keeping prices high.
But a new boom in energy production in recent years has upended these expectations in record time. High energy prices led to a wave of successful oil and gas exploration in North America, including in fields that were deemed uneconomical only a few years ago. Using techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, oil companies are tapping into deeply buried reserves in shale rocks and in the ocean’s depths.Share This Post
04/10/2012 By Wayne Barber
Natural gas prices just north of $2/mmBtu are not sustainable and consultants for ICF International (ICF) expect to see gas prices in the “$4 ballpark” within a year.
To read the entire article go to: http://generationhub.com/2012/04/10/icf-says-4-natural-gas-could-occur-within-a-yearShare This Post
Struggling amid a surplus of natural gas and depressed demand, energy companies continue to look to deal-making to bolster their financial positions.
It has been a tough environment for Chesapeake and other energy companies, which have been dealing with the effects of a warm winter and a sputtering economy. Natural gas prices are about half what they were a year ago, putting pressure on producers.
To read the entire article go to: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/chesapeake-strikes-a-flurry-of-deals/?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
Written by: Eric Rosenbaum 04/10/12 - 2:33 PM EDT
Tickers in this article: CHK
Some trends in the energy stock trade have a history of consistency, and ones of those trades has been Chesapeake's proven ability to generate positive trading momentum for its shares by announcing deals that raise cash to work off the mountain of debt it has amassed -- the oft-quoted twice the level of debt of Exxon Mobil(XOM) for a company 27 times smaller than the world's largest oil company.
It looks like the low natural gas price environment and the ceaseless talk of a "one handle" futures quote (down into the $1s on the one-month futures contract) as being fated in the energy market, may now hold the trump card when it comes to Chesapeake's lack of market momentum.
Natural gas was down another 3% on Tuesday to just above the $2 mark, a day after Chesapeake announced $2.6 billion in asset deals on the way to the $10 billion to $12 billion that the company plans to raise this year to put to rest concerns that its funding gap is too large to bridge.
To read the entire article go to: http://business-news.thestreet.com/denver-post-energy/story/chesapeake-energy-loses-its-magic-ma-touch/11490109Share This Post
By LIAM DENNING April 10, 2012, 4:42 p.m. ET
The great Chesapeake Energy funding machine rolls on. But one business could throw some sand in the gears: oil-field services.
Apart from low prices for natural gas, Chesapeake's stock is weighed down by concerns about its heavy spending. Late Monday, it announced financing deals and disposals worth $2.6 billion. Overall, Chesapeake aims to raise between $10 billion and $12 billion in this way to fund capital expenditure and debt repayments in 2012. Of this, $2 billion is expected to come from selling parts of Chesapeake's pipelines and oil-field-services businesses.
The latter may prove problematic. Oil-field-services giant Baker Hughes recently sharply cut guidance for its North American profit margin. In part, this reflects exploration and production companies such as Chesapeake scaling back drilling for natural gas.
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304587704577336070919987202.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
Penn Virginia Resource Partners LP PVR +10.38% has agreed to acquire pipeline company Chief Gathering LLC in a $1 billion deal that would expand the energy-exploration company's pipeline system in the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale region.
The move is the latest in a string of pipeline transactions aimed at capitalizing on the North American energy boom by providing key infrastructure to move all the new production to market. It comes despite low natural-gas prices, which recently fell to a decade-low below $2.40 per million British thermal units.
The Marcellus Shale formation, which stretches beneath parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio and most of West Virginia, is one of a handful of areas in North America that have helped spark a boom in the oil and gas industry in recent years. In March, Williams Partners LP WPZ -0.86% agreed to acquire gas handler Caiman Eastern Midstream LLC for about $2.5 billion, which helped to expand William's footprint in Marcellus Shale.
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303815404577336163731171028.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
April 10, 2012 | 7:35 pm
With oil companies touting the potential of hydraulic fracturing in California, state lawmakers considered the first of several bills Tuesday to address the controversial oil extraction method commonly known as "fracking."
The Senate Natural Resources Committee passed a measure that would require energy firms to notify property owners before using the procedure near their land.
Fracking, which involves injecting chemical-laced water and sand into the ground to break apart rock and release natural gas and oil, has drawn the greatest attention in the Rocky Mountain West and Northeast, where states have debated moratoriums to develop regulations after toxic chemicals were found in nearby drinking water.
While fracking is widely used in California to tap oil deposits, state regulators have yet to develop rules or reporting requirements, causing growing anxiety in communities across the state.
To read the entire article go to: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/04/fracking-bill-moves-forward-in-california-legislature.htmlShare This Post
By Grist staff
"Don't frack Ohio!"
Bill McKibben, his 350.org cohorts, Gasland director Josh Fox, and a handful of Ohio environmental activists and groups are aiming to assemble the largest demonstration against natural-gas fracking in U.S. history. The action will happen in Columbus June 14–17, culminating on the last day with a takeover of the statehouse for “a people’s assembly,” the organizers explain in an invitation letter.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) wants to dramatically increase fracking in his state. Never mind that Ohio experienced a dozen earthquakes last year that scientists blame on fracking-related activities, including a 4.0-magnitude quake on Dec. 31. Never mind that new research by the U.S. Geological Survey connects earthquakes throughout the American heartland to fracking. Never mind that fracking is linked to water pollution, air pollution, and health problems for nearby residents. Never mind that fracking worsens climate change and dampens the market for clean energy. And never mind that 72 percent of Ohioans want to halt fracking until its impacts are further studied, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.Share This Post
Ken Silverstein | Apr 10, 2012
President Obama’s campaign is irreversibly linked to the 2009 stimulus plan. That nearly $1 trillion economic package included about $3.4 billion for the smart grid. Has the public investment in efficient electricity consumption worked?Share This Post
Sub Title: First grid-connected generation in Maine
Bill Opalka 
The first grid-connected tidal wave energy project in Maine is under construction and should be generating kilowatts by mid-summer.Share This Post
04/10/2012 By Barry Cassell
The Michigan Public Service Commission should disallow Detroit Edison’s efforts to include its costs for Reduced Emission Fuel (REF), which is coal treated with chemicals to reduce power plant emissions, within its Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) plan for 2012, said a witness for the state Attorney General.Share This Post
04/10/2012 By Barry Cassell
The Sierra Club said April 10 that Power4Georgians, made up of electric membership cooperatives in Georgia, has agreed to cancel the proposed Ben Hill coal-fired power plant.Share This Post
04/09/2012 By Barry Cassell
Progress Energy Carolinas (PEC) plans to retire the coal-fired Lee power plant by 2013 in order to comply with 2013 restrictions under the state of North Carolina’s 2002 Clean Smokestacks Act.
To read the entire article go to: http://generationhub.com/2012/04/09/progress-energy-carolinas-plans-to-retire-lee-coalShare This Post
04/10/2012 By Barry Cassell
Great Plains Energy (NYSE: GXP) companies are signing renewable energy deals and studying retirement of certain coal units in the near future, according to plans filed with the state of Missouri.
To read the entire article go to: http://generationhub.com/2012/04/10/coal-fired-units-at-montrose-sibley-targeted-for-pShare This Post
Apr 10 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Jennifer Reeger Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.
Conservation and clean air groups filed an appeal late last week with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board in an attempt to force the state Department of Environmental Protection to review outdated air-quality permit renewals for coal plants across the state, most of which are in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/functional/news/news_detail.cfm?did=24162431Share This Post