NATGAS or Not, Natural Gas Fuels Rev Up

By Margaret Ryan
Bipartisan bills to incentivize more natural gas use in US transportation have languished over the last three years in Congress, but low natural gas prices are now persuading trucking fleet owners they don’t need to wait for tax breaks for fuel diversification to make bottom-line sense.

Analysts and lobbyists watching Congress’ “supercommittee” are pessimistic about renewal of expiring subsidies, like the excise tax credit for suppliers of compressed or liquefied natural gas (CNG/LNG) and the credit for installing fueling infrastructure for CNG or LNG. And most say proposed new subsidies, like the NATGAS (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions) Act, will never see the light of day in this Congress.

But the continuing low price of natural gas, and prospects that the giant US shale discoveries will keep cheap gas coming, are persuading truck fleet owners to invest in fuel-switching despite federal inaction and higher up-front costs. Continue reading

Love’s Travel Stops to Open 10 New CNG Fueling Stations

News Release – Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, an Oklahoma City-based and family-owned operator of 280 travel stops and convenience stores, today announced plans to add 10 publicly accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations at existing locations across Oklahoma. These CNG fueling stations, located in Altus, Ardmore, Chickasha, Guthrie, Guymon, Lawton, Norman, Okemah, Oklahoma City and Webbers Falls, will be built and operated in cooperation with Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE-CHK), the nation’s second-largest producer of domestic natural gas.

The addition of 10 new CNG stations at Love’s locations in Oklahoma will bring the company’s CNG station count to 11 and give Oklahoma more than 50 public CNG stations. The company opened its first public CNG fueling station earlier this year at its store located in Kingfisher, Oklahoma where several companies, including UPS, AT&T and Chesapeake, operate CNG fleet vehicles. Continue reading

Japan and U.S. DOE Looking into Economical Production of Methane Gas Hydrates

Note: Methane is the proper name for what we know as “natural gas.” -Ed

Written by Al Fin
Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:27

Methane hydrate is methane that is locked in ice. Huge amounts of methane are available for economical production via gas hydrates as soon as humans learn to produce them economically and cleanly. The Japanese have been particularly active in researching ways to produce methane from hydrates cleanly and efficiently.

Japan has been looking to diversify its energy resources since the powerful March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant northeast of Tokyo.

Resource-poor Japan relies heavily on energy imports from the Middle East and until recently met one third of its electricity needs with nuclear power…Discover

Methane hydrates are widely present around the globe, particularly under the deep seafloor, but also in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The US DOE is now partnering with Conoco Phillips and the Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation to test technologies for producing methane hydrates on Alaska’s North Slope.

The collaborative testing will take place under the auspices of a Statement of Intent for Cooperation in Methane Hydrates signed in 2008 and extended in 2011 by DOE and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. The production tests are the next step in both US and Japanese national efforts to evaluate the response of gas hydrate reservoirs to alternative gas hydrate production concepts. The tests will provide information to inform potential future extended-duration tests. Continue reading

Natural Gas As A Farm Fuel

By Brian Carpenter of C&E Clean Energy Solutions

It’s long been true that the farmer doesn’t just produce for a local or regional market, but rather for an international market. Because this is truer today than ever before, the farmer must be keenly aware of the international political, business, and monetary environment. What happens in Europe or China affects the farmer’s bottom line.

There are three factors which ensure that natural gas will play a prominent role as an agricultural fuel in the near future.

The first factor relates to the international currency situation. We live in a time when there is great instability in the world monetary system. Continue reading

The Saudis Need $90 Oil

By Ayesha Daya

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) — The decline in OPEC’s oil below $100 a barrel for the first time since February is raising the likelihood the group will cut production, as Libya revives output and the global economic recovery falters.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes fell to $98.59 yesterday, down 18 percent from its highest level this year and within 2 percentage points of the 20 percent drop that’s deemed a bear market. Brent oil tumbled 21 percent from its April high and New York crude 34 percent.

Oil is sliding as the U.S., the world’s biggest energy consumer, shows signs it’s headed for a recession and Europe’s debt crisis deepens just as Total SA and Eni SpA resume Libyan production. OPEC, which supplies 40 percent of the world’s oil, will reduce output to prevent Brent falling below $90 because Middle East members are increasing spending, Continue reading