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Three U.S. Oil Fields Now Producing One Million Barrels a Day

According to the Energy Information Agency, “North Dakota's Bakken and Texas' Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale are quietly generating more than a million barrels of oil per day each–comprising at least a third of total U.S. daily oil production. Shale oil drilling generated the equivalent of nearly 90% of the U.S.'s total energy needs in 2013,” CNBC reports.

"In all of human history, there have only been ten oil fields in the world that have ever reached the one million barrel per day milestone," University of Michigan economist Mark Perry wrote for the American Enterprise Institute. "Three of those ten are now active in the U.S.–thanks to the advanced drilling techniques that started accessing oceans of shale oil in Texas and North Dakota about five years ago."

Southern Co. May Announce New Nuclear Plants This Year

During a Bipartisan Policy Center event in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning told reporters that his company is exploring six possible U.S. sites to build new nuclear reactors. He declined to say in which states those sites were located.

"I would love to announce by the end of the year a new nuclear [plant] option," Fanning said. "I would propose it would be similar to the Vogtle plant [expansion, which uses Westinghouse] AP1000" reactor units.

“The new Vogtle units have seen some delays related to licensing, and Fanning said the delays have added $381 million in costs to the $14 billion project,” Platts reports. “But low interest rates and other factors have provided savings from estimates before the project began, he said.” 

EPA Grants Millions for Urban Water Quality Projects

The EPA is awarding $2.1 million to 37 organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico to help protect and restore urban waters, improve water quality, and support community revitalization and other local priorities. The funding is through EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas.

The grants range from $40,000 to $60,000 for projects taking place in areas that align with the 18 designated Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is made up of 13 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts. All funded projects work to advance environmental justice in their communities and focus on one of the following three categories: community greening and green infrastructure, communities and water quality data, and integration of water quality and community development in planning. 

Federal Regulators Reopen Eastern Seaboard to Oil and Gas Exploration

On Friday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that they are reopening the east coast to offshore exploration and green lighting the use of sonic cannons, which can locate oil and gas deposits deep beneath the ocean floor.

In 2010, Congress mandated a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) be prepared because there had been no comprehensive review of potential environmental impacts of geological and geophysical activities off the Atlantic coast. In developing the PEIS under the National Environmental Policy Act, BOEM coordinated with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies and organizations to develop a mitigation strategy focused on avoiding injury to marine animals and reducing the potential for behavioral disruption. 

EIA: US Oil Exports Reducing Trade Deficit

Crude oil and petroleum products play a significant role in the balance of U.S. trade accounts, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the value of petroleum trade is sensitive to both changes in price and volume.

As a result of the last recession, dramatic declines of imports in excess of exports during the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 reduced the merchandise trade deficit by 49%, to $449 billion in the second quarter of 2009. This trend of declining imports resulted in the lowest quarterly deficit level since early 2002. The merchandise trade deficit then increased to $686 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, with much of the difference from the 2008 level ($131 billion) attributable to a $158 billion increase in net exports of crude oil and petroleum products. 

 

Valve Magazine Digital Edition

14 SUM CVR 160x214Inside the Summer 2014 issue…

• Attracting Talent
• Advances in Machining
• Severe Service in Power Plants
• SIS Tests and Standards

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