Some Bright Spots on Energy, Out There in the Plains

By January 30, 2009Energy, Global Warming

Haven’t had a post about the Bakken Formation in a while, that vast and already proven layer of sweet crude in the Upper Midwest and Prairie Provinces, accessible via horizontal drilling and hydrofrac technology. And there are interesting things going on with clean coal out there, too.

From Bismarck Tribune, “Oil leases still vigorous in Mountrail, McKenzie“:

While far off the all-time highs, bids for oil and gas acres in North Dakota brought top dollar at the quarterly Bureau of Land Management auction Tuesday.

A Kansas company bid $3.5 million for a 10-year lease on 1,358 acres in Mountrail County, making the highest total bid of the sale, said BLM spokesman Greg Albright.

From the Oil and Gas Journal, “Final EIA figures show US oil reserves grew 2% in 2007“:

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 28 — Proved US oil reserves rose by 345 million bbl, or 2%, during 2007 to 21.32 billion bbl from 20.97 billion bbl at the beginning of the year, reported the US Energy Information Administration on Jan. 28.

The increase was a contrast to the rapid decrease in domestic crude reserves that began in 1970 but which have moderated in the past decade, EIA said as it released final yearend numbers for 2007. The federal energy research and statistical service will begin gathering 2008 numbers in February when it distributes proved reserves data survey forms to more than 1,400 US well operators…[snip]

EIA said Alaska, Texas, and North Dakota accounted for a majority of the year’s new reserves with a combined 605 million bbl of net additions. Eight other states showed relatively small increases while 13 states and the Gulf of Mexico reported declines, it said.

As for coal, “5 coal-fired power plants studying carbon capture“:

Five coal-fired power plants in the U.S. and Canada, including one in central North Dakota, are studying the feasibility of retrofits to capture and store carbon dioxide, a nonprofit industry research group says.
Electric Power Research Institute said studies are being done at Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station near Underwood, and at plants in Illinois, Utah, Ohio and Nova Scotia. The group said the research could help guide development of future power plants and how they deal with carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming.

Which makes this Economist story all the more timely, “North Dakota is one of many states waiting for an energy policy from Washington.”

P.S. Crambe!

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