STEM Initiative Gains Support From Subsea Sector

Velda Addison, Hart Energy

Subsea UK has entered a long-term partnership with Aberdeen, Scotland’s Robert Gordon University to extend the Scottish Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) ROV Challenge. In addition, ROVOP, a U.K. company that supplies subsea ROV services to the industry, is throwing in its support for the cause. 

Crude Oil Export Ban Is A Dated Policy With Real Life Implications

By David Porter, Railroad Commission of Texas

If Congress and the Obama Administration were to repeal the decades old prohibition on crude oil exports, studies show that domestic energy production would increase along with GDP, job growth and capital investment, all while reducing our national trade deficit.

Economics Appear To Support Lifting Oil Export Ban

Velda Addison, Hart Energy

Two studies published by IHS shed light on the potential economic impacts of lifting the ban that has been around since the 1970s. The latest study, entitled Unleashing the Supply Chain: Assessing the Economic Impact of a U.S. Crude Oil Free Trade Policy, was released this week.

Federal Rule Brings Invisible Pollution Into Focus

By Peter Zalzal, Environmental Defense Fund

The emissions data required by the rule helps communities near oil and natural gas development better understand pollution sources, and gives companies better ways to identify opportunities to reduce emissions. As these policies have gotten stronger under the Obama administration, industry has continued to fight them in federal court.

U.S., China Seek Partner To Address Energy-Water Nexus Challenges

Velda Addison, Hart Energy

The U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) has issued a $12.5 million FOA for a new U.S.-based research consortium focused on water-related aspects of energy production and use. Working with researchers in China, the consortium would aim to find ways to help ensure energy, water and environmental security in addition to combating climate change, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Brazil's Petrobras Plans $13.7 Billion Yard Sale

By Mac Margolis, Bloomberg View

Staggered by $135 billion in debt and scandal, Brazilian state-run oil giant Petrobras has announced plans to offload some $13.7 billion in assets. Officials claim this is not a plan to raffle the jewel of the government crown. Instead think fire sale, a maneuver to raise cash and keep creditors at bay. 

Growing Talent Remains Among Energy Sector Objectives

Velda Addison, Hart Energy

Some companies are still pushing forward with programs to grow future talent—and they are having success. Paris-based Total brought a bit of good news this month with an update on its Young Graduates Program, an 18-month program that hires recent graduates on short-term contracts and provides them with six months of training in finance, business or operations at a Total subsidiary in Africa or the Middle East. 

Why Wastewater Worsens Earthquakes In Heartland

By Mary Duenwald, Bloomberg View

For the moment, it's not clear whether the problems are caused by individual wells or a bunch of them applying pressure in concert. Sometimes well injections can trigger earthquakes miles away, and sometimes the effect is delayed by months or even years. Yet there are ways to manage the threat.

Flyovers Show Varying Methane Leak Rates From Shale Plays

Mark Brownstein, Environmental Defense Fund

Methane has the potential to undermine the climate benefits natural gas provides over other fossil fuels.

UT Strengthens Ties With Mexico With Latest Research Agreement

Velda Addison, Hart Energy

The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico recently announced they signed an academic and research agreement focusing on earth sciences and engineering. 

Oil's Decline Keeps Looking Like A Better Bet

By A. Gary Shilling, Bloomberg View

At about $50 a barrel, crude oil prices are down by more than half from their June 2014 peak of $107. They may fall more, perhaps even as low as $10 to $20.  Here’s why.