Entries in Oil (8)


Oil Drillers Find Massive Deposit in US

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Drillers in Utah and Colorado are poking into a massive shale deposit trying to find a way to unlock oil reserves that are so vast they would swamp those of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that if half of the oil bound up in the rock of the Green River Formation could be recovered it would be "equal to the entire world's proven oil reserves."

Both the GAO and private industry estimate the amount of oil recoverable to be 3 trillion barrels.

"In the past 100 years — in all of human history — we have consumed 1 trillion barrels of oil. There are several times that much here," said Roger Day, Vice President for operations for American Shale Oil (AMSO).

But along with the potential for success comes many hurdles. The cost of extracting the Green River oil at the moment would be higher than what it could be sold for. And in an environmental sense, the operation might require so much water it would compete with Denver and agriculture for vital supplies, the GAO report warned. The extraction could pollute underground streams, affect fish and other wildlife, and kick up so much dirt it would leave national monuments in a cloud of dust.

Nevertheless, the federal government has authorized six experimental drilling leases on federal land in an effort to find a way to tap into the riches of the Green River Formation.

GAO's report says commercial development of oil shale is "at least 15-20 years away."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Holds Off on Canada-US Pipeline Decision

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Sensing a huge backlash from environmental groups with the election year right around the corner, the White House made a decision Thursday that postpones the possible building of a 1,700-mile oil pipeline that would stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico until 2013.

The administration wants plans drawn up that would provide alternative routes of TransCanada Corp.'s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline through sections of Nebraska.

"The U.S. administration is feeling the heat and wants to put off a decision until after the election," said John Bennett of the Sierra Club Canada.  "It's the first time the environment has trumped oil in U.S. politics."

There were also reports that some environmental groups were talking about cutting off donations to President Obama's reelection campaign if he approved the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Canadian government, U.S. Republicans and labor unions oppose the delay because shippers and refiners who are currently on board with the pipeline might now abandon it.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House Expands Off-Shore Drilling

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House announced Tuesday that it is opening up new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska, allowing for the development of “more than 75 percent of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources on the [Outer Continental Shelf],” according to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

“Expanding safe and responsible oil and gas production from the OCS is a key component of our comprehensive energy strategy to grow America’s energy economy, and will help us continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs here at home,” Salazar said in a statement.

While the program plans 15 offshore lease sales from 2012 to 2017, it keeps the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards off-limits, thus allowing the White House to walk a fine line between pleasing drilling proponents and appeasing environmentalists who oppose increased drilling.

The majority of lease sales are scheduled for areas in the Gulf, “where resource potential and interest is greatest and where infrastructure is most mature,” according to the White House.  The program also includes lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in the Arctic where efforts will be made to “avoid sensitive environmental resources, including areas accessed by Native Alaskans for subsistence uses.”

Obama, who first announced plans to open drilling in the Gulf and off the Alaskan coast last May, has set a target of reducing U.S. oil imports by a third by 2025.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pipeline Protesters Encircle White House

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Chanting “Yes we can … stop the pipeline,” thousands of people wearing bright orange vests encircled the White House on Sunday to protest the proposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada, across the United States, to the Gulf of Mexico.  The Natural Resources Defense Council organized the protest.

“I’m opposing the XL pipeline … because the tar sands oil extraction is a very dirty process,” said John Mayux, from Luray, Va.  ”And the few thousand jobs that it would create, I don’t think would balance out the damage from the possible breaks in the pipeline.”

Protesters are upset by what they consider a change in position for President Obama.  Signs given to protesters quoted from one of his 2008 campaign speeches: “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Last week, Obama said in an interview with Nebraska’s KETV that despite potential damage to the environment, he would consider allowing construction of the pipeline, in part, to create jobs.

Matthew Patterson, who brought his wife and three children from Vermont, worked on the Obama campaign in 2008, but said his support is waning and hinges on this decision.

“Sometimes I feel that we’re in his back pocket, and from his perspective, that we’ll vote for him anyway,” Patterson said.  ”But I think he might be surprised.  He’s got some promises to fulfill to those of us who worked very hard on the campaign in ’08.  So that’s why we’re here.  Hopefully he’ll make the right decision for our future.”

The crowd represented a full spectrum of age groups -- children brought by their parents, college students, adults and senior citizens.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Happy National Coffee Day!

(iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thursday marks National Coffee Day! To celebrate you can pick-up a free cup of Joe at Krispy Kreme and 7-Eleven.

Coffee was allegedly first discovered by a goat herder in the 9th century who noticed his goats acting strangely after eating the berries off the coffee plant.

Something you might not know about your beloved caffeine source: contrary to popular belief, light roast coffee actually has more caffeine than dark roast.

Also worth noting: more than 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year; more than half at breakfast. And it’s the second most traded commodity -- behind oil.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


BP Investigating Oil Sheen in Gulf of Mexico

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- BP says it is investigating a new oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company said Thursday that it is working with other operators to determine potential sources of the sheen, which was observed last week by the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The sheen was observed in a location that was not near any existing BP operations,” the company said. “However, BP does have two abandoned exploration well sites in the area.”

A remote-operated vehicle has been sent down to investigate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


DOJ Launches Group to Combat Oil, Gas Fraud

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the creation of a working group to watch for any illegal activity in the energy markets that could impact the price of gas around the country.

The group will keep its eye out for any evidence of manipulation, collusion, or fraud, “to safeguard against unlawful consumer harm,” the Justice Department said in a press release Thursday.

“We will be vigilant in monitoring the oil and gas markets for any wrongdoing so that consumers can be confident they are not paying higher prices as a result of illegal activity,” said Attorney General Holder.

The panel will include Justice Department officials, as well as representatives from the Federal Trade Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the oil markets.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


US Could Save Millions of Barrels of Oil By Cutting Food Waste

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- If Americans cut back on wasting food, the country could save the energy equivalent of about 350 million barrels of oil annually.  According to Science Daily, in a study reported in the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology, scientists discovered the amount of oil needed to produce, ready and distribute a year's worth of food in the U.S. is around 1.4 billion barrels.  Of this total energy consumption, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans waste close to 27 percent of their food.

The scientists see this waste as an unrecognized opportunity to save energy and fight against global warming.  Based on their analysis of wasted food and the energy used to prepare the food for consumption, the country wasted about 350 million barrels of oil in 2007.  That amounts to about two percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S. per year.

"Consequently, the energy embedded in wasted food represents a substantial target for decreasing energy consumption in the U.S.," the article notes. "The wasted energy calculated here is a conservative estimate both because the food waste data are incomplete and outdated and the energy consumption data for food service and sales are incomplete."´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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