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Secretary of Energy Advisory Board — Task Force Report on FracFocus 2.0 (March 28, 2014)

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board — Task Force Report on FracFocus 2.0 (March 28, 2014) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Energy (Energy Advisory Board)

This report presents the findings and recommendations for the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) Task Force on FracFocus. This Task Force report builds upon and extends the 2011 SEAB Subcommittee report on the environmental impacts of unconventional gas production.

The Task Force believes that the FracFocus experience to date demonstrates the ease of disclosure of chemicals added to fracturing fluid for companies, the value of this disclosure for the public, and the importance of public confidence in the quality and accessibility of the FracFocus chemical registry data. It has accomplished a good deal and shows the capacity to make improvements at modest additional cost. FracFocus has greatly improved public disclosure quickly and with a significant degree of uniformity.

The Task Force recommends a number of actions that will further improve the effectiveness of the FracFocus disclosure of chemical additives and improve transparency for regulators, operating companies, and the public. Recommendations are made for improving the accuracy and completeness of registry submissions. In addition, the Task Force believes that an independent audit to assess the accuracy and compliance of the process will be useful for all stakeholders.

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U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves (With Data for 2012)

April 10, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves
Source: Energy Information Administration

Proved reserves are volumes of oil and natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. In 2012, oil and gas exploration and production companies operating in the United States added 4.5 billion barrels of crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves, an increase of 15.4% from 2011—the largest annual increase since 1970.1 U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate have now risen for four consecutive years. Also, proved reserves of oil exceeded 33.4 billion barrels for the first time since 1976.

Proved reserves of U.S. wet natural gas2 decreased 7.5% (a loss of 26 trillion cubic feet) to 323 trillion cubic feet in 2012(Table 1). Total discoveries of oil and natural gas proved reserves both exceeded U.S. production in 2012, with the largest discoveries occurring onshore within the Lower 48 states. The 2012 decline interrupted a 14-year trend of consecutive increases in natural gas proved reserves (Figure 1).

Inspector Report: DOE/IG-0904 Review of Controls Over the Department’s Classification of National Security Information

April 9, 2014 Comments off

Inspector Report: DOE/IG-0904 Review of Controls Over the Department’s Classification of National Security Information
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General

The Department of Energy handles and manages a broad spectrum of classified information, including National Security Information (NSI). The Office of Health, Safety and Security’s Office of Classification, manages the Department-wide classification program and establishes policies to conform with Federal classification requirements. Implementation of classification requirements is shared among various organizations within the Department. In addition, the Department’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is required to follow NSI policies and procedures instituted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Similarly, the Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) separately develops and implements policies and procedures, in coordination with the Office of Classification, for the protection and security of classified information at NNSA sites.

Our inspection revealed that the Department had established and implemented critical elements of its classified NSI program. However, our review revealed that certain aspects of the NSI program could be improved. For instance, our inspection determined that a classification marking tool embedded in the classified email system at an NNSA site automatically marked emails as Secret//Restricted Data, regardless of content. The classification related issues we observed occurred, in part, because of ineffective oversight of classification activities and inadequate training and guidance.

In general, we found management’s comments and planned corrective actions to be generally responsive to our report findings and recommendations.

Annual Energy Outlook 2014

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Annual Energy Outlook 2014
Source: Energy Information Administration

We begin the staged release of the full Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014), expanding on the AEO2014 Reference case tables and highlights that were issued in December 2013. The April 7 release will include the first of eight Issues in Focus articles which will be released according to the schedule at right. The final components of the full AEO2014 will be released on April 30, 2014.

Country Analysis Brief: South Korea

April 2, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: South Korea
Source: Energy Information Administration

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that South Korea was the world’s ninth-largest energy consumer in 2011. Korea is one of the top energy importers in the world and relies on fuel imports for about 97% of its primary energy demand because the country lacks domestic energy reserves. In 2013, the country was the second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the fourth-largest importer of coal, and the fifth-largest net importer of total petroleum and other liquids. South Korea has no international oil or natural gas pipelines and relies exclusively on tanker shipments of LNG and crude oil. Despite its lack of domestic energy resources, South Korea is home to some of the largest and most advanced oil refineries in the world. In an effort to improve the nation’s energy security, oil and gas companies are aggressively seeking overseas exploration and production opportunities.

The Journal of Physical Security 7(1), 2014

March 12, 2014 Comments off

The Journal of Physical Security 7(1), 2014
Source: Argonne National Laboratory

Welcome to volume 7, issue 1 of the Journal of Physical Security. This issue has 7 papers on the following topics: testing locks, seals and nuclear safeguards, a security thought experiment, vulnerability assessment issues, the levels of critical infrastructure risk, and community partnerships for counteracting radicalization. Volume 7, issue 2 should also be out shortly.

Paper 1 – SK McNeill, “Analysis of Explosive Magazine Padlock Breaching Techniques”, pages 1‐21
Paper 2 – HA Undem, “Nuclear Containment and Surveillance Terminology”, pages 22‐24
Paper 3 – P Kurrasch, “Money in a Glass Box”, pages 25‐30
Paper 4 – RG Johnston and JS Warner, “Vulnerability Assessment Myths (Or What Makes Red Teamers See Red)”, pages 31‐38
Paper 5 – RG Johnston and JS Warner, “What Vulnerability Assessors Know That You Should, Too”, pages 39‐42
Paper 6 – B Nussbaum, “The ‘Levels of Analysis’ Problem with Critical Infrastructure Risk”, pages 43‐50
Paper 7 – HS Mack, “Countering Violent Extremism in the United States: Law Enforcement’s Approach to Preventing Terrorism through Community Partnerships”, pages 51‐56

As usual, the views expressed by the editor and authors are their own and should not necessarily be ascribed to their home institutions, Argonne National Laboratory, or the United States Department of Energy.

Country Analysis Brief: Indonesia

March 9, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Indonesia
Source: Energy Information Administration

Indonesia is the most populous country in Southeast Asia and the fourth most populous country in the world, behind China, India, and the United States. Formerly a net oil exporter in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Indonesia struggles to attract sufficient investment to meet growing domestic energy consumption because of inadequate infrastructure and a complex regulatory environment. Despite their energy struggles, it was the world’s largest exporter of coal by weight in 2012 and the fourth-largest exporter of liquid natural gas (LNG) in 2013. As Indonesia seeks to meet its energy export obligations and earn revenues through international market sales, the country is also trying to meet demand at home.

Indonesia’s total primary energy consumption grew by 44% between 2002 and 2012. The petroleum share, although decreasing, continues to account for the highest portion of Indonesia’s energy mix at 36% in 2012. In the past decade, coal consumption nearly tripled and surpassed natural gas as the second most consumed fuel.

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa

March 3, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa
Source: Energy Information Administration

South Africa’s energy sector is critical to its economy, as the country relies heavily on its large-scale, energy-intensive coal mining industry. South Africa has limited proved reserves of oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits to meet most of its energy needs, particularly in the electricity sector. Most of the oil consumed in the country, used mainly in the transportation sector, is imported from Middle East and West African producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is locally refined. South Africa also has a sophisticated synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from the Secunda coal-to-liquids (CTL) and Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants. The synthetic fuels industry accounts for nearly all of the country’s domestically produced petroleum as crude oil production is very small.

Country Analysis Brief: Angola

February 27, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Angola
Source: Energy Information Administration

The first commercial oil discovery in Angola was made in 1955 in the onshore Kwanza (Cuanza) basin. Since that discovery, Angola’s oil industry has grown substantially, despite a civil war that occurred from 1975 to 2002. Currently, oil production comes almost entirely from offshore fields off the coast of Cabinda and deepwater fields in the Lower Congo basin. There is small-scale production from onshore fields, but onshore exploration and production have been limited in the past due to conflict.

Country Analysis Brief: Syria

February 24, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Syria
Source: Energy Information Administration

Syria’s energy sector is in turmoil because of the ongoing hostilities between government and opposition forces. Syria’s oil and natural gas production has declined dramatically since March 2011 because of the conflict and because of the subsequent imposition of sanctions by the United States and European Union in particular. Syria’s energy sector is unlikely to recover in the near term.

Country Analysis Brief: China

February 6, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: China
Source: Energy Information Administration

China has quickly risen to the top ranks in global energy demand over the past few years. China is the world’s second-largest oil consumer behind the United States and became the largest global energy consumer in 2010. The country was a net oil exporter until the early 1990s and became the world’s second-largest net importer of crude oil and petroleum products in 2009. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that China will surpass the United States as the largest net oil importer by 2014, in part due to China’s rising oil consumption. China’s oil consumption growth accounted for one-third of the world’s oil consumption growth in 2013, and EIA projects the same share in 2014.

Natural gas use in China has also increased rapidly in recent years, and China has sought to raise natural gas imports via pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG). China is the world’s top coal producer, consumer, and importer and accounted for about half of global coal consumption, an important factor in world energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. China’s rising coal production is the key driver behind the country becoming the world’s largest energy producer in 2007. In line with its sizeable industrialization and swiftly modernizing economy, China also became the world’s largest power generator in 2011.

Country Analysis Brief: Qatar

February 1, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Qatar
Source: Energy Information Administration

Like many of its neighbors, Qatar relies on its energy sector to support its economy. According to the Qatar National Bank (QNB), Qatar’s earnings from its hydrocarbons sector accounted for 60% of the country’s total government revenues over the past five fiscal years (through fiscal year 2012-13). The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Qatar earned $55 billion from net oil exports in 2012, and QNB estimates that the oil and natural gas sector of Qatar accounted for 57.8% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2012.

Qatar was the world’s fourth largest dry natural gas producer in 2012 (behind the United States, Russia, and Iran), and has been the world’s leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter since 2006. Qatar is also at the forefront of gas-to-liquids (GTL) production, and the country is home to the world’s largest GTL facility. The growth in Qatar’s natural gas production, particularly since 2000, has also increased Qatar’s total liquids production, as lease condensates, natural gas plant liquids, and other petroleum liquids are a significant (and valuable) byproduct of natural gas production.

Qatar produced nearly 1.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of liquid fuels (crude oil, condensates, natural gas plant liquids, gas-to-liquids, and other liquids) in 2013, of which 730,000 bbl/d was crude oil and the remainder was non-crude liquids. While Qatar is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the country is the second-smallest crude oil producer among the 12-member group. Natural gas meets the vast majority of Qatar’s domestic energy demand, so the country is able to export most of its liquid fuels production. Given its small population, Qatar’s energy needs are met almost entirely by domestic sources.

Liquid Fuels and Natural Gas in the Americas

January 31, 2014 Comments off

Liquid Fuels and Natural Gas in the Americas
Source: Energy Information Administration

This report examines the major energy trends and developments of the past decade in the Americas, focusing on liquid fuels and natural gas—particularly, reserves and resources, production, consumption, trade, and investment. The Americas, which include North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, account for a significant portion of global supply, demand, and trade of both liquid fuels and natural gas. Liquid fuels include all petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas liquids, biofuels, and liquids derived from other hydrocarbon sources.

Country Analysis Brief: Congo (Brazzaville)

January 30, 2014 Comments off

Congo (Brazzaville)
Source: Energy Information Administration

Congo (Brazzaville), formerly known as the Republic of the Congo, is a mature oil producer with declining output at most of its fields. Congo’s economy is heavily dependent on its oil production as it accounted for almost 87% of the country’s export revenues and almost 80% of the government’s total revenue in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A vast majority of oil and natural gas exploration and production activities in Congo are conducted offshore.

Congo holds sizable proved natural gas reserves, but only small amounts are commercialized because of the lack of infrastructure. Congo also may hold large oil sands deposits (petroleum deposits of bitumen also known as tar sands) and Eni, an Italian oil company, recently launched a feasibility study. If the project is undertaken, it would be the first tar sands project in Africa.

Congo also has extensive hydropower potential, but most of it remains untapped. Despite Congo’s rich energy resources, the electrification rate is low, especially in rural areas, mainly because of a lack of electricity infrastructure. According to the latest (2010) estimate from the World Bank, 37% of the country has access to electricity, leaving more than 2.5 million people without access.

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador

January 20, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador
Source: Energy Information Administration

In Ecuador, the oil sector accounts for a sizeable portion of all export earnings and represents one-third of all tax revenues. Resource nationalism and debates about the economic, strategic, and environmental implications of oil sector development are prominent issues in the politics of Ecuador and the policies of its government. The smallest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Ecuador produced 505,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil in 2012 and exported more than one-third of it to the United States. A lack of sufficient domestic refining capacity to meet local demand has forced Ecuador to import refined products, limiting net oil revenue.

Ecuador rejoined OPEC in 2007 following a near 15-year hiatus from the organization. Despite a challenging investment environment prompted by government initiatives to increase the share of oil revenue for the state, 2012 oil production in Ecuador returned to the 2008 annual level.

Ecuador’s energy mix is largely dependent on oil, which represented 76% of the country’s total energy consumption in 2012, according to the British Petroleum’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2013. Hydroelectric power was the second largest energy source. Natural gas and non-hydro renewable fuels are also important to Ecuador’s energy mix.

Country Analysis Brief: Colombia

January 9, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief:  Colombia
Source: Energy Information Administration

The enactment of a series of regulatory reforms to make the oil and natural gas sector more attractive to foreign investors led to an increase in Colombia production. The government implemented a partial privatization of state oil company Ecopetrol (formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos S.A.) in an attempt to revive its upstream oil industry. However, after nearly a half-decade of relatively secure operations, attacks on oil and natural gas pipelines have increased. Expanded oil production will require discoveries of reserves and improvements to infrastructure safety.

In 2011, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Colombia consumed 1.48 quadrillion British thermanl units (Btus) of total energy. Oil constituted the largest part of this amount, followed by hydroelectricity, natural gas, and coal. The country relies on hydropower for the bulk of its electricity needs and uses very little coal domestically. Of the 94.6 million short tons (MMst) of coal produced, Colombia exported 94% in 2011. Natural gas consumption in Colombia has grown, rising over 54% in the past decade.

Country Analysis Brief: Nigeria

January 7, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Nigeria
Source: Energy Information Administration

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and was the world’s fourth leading exporter of LNG in 2012. Despite the relatively large volumes it produces, Nigeria’s oil production is hampered by instability and supply disruptions, while the natural gas sector is restricted by the lack of infrastructure to monetize gas that is currently flared (burned off).

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa, holds the largest natural gas reserves on the continent, and was the world’s fourth leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2012. Nigeria became a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1971, more than a decade after oil production began in the oil-rich Bayelsa State in the 1950s. Although Nigeria is the leading oil producer in Africa, production suffers from supply disruptions, which have resulted in unplanned outages as high as 500,000 barrels per day (bbl/d).

Thirteen accomplishments worth celebrating in 2013: New and improved products and services from EIA

December 21, 2013 Comments off

Thirteen accomplishments worth celebrating in 2013: New and improved products and services from EIA
Source: Energy Information Administration

With the year drawing to a close, EIA identified 13 accomplishments that marked an impressive year for the agency. Creating the innovative new monthly Drilling Productivity Report, launching the most comprehensive, dynamic, and interactive portal of the U.S. government’s national and state energy data, and completing the largest active field collection in the history of the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) are just a few of EIA’s achievements during a busy 2013.

Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview

December 16, 2013 Comments off

Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview
Source: Energy Information Administration

In preparing the AEO2014 Reference case, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) evaluated a wide range of trends and issues that could have major implications for U.S. energy markets. This overview presents the AEO2014 Reference case and compares it with the AEO2013 Reference case released in April 2013 (see Table 1 on pages 17-18). Because of the uncertainties inherent in any energy market projection, the Reference case results should not be viewed in isolation. Readers are encouraged to review the alternative cases when the complete AEO2014 publication is released, to gain perspective on how variations in key assumptions can lead to different outlooks for energy markets.

To provide a basis against which alternative cases and policies can be compared, the AEO2014 Reference case generally assumes that current laws and regulations affecting the energy sector remain unchanged throughout the projection (including the implication that laws that include sunset dates do, in fact, expire at the time of those sunset dates). This assumption clarifies the relationship of the Reference case to other AEO2014 cases and enables policy analysis with less uncertainty regarding unstated legal or regulatory assumptions.

Country Analysis Brief: United Arab Emirates

December 5, 2013 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: United Arab Emirates
Source: Energy Information Administration

Since declaring independence from the United Kingdom in 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—a federation of the seven emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Dubai, Ras al Khaymah, Sharjah, and Umm al Qaywayn—has relied on its large oil and natural gas resources to support its economy. In 2012, hydrocarbon export revenues were $118 billion according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), up from approximately $75 billion in 2010. Overall, the hydrocarbon economy accounts for approximately 80% of government revenues and more than half of the country’s goods exports.

Beyond the hydrocarbon economy, the UAE is becoming one of the world’s most important financial centers and a major trading center in the Middle East. Investments in non-energy sectors, such as infrastructure and technology, continue to provide the UAE with insurance against oil price declines and global economic stagnation. Recovering oil prices and robust trade growth have buoyed the UAE’s economy, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) data indicate their GDP grew by 4.3% in 2012.

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