Frac’ing Goes Green

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

This morning, Charles passed a couple of articles on to me about electric fracking. One was from a WUWT Tip submission by RonPE and the other was in an email he received. My first thought was that it might be referring to the use of microwaves to free kerogen from oil shale… Alas, it was just referring to regular old frac’ing using gas turbines, rather than diesel engines to run the pumps.

From The Houston Carbuncle

Baker Hughes chooses Permian Basin to debut ‘electric frack’ technology

Sergio Chapa April 30, 2019

Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes is using the Permian Basin in West Texas to debut a fleet of new turbines that use excess natural gas from a drilling site to power hydraulic fracturing equipment — reducing flaring, carbon dioxide emissions, people and equipment in remote locations.

Baker Hughes CEO Lorenzo Simonelli spoke about the company’s “electric frack” technology during a Tuesday morning investors call. The company said its first quarter profit fell more than half to $32 million from $70 million during the same period a year earlier. Revenues rose to $5.6 billion from $5.4 billion revenue inthe first quarter of 2018.

As production continues to outpace pipeline construction in the Permian Basin, operators are burning off, or flaring, an estimated 104 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year instead of shipping it to market. Simonelli said he views wasted natural gas, a byproduct of oil drilling, as a business opportunity.


The Houston Comical

I’m not knocking this innovation. It’s a great idea in a mature producing area with so much excess associated natural gas that they have to flare ($200) to $300 million worth of natural gas every year to produce $243 million worth of oil every day…

El Paso Permian West Texas/SE New Mexico Natural Gas Prices (NGI)

Over the past two years, Permian Basin natural gas prices have dropped from $3/mcf to less than $1/mcf, briefly falling to -$2/mcf this spring. 104 Bcf is 104,000,000 mcf, worth about $50 million at the current Permian Basin price.

4 million barrels of crude oil per day times $60.74/bbl equals $242,960,000/day.

This is why none of the Permian Basin oil producers are losing any sleep over flaring natural gas. That said, Baker Hughes’ Electric Frac’ing crews will save Permian Basin operators money on frac jobs. Free natural gas is a lot cheaper than diesel fuel. So… Why do they call this “‘electric frack’ technology”? Because Baker Hughes is a subsidiary of General Electric.

Also from the Carbuncle

Climate Change: Baker Hughes pledges net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050

And this…

Marine renewables get focus at OTC
By Ilene Bassler, Contributor May 8, 2019

The Offshore Technology Conference is focusing on integrating marine renewables into its overall program, offering nine technical sessions — the most ever — on the topic.


The Houston Comical

Nine out of forty seven technical sessions is “focusing”? Two of the nine are on methane hydrates. One is on tidal and other hydrokinetic processes. Two are on offshore wind. The other four are on geotechnics. So… In reality, only three of the technical sessions deal specifically with “renewables.”


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