Monday, November 22, 2010

Peak Coal (?) and Regular Keystone Marcellus Update

Well we're back to regular Monday Marcellus updates, but first there some interesting news surrounding coal supplies. Now when people talk about coal, we generally hear about abundant coal resources and or about the mountaintop removal controversy. But coal-burning is a major producer of electricity and China has been consuming enormous amounts of the black stuff. Now Phys.Org relates ,"A report entitled 'The End of Cheap Coal,' published in the journal Nature by Richard Heinberg and David Fridley, suggests we may reach peak coal in the next two decades." Now 20 years sounds like a long-time, but Peak Oil will create more demand for coal and increased coal usage will add more CO2 to our overloaded atmosphere. And another energy peak coming on the heels of a potential oil crunch doesn't bode well for a BAU global economy. The WSJ adds that China is considering capping domestic coal production due to worries about depleting reserves. The Chinese appetite for coal is so big and supplying them then so profitable, that even countries where coal use is argued about quietly export it to China. Unless fusion becomes a reality soon, we may see our energy intensive civilization hit the wall this decade.

Now onto the latest news from the Marcellus Play in Pennsylvania. This will be short since I did an update just a few days ago.

Now we hear a lot of numbers tossed around for the number of jobs that are supposed to be created, usually with no additional details. For a change, the Lebanon Daily News reports a more modest number and attributes the potential jobs to a specific company: Calfrac Well Services Corp of Calgary plans to "hire more than 200 people for a new complex being built in southwestern Pennsylvania to serve Marcellus Shale wells..." Of course, questions remain regarding what the positions are and whether those being hired will be experienced industry workers from elsewhere. 

Energy and environmental insurers see a potential boom in their business from Marcellus development. 

Another driller is selling its Marcellus assets - EOG Resources reached a $405 million deal to sell 50,000 acres to Newfield Exploration Co.,

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