The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's assessment of potential hazards to New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant posed by a natural gas pipeline remains unchanged, despite a revised timeline that shows Entergy could take up to eight minutes to shut off the pipeline in an emergency. "[W]e did an independent review and did not identify any concerns relative to our overall conclusion, that the pipeline was not an undue hazard to the Indian Point plant," said NRC official Ray Lorson.
The pandemic-related surge in online purchases has increased truck traffic, boosting demand for biodiesel made from soybean oil and other oils. "When you think about the long-haul truck fleets, those are primarily consuming diesel so the demand on the biodiesel side hasn't abated," said Mac Marshall, vice president of market intelligence for the United Soybean Board.
The coronavirus pandemic has sent US exports of crude oil on a downward trajectory since February, but despite that, total export volumes in the first half of 2020 were still higher than they were during the same period last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. Oil exports averaged 3.2 million barrels per day during the first six months of 2020, compared with 2.9 million bpd a year earlier, driven in part by increased appetite from China.
A recovery in demand for US hydraulic fracturing services to pre-pandemic levels will not happen until 2025, and even if oil prices bounce back above $60 per barrel, only 250 to 300 fracking fleets will be needed to meet demand, down from over 400 fleets in 2018, according to Rystad Energy. During the Rystad Energy 2020 Americas Virtual Annual Summit on Tuesday, the consultancy also said US oil production could exceed the 13-million-bpd record set in late 2019 if prices improve significantly, as up to 11 million bpd of new shale output will be needed to keep up with future demand.
US crude supplies edged up by 691,000 barrels last week, but the gain was offset by a 7.7-million-barrel decline in gasoline inventories and 2.1-million-barrel fall in distillate stockpiles, the American Petroleum Institute reported.
McKinsey & Company analysts write that despite low natural gas prices and an oversupply that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the liquefied natural gas sector is better equipped to cope with challenges and thrive in the long run than other fossil fuel industries due to its superior economics and reduced emissions. To weather the market storm and reach full growth and value potential, LNG players must concentrate on five areas: supply chain optimization, investments in new downstream infrastructure, supply decarbonization, capital efficiency and digital and advanced analytics, they write.
A pair of bills introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., seek to create a fund to expand the cleanup of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in Colorado, increase bonding requirements for federal oil and gas operations, and boost transparency and public notice requirements for lease sales. The measures "would restore local governments' and tax payers' important role in public land management decisions, while ensuring they are not left on the hook for future cleanup and remediation costs," Bennet's office said.
National Clean Energy Week is the perfect time to spotlight the next major source of American power: Offshore wind. The growing US offshore wind industry has demonstrated its resilience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and is exactly the kind of once-in-a-generation opportunity we need to take advantage of as we build a better post-pandemic, and clean energy future.
Many companies with offshore wind leases in the US are awaiting Bureau of Ocean Energy Management action to advance their projects, and the Interior Department needs to initiate the development of environmental impact statements by issuing notices of intent, said Equinor US Wind President Siri Espedal Kindem. "Consequently, we urge BOEM, working in consultation with state partners, to develop an offshore wind leasing schedule," she said before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Invenergy has ordered 187 turbines with a combined capacity of 576 megawatts from GE Renewable Energy for three wind farms in the US. The projects are located in Michigan, Iowa and South Dakota.
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