ExxonMobil aiming to capture growth in US electricity market

On January 9, 2012, The Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University held a hydrofracking workshop. The organizers invited a number of speakers from both industry and academia to discuss a contentious, but important energy issue from a variety of perspectives. You can read about the workshop on TheGreenGrok on a post titled Minds Meet on Shale Gas, Fracking.

The talks and question and answer sessions were webcast, recorded and are available to view at your leisure.

The keynote speaker was Michael Parker, from ExxonMobil’s XTO subsidiary. He provided a summary of ExxonMobil’s recently released Energy Outlook and described how producing unconventional natural gas using hydraulic fracturing fits in with their view of the future. Of course, producing large quantities of natural gas is only half of the challenge – without a large market for that gas, the material would simply become an explosive storage problem.

Mr. Parker explained that ExxonMobil’s target market is the US electricity market. His presentation clearly illustrated why I frequently point to petroleum companies as energy market competitors with the means, motive, and opportunity for discouraging nuclear energy development.

Here is a remix of Parker’s talk with some atomicrod commentary wedged in. Hope you enjoy.

Hat tip to Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth blog post titled Beyond Hype, a Closer Look at New York’s Choice on Shale Gas

About Rod Adams

10 Responses to “ExxonMobil aiming to capture growth in US electricity market”

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  1. Jaffer says:

    Some interesting tidbits from the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 Early Release:

    “In the AEO2012 Reference case, the estimated unproved technically recoverable resource (TRR) of shale gas for the United States is 482 trillion cubic feet, substantially below the estimate of 827 trillion cubic feet in AEO2011. The decline largely reflects a decrease in the estimate for the Marcellus shale, from 410 trillion cubic feet to 141 trillion cubic feet. Both EIA and USGS have recently made significant revisions to their TRR estimates for the Marcellus shale. Drilling in the Marcellus accelerated rapidly in 2010 and 2011, so that there is far more information available today than a year ago. Indeed, the daily rate of Marcellus production doubled during 2011 alone. Using data though 2010, USGS updated its TRR estimate for the Marcellus to 84 trillion cubic feet, with a 90-percent confidence range from 43 to 144 trillion cubic feet—a substantial increase over the previous USGS estimate of 2 trillion cubic feet dating from 2002. For AEO2012, EIA uses more recent drilling and production data available through 2011 and excludes production experience from the pre-shale era (before 2008). EIA’s TRR estimate for the entire Northeast also includes TRR of 16 trillion cubic feet for the Utica shale, which underlies the Marcellus and is still relatively little explored. The complete AEO2012 publication will include a more in-depth examination of the factors that affect resource estimates.”

  2. Daniel says:

    Just watched President Obama address…. The only mention to nuclear was with weapons and wastes.

    Dubbya got nukular right after all.

    • Joel Riddle says:

      He sure mentioned the heck out of domestic natural gas though.

      And Rod is right on with nuclear seeming to be the other “n” word last night. As I watched and listened, I kept hoping Barack would mention it, but he didn’t. Someone I was watching with who works in the medical field said “it’s too controversial”.

      Considering Fukushima happened 10.5 months ago, it being an election year, and considering Barack’s constituency, I can’t say that I was too surprised by the massive omission.

    • Daniel says:

      I was wrong there was a nuclear energy bit in yesterday,s address:

      ‘At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities.’

      • Joel Riddle says:

        I missed that mention. I remember him mentioning the CASL project in last year’s address (which is what he mentioned again). Actually though, that project is not far enough along to have had an effect on “getting a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities”. It should hold some promise in that regard eventually though.


  3. Rod Adams says:

    @Daniel – you’re right. We have apparently retreated to the situation where nuclear is the other “n” word. IMHO the lack of mention was not a huge problem only because the President kept saying “clean energy” vice renewable energy.

    I truly believe that it is time for the nuclear energy industry to launch an independence campaign. We have a technology that is strong enough to dominate on a level playing field with as few directed subsidies as possible – zero is preferable.

    The most cost effective “subsidy” that the government could provide would be incredibly cheap and consist of two steps:

    1 – Elevate either Ostendorff or Magwood to the position of Chairman at the NRC.

    2 – As for a simple legislative change declaring that the democratically elected representatives of the people of the US have determined that nuclear energy use is beneficial – good for both the economic vitality of the US and good for the environment. That statement can be accompanied by one more sentence telling the NRC that its job is to enable the safe use of nuclear technology. (It should be impartial with regard to companies and particular projects, but it does not have to be agnostic about whether or not we are going to use the only emission free, energy dense fuel that we have.)

    No need for any appropriations. Just knock down some of the existing obstacles that have been purposely erected over the past 50 years.

    • Atomikrabbit says:

      “Elevate either Ostendorff or Magwood to the position of Chairman at the NRC.”

      This will happen within one month if either:

      1 – Harry Reid is no longer Senate Majority Leader, either by his electoral defeat (next election 2016), or by Democrats losing majority control of Senate; or

      2 – Obama loses election on November 6, 2012 and a less renewables-infatuated President takes office on January 21, 2013.

      It’s In our hands.

      • Wayne SW says:

        Option 2 is the preferable method. We need a President who will just come straight out and say that he favors nuclear and will push for its expansion. That way we don’t have to waste time grasping at straws, looking for encouragment in code words, imputing meanings that aren’t flat-out stated, engaging in arcane nuances, trying to find meaning in phrases that are ambiguous, and, most of the time, fooling ourselves into thinking that the current Administration is really pro-nuclear all the while putting hacks like Gregory Jackzo in charge of the most powerful agency that has influence over such things.

  4. Daniel says:

    Wednesday Feb 8 at the NRC:

    Meeting notice and agenda
    discuss the project status for the construction of Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 & 4 with NRC management.

    Is this D day ?