The Barnett Shale is more than 7,000 feet below the surface and is comprised of dense non-permeable rock. According to Dr. Ken Morgan, a geologist at Texas Christian University, “Solid hard rocks that are 7000 feet down don’t subside. You have more than a mile of solid rock that holds it all up. Subsidence occurs when you have loose, soft materials like in Houston (sands, clays, etc.) but not in cemented hard rocks like the Barnett Shale.”
Given rising gas prices and growing instability in key oil-producing regions of the world, it is increasingly obvious that the United States must aggressively promote the use of...
The Texas Pipeline Association (TPA) has completed an initial evaluation of the technical paper “The potential near-source ozone impacts of upstream oil and gas industry emissions” that was published in the July 18, 2012, issue of the “Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association.”
The fact that natural gas is the cleanest-burning fuel, emitting half of the carbon of coal, is undisputed. After all, the chemical structure of methane, the primary component of natural gas, is CH4: one carbon molecule combined with 4 hydrogen molecules. By contrast, coal is 50-100% carbon by mass, with the rest being hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen and sulfur. So, the environmental benefits of natural gas vehicles are obvious. This is why the Honda Civic GX, which runs on compressed natural gas or CNG has been deemed the “greenest car in America” for the last 8 years, beating out all hybrids and plug-in electric cars.
The United States Energy Information Agency (EIA) released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2012” on January 23, 2012. The annual report shows that emissions of carbon dioxide in the U.S. are now lower than levels in the year 2000 and are predicted to continue to decline through the year 2035 (which is the extent of the study projection).
As noted in a recent Star-Telegram article “In the Barnett Shale, the bloom is off the boom,” by Jack Z. Smith, drilling activity in the Barnett Shale is at a seven year low of just over 50 rigs running...
As an economist, I would like to talk about the costs and benefits of regulation, specifically the proposed new and revised Fort Worth gas drilling ordinances. All regulations have costs. Some have benefits. Some regulations are justified on a cost/benefit basis, some are not.
I would like to focus on two points regarding the proposed New Source Performance Standards or NSPS rules.
We don’t give a second thought to many things in our daily lives until those things become hard to get or costly. We don’t think about where electricity comes from when we turn on a light switch nor do we give much thought to the many steps it takes for gasoline to be readily available whenever we stop to fill up our tank.
Facing the most severe drought conditions since 2006, some communities in North Texas are imposing water restrictions. However, as state law says, water can only be limited based on the proportion used. Because of this, natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale will continue unless Stage 3 restrictions are imposed and all water users are restricted proportionally. This has caused some people to pause and question why, so we wanted to clarify the situation.
The headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on July 15, 2011 said it all: “Air quality study finds no major health threats.” This is a reference to the long-awaited results of the “City of Fort Worth Natural Gas Air Quality Study” that the City of Fort Worth commissioned about one year ago. A task force appointed by the City awarded the work to Eastern Research Group (ERG) based in Lexington, Mass.