American Gas - November 2013 - (Page 6)

dig e st AGA senior Vice President for Policy and Planning Paula Gant has been tapped to serve as deputy secretary of energy for oil and natural Gas, Office of Fossil energy, at the U.s. Department of energy. AGA President and ceO Dave mccurdy praised Gant's selection and said she had played an instrumental role in developing public policy and strategy initiatives for AGA members. "in her new role, Paula's ability to engage diverse interests around a common purpose will no doubt serve the administration well as it seeks to, in the words of President Obama, develop homegrown energy to 'save families money, make our businesses more competitive, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.'" Gant joined U.s. sec. of energy ernest moniz's team on sept. 9 (see interview with sec. moniz, page 22). Georgetown University is offering $5 million to a community that adopts a long-term energyefficiency plan and demonstrates its initial effectiveness and sustainability. sponsored by the American Gas Foundation and others, the Georgetown University energy Prize is open to small and mediumsized communities around the country. The prize will help utilities demonstrate their role in enhancing energy efficiency and could also motivate communities to meet efficiency targets, said American Gas Foundation executive Director Kathryn clay. For entry rules and timeline, visit The U.s. chemicals industry is investing $72 billion in new projects and is on course to create 536,000 permanent jobs, according to a study by the American chemistry council. The study looked at 97 projects announced 6 AmericAn GAs november 2013 issues Good News on Methane New study finds lower emissions from drilling a new study by the University of Texas at Austin shows that methane emissions from onshore natural gas drilling are slightly lower than previous government estimates-and much lower than other studies have suggested. The overall level of methane leakage from gas production found by the UT study was 0.42 percent of total volume, about 10 percent lower than the most recent EPA estimates of 0.47 percent. "The results are encouraging," said Richard Meyer, energy analyst for AGA. "At a high level, the measured methane emissions are in line with current EPA estimates. While the study does identify areas where methane emissions are higher than expected, such as emissions from pneumatic devices, it also reinforces the fact that additional improvements in technology and practice can further reduce emissions from this stage of the value chain." For wells with methane capture or control, potential emissions were reduced by 99 percent, according to the study. Because of this equipment, methane emissions from well completion flowbacks were found to be 97 percent lower than current EPA estimates. The report "shows that when producers use practices to capture or control emissions, such as green completions, methane can be dramatically reduced," said Mark Brownstein, associate vice president and chief counsel of the U.S. Climate and Energy Program for the Environmental Defense Fund, in a statement about the findings. The paper, published in September in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first of 16 studies measuring methane leakage throughout the natural gas supply chain. The project is being led by the University of Texas at Austin, with support from EDF, nine oil and gas companies, and various individuals and foundations. The study evaluated a total of 190 onshore natural gas sites in the Gulf Coast, Midcontinent, Rocky Mountain, and Appalachian production regions representing 12 percent of U.S. gas wells and 16 percent of production. Specific categories of activities studied include completion flowbacks from wells with hydraulic fracturing, liquids unloading, the use of chemical pumps and pneumatic controllers, and equipment leaks. No emissions measurements for natural gas distribution systems were part of this study. The study also did not measure methane emissions from production activities related to construction of a well site, drilling, hydraulic fracturing, well testing, amine units, or blowdowns. Later studies in the series will evaluate these production activities as well as emissions associated with activities downstream of the wellhead. Pam Lacey, AGA's senior environmental lawyer, has been working with AGA members, EDF, and others on a study to examine distribution system emissions. Results are expected to be published next year. "Improved science and systematic data collection like this are essential to inform the public debate about methane emissions and to support recognition of the benefits of using natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants," said Meyer about the ongoing project. -Gary James u p d at e Winter Wonderland Natural gas remains the best value fuel for consumers this winter a t a press conference on Oct. 2, Bruce McDowell, AGA's managing director of Policy Analysis, presented his outlook for what natural gas bills might look like during the 2013-2014 winter heating season. While customer bills are likely to rise slightly as a result of various market forces, the abundant supply of domestically available natural gas has contributed to lower production prices that, along with robust storage levels, are poised to help ensure a steady supply of energy at a lower cost than other home heating fuels. Mild temperatures should also keep any increase in natural gas bills modest, at no more than 10 percent compared to last winter. This scenario could vary regionally, where colder temperatures or severe weather events

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Gas - November 2013

American Gas - November 2013
President’s Message
Subject Index
Head Start: On Energy Education
By the Numbers
Need to Know
The Wheels on the Bus...
New Jersey
Long Island
Fueling the Future
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
A Tight Ship
Expanding the Reach of the Gas Infrastructure
Company Profiles

American Gas - November 2013