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A Boom In Oil Is A Boon For U.S. Shipbuilding Industry

oil tankerScott Clapham peers down into a cavernous dry dock at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. He points to massive pieces of steel, some covered with a light dusting of snow. When assembled, they will form a 115,000-ton oil tanker.

It’s one of two oil tankers being constructed for SeaRiver Maritime, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, costing $200 million apiece. It takes roughly 1,000 workers more than a year to build, and the shipyard already has orders for four more tankers and two container ships, says Clapham, the senior vice president of Aker Philadelphia. He says orders for large vessels have shot up in the past year.

“We’ve seen, since 2013, just a steady increase in demand for the ships, both here in Philadelphia and other shipyards across the country,” Clapham says.

The energy boom in the U.S. is having a knock-on effect on the country’s shipbuilding industry. Matthew Paxton, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America, says there is a relative boom in the construction of larger vessels at major shipyards across the country, especially oil tankers. He says three years ago, the tanker market wasn’t even on the screen, but shale formations in North Dakota and Texas have changed that.

“All this oil is coming down to the Gulf Coast and we’re going to need to move that oil around the United States to refiners,” he says.

There are more than 15 oil tankers, along with hundreds of smaller tugs and barges, on order at U.S. shipyards across the country, according to the American Maritime Partnership. But it will take months, if not years, to build them.

Read more:

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/14/289849961/a-boom-in-oil-is-a-boon-for-u-s-shipbuilding-industry

 
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Drilling simulator could enhance shale gas drilling techniques

roustaboutsCurtin University petroleum engineering researchers are using a high-speed drilling simulator to replicate the increasingly popular industry method of drilling deep boreholes in tight gas formations and shales.

Curtin University’s Department of Petroleum Engineering Professor Vamegh Rasouli said the research was being undertaken with the aim of improving efficiency in hard rock drilling, but could be extended for shale gas drilling and fracturing.

Professor Rasouli said the simulator was capable of performing normal, over-balanced and under-balanced drilling, as well as simulating the use of different mud types and drilling through hard rock using diamond-impregnated bits.

“Simulation of drilling practices in the laboratory will be very beneficial for field operations, as we can study the effects of different parameters on drilling efficiency,” Professor Rasouli said.

“There are various issues to overcome during the drilling and production phases of gas wells, including wellbore instability during drilling and hydraulic fracturing for enhanced recovery.”

Read more: http://gastoday.com.au/news/drilling_simulator_could_enhance_shale_gas_drilling_techniques/086047/

 
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Monterey County is at an oil crossroads, and one way leads straight to industrialization.

california vector map, usaChristopher Williams

Monterey County could be facing the most important hour of its long history. The Monterey Shale Formation, right here under our fields and pastures, towns and villages, could contain one of the biggest oil and gas reserves in the United States.

A few facts: there are 34 states now engaged in oil and gas extraction through fracking. The biggest operations are in Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Montana, Louisiana, and Wyoming. Among the biggest oil shale deposits are the Eagle Ford Gas Shale Formation in Texas, the Jonah Field in Wyoming and the Baaken Shale in North Dakota. These are immense operations covering hundreds of square miles with tens of thousands of wells and drilling rigs.

The Baaken Field is one of the most active and busiest oil patches in the world. The Baaken, an area about the size of West Virginia, draws 660,000 barrels of oil per day and sends it out by truck and pipelines, which crisscross the countryside. They may soon be building an oil refinery near what used to be the little prairie town of Willston, North Dakota.

Read more: http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/archives/2014/0306/monterey-county-is-at-an-oil-crossroads-and-one-way/article_5a474980-a4a1-11e3-92e9-001a4bcf6878.html

 
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Female-led Athena Oilfield Services set to shake up the shale

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The rough-and-tumble Eagle Ford Shale has a reputation as a man’s world, but startup Athena Oilfield Services LLC is ready to shake that up.

The company — named for the Greek goddess of wisdom — boasts a five-member executive team comprised entirely of women. And after just over two months in business, it already boasts key shale players, including BHP Billiton and Marathon Oil, as customers.

“We might be the only (oilfield services company) with women making up the full executive staff,” CEO Ashton Verrengia says. “Times are definitely changing, and the oilfield isn’t just a man’s business.”

Athena is headquartered in Houston, but the bulk of its day-to-day operations take place in the Eagle Ford. The company, which specializes in services such as chemical mixing, operates a 10,000-square-foot field facility in the town of Beeville.

Read more:  http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/blog/eagle-ford-shale-insight/2014/03/female-led-athena-oilfield-services-set-to-shake.html

 
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Hess starting up North Dakota natgas plant, may boost Bakken output

Natural Gas(Reuters) – Hess Corp will begin selling natural gas from its Tioga, North Dakota, plant this month, firing up the station weeks after severe weather delayed its expansion, the company said recently.

The plant’s start-up may help boost oil production from the prolific Bakken shale after about 100 producing wells had to be shut earlier this year to minimize flaring due to the delays, the state Industrial Commission said this week.

“Due to the unusually harsh winter weather, we’re slightly behind our initial plans, but we expect to start selling residue gas this month,” Hess spokesman John Roper said.

The plant will be able to process 250 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) when it starts operating, nearly twice as much as its initial design. The station had been shut since late last year as Hess worked on the expansion.

North Dakota flares nearly 36 percent of the natural gas it produces in the absence of adequate processing capacity and infrastructure to move the gas to market.

The state produced more than 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day in January, according to data from regulators.

Read more:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/14/natgas-bakken-hess-idUSL2N0MB0W120140314

 
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