Incoming IOGCC chairman will focus on technology

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, DC, May 16 -- The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission's incoming chairman plans to emphasize technology as a way to balance the nation's energy needs and environmental concerns.

"A governor can't get in a position where energy trumps environment or environment trumps energy. I support development of the Jonah field, but oppose drilling in the Bridger-Teton. You don't need to drill every place. Where you can, you should do it properly," said Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, who will succeed Alaska Gov. Frank H. Murkowski as IOGCC chairman in September.

Congress is moving ahead with comprehensive energy legislation, the two governors noted at a press briefing and teleconference Monday during the IOGCC's Mid-Year Issues Summit in Anchorage.

"An organization like IOGCC is a logical place to begin implementing policies, and I expect technology to play an increasingly important role," Freudenthal said.

Technology helps
He noted that technology has helped the oil and gas industry produce more energy in the Rocky Mountains, where different individuals or entities often own surface acreage and hold subsurface mineral rights on the same land.

"Many of the hurdles that have been placed in developing energy resources have less to do with what's underground than with surface air and water-quality issues and 'not in my backyard' issues," said Freudenthal, a Democrat.

Nevertheless, technology can allow subsurface energy to be developed in ways that are compatible with surface environmental needs, he continued. He cited Jonah field in southwestern Wyoming, where a fracturing process allowed gas to be produced from tight sands years after its initial discovery.

"It also raised some air and water quality issues. Fortunately, the high price of gas has allowed us to find ways to move the resource out without having to use trucks," Freudenthal said.

Murkowski said that one of his goals as IOGCC chairman has been to have the organization use its influence to get national energy legislation passed. "There has been significant progress, although there is a delay in the Senate. I hope that will be cleared up," he said.

"Clearly, the battle isn't over," the Alaska Republican continued. "We continue to fight for what this country needs, which is a comprehensive energy policy. It's easier said than done. Everyone agrees that we need an energy policy, but it's hard to get agreement on what it has to contain."

Special interests
Freudenthal said he has "reservations" about some parts of the bill but "strongly supports" others.

"We continue to struggle with the absence of a clear and defined policy for electric transmission," he said. "We move gas well in the Lower 48 states. Unfortunately, as each of these bills goes through, it turns into a kind of Christmas tree with an ornament here and an ornament there for special interests."

Energy-producing states can do several things on their own, he added. "When I came into office, we activated the Wyoming Natural Gas Pipeline Authority," Freudenthal said. The authority does not own pipelines or issue bonds tied to Wyoming but acts as a clearinghouse for information on its gas resource.

"In one case, a group was talking about building a 30-in. pipeline," Freudenthal said. "By the time we got through meeting with them, they had decided to build a 36-in. system."

He said, "The idea is to meet with companies and provide them information that makes them comfortable with building take-away capacity. We also try to make sure that FERC and environmental permitting move in a timely fashion."

Freudenthal said Wyoming produces 2 bcfd of gas. With increased pipeline capacity, "We could get to 4 bcfd and sustain it for years."

Wyoming has imposed significant air quality monitoring requirements on its gas development, according to Freudenthal. "A number of companies have voluntarily introduced programs. Others have not been so voluntary. For example, many of them are removing liquids now by pipeline instead of truck," he said.

"We need to have a national energy policy, but I'm not comfortable with all the environmental exclusions. Still, the industry has a legitimate complaint that it faces delays. My experience with energy companies is that if they have the information, they can make a decision. Particularly with [Bureau of Land Management] and [US Forest Service] offsets, things can get so mired down that they don't know what to do," Freudenthal said.

Related Articles

Buru awarded onshore Canning licenses

07/06/2015 Buru Energy Ltd., Perth, and Mitsubish Corp. have been granted two production licenses for Ungani oil field in the onshore Canning basin of Western...

Cenovus sells royalty business for $3.3 billion

07/06/2015 Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, inked an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Heritage Royalty LP to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for gros...

CERI: Energy, operational efficiencies possible in Canadian oil, gas

07/06/2015 Measures can be taken by operators in the expanding resource-intensive Canadian oil and gas sector to improve both energy efficiency and operationa...

AGL Energy to scale back upstream gas operations

07/06/2015

Gas retailer AGL Energy Ltd., Sydney, says it will exit the oil business and massively scaling back its upstream gas operations.

Woodside lets contracts for Browse LNG project

07/06/2015 Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has let more contracts for the Browse floating LNG project offshore Western Australia. The contracts, awarded to a Technip-...

Macondo settlement seen ‘positive’ for BP

07/06/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc.’s recent agreement to settle federal and state claims related to the 2010 Macondo blowout and spill improves t...

Court to EPA: Costs matter

07/06/2015 Oil and gas groups did not respond immediately when the US Supreme Court ruled on June 29 that the US Environmental Protection Agency acted unreaso...

Emerging producers offered guidelines for governance

07/06/2015 Like most worthy endeavors, governing oil and gas activity at the national level is easier said than done-especially where oil and gas never before...

Nelson-Farrar Quarterly Costimating Indexes for selected equipment items

07/06/2015 The Nelson-Farrar refinery construction index rose to 2,475.6 by December 2012 from 2,467.4 in January of the same year. The index continued to ris...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected