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July 2006

July 28, 2006

Shell Canada Proposes Expansion of Athabasca Oil Sands Project

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Shell Canada’s oil sands portfolio in Alberta.

Shell Canada has formally proposed to its joint owner partners in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) proceeding with a 100,000-bpd (barrel per day) expansion of the oil sands mining operation—Expansion 1—despite surging costs.

The company used the issuing of the proposal as a backdrop to discuss its larger oil sands strategy: the continued aggressive investment in a fully integrated approach that will take an eventual 500,000 bpd output all the way through upgrading to final refined products.

Expansion 1 is a fully integrated expansion of the existing AOSP facilities, with both new oil sands mining operations and associated additional bitumen upgrading. It also includes construction of common infrastructure that will be sized to support future expansions.

The proposed expansion would increase AOSP production to 255,000 bpd, up from the current 155,000 bpd.

Shell now estimates the cost of the expansion to range between C$10 billion and C$12.8 billion (US$8.8 billion and US$11.3 billion)—an increase ranging from 42% to 83% over the company’s estimate last year of C$7 billion.

Western Oil Sands, which owns 20% of AOSP, warned earlier in July that the cost of the expansion could be 50% higher than originally thought.

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The capital intensity of oil sands projects is increasing.

The C$7-billion figure itself was an increase of 83% from a projection of $C4 billion earlier in 2005. Costs for all oil sands projects have been rising rapidly, driven in part by shortages of labor and material.

Despite the increased capital cost for the project, estimated at between C$275 and C$350 per annual flowing barrel, Shell insists that the expansion project remains viable.

We have received our Board’s support to take the next step on this important growth project. Issuing this proposal to the other owners is a key milestone in our strategy to grow mining production from the Athabasca region to 550,000 barrels per day (bpd) [Shell’s share would be 330,000 bpd)].

—Clive Mather, President and CEO, Shell Canada Limited

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Design of the Expansion 1 project. Click to enlarge.

A previously announced solvent de-asphalting plant is not included in Expansion 1 because the technology is not yet ready for integration into the upgrading process.

Shell Canada intends to make a final investment decision for this project in the fourth quarter of 2006 pending regulatory approvals. First bitumen production is expected in late 2009 followed by upgrader production in late 2010.

The AOSP partners have 90 days to respond. The proposal is a legal formality driven by the structure of the joint venture, according to Mather. However, he noted, that if for some reason the partners decided not to participate, then Shell would proceed on its own, despite the additional capital burden.

The existing Athabasca Oil Sands Project is a joint venture among Shell Canada Limited (60%), Chevron Canada Limited (20%) and Western Oil Sands L.P. (20%).

Shell projects that its oil-sands mining work eventually will account for upwards of 330,000 barrels per day of production. The remainder of the 500,000 bpd target, the company expects, will come from its in-situ production work outside of the Athabasca partnership.

Earlier this year, Shell Canada acquired Canadian oil sands company BlackRock Ventures for approximately C$2.4 billion (US$2.2 billion). (Earlier post.)

As part of its continuing review of the BlackRock assets following the acquisition, the company estimated that its total in situ oil-in-place is more than 25 billion barrels. Shell has estimated its mineable oil-in-place at 10 billion barrels—but this figure excludes 69,000 acres of new leaseholdings acquired in 2005 that Shell has yet to assess.

The in-situ estimate includes the resources in the BlackRock leases of the Peace River, Cold Lake and Athabasca oil sands regions, along with approximately seven billion barrels of oil-in-place in Shell Canada’s Peace River leases.

Over the next two years, Shell Canada will expand in-situ production to nearly 50,000 bpd predominately from the base operations at Peace River, the newly acquired Seal and Chipmunk assets, and the initial phase of the Orion SAGD project in the Cold Lake region.

Shell is working with a portfolio of technologies, including its own work with Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) and enhanced recovery techniques such as waterflood, miscible flood and steam-injection. In addition, with its acquitting of BlackRock, Shell picked up the company’s considerable experience with cold production technologies.

Ultimately, Shell Canada expects to reach 150,000 bpd from its current in-situ holdings.

Following Expansion 1, Shell Canada will build a new upgrader that will be dedicated to Shell-only production, including the in-situ production. Currently the other AOSP partners have access to the Shell upgrader.

Despite improvements in the relative carbon intensity of oil-sands production, the sheer volume of expansion is causing a rapid increase in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. (Earlier post.)

If I deal with the specific design components of Expansion 1, we have built in at every stage the cost of carbon, and in doing so we challenged ourselves to create as much efficiency as we can around energy usage and process optimization. All of that will deliver incremental reductions in greenhouse gases, specifically, of course, CO2.

...The second thing I would say is, yes, we are looking at a number of very specific projects...we will continue to investigate investment opportunities associated with further CO2 reduction and indeed sequestration. There are some very specific projects that we are promoting, both with our partners and with the provincial and federal governments.

We report annually on progress against the targets that we’ve already made, and we are looking very carefully at the implications for that in terms of our future expansions.

We’ll be coming back on our whole greenhouse gas management program over the months and years ahead... We have some technologies in the making [for capture and sequestration] and we certainly have some opportunities for projects, but we’re not ready to announce.

—Clive Mather

Shell is currently involved with a number of high-cost, unconventional and alternative projects. Together with Qatar Petroleum, Shell also just launched the Pearl GTL project—the largest Gas-to-Liquids project to date. (Earlier post.)

The cost of the Pearl GTL project could be as much as $18 billion—triple what Shell had originally estimated. The project will cost $4 to $6 per barrel of oil equivalent to produce.

Although Shell’s second-quarter 2006 earnings jumped to $6.3 billion—a 36% increase from the same period the prior year—its crude oil production in the quarter dropped 13% to 1.897 million barrels per day, driven down by lingering impact from the hurricanes of 2005 and unrest in Nigeria, in addition to field depletion.

Resources:

July 28, 2006 in Canada, Oil sands | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New Mexico Commuter Train to Run on B20 Biodiesel Blend

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The Rail Runner commuter train runs every weekday.

New Mexico’s new Rail Runner commuter train will use a B20 blend of biodiesel supplied by Amigo Petroleum, beginning immediately. The Rail Runner is one of the first commuter rail systems in the country to use biodiesel.

The Rail Runner’s five locomotives are diesel-electric MP36PH-3Cs built by Motive Power Inc. in Boise, Idaho. Rail Runner locomotives produce about 3,600 horsepower and are capable of running speeds in excess of 100 mph.

The Rail Runner Express, which began operation two weeks ago, is currently operating only between Albuquerque and Bernalillo, a distance of about 20 miles. Eventually, it will run between Belen, south of Albuquerque, to Santa Fe.

Separately, in India, New Kerala reports that the South East Central Railway (SECR) has testing a B5 blend of jatropha biodiesel to run some of its trains. The SECR bought 800 liters (211 gallons) of jatropha biodiesel from the Chhattisgarh government this month for the experiment.

The Chhattisgarh government, which is promoting jatropha plantations in all 16 districts, has set up a jatropha biodiesel plant near Raipur.

“Since July 22, two railway engines on narrow gauges are running with diesel mixed with jatropha bio-fuel. The engines have so far travelled over 500 km without any trouble. Now, we plan to raise the percentage of jatropha to 20 percent,” [Raipur railway division spokesperson Ajay Kumar] Jaiswal told IANS.

After a month, the SECR will try the biodiesel on long distance trains as well.

July 28, 2006 in Biodiesel, Rail | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Bill: ANWR Revenue to Support Development of Cellulosic Ethanol, Solar, Fuel-Cells and Coal-to-Liquids

US Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) introduced the “American-Made Energy Trust Fund” bill ( H.R. 5890). The bill’s provisions would increase the tax credits for cellulosic biomass ethanol, extend tax incentives for solar and fuel cell property, promote coal-to-liquid fuel activities, and open up ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) for oil and gas exploration and production.

The bill would take the lease and royalty revenues from ANWR and place them in a trust fund. All monies placed in the American-Made Energy Trust Fund could only be used for the development of new alternative energy technologies. ANWR’s direct revenue to the US Treasury is estimated at $40 billion during its lifetime of production at today’s oil prices.

Specifically, the fund would implement the following provisions:

  • Cellulosic Ethanol Tax Credit. The cellulosic-based ethanol (CBE) credit will be $0.74/gallon on top of $.51/gallon for corn ethanol blender’s credit (VEETC) for a total of $1.25/gallon. This credit will be capped at $1.25 billion. The CBE credit will disappear at $71 a barrel.

  • Coal-to-Liquid Tax Credit. Extends the $0.50/gallon Coal-to-Liquid (CTL) excise tax credit from the current sunset of 2009 to 2023 and sets an overall cap of 3 billion gallons. The CTL credit would be phased out as the price per barrel of oil goes above $45 and will disappear at $70 a barrel.

  • Solar and Fuel-Cell Investment Tax Credits. Extends Energy Policy Act residential and business solar and fuel cell investment tax credits through 2012, with enhanced modifications to the residential solar credit ($2,000 per .5kW installed). Extends the residential and business tax credit through 2012.

  • Advanced Biofuel Technologies Program Funding. Provides grants to improve the commercial value of forest biomass for electric energy, useful heat, transportation fuels, and other commercial purposes (authorized at $500 million).

  • Integrated Biorefinery Demonstration and University Biodiesel Programs Funding. Develops programs on cellulosic biomass, biofuels, bio-based products, and integrated biorefineries, as well as biodiesel fuel for electric power generation with industry and institutions of higher education.

  • Improved Biomass Use Grant Program Funding. Commercial byproducts from municipal solid waste (MSW) and cellulosic biomass loan guarantee program. This will assist institutions in the construction of facilities for the processing and conversion of MSW and cellulosic biomass into fuel ethanol and other commercial byproducts.

  • Investment in production technology, facility construction, and capacity improvements. Provides loan guarantees for four projects to demonstrate the commercial feasibility and viability of converting cellulosic biomass or sucrose into ethanol. Furthermore, provides funding for research, development, and implementation of renewable fuel production technologies.

  • Commitment to Clean Energy Fund. Provides financial commitment by investing in projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants and greenhouse gasses. This includes but is not limited to such projects as advanced fossil energy, hydrogen fuel cells, advanced nuclear energy, carbon sequestration, and energy efficiency technologies.

The bill has been referred to the Committees on Resources, Energy and Commerce, and Science.

Resources:

  • The American-Made Energy Freedom Act (H.R. 5890)

July 28, 2006 in Cellulosic ethanol, Coal-to-Liquids (CTL), Fuel Cells, Policy, Solar | Permalink | Comments (61) | TrackBack

GS CleanTech to Offer Biomass Gasification and Fuels Technology to Improve Corn Ethanol Yield

GS CleanTech Corporation has signed an agreement with ZeroPoint Clean Technology, Inc. for the exclusive rights to distribute and use ZeroPoint’s proprietary biomass gasification, biomass gas-to-liquids (BTL) and fuel-reforming technology in the ethanol production industry.

GS CleanTech initially plans to offer the gasification and BTL technology as an element in a suite of technologies designed to increase the yield from corn ethanol production.

Traditional corn ethanol processing converts each bushel of corn, which weighs about 54 pounds, into about 18 pounds of ethanol, 18 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 18 pounds of distillers dried grains (DDG), which contain about 2 pounds of fat. This corresponds to a corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency of about 33%, or about 2.8 gallons of clean fuel per bushel of corn. GS CleanTech’s ambition is to increase this efficiency as much as possible.

GS CleanTech’s patent-pending corn oil extraction and biodiesel processing technologies convert the fat in the DDG into a high-grade corn oil that can then be converted into biodiesel on close to a 1:1 volumetric basis. This increases the corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency described above to 36%, or about 3.0 gallons of clean fuel per bushel of corn. (Earlier post.)

The ZeroPoint technology has the potential to add to the corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency by gasifying the remaining 16 pounds of defatted DDG in the above example and using the resultant syngas to generate electricity and to produce additional ethanol with the Fischer-Tropsch process.

We believe that deploying the ZeroPoint technology in concert with our turn-key corn oil extraction and biodiesel processing technologies will potentially enable us to increase the corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency from 33% to more than 48%, or from 2.8 to more than an incredible 3.9 gallons of clean fuel per bushel of corn. We are very excited by the potential of this technology in our program and its ability to create additional opportunities for ethanol producers and their regional communities to maximize the clean fuel yield out of existing crops.

—David Winsness, GS CleanTech’s President and COO

ZeroPoint’s Biomass Gasifier is designed to standardize variable biomass feeds and produce high yields of high-quality syngas in real-time with greatly increased capital and operating cost efficiencies at smaller scales as compared to traditional gasification technologies.

The syngas output of ZeroPoint’s gasifier can either be used to generate electricity in a standard gas-fired generator or catalyzed into liquid fuels such as ethanol or diesel substitutes with the Fischer-Tropsch process.

We believe that the ZeroPoint technology is the most effective commercially viable technology available for gasifying biomass. The technology is modular and capable of small and large scale applications. It is flexible and can readily accommodate increasing and variable capacities with variable feeds, and it can be manufactured with rapid delivery cycles. For GS CleanTech, the ZeroPoint technology adds significant additional capability to our clean fuel technology program.

—David Winsness

July 28, 2006 in Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL), Ethanol | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Electro Energy Joins Plug-In Hybrid Development Consortium

Electro Energy Inc., a developer and manufacturer of bi-polar rechargeable batteries, has joined the Plug-In Hybrid Development Consortium.

The Consortium, founded in August 2005 by Raser Technologies, Pacific Gas and Electric, Maxwell Technologies, and Electrovaya, brings together component suppliers working to accelerate the commercial production of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). (Earlier post.)

Consortium members cooperate to identify specifications, develop compatible technologies and deliver new system solutions in an effort to make affordable plug-in hybrids possible.

EEEI’s proprietary bi-polar rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (BP-NiMH) battery currently powers a prototype plug-in hybrid vehicle which is an adapted Toyota Prius, developed in cooperation with a Consortium member, the California Cars Initiative (CalCars). (Earlier post.)

The bipolar NiMH used in the EEEI Prius is a first-generation, proof-of-concept application. It is rated at 28 Ah, 6.0 kWh (180 cells), with a battery-only weight—i.e., not including controls, etc.&madsh;of 300 lbs (44 Wh/kg), giving the vehicle a projected theoretical all-electric range (AER) of more than 20 miles.

The company estimates that it will be able to deliver a final version of the PHEV Bi-polar NiMH battery rated at 30 Ah, 6.5 kWh (180 cells) also weighing 300 pounds (48 Wh/kg).

Electro Energy is also extending its bi-polar technology to Lithium-Ion chemistry.

July 28, 2006 in Batteries, Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 27, 2006

Delphi Developing Direct Injection Systems to Support Flex-Fuel Engines

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Delphi Multec Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) Injector.

Delphi is developing flex-fuel capability for its coming Multec direct injection gasoline (DIG) systems, thereby giving automakers the ability to extend the performance and efficiency benefits of direct injection gasoline engines into a flex-fuel application.

The current Delphi Multec gasoline multi-port injector systems can be used with global gasoline-alcohol mixtures of up to 100% (also factoring in the differing qualities of alcohol fuels in the global market) and on single- or multi-intake valve spark ignition systems.

Delphi fuel rails and Multec 3.5 E85 injectors allow for increased flow capacity for ethanol. Additionally, they are designed with additional resistance to ethanol corrosion. Delphi has supplied E85-compatible technology to more than 2 million vehicles. In South America, Delphi has produced systems and components for more than 430,000 ethanol compatible vehicles since 1991.

The current ethanol direct injection work is to ensure that Delphi’s upcoming DIG system for homogeneous combustion systems (homogeneous charge spark ignited), due to begin production in 2009, will also support global flex-fuel applications.

As [automakers] are responding to the market forces in their markets, higher fuel economy requirements, gas prices and those things, technologies are being implemented onto vehicles such as direct injection engines. Certain manufacturers want to make sure that they can offer the flex-fuel option with those as well.

—Michael Frick, Delphi’s Chief Engineer for direct injection gasoline systems

The Multec DIG Homogeneous Combustion Injector features an inwardly opening valve group that can be configured either with a swirl type atomizer for a traditional hollow-cone spray, or with a multi-hole atomizer that provides improved spray stability (cone shape) versus counter pressure.

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The stratified spray created by the DIG Spray Stratified Injector enables fuel combustion to occur with sufficient energy to meet an expanded range of engine performance requirements while helping minimize fuel consumption.

Delphi will follow this system in 2010 with the introduction of its first spray-guided system, the Multec Direct Injection Gasoline Spray Stratified Injector, which will operate at 200 bar. Its enhanced linear flow range will be suitable for turbocharged engines. The small particles in the spray will optimize charge distribution for future combustion processes such as gasoline homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI).

Delphi is taking the approach that material selection for the DIG systems right from the beginning of design has to be compatible with alcohol, according to Frick.

This drives certain decisions such as the use of stainless steel, minimizing the number of elastomers, and putting more attention on the wear surfaces that experience increased forces from increased fuel pressure in a flex-fuel environment.

Ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, and can be used at a higher compression ratio than its petroleum-fuel counterpart. Because of that, even though ethanol has a lower heating value that gasoline, it can actually deliver higher efficiency than a gasoline engine—given the appropriate engine configuration.

For example, a 2002 study by the EPA on the use of 100% alcohol fuels in a port-injected engine found that a turbocharged, 1.9-liter engine with a 19.5:1 compression ratio demonstrated better than 40% brake thermal efficiency with low emissions when using methanol. Ethanol produced similar emissions levels, but with slightly higher fuel consumption.

By way of comparison, Saab’s E100 400hp Aero X concept car (earlier post) uses a 12:1 compression ratio and twin turbochargers running at 1.0 bar boost. Both the Aero X and E100 Saab BioPower Hybrid concept (earlier post) use a Spark Ignited Direct Injection (SIDI) system.

MIT researchers have been investigating the use of a parallel ethanol direct injection (DI) system to support the use of small, highly turbocharged engines with substantially increased efficiency as a downsizing strategy to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. (Earlier post.)

In this scheme, the ethanol direct injection system is controlled separately from the gasoline injection system, and the ethanol is stored in a separate tank. The gasoline system can continue to use conventional port-injection.

The requirements of a flex-fuel system, however, are more constraining than those of running pure ethanol. The engine can’t be fully optimized to run either alcohol or gasoline.

But endowing a more efficient engine technology—such as gasoline direct injection—with the ability to support a flex-fuel application allows the flex-fuel platforms to take advantage of more general improvement in efficiencies provided by that engine technology. In the case of gasoline direct injection, that results in an estimated improvement in fuel economy of between 5% to 15%, depending upon the drive cycle.

Furthermore, researchers are still looking into ways to further optimize a flex-fuel engine for an ethanol blend. Saab introduced a concept Variable Compression Ratio engine in 2000 that, while definitely not a current high priority, is still being investigated, according to a company spokesperson.

Delphi is also interested in seeing if it can use its variable cam phasing system as a mechanism to get some additional small benefit out of the use of a fuel with higher alcohol content.

Siemens VDO, a Delphi competitor, has  indicated that its direct injection systems also will be E85 capable.

Resources:

July 27, 2006 in Engines, Ethanol, Fuels, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

GE Plastics Launches New Family of Waste-Derived Resins for Automotive Industry

GE Plastics has introduced two new resins to its portfolio: Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins. The new products, which the company announced in Japan, are immediately available to global automotive and non-automotive manufacturers.

Valox iQ resins are created with polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)-based polymers derived from 85% post-consumer plastic waste. Xenoy iQ resin is an alloy of polycarbonate (PC) and PBT-based polymers, also derived from 85% post-consumer plastic waste. Both consume less energy and yield less carbon dioxide (CO2) in their manufacturing than traditional resins.

GE’s proprietary process—which does not involve recycling, but rather, a novel way to regenerate and upgrade synthetic solid waste—reduces CO2 emissions by at least 1.7 kg per kg of resin, and saves up to 8.5 barrels of crude oil per tonne of resin, according to GE.

Replacing all the PBT used in 2005 with the Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins would have created an outlet for more than 562,000 metric tons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste.

In terms of both eco responsibility and high performance, Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins represent one of the most significant technological breakthroughs coming out of GE Plastics in recent years.

—Greg Adams, vice president and general manager of GE Plastics' Automotive business

The new products were developed as a result of a two-year initiative at GE Plastics that examined the company's manufacturing processes to redefine how its products can be made to be cleaner and more environmentally responsible than traditional materials.

GE is working with leading global automotive OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers including DENSO, a Tier-1 automotive supplier headquartered in Kariya, Japan, to validate applications. In addition to automotive applications, the new GE products are good candidates for applications in the consumer electronics and transportation industries.

Other products currently in development include a thermoplastic elastomer utilizing post-consumer waste, and a next-generation Valox iQ resin grade that will combine post-consumer-waste feedstock with a bio-based feedstock to eliminate additional carbon dioxide emissions and replace petroleum-based material.

July 27, 2006 in Sustainability, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

ADM Plans to Build Biodiesel Plant in Brazil

Archer Daniels Midland Company announced plans to build a biodiesel production facility in Rondonopolis, Mato Grosso, Brazil with an annual capacity of 180,000 metric tons (54 million gallons US).

The plant will use soybean oil as its feedstock and is competitively positioned to meet the large anticipated demand from soybean producing farmers as well as from the Brazilian road and rail transport industries. Additionally, it will be strategically located adjacent to ADM’s existing soybean crushing plant in Rondonopolis to maximize synergies between ADM&rsquo's Brazilian origination, transportation and processing capabilities.

ADM is a leader in the production of biodiesel in Europe, and we are pleased to use that extensive experience to help meet the demand for this biofuel in Brazil. As a world leader in soy processing and biofuel production, our participation in the Brazilian biodiesel market is a complementary fit for our business.

—Matthew Jansen, President-South American Operations

This biodiesel plant will be operational in the first half of 2007, ahead of the anticipated increase in demand due to the mandate that all diesel fuel sold in Brazil include 2% biodiesel beginning in 2008, and 5% biodiesel beginning in 2013.

Brazil is considering accelerating the implementation of the mandate, with B5 by 2010. (Earlier post.)

Construction on the plant is dependent on final engineering and permit approval.

July 27, 2006 in Biodiesel, Brazil | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Kuwait May Link Rate of Oil Production to Level of Oil Reserves

Dar Al Hayat. Kuwait’s parliament is considering a bill that would link the rate of oil production to the assessed amount of the country’s crude oil reserves.

The proposal came after Petroleum Intelligence Weekly published a report suggesting that Kuwait’s oil reserves were only 48 billion barrels—less than half the claimed volume of 100 billion barrels.

Earlier in July, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Sheikh Ali Al Jarah Al Sabah said that the country would clarify its actual oil reserves.

...is a very significant matter and soon the volume and truth of oil reserves will be announced based on clear scientific studies, characterized by reality and credibility, and supported by international documents and certificates.

—Sheikh Ali Al Jarah Al Sabah

Given the uncertainty over the reserves, And in the absence of the verification promised by the Ministry of Oil, ten members of the Kuwait National Assembly proposed the new measure in an attempt to ensure an appropriate level of production designed to maximize the life of the resource.

If the bill is approved, Kuwait will become the first oil state to regulate oil production based the state of oil reserves.

To further simplify the equation, the current rate of Kuwait’s oil production has stood at 2.65 million barrels per day for two consecutive years. If we assume that the current oil reserve is 100 billion barrels, and that any change in oil reserve, for example, drops to 85 billion barrels, Kuwait’s production will be reduced, and the Ministry of Energy will therefore have to reduce the output to 2.25 million barrels per day instead of 2.65 million.

The proposal specifies the mechanisms and the responsibilities of the Ministry of Energy to provide the National Assembly, the Cabinet, and the SAB of Kuwait with the dates for sending the data, the timetables of the reserve of every field and reservoir. Furthermore, the ministry will be committed to reporting any discoveries or new fields and reservoirs annually, two months after the end of the fiscal year.

The biggest technical and political challenges will be the agreed-upon calculation of reserves, and the explanation of discrepancies.

July 27, 2006 in Oil | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Hydrogenics Receives Order for Fuel-Cell Hybrid MidiBus

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The fuel-cell hybrid Midibus

Hydrogenics Corporation has received a US$460,000 order for a Fuel Cell Hybrid MidiBus (earlier post) from Rheinbahn Rheinische Bahngesellschaft AG, the public transit authority of the greater metropolitan Dusseldorf area in Germany.

The fuel cell and 72V alkaline battery system produces 25 kW of total power for the traction drive, which delivers 235 Nm of torque. The bus has a top speed of 33 km/h (20.5 mph). Two roof-mounted 2.9 kg tanks store a total of 5.8 kg of compressed hydrogen.

The hybrid design gives the Midibus a range of 200 km (124 miles), compared with only 60 to 80 km if powered by batteries alone.

This order follows the previous success of the Fuel Cell MidiBus road certification by the German TUV and demonstration with the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) regional government in partnership with the European Union.

The Fuel Cell Hybrid MidiBus is intended to be used over a 5-year period and is targeted for a range of niche transit applications, primarily in urban centers.

July 27, 2006 in Europe, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

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