Nov 20, 2018

Alaska reports record sales of oil and gas leases

U.S.
Oil and Gas
Harry Menear
2 min
Alaska Department of Natural Resources reports all-time high price paid for drilling rights on North Slope oil field
This week the Alaska Department of Natural Resources announced a record-breaking oil field lease for drilling rights to its North S...

This week the Alaska Department of Natural Resources announced a record-breaking oil field lease for drilling rights to its North Slope fields. Tim Daiss of Oil Price said that while “Alaska is still trying to make an oil production comeback after years of declining production from maturing fields… the state held another record-breaking oil and gas North Slope lease, netting competitive bids from investors around the world and breaking last year’s bonus bid amount and the bid per acre record”.

The Alaska Division of Oil and Gas reported the receipt of 159 bids for drilling rights to state lands in the North Slope, Beaufort Sea, and North Slope Foothills areas. The winning bids, according to Daiss, totally US$28.1mn.

The winning bid for the North Slope field totalled $20.4mn, representing $110 per acre, in 2017. This year’s bid, Daiss reports, “edged out the 2017 sale… bringing in $27.3 million”. The North slope is Alaska’s most profitable site, “where improved drilling efficiencies have recently resulted in the first increase in annual production since 2002”.

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In August, Forbes Magazine reported that “Alaska might be the next oil boom province, based on a new report from IHSMarkit which estimated that 28 billion barrels of recoverable resources remain in the Alaskan North Slope”.

Alaska remains the fifth-largest oil-producing state in the US, while Californian oil and gas production continues to decline, outpaced by North Dakota, Colorado, and Alaska last year. According to Oil Price, “the uptick in oil lease sales will help Alaska regain some of its oil production prominence”.

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Jul 26, 2021

Form Energy receives funding power for iron-air batteries

Energy
batteries
grid
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Startup Form Energy receives $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund to further develop iron-air batteries

Form Energy believes it has cracked the conundrum of commercialising grid storage through iron-air batteries - and some of the biggest names in industry are backing its potential.

The startup recently announced the battery chemistry of its first commercial product and a $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund. Founded in 2017, Form Energy is backed by investors Eni Next LLC, MIT’s The Engine, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group and Macquarie Capital.

While solar and wind resources are the lowest marginal cost sources of electricity, the grid faces a challenge: how to manage the multi-day variability of renewable energy, even in periods of multi-day weather events, without sacrificing energy reliability or affordability.

Moreover, while Lithium-ion batteries are well suited to fast bursts of energy production, they run out of energy after just a few hours. Iron-air batteries, however, are predicted to have theoretical energy densities of more than 1,200 Wh/kg according to Renaissance of the iron-air battery (phys.org)

The active components of Form Energy's iron-air battery system are some of the cheapest, and most abundant materials: iron, water, and air. Iron-air batteries are the best solution to balance the multi-day variability of renewable energy due to their extremely low cost, safety, durability, and global scalability.

It claims its first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion and can be optimised to store electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with legacy power plants.

"This product is our first step to tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonisation: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather, grid outages, or periods of low renewable generation," it states.

Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, said it conducted a broad review of available technologies and has reinvented the iron-air battery to optimise it for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid. "With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages," he said.

Form Energy and ArcelorMittal are working jointly on the development of iron materials which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form’s battery systems. Form Energy intends to source the iron domestically and manufacture the battery systems near where they will be sited. Form Energy’s first project is with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy, located near the heart of the American Iron Range.

Greg Ludkovsky, Global Head of Research and Development at ArcelorMittal, believes Form Energy is at the leading edge of developments in the long-duration, grid-scale battery storage space. "The multi-day energy storage technology they have developed holds exciting potential to overcome the issue of intermittent supply of renewable energy."

Investors in Form Energy's November 2020 round included Energy Impact Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners III, and Temasek.

In May 2020, it signed a contract with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy to jointly deploy a 1MW / 150MWh pilot project to be located in Cambridge, MN. Great River Energy is Minnesota's second-largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the US.

Last week Helena and Energy Vault announced a strategic partnership to identify additional opportunities for Energy Vault’s waste remediation technologies as the company begins deployment of its energy storage system worldwide. It received new investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in June.

Maoneng has revealed more details of its proposed 240MWp / 480MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia (click here).

The BESS represents hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that will improve electricity grid reliability and network stability by drawing energy from the grid during off-peak periods for battery storage, and dispatching energy to the grid during peak periods. 

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