Chevron Buys More Marcellus Shale
In Q1 of 2011, Chevron Corp. acquired natural gas producer Atlas Energy in a move to expand into the U.S. natural gas arena. The acquisition saw Atlas turning over assets, including nearly half a million acres of Marcellus shale natural gas land, to Chevron. Now, in an effort to further secure shale reserves, Chevron has purchased drilling and development rights for another 228,000 acres of potentially gas-rich land.
The discovery of the Marcellus shale—an underground gas-rich rock formation that lies beneath the Northeastern U.S.—has caused a boom in the U.S. natural gas sector. Shale natural gas reserves offer new hope to spur the nation’s energy security, especially amidst an uncertain oil market. While environmental concerns over the rock fracturing process used to extract shale natural gas prevail, the U.S. is moving forward with infrastructure development efforts promoting natural gas for electricity production as well as an alternative transportation fuel. In fact, over the next few years, several compressed natural gas fueled cars and trucks will be introduced to the U.S. market.
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Analysts estimate Chevron’s purchase to be worth roughly $1.6 billion based on the estimated gas reserves involved. The land purchased is located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, which sits atop a large portion of the Marcellus shale formation.
"We are taking this step because the price is good and the assets are very complementary with the [Atlas] acquisition we made," says Chevron's president for North American exploration and production Gary Luquette.
Competitors ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP have all been laying claim to parts of the Marcellus shale formation as well. However, a lack of natural gas exportation infrastructure in the U.S. has caused the country’s domestic gas prices to decrease extensively, which may pose a risk for those companies actively looking to exploit shale reserves. Plus, the growing presence of opposition to shale fracturing has been emerging throughout the gas-rich region, citing water pollution as the primary hazard associated with shale gas exploration. In any case, it seems as though Chevron will be ideally positioned to tap shale reserves.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.