ConocoPhillips Launches U.S. Natural Gas Campaign
ConocoPhillips has launched a nationwide campaign in the U.S. in an effort to convince policymakers and consumers that natural gas production can provide low-cost energy and high-paying jobs. The company’s new website, powerincooperation.com, discusses the benefits of natural gas and the company plans to begin digital and television advertising next month.
At the Detroit Economic Club, ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva announced the “Power in Cooperation” campaign as a fix for the United States’ failing economy. With natural gas prices remaining relatively low, the profitability of the hydrocarbon energy source is in question. ConocoPhillips, like other producers, is hoping that advertising will help boost interest in natural gas. "The price of natural gas does not support continued drilling exclusively for natural gas, although we retain the acreage and the opportunity to drill and add to future supply in the coming years," Mulva said in an interview.
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"We're very supportive of natural gas. We just have an oversupply," he added. "We're bullish over the long term."
Mulva predicts that as the U.S. economy works to correct itself, and energy companies turn more and more to natural gas to run generators, the price may reach a viable level for ramped up production. "As a result of that, we will see a somewhat better price than we see today," Mulva stated. "And as it starts to move toward $5 … we have an opportunity as a company and as an industry to add substantially to the supply, which will result in a very moderate cost for natural gas."
Unlike other oil and gas producers like ExxonMobil, who have relished in various ad campaigns, including shale natural gas, ConocoPhillips has traditionally kept a much lower profile. However, the company feels the time to reach out to the public is now. "We think that's good for our country and we also think that's good for our company," said Mulva.
The ConocoPhillips natural gas campaign will work to overturn some of the public fears in regard to the hydraulic fracturing drilling technique. Many claim the water-intensive process can pollute groundwater supplies with the various toxic chemicals used to crack shale rock formations deep underground. However, the first comprehensive study of shale gas wells released by Duke University earlier this summer has shown that the only detectable abnormality in groundwater near shale drilling sites is a high methane level. This is good news to the natural gas industry for two reasons: 1) water in areas rich in natural gas is expected to have higher methane levels; 2) the methane can be extracted from groundwater with moderate investment.
According to Mulva, "To address the public's concerns, our industry must follow good practices," Mulva told the audience in Detroit. "And we must de-mystify fracturing. We need to directly address the public's perception on natural gas and hydraulic fracturing as companies and as an industry. We need to speak more directly to the public's perceptions. We have work to do. We're going to have to tell our story. That's never been easy for us."
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.