RETURN TO THE GULF
Yesterday's first auction of deep-water blocks since BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought in a total of $337.6 million of winning bids to the federal government. Twenty leading oil and gas companies competed for shares of some 21 million acres of federal waters, stretching hundreds of miles of the Texas coast.
Winning the highest number of bids, ConocoPhillips received 75 leases for $157.8 million, according to the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. BP will also officially recommence its operations in the Gulf, winning 11 out of the 15 bids the company threw an upwards of $110 million at.
BP has made its intentions of reentering deepwater exploration in the area well known over the past few months. Environmentalists feel the company should have been excluded from purchasing leases until last year's spill is fully cleaned up at the very least.
However, former Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich defends BP's involvement.
“They don’t have a deeply flawed record offshore,” he said of BP. “We’ve done analyses over time on the relative safety records of offshore operators and they were in close to the top crew.”
“The question is, do you administer the administrative death penalty based on one incident?," Bromwich told reporters. “And we've concluded, I’ve concluded, that's not appropriate in these circumstances."
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE ENERGY DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK
At the same time the federal government reopens the gulf for business, an independent report by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council was released, revealing the lack of safety precautions the oil industry had taken in the years leading up to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.
"There were numerous warnings to both industry and regulators about potential failures of existing BOP [blowout preventer] systems," the report said. It also called for the redesigning of a massive set of valves, rams and hydraulic devices that were once thought to be fail-safe.
In the wake of a revival of deep offshore oil drilling, safety will be a heated and central topic over the next year. BP says it will take action to increase safety measures in the gulf after the probe of the 2010 disaster. Too soon?
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.