The Biggest Texas Oil Fields Producing Today

Texas is the nation's largest oil-producing state, accounting for about 25% of the total. Fueling that output is a combination of legacy oil fields and new shale discoveries, especially those in the Permian Basin of west Texas, which alone contributes 14% of the total U.S. oil output.

While there are thousands of oil fields spread across the state, many don't produce that many barrels of oil each month. Instead, the bulk of the state's production comes from just two monster oil fields: the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford shale. Here's a closer look at why these are the two largest oil-producing fields in the Lone Star state.

EIA revises 2017, 2018 bioenergy, wood heating forecasts

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, revising its 2017 and 2018 forecasts for bioenergy production and residential wood heating.

The EIA currently predicts wood biomass will be used to generate 117,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, falling to 114,000 MWh per day next year. Generation from waste biomass is expected to increase, from 57,000 MWh per day this year, to 60,000 MWh per day next year.

SynSel Energy, Inc. Partners With a Private Lender to Fund 2 Biorefineries

August 19, 2017 – SynSel Energy, Inc. announced that they have executed a Term Sheet and Commitment Letter from a private lender to provide $600M in construction funding to build two $300M SynSel Biorefineries.  One plant will be located in Ontonagon, Michigan and one plant will be located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  SynSel CEO Tim Tawoda described the private lender's structure as a “non-traditional construction loan that requires the creation of a $75M Good Faith Account (GFA) for each biorefinery to meet lending covenants.”  Mr. Tawoda further stated that the private lender has voiced an interest in funding 100 SynSel plants across the US and that the initial $600M construction loan will close 60 days after the GFA is funded. The loan covers all pre-construction and construction activities.

The GFA is like a letter of credit, except there is no scenario in which the funds can be surrendered to anyone but the owner of the account. The GFA is not collateral or security, but it does carry a fixed return to the GFA owner. The private lender is a true business partner in that SynSel will be splitting plant profits with the lender – hence the lender is motivated to provide funds at favorable terms for as many projects as SynSel can develop. These plants are going to have a dramatic impact to the economic viability of these 2 very distressed rural communities.”

EV's Dirty Secret: The Daily Mail Exposes Cobalt Mining - The Human Tragedy Behind Lithium Battery Production

Early this morning London time, England's Daily Mail news outlet updated a story they previously published in August, titled "Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so YOU can drive an electric car."

The story details the unspeakably atrocious conditions of "mining" for cobalt in Africa. If you think the images and videos of diamond mining in Africa are bad, you ain't seen nutin' yet.

China is winning electric cars 'arms race'

China is outmaneuvering the U.S. and other countries in the global scramble for a vital element for electric cars.

As demand for the vehicles surges, Chinese companies have been doing deals around the world to secure supplies of lithium, a silvery-white metal mined from rocks in Australia and brine pools in South America.

China is the top market for electric and hybrid cars, accounting for roughly half of global sales, and the government is pushing the development of the industry within its borders. That calls for a lot of lithium, a key component of the vehicles' batteries.

Norway Idea to Exit Oil Stocks Is ‘Shot Heard Around the World’

Norway’s proposal to sell off $35 billion in oil and natural gas stocks brings sudden and unparalleled heft to a once-grassroots movement to enlist investors in the fight against climate change.

The Nordic nation’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund said Thursday that it’s considering unloading its shares of Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other oil giants to diversify its holdings and guard against drops in crude prices. European oil stocks fell.

Poet at 30: How a South Dakota business grew from one refinery into a biofuels behemoth

30 years ago, Jeff Broin was a young man who with his family had just purchased a bankrupt refinery in Scotland, South Dakota.

The country's agriculture sector was just recovering from what became known as the "farm crisis." Thousands of farm families lost their land, beset by weakened markets, low commodity prices and snowballing debt.

Affordable, drop-in hydrocarbons from wood: The Digest’s 2017 Multi-Slide Guide to CRI/GTI’s IH2 process

The IH2 process was developed by Gas Technology Institute (GTI) of Des Plaines, Illinois—a research, development, and training organization serving energy markets.  GTI experts invented, tested, and patented IH2 technology and are providing ongoing commercialization support. Twelve US and seven international patents have been issued on the technology. CRI Catalyst Company of Houston, Texas has been granted exclusive worldwide licensing rights.

CRI’s Alan Del Paggio gave this illuminating update on IH2 technology at ABLC Next in San Francisco.

Ottawa looking into low-carbon fuels as it develops new clean fuel standard

The federal government is looking into the potential for low-carbon fuels in Canada as it develops a new clean fuel standard that some say could do more to cut emissions than a carbon tax.

Natural Resources Canada has recently issued two new tenders, one looking for research on the ability of mining, oil and gas, forestry and other industries to switch to alternative fuels. The department is also looking for a study of liquid drop-in biofuels that could replace diesel, gasoline and jet fuel.

Credit Suisse looks to make an impact with new investment wing

ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse has set up a new department to nurture socially conscious investing, the latest effort by a major bank to cater for growing demand for so-called impact investing.

The move was announced by the Swiss bank’s chief executive Tidjane Thiam in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.

Impact investments are made into “companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return,” the Global Impact Investing Network says on its website.

Data surprise: Biofuels still beating electrics on cost, emissions

Electrics are improving on emissions and cost, but not enough to make driving an electric car the smart choice for consumers looking to save time and reduce environmental impacts. According to a new analysis, biofuels still reign. If you’re driving an electric car, you’re driving the grid, and the grid isn’t all that green, yet.

Why the Surprise?

How is this possible? Didn’t this landmark study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that, over a 15-year vehicle lifetime, a battery electric vehicle would reduce emissions by half compared to conventional gasoline-based vehicles. However, there are two myths buried in the assumptions in the survey.

Top 10 wood waste projects – Not letting waste go to waste

Illinois – Wood-based biorefineries

We reported in July that Synsel hopes to finalize financing in the next few months for two $300 million wood-based biorefineries in Ontonagon, Mich. and Lumberton, Miss. that are meant to produce synthetic gasoline, diesel and aviation. The Ontonagon project aims to repurpose the mothballed Smurfit-Stone Paper Mill that was closed in 2010 but the Lumberton site was not identified. The licensor of the technology that will be employed at the biorefineries was only identified as a major oil and gas company.


Credit Suisse looks to make an impact with new investment wing

Credit Suisse has set up a new department to nurture socially conscious investing, the latest effort by a major bank to cater for growing demand for so-called impact investing.

The move was announced by the Swiss bank’s chief executive Tidjane Thiam in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.

Impact investments are made into “companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return,” the Global Impact Investing Network says on its website.

Want to fight climate change? Don’t invest in Tesla

Climate change is almost unanimously considered one of the gravest threats facing humanity, with the worst-case scenarios representing massive environmental destruction. Investors hoping to combat it with their portfolio allocations can, but one famous environmentally focused company may actually be doing more harm than good.

Morgan Stanley identified 39 stocks that generate at least half their revenue “from the provision of solutions to climate change,” something it said was a central component of investing to make a difference, as opposed to just a making a buck.

“In our view, impact investing needs to begin with companies whose products and services have a notable positive environmental or social impact,” wrote Jessica Alsford, an equity strategist at the investment bank.

Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 tn per year

A new study finds 6.5% of global GDP goes to subsidizing dirty fossil fuels

Fossil fuels have two major problems that paint a dim picture for their future energy dominance. These problems are inter-related but still should be discussed separately. First, they cause climate change. We know that, we’ve known it for decades, and we know that continued use of fossil fuels will cause enormous worldwide economic and social consequences.

Second, fossil fuels are expensive. Much of their costs are hidden, however, as subsidies. If people knew how large their subsidies were, there would be a backlash against them from so-called financial conservatives.

A study was just published in the journal World Development that quantifies the amount of subsidies directed toward fossil fuels globally, and the results are shocking. The authors work at the IMF and are well-skilled to quantify the subsidies discussed in the paper.

Let’s give the final numbers and then back up to dig into the details.

The Valley of Fog: As Sundrop moves on from Louisiana, what’s up and what’s wrong with Loan Guarantee programs?

In Louisiana, reports surfaced in Alexandria’s TownTalk online paper that Sundrop Fuels has struck an agreement to sell the 1200-acre site where it once planned to build its $450 million, 50 million gallon capacity first commercial plant to produce green gasoline from woody biomass.

The company selected the site, the former location of the Cowboy Town entertainment complex, in November 2011 and completed the purchase in January 2012.

The CEO of Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, Jim Clinton, told TownTalk that “The company tried extremely hard to make this work. Sundrop management did everything within their power. By the time they got to the point where they could build the plant, the economics had changed and the politics had changed.”

Sundrop has now confirmed that “It has become clear given the new politics in Washington that our application through the DOE Loan Guarantee program is not going to progress further.  As such we are not going to be able to finance and build the facility in Louisiana so there is no point in tying up money there.”

So, an unfortunate step backwards for the manufacturing sector — and an interesting proof point that the DOE Loan Guarantee program success is closely tied to the revival of domestic manufacturing. We hope a temporary one — Sundrop’s technology and team march on, with we hope another project emerging soon. Perhaps offshore, perhaps one with financing not tied back to Washington’s shifting sands. Asia has long been in the long-term focus of the company.

Note: SynSel's Funding is not dependent on the US-DOE Loan Program or any other government funding source.

SynSel Energy, Inc. Bringing Jobs to Rural America

SynSel Energy, Inc. of Elmhurst, IL is partnering with a US-based financier and local stakeholders across the US to develop a network of 100 biorefineries in shuttered industrial sites.  The plants will be constructed on a proprietary template, using state-of-the-art, environmentally-responsible technology to produce clean second-generation biofuels from our nation's abundant wood waste and forest residue.

SynSel has recently announced the locations of the first 2 plants in the SynSel network as Ontonagon, MI and Lumberton, MS.  SynSel CEO, Tim Tawoda stated, "These plants are fully-funded, and SynSel is currently securing the project deposit fund required to release pre-construction and construction funds. Both plants are slated to be fully operational by 2020.

Each SynSel biorefinery will employ 100 workers, and an estimated 150 supporting jobs will be created in each surrounding community. SynSel's co-developer Mr. Pat Tucker, President of Lost Bowl Development, LLC in Ontonagon, MI stated, ""The Smurfit-Stone Paper Mill closed in 2010 and was just one more economic setback for Ontonagon after the copper mine and shipyard closures. The SynSel biorefinery is a huge step in reversing the unemployment trends in Ontonagon and the Upper Peninsula, in general. We are honored to be partnering with SynSel and their financer to help revitalize this community with good-paying jobs insulated against the boom-and-bust cycles of the legacy mining industry."

Biofuels could boost Western UP

New biofuels could give the Upper Peninsula economy a boost.

"It's a good fit for the region. It's a game changer," said Pat Tucker of Lost Bowl Development.

Biofuels, which are fuels made directly from organic materials like wood or algae, will soon breathe life back into the former Smurfit-Stone Container paper mill in Ontonagon.

SynSel Energy of Illinois and Lost Bowl Development of Ontonagon plan to begin construction next year on a $300 million dollar biorefinery.

SynSel chose the Smurfit-Stone site for several reasons.

"Ontonagon has the industrial infrastructure in place that we need, and it is right in the back yard of the feed stock that we need for the plant," said Brian Buckta, senior vice president of administration at SynSel Energy, Inc.


Biofuel plant construction set to begin

Thousands of construction workers could be employed next year to begin constructing a new biorefinery plant in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

“That should be happening soon,” said Brian Buckta, SynSel Energy senior vice-president administration. “Ontonagon will be one of the first, if not the first.”

SynSel Energy Inc., of Elmhurst, Illinois, chose Ontonagon as one of two U.S. sites to build advanced biofuels plants that will produce synthetic gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels the company sells in commodities markets.

Mazda made a game-changing fuel efficiency breakthrough other carmakers have spent decades working on

As soon as 2019, Mazda will have a petrol-driven car in production that is cheaper to run than a Tesla Model S.

The Japanese carmaker has announced it is ready to reveal a combustion engine using compression technology Ford, General Motors and Hyundai have been trying to get into production for the best part of a decade.

It’s called Spark Controlled Compression Ignition and it uses the same sparkless technology used by diesel engines, without the high emission rate.

At low revs, the SkyActiv-X employs sparkplugs to ignite petrol, but it switches to compression ignition at high revs. Mazda claims it can handle the switch without engine damage.

If its claims of a “20-30%” increase in fuel efficiency are true, then the 2019 Mazda3 – the model most likely to get the first SkyActiv-X engine – could be running on as little as 3.5L per 100km.

At today’s fuel prices in Melbourne, that’s $19.25 for 500km, which is about the maximum range of a full battery in Tesla’s Model S.