full potential and Oil & Gas UK is proud to play its part in
Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative body for the
UK offshore oil and gas industry. It is a not-for-profit organization, established in April 2007 but with a pedigree stretching back over 40 years.
Mike Tholen is economics and commercial director for Oil &
Gas UK. He seeks to foster a business environment that sustains the competitiveness of this mature oil and gas province.
Particular responsibilities within the oil and gas
industry trade body include fiscal and energy
policy and regulatory affairs. He is actively
engaged with HM Treasury and DECC on the
future of the UK oil and gas fiscal and regulatory
regime that will be critical to delivering the full
potential of the basin. Before joining Oil & Gas
UK he worked with Shell for 20 years, latterly holding a variety
of commercial positions including economics and planning
manager for the upstream UK gas business and offshore infrastructure manager in the Netherlands.
Loan guarantee program expands to
support advanced fossil energy research
In July, the US Department of Energy announced a draft loan
guarantee solicitation offering $8 billion for innovative and
advanced fossil energy projects and facilities that substantially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other air
According to Bill Gibbons, DOE press secretary, the draft
solicitation is awaiting stakeholder feedback prior to establishing final parameters for the loan guarantee program.
DOE expects to receive comments from industry and the
public until early September.
The Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation is authorized by Title XVII of
the Energy Policy Act of
2005 (EPACT) through
Section 1703 of the Loan
DOE’s loan programs currently support more than 30
projects with an estimated portfolio of $34.4 billion. Among
projects supported are wind farms, solar generation and
thermal energy storage systems, one of the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants in the US, and the first new
commercial nuclear power plant to be licensed and built in
the US in more than 30 years. The program also supports
vehicle manufacturing facilities. With the latest draft solicitation, extraction technology for unconventional oil and gas
resources may also be included in this list.
said, “Fossil fuels currently provide more than 80% of our
energy, and adopting technologies to use them cleanly and
more efficiently is critical to our approach.” By investing in
advanced fossil energy research, Moniz sees DOE playing a
critical role in accelerating the introduction of low-carbon
fossil fuel technologies into the marketplace that will reduce
The solicitation will support new or significantly improved unconventional resource technology and facilities.
The scope of the current draft focuses on four main areas
including carbon capture and sequestration technology,
low-carbon power systems, efficiency improvements, and
advanced resource development.
The solicitation will support projects that avoid, reduce,
for projects and facilities may include any fossil fuel technology that is new or significantly improved compared with
commercial technologies already being deployed in the US.
One important technology area is the funding of low-carbon power systems. With the advent of duel-fuel and dedicated natural gas power generation systems such as those
deployed in the Eagle Ford shale and the Bakken, companies may find additional capital through loan guarantee programs to increase the thin margins that currently limit this
technology in some resource plays.
In South Texas, the Alamo Area Council of Governments
in San Antonio is actively pursuing an emissions inventory
to alleviate possible sanctions from recent violations of the
Clean Air Act. With higher concentrations of carbon dioxide
FOCUS: UNCONVENTIONAL OIL & GAS
Fossil energy research
In what has been coined an all-of-the-above approach to develop US energy resources, US Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz