Friday, December 19, 2014

FPL gets approval to charge customers for fracking investment... The Real Story.

FPL gets approval to charge customers for fracking investment | Tampa Bay Times:

I was astounded to here that FPL is getting into the Fracking business. There's this baloney about trying to save some money for their investors. FPL Customers pay, in advance, to drill Nat Gas wells in Alabama, and then reap some of the benefits of the wells, if any, in the form of low NatGas prices in the future.

It sounds too good to be true. And leaves you shaking your head as to why a publicly regulated power utility would wonder off the path into the woods looking for firewood and NatGas.

So the Fla PSC rubber stamped the deal. As they always do. (Although the PSC turned down a petition to pay for Federal Lobbying, an obvious red herring in the mix.)

Comes to find out that NextEra, the parent company of FPL, already has oil drilling interests... 

There are many reasons why a power company might want to get into the drilling business, but the one given seems like the very last on the list.

Water, maybe. Fracking takes huge amount of water, as does power generation.

Pipe lines. Power companies already have massive right-of-ways related to power lines. This seems like a perfect fit: run power through the line and gas through the ground.

The one I like best would be to capture the NatGas that is flared in oilfields, produce power and send the power off to the grid through wire. We currently flare half of all NatGas produced in the USA. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but probably more than half. (Better to flare it, then release the methane, but still a very ugly and wasteful business).

Here seems to be the answer: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) through pipelines to markets, domestic and abroad. We in the US pay only bout 1/3 of what the rest of the world pays for NatGas. At about $3.50 per unit for us, and maybe $10-$12 for most other countries. Liquidification and shipping LNG is in the works on many fronts. Cheniere Energy, Inc.
(trading symbol LNG) is coming on board with export terminals with a vengeance. 

Imagine what it will look like when our mountains of NatGas start to look like mountains of dollars.

So what does this mean in the next era of power utilities? I don't really know. It should take some time to understand the maze and the interlinking parts. 

Here is discussion about Spectra Energy (drilling and such) and FPL and the pipeline in existence and/or planned. article. There's a pipeline through the Gulf...

So very interesting.

And, of course, it has to be mentioned: NatGas is far better than that other major fuel (not mentioning any names, like Coal), but it is still not a renewable resources. Non-sustainable, by any other name, is still a broken business model... It's just a mater of time.

'via Blog this'

1 comment: