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A Natural Gas Manifesto; May the flame be light unto us

 

Every “mcf” of United States natural gas that is produced and consumed will not only benefit every citizen of our nation, it will also make this world a better place and pay real and tangible dividends to future generations.
 
Total world demand for oil will be reduced and the world price for oil will be lower.  Energy for developing nations will be less expensive.
 
The world’s ecological / environmental situation will be improved due to lower “greenhouse gas” emissions.
 
Development of this nation’s natural gas provides real and absolute stimulus to our economy and credit system. This type of tangible absolute stimulus with its multiplier effect will produce significant and ongoing dividends for our nation.
Not only will the United States’ economy be stimulated, the dollar will be strengthened. Our nation’s deficits will be reduced more quickly.
 
The United States will be less vulnerable to “financial coercion” by foreign powers; the wealth now being transferred to oil producers will remain in the United States and can be used to benefit this nation’s future generations.
 
As the tangible benefits to the world and the United States are significant and compelling, there must be a single historic legislative act that articulates, memorializes, and provides gravitas to this monumental undertaking to ensure the future of the American dream and our national security.
To wit;
 
The United States of America Proclamation for Increased Energy Security (US PIES); Natural Gas Act of 2009
 
To move as expeditiously and conclusively as possible to avoid any further energy crises and in light of the now abundant supplies of natural gas with which our nation is blessed, the Congress of the United States of America hereby sets forth the Natural Gas Act of 2009 to bridge this nation’s destiny to increased energy independence. 
 
In that our national security and economy are threatened and may be perilously further threatened and compromised by our nation’s current over dependence on imported oil and the concomitant transfer of our national wealth, it is imperative and essential our nation move with purpose and urgency to employ our God given natural gas resources and in so doing ensure the future strength and prosperity of our nation by increasing our energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
Elucidation: May God Almighty help forge these words with the flame of His Truth and Wisdom. 
 
Illumination: Let the guiding light for this nation’s energy future be the glowing embers of the spirit of the Americans’ that have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our freedom, security and liberty to prosper. May these flames be light onto us.
 
The United States currently imports the majority of its oil from overseas National Oil Companies (NOC’s). This debilitating situation can be remedied.
 
Recent American technological breakthroughs, horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracture stimulation of reservoirs, have made the drilling and completing of natural gas wells much more efficient and productive and vast new reserves new of natural gas accessible here within our borders.
 
According to a recent study by Navigant Consulting Inc., the United States now has an estimated 2,247 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, enough to last approximately 118 years at 2007 demand levels. 
 
In that the world’s ecological future and world peace may be threatened by “global warming” and or having reached or in time soon reaching “world peak oil production”, it is imperative and essential our nation move with purpose and urgency to employ our God given natural gas resources and in so doing ensure to the maximum extent of our ability the energy security of the Untied Stats, the future world’s peace, prosperity and environmental harmony.
 
Note; this would be an expanded version of the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, that includes incentives for gas fired power generation and natural gas producers.
 
I realize all the above is easy to write and will require great effort and will not be unanimously embraced; however, there is much to be gained if we act.
 
There is all too much to be lost, if we do not act.
 
It is our American spirit and energy that make this nation great.
 
This natural resource is no longer supply constrained. It is demand constrained. U.S. gas supply increased by an unprecedented 8% in 2008 compared to 2007. The aforementioned new technologies make further substantial increases in our natural gas supply and consumption viable.
 
The development, distribution, and consumption of these abundant natural gas reserves provide the currently sought economic stimulus and creates powerful lasting long term dividends to this nation not seen since the construction of the interstate high system in the fifties or the WPA. 
 
Natural gas is the fuel to power this nation’s economic resurgence as the world’s largest and most dynamic economy. 
 
Natural gas is the “fast lane bridge” to this nation’s reducing dependence on imported oil.
 
Natural gas is the cleanest burning hydrocarbon fuel. Natural gas emits 45% less carbon dioxide than coal and 30% less carbon dioxide than oil. This transition fuel will provide the “time bridge” until solar, hydro, wind-power, and cleaner coal technologies become more available and cost effective.
 
New clean burning “natural gas” powered electric plants need to be constructed to reduce “greenhouse gases.” 
 
Natural gas is the fuel for this nation’s future prosperity and growth. Increasing demand for natural gas will create tangible and lasting economic benefits for this nation; tangible and real and long lasting economic dividends and expeditious environmental benefits.
 
 
In line with the previously cited Navigant Consulting Inc. study, if we immediately doubled our current annual consumption we would have approximately sixty years to implement current “renewable” energy technologies and other heretofore undiscovered new technologies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boone Pickens Plan has stated every thousand cubic of domestically produced natural gas used for transportation could reduce the need for eight gallons of imported gasoline.

   &nbs...    20,000,000,000,000
twenty trillion cubic feet per year =
   &nbs... 20,000,000,000
20 billion MCF per year =
   &nbs... 160,000,000,000
gallons of gasoline per year @ eight gallons per MCF =
   &nbs... 3,809,523,810
barrels of gasoline per year =
   &nbs... 10,437,052
barrels of gasoline per day
NYMEX April natural gas futures are now under four dollars per million cubic feet. In gross terms before pipeline transportation charges; eight gallons of gasoline can be purchased for fewer than four dollars.
 
Assuming $55 per barrel of imported oil, then for every additional trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced and utilized annually, we can reduce payments for imported oil to produce gasoline by approximately ten billion dollars per year. 
 
Our nation currently consumes roughly 20 trillion cubic feet of gas a year. So doubling are current consumption of natural gas would reduce annual payments for imported oil by approximately $200 billion per year. The U.S. dollar would be stronger. To continue as the world’s leading nation, we need a strong dollar in this global economy.
 
 In addition to this national savings, there would be tens of thousands of good high paying careers created in this country.
 
Every “drilling rig” directly employees about 40 people; indirect job creation can be expected to be 5 times the 40 direct jobs; or 240 direct and indirect jobs per drilling rig.
 
Current drilling rigs can be expected to have a useful life of at least 20 years.
Every one thousand additional drilling rigs would create 240,000 potential careers and the concomitant opportunities for advancement; careers, not temporary employment. These careers, these jobs cannot be transferred to other lesser developed countries. 
 
Each new state of the art drilling rig required will cost about $ US 16 million
So, 1000 new rigs will provide an economic boost to machinery manufacturers, steel fabricators and others equal to $US 16 billion.
Additional tens of thousands of new jobs and opportunities will be created by expanding and revamping the nation’s natural gas pipe line and local distribution infrastructure.
 
The American automotive industry can be revitalized by being incentivized to manufacture compressed natural gas vehicles.  In concert with the auto manufacturers, the car dealerships and automotive aftermarket industries should gear toward retrofitting existing vehicles with natural gas fuel capability.  
 
 A natural gas refueling” infrastructure will need to be added to the current refueling infrastructure; this will create further economic activity.
 
Legislation should require all government vehicles to be powered by natural gas.
 
United States industries such as steel, other metals, chemicals, and fertilizer will become more competitive in U.S. markets and possibly internationally. ... lower fuel/power other U.S. industries will have the opportunity to return as competitive forces in the global market.
 
The misguided and wasteful “ethanol debacle” needs to be terminated immediately. Prod... agricultural land needs to be used to feed the world’s hungry children. Natural gas should be used to fuel our automobiles. The United States can feed the world’s hungry children.
 
The United States needs to move will all haste to capitalize the new found abundance of this environmentally friendlier and plentiful resource. 
 
The future of North American natural gas requires the development of unconventional resource basins, which require better economics for E&P companies.
 
·   &nbs... The basins require large scale drilling programs, advanced drilling techniques and technologies, and large amounts reservoir stimulation.
 
·   &nbs... These basins include shale gas, tight sands, and coalbed methane (NYSE:CBM)
 
In the early 1980’s there were over 4,500 drilling rigs operating drilling for oil and gas on land in the U.S.A. 4,500 rigs active rigs is the all time high for this nation. Advanced technology produced 2008’s unprecedented supply increase with the natural gas rig count reaching a peak of 1,606 in late August
 
Right now, natural gas exploration and production companies are cutting their capital budgets and suspending drilling operations at unprecedented rate because the price of natural gas is too low.
 
The United States active drilling rig count has fallen precipitously to under 900 rigs at this time; tens of thousands of jobs and careers have been put on hold or lost.
 
An excerpt from the March 2009, Land Rig Newsletter Monthly Report follows:
 
Small oil and gas operators are worried about changes to federal tax law affecting the amortization of intangible drilling and completion costs. Operators say they can withstand efforts to change the item from an expense to amortization over three years, or even five. Get beyond half a decade and the impact on drilling would be devastating for the small, privately held companies who account for more than 40 percent of rig activity.
 
There is an oversupply of natural gas in storage as we continue to import foreign oil and dilute the U.S. dollar.
 
Increased natural gas consumption is the most logical, expedient and beneficial means for keeping the USA moving forward as the world's economic and international leader.
 
The greater the focus and effort put on powering our transportation and electricity generation needs with this now abundant resource, the sooner we, the USA, will move forward with tangible and lasting economic dividends for our nation.
   &nbs...
·   &nbs... Reduced imported oil for gasoline
   &nbs...
·   &nbs... Reduced greenhouse gases from cleaner burning natural gas
 
·   &nbs... Real and lasting tangible economic growth in the United States
 
·   &nbs... Strengthening of the U.S. dollar
 
It is sinful in light of the blessed abundance of this natural resource and national treasure, that we, the American people, currently send our hard earned dollars overseas to those who, in too many instances, oppose our best interest and even our existence.
 
Our nation’s currency is no longer backed by gold…
 
This all the more reason our energy security, economic prosperity and freedom, and our environmental future should be backed by “U.S. natural gas”. 
 
Immediate and increasingly urgent economic, environmental, and national security issues will be powered forward by increase usage of natural gas.
 
The stifling national debt will be reduced and future generations' "American dream" and way of life will be illuminated and preserved by this value adding investment in America.
 
What is required to achieve this is the American peoples' supporting this vision (why would we not) and leadership with the courage to passionately ensure moving proactively forward with the vision.  
 
I am very proud to work for
·   &nbs... an American company,
 
·   &nbs... a company registered in the United States,
 
·   &nbs... a company that pays its full United States taxes,
 
·   &nbs... a company that has recently invested billions of dollars in U.S, manufactured drilling equipment and machinery,
 
·   &nbs... a company that created thousands of safe high paying American jobs,
 
·   &nbs... a company that has been in business for nearly 90 years creating value and wealth for its shareholders and employees; a company I pray that will be in business for many more generations,
 
·   &nbs... an industry that has invested hundreds of billions of dollar to better the American peoples’ standard of living  
 
·   &nbs... an industry that has provided millions of careers and hard earned well deserved retirements for its employees
 
·   &nbs... that has and will protect and preserve this nation’s interest by providing cost effective energy,
 
·   &nbs... an industry to which this nation can and must turn in this nations great time of need; I pray this nation’s government will not turn its back to this great industry in this great nation’s time of need.
 
 
My father, a World War 2 veteran, had only a sixth grade education, but because of his work ethic and the opportunities in the great American oil and gas industry he was able to retire with a good pension and medical benefits from a major oil company.  I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of similar American “big oil” stories.
 
American “big oil” has led the effort throughout our history to bring energy and a higher standard of living to the people of the world while investing hundreds of billions of dollars and creating hundred thousands of careers. Yes, “big oil” has profited, but not any more so than other capital intensive and innovative enterprises. There have been mistakes, but the benefits to this nation and the world outweigh by order of magnitude the negatives.
 
Today, America’s much maligned “big oil” companies are faced with severe and unfair restrictions, terms, and conditions leveled at them by “national oil companies” that now control the vast majority of the world’s oil and gas reserves. These national oil companies in the large majority of the cases subsidize the cost of fuel and energy for their internal economic industries.
 
The “national oil companies” are controlled by governments that choose to artificially control prices, limit free enterprise, confiscate American investments, and maintain the American addiction to foreign oil and liquefied natural gas.  There is great danger that U.S. natural gas industry will be inundated by a deluge of imported LNG, if this nation’s government does not act swiftly and decisively to counter our nation’s increasing dependence on foreign sources of energy.
 
Today our nation’s economy is melting from the destructive heat of criminal avarice.
 
Greed that seeks to gain at the imperilment of the innocent people of this nation; premeditated greed and avarice that have stolen innocent peoples’ dreams while decimating the value of years of hard work and destroying hopes for higher education or golden years.
 
Meanwhile, the great American oil and gas industry that has once again discovered and created new value through visionary investment, innovation, technology, and plain old hard work finds itself being slowly and painfully paralyzed while our government flounders about attempting to bail the masters of greed out of their self-created toxic morass.
 
By supporting natural gas development in the United States we can begin to end the misguided and senseless dissolution of the "health and wealth of this great nation’s and this planet's future". 
 
The American dream is not a pipe dream! Wake up!
 
Our government needs to step boldly forward out of this toxic quagmire and put forth the necessary legislation and tax incentives to stimulate natural gas usage in this country!  This is real economic stimulus. This is absolutely imperative for the security and the well being of future generations of this great nation.
 
We have to move forward purposefully with the development of the God given resources we have to create value and wealth for this nation’s people.  Let’s get on with it! 
 
We owe it to future generations! Expl... and developing this nation’s abundant natural gas supply is simply the common sense use of this nation’s God given resources. To paraphrase the heroic passengers of 11 September 2001, “Let’s roll with natural gas!”
 
 May God speed and continue to bless this nation.
 
 
 
 
 
Alan Orr
Executive Vice President
Engineering & Development
Helmerich & Payne I.D.C.
 
 
Mr. Orr has worked over 33years at H&P and prior to his current position was Vice President and Chief Engineer from 1991 to 2005. He holds a B.S. in General Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. 
He has worked in H&P’s U.S. and international divisions in both operations and engineering assignments. 
In field operations he has worked as roughneck, driller, toolpusher, and superintendent and division operations manager. In engineering assignments, he has worked as drilling engineer, project engineer, and Chief Engineer. 
As Executive Vice President Engineering & Development he is responsible for development of all H&P engineering functions, technology, new rig construction, and upgrade projects – both onshore and offshore.  &... Mr. Orr has pioneered numerous innovations and advances in the drilling industry and holds several patents.
Recognizing his role as the principal architect of H&P’s industry changing FlexRig and other significant industry contributions, Mr. Orr was the 2005 recipient of the International Association of Drilling Contractors’ Contractor of the Year award. The prestigious Contractor of the Year award, sponsored by Reed-Hycalog, was established in 1988 to recognize an individual drilling contractor representative’s outstanding lifetime achievements in technical innovation, safety, and economic efficiency in the drilling industry. It is the only award that exclusively honors drilling contractors.