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This Week In Energy for May 12, 2024

This Week In Energy for May 12, 2024

Carbon Capture, ethanol, WWII roughnecks, energy influencers and why the global energy transition isn't currently working.

This Week In Energy’s Newsmaker Interview sponsored by The Crude Life: Jodi Johnson, CEO, Red Trail Energy

Jodi Johnson, CEO, Red Trail Energy, joins this week to discuss their pioneering project involving carbon capture and storage. Red Trail Energy, LLC (RTE), an ethanol producer near Richardton, North Dakota, is currently operating a CO2 capture facility adjacent to the RTE ethanol facility, to ultimately inject about 180,000 tonnes CO2 annually more than a mile below RTE property for permanent storage.

The first carbon capture and storage project allowed under state primacy in the U.S. has commenced operations. Red Trail Energy LLC announces it officially began carbon capture and storage (CCS) at its ethanol facility located near Richardton, North Dakota, on June 16, 2023.

Already considered a low-carbon fuel, ethanol produced at RTE now has a lower carbon footprint than conventional ethanol sources thanks to carbon capture. This allows RTE to not only be better stewards to the environment but also places more value on the ethanol in the clean fuel market.

"They (investors) did go out and they gathered enough support that they needed to build it in this area. They somewhat chose this area due to the location next to the Burlington Northern Rail Line,” Johnson said. “Originally, we were constructed to be a coal-fired plant, and so they wanted to be close to where we could get lignite coal to fire the plant and keep it running."

The RTE ethanol plant emits an average of 180,000 metric tons of CO2 annually from the fermentation process during ethanol production. With CCS, RTE is capturing 100 percent of their CO2 emissions from the fermentation process and is injecting approximately 500 metric tons of CO2 per day. The CO2 is permanently stored underground more than a mile below the surface in the Broom Creek formation.

Click here for full interview

Barry Smitherman is the Chairman, President, and co-founder of the Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance (TxGEA), an organization dedicated to education, public awareness, and advocacy on behalf of the Texas geothermal industry. He shares how the oil and gas industry is working with geothermal energy.

The Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance (TXGEA) is a Texas-based, Texas-led advocacy organization created for the purpose of advancing geothermal energy in Texas.

“Geothermal had been gaining some traction because of advances in oil and gas drilling techniques, technology, workforce. And of course, Texas is the number one oil and gas state. And one of my roles that I occupied some 10 or 12 years ago was chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, which is the Texas oil and gas regulator, has nothing to do with railroads. So we saw advances happening in drilling,” Smitherman said. “We also recognize that because of winter storm Yuri, there was a need for a firm dispatchable energy resource and many customers, both individual electric customers, big corporations, data centers, Bitcoin miners want zero or low carbon electricity. So all those things came together.”

Click here for interview.

Petro Profile sponsored by The Crude Life: Find out what makes Kansas Strong

Warren Martin, Kansas Strong, previews some of their online resources available to the public.

Martin has given over 200 educational presentations in a year!  Martin explains how Kansas, the 11th ranked oil and gas producing state can become an early indicator for the overall industry.

“We already have some independents that are both in oil and gas and also in ethanol,” Martin said. “I think that there's definitely the fields to be able to store CO2 and capture that carbon here.”

Click here for full interview

The Energy Detox with Joe Sinnott, CEO, Witting Partners gives an update from Pennsylvania and how the change of seasons allows us an opportunity to detox our unsustainable energy.

“As the energy sector continues to evolve with mergers, acquisitions, and expansions into new territories, professionals in the industry are faced with the constant need to adapt and reinvent themselves“ Sinnott said.

Whether you’re transitioning to a new role within your organization or stepping into a new territory, setting clear goals is crucial for success. Define what you want to achieve in the short-term and long-term, and develop a plan to work towards those objectives. This will help you stay focused and motivated, even when faced with challenges along the way.

Click here for full interview

ENERGY INFLUENCER sponsored by BCK9 Services: Robert Bryce explains why the Energy Transition is not working in America or the Planet

Over the past few days, I’ve searched the NewsBank archive for uses of “energy transition.” One of the earliest uses of that now-ubiquitous phrase occurred in the Christian Science Monitor in 1981. In a dispatch from Nairobi, a reporter named Richard Critchfield explained that some “4,000 delegates from 154 countries” were gathering in the Kenyan capital for a two-week United Nations conference on new and renewable sources of energy. “The purpose of the conference,” Critchfield explained, was to “promote better understanding of the global energy transition from oil to such new sources as geothermal, solar, wind, ocean, and hydropower or energy from biomass, fuelwood, charcoal, peat, draught animals, oil shale, and tar sands.”

The article doesn’t mention climate change. Instead, it focuses on Kenya’s reliance on imported energy, the country’s geothermal potential, and the “classic third-world poverty trap of soaring oil costs and stagnant export earnings.”

Today, 43 years later, we are inundated with news reports about climate change and claims that we are in the midst of an energy transition that will eliminate our need for hydrocarbons. Myriad examples can prove that point, but consider the Earth Day press release from the White House. The April 22 release included the word “climate” 52 times and references the energy transition three times. For instance, it said President Joe Biden has launched a new “Clean Energy Supply Chain Collaborative to work with international partners to diversity supply chains that are critical to a clean and secure energy transition.” It continued, saying the president is “mobilizing other governments to follow the U.S. lead and commit to achieve net zero government emissions by 2040.”

Click here for Robert Bryce Substack

EMERGING ENERGIES sponsored by The Industrial Forest: VR Training Improving Safety in Mining, Emergency Services and now the FDA

Clint Kling of Shepherd VR joins Jason Spiess to discuss some news changes happening in the world of Virtual Reality. Kling has developed a number of VR Training programs for the mining industry and has also collaborated with the South Dakota School of Mines.

“You know, four years ago, we were pretty early,” Kling said. “Now we're kind of seeing this stuff as more mainstream almost in a way in different sectors and some of our casework that's been in the past has laid some of the foreground,”

In this interview, the recent news of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) spending $1.2M on a VR-enabled hub to spur development of at-home care devices sparked the conversation with the virtual reality expert.

Click here for interview

ENERGY EVENTS sponsored by Witting Partners: Human Trafficking, Pornography Issues Increase in the Bakken

Stacy Schaffer discusses the 31:8 Project (Thirty-One Eight) and the need for more human trafficking education in energy communities.

Human trafficking remains a pervasive and deeply troubling issue that plagues societies worldwide. Despite concerted efforts to combat it, numerous challenges persist, hindering progress towards its eradication.

Schaffer discusses the realities behind human trafficking, pornography, identifying signals and what are some resources people can use for help.

​”Men, women, and children are sold into a $150 billion annual market for sex and labor. This is happening globally, nationally and locally; in hotels, restaurants, and on street corners,” Schaffer said. “Slavery is wrapped up in almost every industry’s supply chain, tainting the food we eat, the clothes we buy, and the electronics we love.”

Schaffer added that human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and involves the movement of people by means of violence, deception or coercion for the purpose of forced labor, servitude, or slavery-like practices.

“It is a market-based economy that exists on principles of supply and demand,” Schaffer said. “It thrives due to conditions, which allow for high profits to be generated at low risk.”

Click here for full interview

SHARE YOUR SUSTAINABLE STORY sponsored by The Carbon Conversation: Mark Stansberry shares a story of how a group of roughneck helped the Allies win WWII

The short story is by the summer of 1942, the future of Great Britain and the outcome of World War II depended on petroleum supplies. At the end of that year, demand for 100-octane fuel would grow to more than 150,000 barrels of oil every day and German U-boats ruled the Atlantic.

In August 1942, British Secretary of PetroleumGeoffrey Lloyd called an emergency meeting of the Oil Control Board to assess the “impending crisis in oil.”

Thus began the story of the “little-known, or at least seldom recognized, all-important role oil and oilmen played in the prosecution of the war,” according to two historians who extensively researched archives in Great Britain and the United States. Short story is they drilled in Sherwood Forest.

Oscar winner Gray Frederickson (left) and Mark Stansberry (right)

The longer story is being told by Oscar Winner Gray Frederickson. Frederickson and Stansberry worked together on the docufilm on Sherwood Forest, which told the story of how Lloyd Noble along with 44 roughnecks played a critical role during World War II.

Frederickson is best known for being a long-time producer for Francis Ford Coppola and winning an Oscar as one of the co-producers of The Godfather Part II at the 47th Academy Awards. In addition he was also nominated for Apocalypse Now.

Sherwood Forest was nominated for a regional Emmy in the historical documentary category. It was also picked up by NETA for national distribution.

Sherwood Forest is an incredibly powerful documentary for our entire world right now,” Stansberry said. “There are several reenactments, which were filmed in Oklahoma locations, and around 58 cast and crew were involved. British Petroleum (bp) greatly assisted in providing footage from its archives of the 1943 timeline of Sherwood Forest. It has been quite a challenge to complete the project, especially due to COVID-19 restrictions. The release date is Spring/Summer 2022. I share with you the production team’s synopsis of Sherwood Forest:”

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THROWBACK TALKS sponsored by The Crude Life: Brian Cebull, founder, GTUIT, talks about flaring and natural gas 

In 2012, three engineers with decades of experience in the energy industry founded GTUIT with the goal of reducing natural gas flaring in North America and around the world. Caterpillar made an equity investment in the Billings, Montana-based company in 2015 to help bring these solutions to Cat customers.

GTUIT’s innovations have led to both economic and environmental benefits. In addition to less wasted gas and fewer emissions, GTUIT’s solution provides energy companies with marketable products they can use to decrease operating costs and boost revenues.

Cebull has more than 25 years experience in the oil and gas industry. As a hands-on partner in Nance Petroleum, he helped in the transition when St. Mary Land & Exploration, now SM Energy, acquired the company in 1999. He co-founded a private oil and gas exploration and production company in 2008.

Music heard on This Week In Energy by singer songwriter Alma Cook and independent funk fusion group known as The Moody River Band.

Click here for Alma Cook’s music page

Click here to support Alma Cook’s Energy Career

Cook Compliance Co is a boutique compliance management & consulting firm that believes in doing more than just checking the right boxes. With special emphasis on education & planning, Cook helps contractors get ahead of their competition by making sure their crews are work-ready even before the next MSA is signed.

Click here for the Moody River Band’s website

For over a decade, Moody River Band's unique brand of blues/folk rock has rocked and rolled all over the Upper Midwest and Rocky Mountain region.  

You can download their two records absolutely free by clicking here!  

For booking and dates click here.

Email your sustainable story ideas, professional press releases or news tips to thecontentcreationstudios(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

The Moody River Band energizes events all over the US.

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The Crude Life
Living The Crude Life
Living The Crude Life is a news and lifestyle program currently airing on radio stations, LinkedIn Video and Facebook Watch. The daily update focuses on the energy industry and its impact on businesses, communities, workers and the economy.
The interviews engage with everyone from CEOs to roughnecks to truckers to chemists to cafe owners.
The Crude Life Daily Update has been broadcasting on radio stations across 5 states and 2 countries since 2011, podcast outlets and posts all updates and interviews on The Crude Life Social Media Network.