Energy Briefs

Farmington Daily Times

NM senators seek briefing on nuclear safety policy

ALBUQUERQUE —New Mexico’s U.S. Senators are trying to thwart efforts to downsize and reorganize an independent safety panel that provides oversight of some of the nation's highest risk nuclear facilities.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

Democrats Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say they secured language in a spending bill to prohibit the use of any appropriated funds to carry out the proposed reorganization of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, unless changes are vetted and authorized by Congress.

The other provision calls for the U.S. Energy Department to brief Congress on new policies that critics say would limit inspections and curtail the board's access to key information at the nuclear sites.

Department officials during a recent hearing denied they were changing their approach to safety and rebuffed calls by board members and watchdog groups to put the policies on hold.

The Associated Press

Navajo activists protest company eyeing coal-fired plant

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona — About a dozen Navajos traveled to New York City to protest a company eyeing a coal-fired power plant on their reservation.

The Navajo Generating Station near Page is set to close next year unless a new buyer is found. The current owners say energy produced by natural gas is cheaper.
New York-based Avenue Capital Group has said it's interested in purchasing the plant and is talking with tribal officials. It's also been pushing an Arizona entity to commit to buying coal-fired power.

The protesters held signs outside the company's office in Manhattan on Monday. They say Avenue Capital is standing in the way of a move toward renewable energy on the reservation.

The company declined comment Monday, saying it hasn't reached a decision on the power plant.

Duke Energy files plans to close 7 coal plants over 30 years

CHARLOTTE — Duke Energy has filed plans with state regulators to close its seven North Carolina coal plants during the next 30 years.

The Charlotte Observer reports the utility's plans filed with the N.C. Utilities Commission include closing the Allen Steam Station just outside of Charlotte in Gaston County in 10 years. A Duke spokeswoman said the utility is increasingly moving away from coal-fired generation and not planning to add any such plants.

A coal miner holds chunks of coal in this undated file photo.

Plans call for Duke's final N.C. coal unit retirement to occur in 2048.

Dave Rogers of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal effort in North Carolina said while it's great that Duke is moving away from coal-fired plants, 2048 is too long.

David Doctor of E4 Carolinas called Duke's timetable  "a reasonable and measured approach."

The Charlotte Observer

Former Energy Secretary Bodman dies

WASHINGTON — Former Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, who served under President George W. Bush, has died.

Bodman, a chemical engineer and businessman, also was deputy secretary of both Treasury and Commerce in the Bush administration. He was energy chief in Bush's second term, from 2005 to 2009.

Bush said in a statement that he and former First Lady Laura Bush were saddened by Bodman's death, adding: "Sam had a brilliant mind, and we are fortunate that he put his intellect to work for our country as secretary of energy."

Bodman, 79, of El Paso, Texas, was trained as a chemical engineer. He was president of Fidelity Investments before becoming CEO of Cabot Corp., a Boston-based company that makes specialty chemicals. He later chaired an energy advisory board at the University of Texas.

The Associated Press

Firm claims new tech maximizes oilfield production

Koltek Energy Services, a nationwide energy services company, said in a press release Sept. 11 that is successfully implemented “high-resolution gamma ray and geo-steering technology on several customers this summer.”

The firm said this allows the Koltek directional team “to collaborate with their customers' geology team to maximize the production of their wells by keeping the well in the desired production zone.”

The system adjusts to the wellbore position, they said, “on the fly all while staying in the target zone and also reaches other geological targets required by its customers. The Koltek geo-steering technology is compatible with all existing PDM Motors and seemingly links to its own measurement while drilling (MWD/FWD) system.”

"Our geo-steering technology allows our directional drilling team to get high resolution gamma ray readings, instantly, without having to stop drilling for any reason,” CEO Tim Koltek. “This can be especially useful in more narrow formations like the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and Colorado."

"High quality data is critical in geo-steering a well.,” said CEO Jason Harms of Total Depth Geosteering, a Koltek customer. “We can see fast bedding changes, faults, and other geologic issues at critical times during the well. Koltek's technology provides a surprising amount of detail, which forms a strong mental picture that we then use to make informed geo-steering decisions."

Koltek Energy Services bills itself as “a full-service directional drilling, well service and testing provider to oil and gas companies across the USA.” 
For more information email info@Koltek.com.

Source: Koltek company press release