Category Archives: International

Fuel Cells 101 – Learning The Basics

Sir William Grove created the first fuel cell in 1839. It wasn’t until 1950, however, that another British scientist, Sir Francis Bacon, demonstrated the fuel cell’s practical use in a fuel cell stack. It was the magic of chemistry created in this stacking of fuel cells that allowed them to win out over other competing power systems when NASA was looking to increase the duration of manned space flights. NASA even called their first fuel cells Bacon Cells in honor of Sir Francis Bacon. The fuel cell’s early success in NASA’s manned space flights allowed fuel cell technology to literally “take off” in the 1960’s. Many of the types of fuel cells that we have today were spawned out of the R&D done by NASA in the 1960s as variants of the Bacon Cell concept.

One of the fuel cell types developed out of the R&D done by NASA, the PEM fuel cell, continues to Continue reading Fuel Cells 101 – Learning The Basics

Cheniere – The First U.S. Company To Export Natural Gas (LNG)

Cheniere (NYSE: LNG) is the first company in America to be given a license to export liquefied natural gas by FERC.   The world became interested in researching Cheniere in 2011 when this authorization was given.  Just a few years prior, in 2005, the US was building LNG import facilities as natural gas shortages seemed imminent. Natural gas prices continued to climb from 2005 to 2008 as the world did not recognize the fundamental energy shift sweeping across the planet during the great recession of 2008.  From 2008 to 2011, the US & world energy market paradigm was changing fundamentally.  With new technological abilities related to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, natural gas drillers had unlocked the potential of the Eagle Ford and the Mighty Marcellus.  Many operators didn’t recognize the fundamental changes taking place in natural gas markets.

Cheniere, however, adapted to world markets differently between 2005 and 2011 as they reacted faster than anyone else when they saw the future of natural gas, not the present.  Before modern era hydraulic fracturing into the Eagle Ford and Marcellus shales had reached the ears and psyche of America, Cheniere adapted their LNG strategy to be a natural gas exporter.  In 2011, Cheniere had the approval they needed and long-term sales agreements locked up with some of the world’s largest energy customers. And now in 2015, Cheniere’s first liquefaction train for export is about to go online.  How did Cheniere come to be the first company licensed to export LNG internationally? Let’s begin our recap of Cheniere’s story in the year 2011.

Cheniere Sabine Pass LNG
Cheniere LNG Facility in Sabine Pass, Cameron Parish, Louisiana. This facility is being built by Bechtel, the 4th largest privately owned company in the US.  Bechtel is a construction company based in San Francisco, California.  Click to enlarge.

In 2011, the board of directors of Cheniere was different than it is today. Two of the board members of Cheniere in 2011 had some inside connections that may have helped with Continue reading Cheniere – The First U.S. Company To Export Natural Gas (LNG)

Responsibly Migrating Away from Crude Oil

Crude oil and internal combustion engines are a part of our lives.   Crude oil refines into the primary energy that gets our vehicles around today.   It’s what powers our cars and trucks on freeways across America every day.   Crude oil is responsible for many jobs and products across our country and around the world.   RMP takes those jobs, especially the jobs in America, very seriously. We feel a great responsibility to make sure it is well understood that we care  about jobs provided by the oil & gas industry to Americans and people around the world.  RMP advocates, however, for an immediate and responsible migration away from crude oil as a fuel source.  By ramping up the displacement of internal combustion engines with fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), like the Toyota Mirai pictured above, America’s economy and national security will improve.  Mirai is the Japanese word for future.

Continue reading Responsibly Migrating Away from Crude Oil

The Keystone XL Pipeline

The recent mid-term election in America has brought the Keystone XL pipeline to the forefront of American politics again. Washington DC has enthusiasm and momentum to push through legislation that will approve the final phase of the Keystone Pipeline System: the Keystone XL. But how did America get involved between the National Energy Board’s ambition to get bitumen to China and other foreign markets? The answer is simple: Alberta is landlocked and a pipeline across America is one route to economically get the bitumen to China or other foreign markets.

Chinese flag

China needs energy. China faces many challenges to get enough energy to keep their economy moving and producing for over 1.3 billion people.   China has made some remarkable moves toward making clean energy recently when they endeavored to start building more IGCC plants for electricity production from syngas.  IGCC technology with Continue reading The Keystone XL Pipeline