‘We’re Our Own Nemesis’
By Shifra Mincer
Published: August 29, 2011
‘We’re Our Own Nemesis Original Article PDFWhen it comes to building trust and community support, CEO of Texas-based Breitling Oil & Gas company Chris Faulkner, says the hydraulic fracturing community has failed miserably.
Faulkner founded Breitling in 2004 as a natural gas and oil company that exclusively taps North American shales and wells. He told AOL Energy that although there has been quite a backlash against hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for natural gas, he sees natural gas as a necessary resource for America’s energy future in terms of lowering carbon emissions and reduced dependence on coal.
And fracking, which he said is being used now in 95% of the country’s gas shales, is a necessary part of the extraction process.
“[Fracking] not a type of feature that’s electable anymore,” Faulkner said. “It’s really a requirement to continue to mine for natural gas and produce it.”
He said that because the industry has failed to properly educate consumers, people are jumping to incorrect conclusions, driven by movies like Gasland that are not based on the truth.
“We’re our own nemesis in that department,” he said. The industry has not made the effort to reach out, Faulkner said, and is now suffering the consequences.
Though Faulkner is adamant that natural gas fracking could be completely safe, if all safety procedures were properly executed in every well, he said he hopes the industry can find a way to use less hazardous materials in its fracking water.
He hopes further R&D will find “more eco-friendly chemicals that can serve the same purpose” as the currently-used chemicals. Even so, he thinks consumers have every right to know what is current fracking practice.
“We should tell them what’s going down that hole. They aren’t going to be happy about it,” Faulkner said.
Standard fracking works by pumping high pressured chemical-filled water deep into the ground. The water cracks open the shale rock and the chemicals help the trapped natural gas release from the rock and travel back into the pipeline and up to the the surface.
But even so, Faulkner said that because wells are often more than 10,000 feet below ground, its nearly impossible for chemicals to travel all the way up the water layers, which are only about 600 feet below ground. And, he said, what is separating the water from the fracked regions is a thick layer of shale rock.
“The whole nature of shale is that its tight,” Faulkner said. Hydrocarbons cannot be released without “serious stimulation.” Chemicals too cannot easily pass through the rock and into water reserves.
If the procedure weren’t managed very carefully, he said, there would be contamination at every shale. But the fact is that only several contamination points have been discovered, and is easily attributable to human error in those specific cases.
The American Way
Though some countries have been very cautious about fracking, Faulkner said he was proud that the American way is to go ahead and drill without spending three years looking left and right.
“We drill holes in the ground and see what’s there,” he said. Politicians have been using the fracking issue for selfish political purposes, he said.
Faulkner said he agrees with recent EPA regulation proposals that would encourage the industry to disclose the content of chemicals used, but he insisted that states rather than the federal government should decide how the process is done.
Like the American Petroleum Institute, which has said the problem with EPA regulations is blanket country-wide rules, Faulkner said the states know best about the details of their regions and the fracking companies that operate within them.
Read more about the API response to regulatory draft report on hydraulic fracturing from the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB): Industry Calls Fracking Proposal ‘Redundant’.
An Industry On The Cusp
Much is at stake for the fracking industry at it awaits EPA regulations.Faulkner says natural gas prices could start to rise again in the next two years after an extended period of low prices.
American developers are starting to export gas to international markets and regulators interested in promoting clean energy are starting to talk of an expanded role for natural gas, such as natural-gas powered vehicles.
The next big production shales, Faulkner said, will be the Motney Shale, the Horn River and the Utica Shale.
May 10, 2011
Pain At The Pump
Pain At The Pump - The Times Record_ Features PDF Download
Some call it “highway robbery”; others call it “ridiculous.”
No one pulling into gas stations these days is calling it pleasant, as gas prices soar toward and above the $4 mark and full tanks are taking anywhere from $50 to $100 from a driver’s pocket.
Reginald Finch of Fort Smith is spending “ridiculous” amounts of money at the pump just to get to his doctor. He spends about $50-$60 each week on gasoline.
LeRoy Slaight of Muldrow said he fills up his truck once or twice a week at $75-$100 each time.
“It’s terrible, but we got to take it,” said Slaight, filling up at Little B’s. “There’s nothing we can do about it. I go to Hot Springs quite often, and it gets quite expensive.”
Jeremy Moran of Fort Smith said it often takes all a person’s got just to get to and from work.
“I pawned my battery charger and drill to put gas in it (truck),” Moran said, filling up his truck at Fenny’s.
Some experts predict that gas prices will continue to rise through July, even beating the spike of 2008. So what can drivers do to help save some money at the pumps?
Quite a bit, according to Chris Faulkner, president and chief executive officer of Texas-based Breitling Oil & Gas in Dallas.
By following a few tips, drivers can add up the savings at the gas pumps.
Faulkner said often the subtlest differences can add up when it comes to fuel economy.
Using cruise control, slowing down, closing windows and not letting the car idle can all go a long way in helping save money on gas.
“What seems like a simple convenience also can save fuel because the cruise-control system is almost always better at maintaining a steady speed and making smooth transitions when traveling on hilly highways,” Faulkner said.
Accelerating rapidly, speeding and other forms of aggressive driving can cut fuel economy by 5 percent in around-town driving and as much as a third on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Slowing down improves fuel economy and is also safer,” Faulkner said. “Most cars are less efficient at higher speeds. You’ll save two miles per gallon driving 55 miles per hour rather than 65 miles per hour. That adds up.”
Keeping windows closed while driving on the highway also can save money.
“Open windows can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent,” Faulkner explained. “In stop-and-go traffic, open the window and turn off the air conditioning to save money.”
Allowing your car to idle also will cut down fuel economy, according to Faulkner.
“If you’re going to be standing for more than a minute, running your engine wastes more gas than restarting the engine,” he added.
Some tips have less to do with how you drive the car and more to do with how you maintain the car.
Keeping the tires properly inflated, the engine well-tuned and clearing the car’s trunk of unnecessary items can all help a little.
Faulkner said keeping tires properly inflated can make a huge difference in gas mileage - up to 6 percent loss for every single pound a tire is under-inflated.
“Check your tire pressure frequently, especially if your tires have a tendency to lose pressure,” he recommended. “And consider getting steel-belted radial tires … they can increase gas mileage up to 10 percent.”
A weighed-down car can use more fuel, so those extra items add up in more ways than one.
“Every 250 pounds eats up an extra mile per gallon,” Faulkner said.
At the pump, follow these additional tips from Faulkner, like not buying any higher octane gas than what your vehicle requires, buy gas during the cooler times of day, pay cash at stations that charge extra for using a credit/debit card, and not topping off the gas tank.
“Higher octane gas is more expensive, and if your car doesn’t need it, you’re wasting money,” explained Faulkner, adding that most cars do not require it, although the manual says it’s “recommended.”
“Buy gas when it’s cooler during the day (like the early morning or at night) to reduce gas evaporation,” he added.
Gas reward cards and discount gas gift cards also can help shave pennies at the pump.
“Did you know you don’t have to pay full price for a gift card? Sites like GiftCardGranny.com offer a diverse selection of discount gas cards from various card vendors,” Faulkner said. “Grocery stores across the U.S. offer up to 10 cents off per gallon for buying groceries and filling up at their tanks.”
The Federal Trade Commission also suggests steering clear of any gas-saving gadgets that promise to improve gas mileage, such as mixture enhancers and fuel-line magnets. After testing by the EPA, very few provided any fuel economy benefits and some even damaged the car’s engine; for a full list of tested products, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/reports.htm.
Think you’re beating the game by filling your tank to the brim? Not exactly, according to Faulkner.
“This surprises a lot of people, but don’t overfill your gas tank,” he said. “You don’t want the gas to slosh out or evaporate.”
Faulkner also recommends to avoid the convenience gas stations on the side of the highway, as they usually charge more than the stations on side roads.
Some smart phones even offer apps that help find the cheapest gas prices near a destination. GasBuddy and GasPriceWatch.com update prices constantly, and Mapquest has an online finder for gas prices.
Last but not least are the obvious tips, like driving less or using alternative transportation.
The FTC suggests leaving the car at home and using public transportation, a bike or walking.
“Combine errands, carpool and plot out your route beforehand to avoid backtracking whenever possible,” Faulkner added.
One Income Dollar
April 18, 2011
Gasoline Saving Tips As Prices Soar Near $4.00/gallon
Experts predict that gas prices will rise well into July, beating the spike of ‘08. How can Americans protect themselves from this ongoing and inevitable highway robbery?
1 Use cruise control: What seems like a simple convenience can also save fuel because the cruise-control system is almost always better at maintaining a steady speed and making smooth transitions when traveling on hilly highways.
2. Avoid buying higher octane gas than your car requires. Higher octane gas is more expensive, and if your car doesn’t need it, you’re wasting money. Most cars DO NOT require it though the manual will say its “recommended”.
3. Keep your tires properly inflated. This can make a huge difference in your gas mileage — up to 6% loss for every single pound your tire is under-inflated. Check your tire pressure frequently, especially if your tires have a tendency to lose pressure.
4. Consider getting steel-belted radial tires, since they can pay for themselves over time. They can increase gas mileage up to 10%.
5. Drive gently: Accelerating rapidly, speeding and other forms of aggressive driving can cut your fuel economy by 5% in around-town driving and by as much as a third on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Slowing down improves fuel economy and is also safer.
6. Don’t carry unnecessary items in your car. Every 250 extra pounds eats up an extra mile per gallon.
7. Steer Clear of the Highway - Avoid the convenient gas station on the side of the highway as you drive home from work. Stations close to highways and Interstates charge more for those ideal locations.
8. Save money with self-service whenever possible. And pay cash if there is an extra charge to use a credit card/debit card.
9. Don’t let your car idle, either when you warm it up or when you are at a standstill. If you’re going to be standing for more than a minute, running your engine wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
10. Buy gas when it’s cooler during the day (like the early morning or at night) to reduce gas evaporation.
11. This surprises a lot of people, but don’t over-fill your gas tank. You don’t want the gas to slosh out or evaporate.
12. Drive the speed limit - Most cars are less efficient at higher speeds. You’ll save 2 miles per gallon driving 55 mph rather than 65 mph. That adds up.
13. Another obvious suggestion is to drive less. Combine errands, carpool, and plot out your route beforehand to avoid backtracking whenever possible.
14. Develop good driving habits. For example, accelerate gently, maintain a steady speed rather than speeding up and slowing down, and avoid slamming on the brakes.
15. Keep your windows closed when driving on the highway. Open windows can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 10%. In stop-and-go traffic, open the windows and turn off the air conditioning to save money.
16. Rent fuel-efficient cars when you travel. Research and find reasonably priced places to buy gas before you leave, especially if you’ll be driving a lot.
17. Download Some Gas Apps for your phone - If you have a smartphone, there are plenty of free apps that help you find the cheapest gas near your destination. GasBuddy makes it easy with its free app, and Mapquest has an online finder for gas prices.
18. Buy Discount Gas Gift Cards - Did you know you don’t have to pay full price for a gift card? Sites like GiftCardGranny.com offer a diverse selection of discount gas gift cards from various card vendors.
19. Be Loyal to Your Reward Card - Grocery stores across the U.S. offer up to 10 cents off per gallon for buying groceries and filling up at their tanks. Some stores offer an additional savings if you pay cash, when combined with your reward card. Just make sure you save your cashier’s receipt to get the full savings.
Chris Faulkner is President and Chief Executive Officer Breitling Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company.
RIGZONE - Breitling Forges Ahead with Oil-Based E&P Efforts
Breitling Forges Ahead with Oil-Based E&P Efforts
Friday, March 18, 2011
Founded in 2004, Dallas-based Breitling Oil & Gas Corporation has focused on recovery from previously discovered oil and gas fields, mostly from high-potential, proven basins in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, rather than discovering new reserves and partnerships with other companies has enabled the company to remain debt free.
The current weakness in natural gas prices has prompted to company to mainly focus on oil liquids based plays in the Eagle Ford shale in Gonzales County, Texas and the Haynesville play. As a result, the company shifted the focus of its Gulf Coast Onshore initiative, announced in May 2010, from oil to gas.
In May 2010, Breitling announced it has acquired thousands of acres of leases in the Gulf Coast regions of Texas and Louisiana as part of that initiative, and identified 29 future oil and gas drilling locations within the acreage.
“This initial focus of that program was gas, when we thought gas would remain at $5/Mcf,” said Breitling CEO Chris Faulkner. “We’re surprised that gas prices are still this depressed, especially given the cold winter.” Like many companies, Breitling has switched from a gas focus to chasing oil.
CEO Chris Faulkner
The six wells drilled in that program have been commercially productive, with a mix of natural gas and oil. The company plans to continue its efforts with addition acreage acquisitions and drilling. The most recent successful well is the Breitling Candena well in Duval County, Texas, on which the company recently began completion operations. Breitling plans to drill another well here targeting the Hackberry and Yegua formations, which are prolific oil and gas producing sands, between 6,000 feet and 10,000 feet.
Breitling this week spud the Breitling-Magnolia #1, the first of 2 wells in its Breitling-Magnolia prospect in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. The first well, the Magnolia #1, is targeting the Wilcox and Simpson Sand.
The proposed wells are located within a 240-acre closure mapped at the Simpson and Wilcox Sands and the Hunton Sand at above an estimated total vertical depth of 4,500 feet. “This is a developmental shallow oil play with low geological risk,” said Joe Simo, Chief Geologist for Breitling Oil and Gas.
Management anticipates the first well will reach total depth in about 8 days and the same drilling rig will immediately begin to drill the Magnolia #2. Well completion and testing on the first well should begin during the last week of this month.
The company also recently spud the Breitling-Turner #1 in Hardeman County, Texas. The prospect was delineated using geological and geophysical techniques. Three lines of 2-D seismic were purchased over the Turner area, reprocessed, interpreted and integrated and existing well control. The seismic data verified the structural and stratigraphic position of the Holmes Sand. Well completion and testing should begin during the second week of next month.
The proposed well is located within a 640-acre closure mapped at the Holmes Sand and the Mississippian Chappel dolomite formations above an estimated total vertical depth of 7,600 feet. The Holmes is a high-quality sand reservoir encased in hydrocarbon-rich Barnett shale, similar to the Bakken shale in North Dakota.
Faulkner said the company also currently is seeking partnership opportunities for the Baltic Basin in Poland and South Africa. Breitling’s geologists also have been eyeing potential plays in Alaska, but the company has held off on a decision in light of environmental concerns that have delayed Alaskan drilling.
In Brazil, the company is looking into a joint venture in the onshore Sollimes Basin in Brazil’s Amazon region, which could potentially hold 100 Bcf and several million barrels of oil. Wells in the Sollimes Basin, which would be 4,000 foot deep, feature a nice shale component.
“We see it as a hanging fruit opportunity, as Petrobras is more focused on developing its pre-salt offshore deepwater discoveries. Petrobras’ focus here leaves opportunities open for other companies to come in and produce onshore reserves,” said Faulkner.
The company invests millions each year in research and development of new processes and procedures and continues to fully utilize the latest technologies in order to reduce dry risk and increase the likelihood of drilling commercially-productive wells.
This technology includes the company’s proprietary Geo3D seismic filtering. Breitling’s patent-pending technology takes existing 3D seismic data and enhances it so it is noise free and with a broad enough “zero phase” spectrum to represent fractional match points that could lead to oil and gas discovery. “Within the limitations of the seismic data we can use this synthetic data to optimize our 3D data set and locate oil and gas reservoirs that were missing in previous low resolution interpretation,” Breitling said. The technology has worked well on the shallow, vertical wells the company has drilled so far.
Breitling also has invested in research for its EcoFrac program. Founded in February 2010, EcoFrac is an environmentally safe hydraulic fracturing program that is used to evaluate the types of additives typically used in the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracing, to determine their environmental friendliness. After evaluations are completed, EcoFrac calls for the elimination of any additive not critical to the successful completion of the well and determines if greener alternatives are available for all essential additives.
Breitling Energy Corporation is a growing U.S. energy company based in Dallas, Texas engaged in the exploration and development of high-probability, lower risk onshore oil and gas properties. The Company’s dual-focused growth strategy primarily relies on leveraging management’s technical and operations expertise to grow through the drill-bit, while also growing its base of non-operating working interests and royalty interests.
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