Multimedia website covers energy poverty, the people and tools for drilling wells, and the immense value of what we produce
By Mike Killalea, Editor & Publisher
More than 3 billion Earthlings subsist with inadequate or nonexistent electricity. Energy poverty is a brutal fact of life for these human beings, but relief efforts by the US government ignore or discourage use of hydrocarbons to solve the problem.
IADC’s DrillingMatters.org explores the troubling issue of energy poverty, as well as the people who drill the world’s oil and natural gas wells and the tools they use, and the immense and currently irreplaceable products they provide to the world.
DrillingMatters.org is a multimedia, web-based tool designed to educate the public about the E&P industry and to dispel the plethora of myths and misconceptions surrounding energy questions.
DrillingMatters.org comprises three main sections, each with modules on specific topics. These sections are:
Energy Poverty and the Role of the Energy Industry;
What We Do and How: Meet the Drilling Rig and the People Who Run Them;
What We Provide: How Oil and Gas Extend Life Expectancy and Promote Economic Growth.
Who needs us and Why
“One to 3 billion of the Earth’s 7.4 billion people now have no access to electricity or very, very inadequate (access),” Kathleen Hartnett White, Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Texas Public Policy Foundation, said in comments for DrillingMatters.org.
Energy Poverty is the lead module because our industry provides the world with the energy to fuel the global economy, and that includes the vital role of helping people live happy, healthy and productive lives.
Unfortunately, despite the ability of hydrocarbons to alleviate this suffering, relief efforts by the US government strongly favor development of renewable sources. This does not expedite improving these people’s lives.
What We Do and How
The art and science of drilling wells, and the people who drill them are a dark mystery to much of the public, a minefield of misconception and myth.
The modules in What We Do seek to provide a general, non-technical introduction to the drilling rig and its subsystems. Just as importantly, the section profiles individuals in the industry, with emphasis on life on the rig and “who’s who,” differentiating among drilling contractors, operators, service companies and manufacturers.
Hydraulic fracturing is one of the most misunderstood areas of current E&P practice. Drilling Matters focuses an entire module to hydraulic fracturing. This module features a series of Q&A video interviews with experts in the field: George King, Distinguished Engineering Advisor, Apache Corp, and Principal, GEK Engineering; Karen Olson, Director V+ Solutions, Southwestern Energy; and Jim Wicklund, Managing Director, Credit Suisse.
Hydraulic Fracturing Revealed explains the real story behind this technology – water use (not nearly as dire as typically broadcast), earthquakes, the truth about fracking chemicals and more. The webcast also highlights the benefits of hydraulic fracturing and the shale revolution.
“If we hadn’t had the shale revolution, we’d be looking at oil prices over $100 now,” Ms Olson remarked. “And gasoline would be $4 at the pump.”
Drilling Matter’s Interactive Rig Tour gives viewers a chance to explore rig systems and equipment on their own.
What We Provide
What would a world without oil and gas look like? “Dark. And polluted,” said Mr Wicklund, who also contributed to What We Provide. “Things run, and we don’t live by whale oil, because of oil and gas.”
The public, however, knows little beyond what sprays from the gasoline pump.
What they will learn from DrillingMatters.org, among other information, is that the US shale oil revolution saved consumers as much as $248 billion on gasoline and other refined products. A huge savings at the pump and a huge boost to the US gross domestic product.
Meanwhile, alternative energies are much celebrated for their “clean” approaches to energy production. DrillingMatters.org viewers will see for themselves the towering advantages of oil and natural gas in terms of efficiency and, yes, environmental stewardship. Not only is the energy output of alternatives weak and diffuse, compared with hydrocarbons, but they cannot exist without severe, hidden remote pollution.
Alternative energy is vital to the future, and hydrocarbons, notably natural gas, can help bridge that gap. For example, mining the rare earth elements critical to wind turbines is terribly destructive to the environment and has polluted water and farmlands.
However, alternatives are limited largely to electricity generation. While electric cars are gaining in popularity, they also suffer from remote pollution from mining the materials critical to automotive batteries. That goes for your cell phone battery, too, by the way.
Hydrocarbon development also provides another highly desired artifact – jobs.
“There are less than 10 producing oil and gas states in the United States,” observed Susan Farrell, Vice President, IHS, in an interview for DrillingMatters.org. “The influence of the supply chain spreads to nearly all 50 states…. When you look at equipment, it comes from all over the country.”
IADC’s DrillingMatters.org also includes numerous references and – just for fun – links to drilling-related games.
IADC deeply appreciates the contributions of videos and still photos for DrillingMatters
.org. Because of the immense generosity of this industry, there are too many to thank here. Without their help, this new educational website would probably not exist. See the list of contributors at https://goo.gl/kqvlvc.
Help your friends, acquaintances and family understand: Drilling Matters. DC