Germs Turn Natural Gas Into Diesel

A start-up company based in Menlo Park, California, plans to make diesel fuel from natural gas using microorganisms, potentially at half the cost as conventional diesel, reports the MIT Technology Review.

Calysta Energy uses microorganisms that naturally feed on natural gas. It has demonstrated its process at small scale, and projects that the cost of using ‘bugs’ to digest the gas will be cheaper than existing thermochemical proceses to make liquid fuels from natural gas. Continue reading

Oil Industry Seeks Clarity on Endangered Species Reviews

The Independent Petroleum Association of America has asked Daniel Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to give the industry a clearer understanding of the process by which the agency adds animals to the endangeries species list.

Barry Russell, President of the Association, wrote to Ashe on Nov. 5 to express the organizations “concerns regarding the continued lack of transparency with respect to timing and plans for listing decisions on candidate species under the Endangered Species Act.”

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Study of Inglewood Field Finds No Harm From Fracking

A year-long study of the Inglewood Oil Field, conducted by the environmental consulting firm Cardno Entrix, found that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) used in the 1,200-acre field has had no effects on ground water, air quality, air pollution or seismic activity.

A copy of the 206-page report is available by download from this site.

The study, the first of its kind, was funded by Plains Exploration and Production Co., which owns and operates the oil field. It was performed as part of a settlement agreement with Culver City and environmental and community groups. Two independent consulting firms, selected by Cardno Entrix and the County of Los Angeles, reviewed and endorsed the findings.