Greenland Melting Even Faster Than Thought, While Exxon Discovers More Oil Off Guyana
Some UK Coastal Communities May Have To Move, While U.S. Crude Output To Grow in 2019 And 2020

Ocean Heat Sets New Record, While More Than One Million Kilometers Of New Oil and Gas Wells To Be Drilled By 2023

In climate-related news:

From CarbonBrief:  State of the climate: Heat across Earth’s surface and oceans mark early 2019.

Excerpts:

Global surface temperatures in 2019 are on track to be either the second or third warmest since records began in the mid-1800s, behind only 2016 and possibly 2017.

On top of the long-term  warming trend, temperatures in 2019 have been buoyed by a moderate El Niño event that is likely to persist through the rest of the year.

That’s one of the key findings from Carbon Brief’s latest “state of the climate” report, a quarterly series on global climate data that now includes temperatures, ocean heat, sea levels, greenhouse gas concentrations, climate model performance and polar ice.

Ocean heat content (OHC) set a new record in early 2019, with more warmth in the oceans than at any time since OHC records began in 1940.

The latest data shows that the level of the world’s oceans continued to rise in 2019, with sea levels around 8.5 centimetres (cm) higher than in the early 1990s.

Atmospheric methane concentrations have increased at an accelerating rate, reaching record highs in recent months, though scientists are divided on the cause of this trend.

From Grist:  Climate change’s deadliest effects are unfolding under the sea.

Excerpts: 

Think of the dangers climate change poses to animals, and you’ll likely picture skinny polar bears or cliff-diving walruses (collective sob). But it turns out that our overheating planet is actually wreaking the most havoc on creatures out of our sight: marine life.

Sea animals like crabs, lobster, and fish are dying off at twice the rate of land animals, according to a study published in Nature on Wednesday.

The researchers looked at more than 400 cold-blooded animals on land and sea, including lizards, dragonflies, lobsters, and mussels. They found that creatures that people rely on for food (fish, mollusks, shellfish) are among the most vulnerable, especially in the developing world, where many rely on them for a regular protein source.

From the Guardian:  North American drilling boom threatens big blow to climate efforts, study finds.

Excerpts:

More than half of the world’s new oil and gas pipelines are located in North America, with a boom in US oil and gas drilling set to deliver a major blow to efforts to slow climate change, a new report has found.

Of a total 302 pipelines in some stage of development around the world, 51% are in North America, according to Global Energy Monitor, which tracks fossil fuel activity. A total of $232.5bn in capital spending has been funneled into these North American pipeline projects, with more than $1tn committed towards all oil and gas infrastructure.

If built, these projects would increase the global number of pipelines by nearly a third and mark out a path of several decades of substantial oil and gas use.

In the US alone, the natural-gas output enabled by the pipelines would result in an additional 559m tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide each year by 2040, above 2017 levels, according to Global Energy Monitor, citing International Energy Agency figures.

From Bloomberg:  Soaked Midwest Farmers Can Blame Warm Pacific for Juicing Storms.

Excerpts:

American farmers raising their fists to the sky this year may be better off directing their ire toward the ocean.

Abnormally warm water in the eastern Pacific, along with a weak El Nino along the equator, have pumped a train of storms across the U.S. That has soaked fields that need to be planted with corn, soybeans and cotton and slowed barges full of grain, coal and chemicals struggling against the stiff current of the Mississippi and other Midwest rivers.

“The huge region of above-normal ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific is helping ‘juice’ storms arriving in the U.S.,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts. “Another factor contributing to this year’s wet winter was a strong sub-tropical jet stream, probably boosted by a weak El Nino, that funneled copious moisture from the Pacific Ocean into the U.S.’’

While the storms will certainly catch the attention of researchers, climate change is also making things worse because the heat puts more energy into the atmosphere and allows it to hold about 7 percent more moisture than pre-industrial times, Francis said.

“That moisture is a potent source of energy for storms and it also fuels heavier precipitation,’’ she said. “One clear symptom of climate change is a large uptick in heavy precipitation events, especially east of the Rockies.’’

From the Washington Post:  New EPA document tells communities to brace for climate change impacts.

Excerpts:

The Environmental Protection Agency published a 150-page document this past week with a straightforward message for coping with the fallout from natural disasters across the country: Start planning for the fact that climate change is going to make these catastrophes worse.

The language, included in guidance on how to address the debris left in the wake of floods, hurricanes and wildfires, is at odds with the rhetoric of the EPA’s own leader, Andrew Wheeler. Just last month, Wheeler said in an interview with CBS that “most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out.”

Multiple recent studies have identified how climate change is already affecting the United States and the globe. In the western United States, for example, regional temperatures have increased by almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1970s, and snowmelt is occurring a month earlier in areas, extending the fire season by three months and quintupling the number of large fires. Another scientific paper, co-authored by EPA researchers, found that unless the United States slashes carbon emissions, climate change will probably cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars annually by 2100.

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In business-as-usual news:

From Oilprice.com:  Rystad: Oil Wells To Be Drilled To The Moon And Back.

Excerpts:

A new study published today by Rystad Energy forecasts that there will be more than a million kilometers of new oil and gas wells drilled by 2023 globally; the distance of these wells combined is more than the distance to the moon and back.

Behind this push for oil and gas wells is North American shale, which, Rystad says, is expected to account for 600,000 kilometers of the million.

Rystad’s Head of Consulting, Erik Reiso, refers to the drilling onslaught to be seen in North America as “in a league of its own thanks to the shale boom,” with six of ten of the new wells in North America drilled in shale basins—wells that are typical longer than other types of wells.

While the top four offshore operators are expected to account for a quarter of the new offshore wells, the top ten onshore operators will account for only a third of the new wells in the next five years.

Discoveries of conventional resources on a global scale in Q1 2019 hit 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Rystad said in a separate statement to Rig Zone on Monday, with February seeing 2.2 billion boe of that. More than 2.4 billion boe of that was discovered by oil majors, with ExxonMobil coming out on top.

“If the rest of 2019 continues at a similar pace, this year will be on track to exceed last year’s discovered resources by 30 percent,” Rystad Upstream Analyst Taiyab Zain Shariff said in a company statement sent to Rig Zone.

From Oilprice.com:  Booming Oil & Gas Help Texas Exports Grow 3 Times Faster Than U.S. Average.

Excerpts:

The value of exports of oil and gas from Texas jumped by 45 percent, CNBC reports, citing data from trade research firm WISERTrade.

The value of Texas’ petroleum and coal product exports increased by 5 percent.

The value of Texas exports in January and February this year exceeded US$50.9 billion, a rise of 9 percent on the year—triple the U.S. national export growth of 2.6 percent in the first two months of the year, according to WISERTrade data.

As per WISERTrade, Texas accounted for almost 20 percent of all U.S. exports in the first two months of 2019, compared to 11 percent share for California. Over the past few years, the share of California of national exports has declined, while the share of Texas has grown, thanks to the soaring production and the rise in exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast after the U.S. removed restrictions on crude oil exports in 2015.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the value of the Texas crude oil exports stood at US$38.675 billion in 2018, a surge of 127 percent from 2017.

From Oilprice.com: “Africa’s Largest Oil Producer Aims To Double Production.

Excerpts:

Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria, is dusting off an ambitious plan to double its oil production by 2025, aiming to pump as much as 4 million bpd in six years’ time—a goal that analysts think may be too ambitious for the country to achieve.

OPEC member Nigeria currently pumps around 2.2 million bpd in crude oil and condensate. In March, Nigeria’s crude oil production stood at 1.733 million bpd, up by 11,000 bpd from February, according to OPEC’s secondary sources.

 

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