U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Wyoming
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 11-08-2008, 03:25 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,011 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Does anyone know if oilfield industry in Wyoming has contracts to drill for certain number of years? Thinking of moving to Rock Springs area, employer is supplier to oilfields. Wondering if jobs are stable, or industry expected to slow with new administration.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-08-2008, 03:58 PM
 
527 posts, read 1,428,303 times
Reputation: 208
Well ..the oil and gas companies have permits to drill thousands of wells all over Wyoming so it should last a while. My advise would be, once you get settled in ,be sure to check out all of the other jobs that are available there. Mining, power plants etc. Then when the boom - busts you will know who to talk to about other work. Also after all of the drilling is done there will be jobs in the field watching over the wells and pipelines so if you make contacts with any of the folks who work for these companies it would be good.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-08-2008, 04:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,011 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyomiles View Post
Well ..the oil and gas companies have permits to drill thousands of wells all over Wyoming so it should last a while. My advise would be, once you get settled in ,be sure to check out all of the other jobs that are available there. Mining, power plants etc. Then when the boom - busts you will know who to talk to about other work. Also after all of the drilling is done there will be jobs in the field watching over the wells and pipelines so if you make contacts with any of the folks who work for these companies it would be good.
Thanks, I appreciate the info.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-08-2008, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,921 posts, read 9,171,425 times
Reputation: 9012
Oil drilling is bound to taper off if oil prices continue to drop. Oil and gas drilling has never been a very "stable" job. In the Powder River Basin, coal bed methane drilling has dropped off due mainly to concerns over a decrease in sage grouse populations. Towns that rely on drilling activity have always been boom and bust communities.

As for the new administration... it's scary. If Obama has his way, even the coal mines will be in trouble.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2008, 12:54 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,282 posts, read 18,961,353 times
Reputation: 8158
Be Careful, energy can fizzle very fast, and the Dems are not gonna prop up the energy companies, as they feel they have reaped too much profit. I feel the combination of the Worldwide economic slump + lower oil prices + no solid energy policy spells significantly troubled waters ahead. (I think the 'admin' has much bigger fires to fight, and energy is gonna take a back seat... again... too bad). The long term contracts will go unfilled if it is unprofitable to extract. (I.E. oil prices stay low because of demand and no more 'speculation' (that was a bubble, a very quick one))

Bank your $$ and have a plan B... good advice for all, essential for energy workers.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2008, 11:07 AM
 
8,325 posts, read 22,515,213 times
Reputation: 8071
If "cap and trade" energy policies are enacted in the next few years, you can expect that the energy industry in Wyoming will reel in very quickly until a more favorable economic environment appears.

Another negative factor on energy production would be "windfall profits" taxation upon this industry. It's never been a high margin profit business, and with oil now back down into the $60 barrel range, it's not very viable for Wyoming exploration/production.

It would be relatively easy for many of the mines/oil rigs to simply shut down rather than to pay prohibitive taxes designed to shut down their industry. Sooner or later, energy will be needed, and as there isn't a viable alternative to fossil fuels on the horizon, and the coal/oil companies will be sitting on a yet more valuable asset.

Many folks don't understand that there isn't a big energy storage (battery) for electricity on a commercial scale ... so every megawatt of solar or wind energy must be backed up by an on-line (that means running 24/7/365) alternative power source, which is typically fossil fueled. Folks expect that when they "flip" the switch "on" for an energy consumer, that the power is there. If it's nighttime and not much wind, then the only source is fossil fuel power (with the exception of a few nuclear power plants or local hydro plants) or nothing. "nothing" means that the power isn't there, or that there will be limited power and a "brownout" or a "blackout" due to low or no energy available. Is that really what consumers want? I don't think so.

When it's brought home to folks that the foolishness of taxing industries to death has real adverse effects in your daily life, it will be a whole new energy game. Please note that Mr. Obama has pledged that he will tax the fossil fuel industry "to death" via "cap and trade".

We cannot save our way into a zero energy consumption mode. Even high efficiency lighting and heating (or cooling), or transportation ... still uses energy, which must be provided somehow. Wind and solar won't get it done.

We've investigated an "off grid" situation for our farm and ranch ... a far more likely scenario than a city dweller's opportunities for doing so ... and it simply isn't feasible or economical at today's cost of alternative energy generation. Even the folks touting the use of their energy generating products will admit that if you can tie into the grid to do so before relying upon their products, which was brought out in a seminar we attended just last week on energy independence. And we live in an area of some of the highest average wind energy density (strong winds!) in the USA with many days of strong sunshine.

At this point, I think the Wyoming energy industry is in for a rough few years ahead. Don't be surprised if it shrinks dramatically in the near term, and shuts down exploration and development for awhile. At best, it will just be in a maintenance and lower output mode for awhile. I expect that jobs will rapidly disappear for awhile, and that the limited jobs for operations and maintenance have already been filled ... as these are not the big paying jobs that come with development. Given the transportation costs associated with delivering Wyoming's energy sources to other parts of the country, I think Wyoming will be the first to be hit in the fossil fuel energy downturn ... before the Eastern coal producing states or other oil production areas closer to refineries and consumer markets ....

Just my two cents worth on the current election outcome. Your view may be different ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 11-09-2008 at 12:13 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-09-2008, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, WY
355 posts, read 985,168 times
Reputation: 309
I have to completely agree with sunsprit. I foresee hard times coming down on WY's energy sector for both market and political reasons.

The price of crude, natural gas and coal is collapsing quickly as the economy of the US and the world goes into recession. The economy in China is rapidly contracting and this is an even bigger issue for worldwide energy prices, as well as steel, base metal (nickel, copper, zinc, etc) prices. The new Obama administration has already declared their hostility towards coal - regardless of what they said to attempt to reverse themselves on the issue. If they're buying any of this AGW nonsense, then they're going to be against coal. Since coal is responsible for 50%+ of the US electric generation portfolio, even modest restrictions on coal use or future build-out will have long term and serious effects on the price of coal going forward and will result in negative economic effects in WY, especially northeast WY (Gillette, Sheridan, et al).

As sunsprit says, wind and solar won't get it done. Matter of fact, in some respects, wind and solar are a bigger bother than they are an asset. Wind doesn't pencil out without tax breaks and subsidies, and solar power doesn't pencil out even in Nevada. The only place where solar makes sense is in places in California, where due to their absurd restrictions on building new power plants has caused a tiered energy price for consumers such that if you're a homeowner living in something larger than a yurt, you're going to get raped on electric rates unless you have some alternative power source available to run your meter backwards during some peak load rate portion of the day.

Since not all states are quite as stupid as California WRT power rates and availability, wind/solar for the homeowner doesn't pencil out.

The only reason why people keep buying the canard of wind & solar is that most people are ridiculously ignorant of math and science, not to mention the dearth of actual engineers in public policy debates.

So it is left to grim reality pocket-protector types like sunsprit and I to rain reality on peoples' parades...

BTW -- sunsprit -- have you seen the latest flap over the Suzlon turbines? They're experiencing blade failure - with some blades shearing off and being found more than 150 feet away from the machine.

I think all these terribly smart and fashionable turbine manufacturers are about to find out why old man Jacobs put his blades upwind of the tower... back in the 1930's. ;-)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2008, 08:19 AM
 
8,325 posts, read 22,515,213 times
Reputation: 8071
Quote:
Originally Posted by NVDave View Post
BTW -- sunsprit -- have you seen the latest flap over the Suzlon turbines? They're experiencing blade failure - with some blades shearing off and being found more than 150 feet away from the machine.

I think all these terribly smart and fashionable turbine manufacturers are about to find out why old man Jacobs put his blades upwind of the tower... back in the 1930's. ;-)
I didn't know that there was a larger problem with the Suzlon turbines than what we'd experienced locally last winter with our 100+ mph winds that tore off the blades on two turbines at the large wind farm 20 miles from our place.

What was interesting for us was the response from the utility company engineers and the manufacturer reps at the recent wind/solar seminar we attended. I inquired about the ability of the turbines to withstand higher wind velocities, and they gave me their stock specs about 100+ mph capability and their various techniques to protect the turbines from overspeeding .... some use variable pitch blades, some use a mechanical or electrical means to "clamp" onto the turbine shaft and keep it from spinning (which doesn't make sense to me, the blades are still generating a lot of force from the wind), and some use various methods of turning the blades into a lesser wind angle to reduce the forces ..... or combinations of all these methods.

So, after getting the lectures about their designs, I then asked to what instanteous wind gusts the blades had been tested. All admitted that they'd done NO testing and had NO SPECS for this concern.

This is significant because it overlooks the forces on the turbine from the wind gusts, which can vary greatly in direction as well as velocity in an instant, and much quicker than a lot of the turbine control methods. Essentially, the turbines (and generator units) are being subjected to "hammering" forces repeated many times per minute that fatigue the blades.

I watched this destructive force on my greenhouses during the storm that damaged the local turbines. It wasn't the high wind velocities that were damaging, it was the "hammering" of the gusts that tore stuff apart. No way were we able to go out into the storm and tie down or secure the panels and structure, they were simply out of our control and well past their designed limits for gusts, although well within their designed max wind velocity.

On other fronts ... I see that there's reports that Mr. Obama is now studying/considering using "presidential orders" to quickly institute a lot of his intended policies for the country upon taking office. Previously, a lot of the areas he's looking at would have been considered a usurption of Congressional power and not well received. However, with a compliant and favorably disposed Congress, he could do this with little discussion, if not outright impunity. I understand that he's looking specifically at a lot of "environmental" issues from the last few years, including drilling policies and closing available lands for energy development. In that vein, if he orders environmental controls on fossil fuels/power generation industry, he could cause a lot of havoc based upon political views instead of economics, domestic energy demand, and sound science. Simply another reason to be concerned about the future and possible downturn of Wyoming's energy business in the near term. At this point, it's still a guessing game ... but we'll know more as the new cabinet and top advisor picks are made in the coming days, as this will reveal more about the new administration's outlook on these issues.

Last edited by sunsprit; 11-10-2008 at 08:30 AM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Sheridan, WY
355 posts, read 985,168 times
Reputation: 309
There's also the inherent problem in downwind turbines that when the blade passes through the shadow of the tower, each blade is subjected to a wind hammer - on every revolution. This is what ol' man Jacobs found out on his turbines in the 30's and why upwind turbines are necessary. And this was why he had to use wood for turbine blades - you need something that doesn't work harden. Think about those blades, as long as they are, whipping past the tower shadow dozens of times every minute under full load. Then think about the fact that the turbine tower is thicker the lower you do, and the blade is thinner the further out towards the tip you are - so the tip of the blade is passing through a turbulent area of pretty good size down low on the tower. All we really need for blade failure on these monsters is for even a foot to come off and unbalance the machine.....

I like to think about two things as I watch these three-bladed (they got that much right) turbines and these towers that are 10' in diameter:

1. Incipent blade failure due to stresses in the blade and at the blade root from passing through that wind shadow of the tower.

2. Bearing failure due to the sudden yaw force on the main shaft (downward) as the downward blade passes through the shadow. Bearing fires are annoying on farm machines (like a combine) when they're down low where you can get at them. They're so much more entertaining 200' up in the air... ;-)

Now add the natural hammering forces from how winds change in the intermountain west and the gold-boom type rush to slap these things up... and we're in for years of entertainment watching these things come apart.

But Jacobs couldn't have known anything. Why, he didn't even have a degree, much less a degree from a hoity-toity school like our new fearless leader has. ;-)

Mark my words: one day, someone is going to be injured or killed by a downwind turbine blade failure on a 1MW+ machine. When those machines come apart, it is something to behold...
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-10-2008, 11:14 AM
 
1,078 posts, read 2,572,135 times
Reputation: 628
I dont know why the industry is so caught up in using the current blade designs. There are other ways to get a turbine turning using wind that are a lot less prone to failure and destruction, they may not be as efficient, but they are certainly better in the high wind environment of wyoming.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Wyoming
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top