Friday, November 30, 2007

Ludvig Nobel: Oil Pioneer

In the late 1800’s, oil exploration and discovery was still in its infancy. Immanuel Nobel owned a firearm factory in St. Petersburg, Russia and his second oldest son, Ludvig, was the manager. He and his brother Robert had received a large order from the tsar at the time, and Robert rushed to southern Russia to find the wood necessary to assemble the stocks for the upcoming order. While rummaging through the countryside looking for choice timber, Robert came upon something that would prove to be much, much more valuable: a naturally occurring oil seepage near the largest port in Azerbaijan, Baku.

Ludvig and his brother Robert wasted no time, and set up their own oil company, the Branobel (Nobel Brothers) Oil Company in 1876. There was not much in the way of oil refining technology at that time, so Ludvig set his great mind to the task of research and development. Ludvig developed his own methods of refining and set up refineries and pipelines in southern Russia. Ludvig employed dozens of gifted scientists who, under his tutelage, and in his labs, found new ways of treating the oil, new uses for oil, new petroleum based products, and ultimately how to market them for profit to consumers. At one point in the late 1800’s, Baku had become the center of the burgeoning oil business, producing 50% of the world’s oil.

Ludvig invented proper pipeline systems to bring his oil from the source to the refinery, and to the distribution centers he set up to deliver the product for use in Russia. Soon, however, Ludvig realized the real profit lie in his ability to export the oil in an efficient and safe manner. This is when he arrived at the idea of a ship; a large vessel that could carry his product across the Caspian Sea to ports desiring the petroleum for fuel and all its new uses. Ludvig invented what has grown in today’s supertankers. He and his brother Robert built the very first tanker ship, and after its success, assembled an entire fleet of such ships to carry their exported petroleum not only across the Caspian, but in fact, safely transverse the Atlantic as well.

Ludvig was also a humanitarian at heart. He became one of the first entrepreneurs to offer his employees a share of the profits; a very progressive idea at that time. His company not only made himself and his family immensely wealthy, the contributions made by his company to the well being of the port and the surrounding area included parks, schools, and other municipal improvements which have lasted long after his death. His indelible advancements still permeate southern Russia as oil exploration and export continues to thrive in the region today.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Alaska Pipeline Importance

The oil fields of Alaska remain a mostly untapped resource that the United States looks to for fuel in the future. The U.S. has been depending on Alaska for 17% of its domestic crude for about 3 decades now, due to its large supplies that have been found thus far and one of the largest pipelines of its kind in the world.

Oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay in Northern Alaska in 1968, and motivated an assemblage of different oil companies to pool their financial resources and find a way to get the precious petroleum to port and to consumers. The five oil companies decided the most efficient way to move the oil would be an enormous pipeline stretching from the bay to the port of Valdez, a nearly 800 mile route which would stop at the northernmost ice-free port in the United States. These companies decided they would share profits and rights to the pipeline and hired the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company to keep the pipeline clean and running after its construction. The pipeline construction itself cost over 8 billion dollars and was the largest privately financed construction project ever.

The companies involved in the project and their shares in the pipeline, determined by the amount of money invested, are British Petroleum (46.93%), ConocoPhillips (28.29%), ExxonMobil (20.34%), Unocal (1.36%), and Koch (3.08%). These companies make sure that their private contracting company, the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, keep things running smoothly, helping to protect their interests in Alaska and helping serve their customers around the U.S. Construction began in 1975 and was completed in 1977. The pipeline has a diameter of 48 inches and spans 800 miles across three mountain ranges and over nearly 800 Alaskan rivers and streams. In many sections, the pipeline needed to be elevated in order to protect the permafrost, permanently frozen soil, in danger of melting from the heat emanating from the crude carrying pipe.

The oil supplies at Prudhoe Bay have provided nearly 500 billion gallons of oil since the pipeline’s construction in 1977. Nearly 40 billion gallons of oil coarse through its steely-veined infrastructure every single day! The Trans Alaska Pipeline System is not only important to United States oil consumers and companies; perhaps its largest contribution is to the state government and inhabitants of Alaska itself. The pipeline provides nearly 80% of the funding for Alaska’s state government as well as giving Alaskan natives royalties from the oil production to help offset the use of their land for pipeline construction. As more oil is discovered in Alaska, more pipelines will surely become necessary for transport, further benefiting Alaskans and the United States population alike.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Differences Between Types of Offshore Oil Platforms

The continuous need for oil in all parts of the world has motivated the development of new ways to discover and obtain it. Because large supplies of oil are often found offshore, in oceans and lakes where fault lines and specific rock formations occur, oil companies and their engineers have pioneered new ways of drilling by developing many different types of offshore oil rigs.

The first oil platform in the world was built in 1947. The Oil Rocks platform was built 25 miles off the coast of Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea and is a functional city with a population of 5000 people. There are over 100 miles of paved streets on this, the world’s largest oil platform. There are shops, restaurants, even a library. With all workers living and working together, this engineering marvel has been in existence for 60 years.

There are basically three types of offshore platforms that have developed over the years. Concrete platform types have concrete legs made on land and towed out to see by tugboats and once in place, extend all the way to the sea floor; the platform is then simply mounted atop them. Jack up platform types have a concrete foundation on the ocean floor but sit atop metal legs that can often telescope and retract as the surface of the sea rises and falls, depending on the season and weather patterns. The last type of oil platform actually floats and is held in place by enormous sea anchors that rest on the ocean floor. These floating platforms are the largest movable structures on Earth. The Petronius platform, an oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico, depending on criteria could be considered the world’s tallest structure, standing 2000 feet above the floor of the ocean. It is partially a floating structure, so the title still rests safely with more typical earthbound structures such as the Petronus Towers in Malaysia.

The drilling for oil on these rigs works much the same as their land based cousins. The largest difference between the two is the offshore rig must find a place to store the oil when it is released. The Hibernia platform, an oil and gas platform off the coast of Newfoundland, stores its precious crude in large storage tanks that fill the empty space underneath the floating oil production island. These tanks are housed beneath along with ballast to help the 1.2 million ton island stay aright.

As oil exploration continues in this century, new engineering feats will surely be performed so that all nations’ thirst for oil can be continuously quenched.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Oil and the Supertanker

From the beginning of oil exploration and discovery, the need to transport oil to consumers existed. The first successful oil tanker to be built and successfully carry crude was the Zoroaster, which in 1878 shuttled petroleum across the Caspian Sea for what was then the Russian Empire. The idea for this tanker was spawned in the mind of Ludwig Nobel, brother of Alfred Nobel, noted Swedish chemist for whom the esteemed Nobel Prize was named. The free surface effect of liquids in ships had proven the end of all previous ships. The intense movement of waves in the sea would make the liquid shift from one side to the other within the ships, offsetting the ballast and forcing ships to tip and often sink. Nobel solved these problems, and the impressive tanker was built. The Nobel brothers had four years prior developed quite an interest in oil exploration and distribution, forming the Nobel Brothers Oil Extracting Partnership. The brothers built upon the success of this first ship by designing and building a whole fleet of ships to transport the large amounts of oil they were extracting in the Caspian Basin of the Russian Empire.

The next century saw more advancement in shipbuilding for oil transport. These ships became larger and larger over the next few decades, building upon the Nobel brothers’ initial advances. The largest ships were referred to informally as supertankers. These ships carry over 250,000 tons of weight, capable of transporting over two million barrels of oil. The largest supertanker ever built was the Jahre Viking, weighing 564,763 tons. Initially, most tankers were single-hulled. In single-hulled tankers, the hull also acts as the wall of the oil tanks, making any collision a threat of leakage or spilling. Most new tankers are double hulled, possessing a space between the walls of the oil storage tanks and the outer wall of the ships, making outer hull damage not such a threat for inner oil leakage. Proponents of double hull ships use the property which makes oil and water repel each other, hydrostatic balance, as part of their argument, insisting that this pressure exists at such a high level within double hulled tankers, and allows them a better chance at preventing oil spillage should a collision occur. Research has shown that through the development of these double hulled ships, oil has reached its destination in a much safer manner, with collisions resulting in a third less spills compared to single hulled ships. Continued development of tankers is necessary to insure the safe transport of this valuable resource across waters to consumers.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Beauty of Re-refined Motor Oil

As the earth’s precious nonrenewable energy supplies reduce in size each year, it is important to look to new ways of conserving and preserving the known supplies today, so they may last as long as possible. One economically and environmentally conscious action all consumers can take is the purchase of re-refined motor oil for their personal vehicles, and to pressure localities to use re-refined petroleum products in their mass transit systems and commercial fleets.

Re-refined motor oil is motor oil that has been used by consumers, deposited at many filling stations and lube centers, and then recycled for reuse by the public. It has been cleansed of all the containments acquired by miles of use in a process called vacuum distillation. Hydro-treatment removes any additional unwanted chemicals, much like the way refineries remove base oil from naturally occurring crude. New additives are then added to make sure the re-refined oil adheres to all industry performance levels. Oil does not ever lose its intrinsic value as a lubricator and cooling agent; through many laboratory tests, chemists have arrived at the conclusion that re-refined oil performs and lasts just as long as virgin motor oil.

Many consumers worry that re-refined motor oil loses some of its lubricating or cold starting properties as compared to virgin motor oil. Major automakers such as Ford, GM, Daimer-Chrysler, and Mercedes Benz have conducted their own testing and stated that the use of re-refined motor oil is not only a viable option, but have also gone on record stating that the use of the product in no way violates or voids their manufacturer warranties on their engines. In fact, every new Mercedes Benz vehicle is pre-filled with re-refined motor oil straight from the assembly line!

North American transportation companies have used re-refined motor oil in their fleets for many years. The United States Post Office, for example has been using re-refined motor oil in all its 73,000 vehicles for over a decade. The City of Chicago has purchased and used re-refined oil in all its emergency vehicles (fire and police) since 1992. Not only has Snohomish County, Washington, used re-refined oil in its 1242 county vehicles, but the county has also contracted nearly 3000 independent oil analysis, concluding that the use of re-refined oil has in no way compromised vehicle performance versus virgin motor oil.

Using re-refined oil has the important duality of providing less need for foreign oil reserves to run the nation’s millions of vehicles while also eliminating waste material and conserving new supplies for later use. Re-refined oil is, on average the same cost, or less than virgin motor oil. Same cost, eco-friendly, and high performance - all attributes that make re-refined motor oil a smart alternative.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Residential Heating Oil Price Fluctuation Explained

Though the bulk of the residential heating market has switched to natural gas in most regions of the United States, approximately 8.1 million of the 107 million homes continue to use heating oil as their main source to heat their homes. Of this 8.1 million, nearly 82% of these homes are located in the Northeast region of the United States, and these homeowners are extremely interested in the foreign and domestic oil market because it can really affect their wallets and pocketbooks in the frigid months of late October through March.

Many variables influence the rise and fall of the price of heating oil. One of the largest of these is demand. During the winter months, more oil is needed by consumers, and the price increases. Many homeowners try to beat the system by filing their storage tanks at the lower prices of summer, but few own tanks large enough to get them through the winter months. Most homeowners must have their tanks filled and refilled up to five times during the course of one New England winter, so higher prices can make for a lean holiday season. A typical homeowner in the Northeastern United State might use 650-1000 gallons of heating oil during the winter months. Another contributing factor in the price of heating oil is, of course, the price of crude oil, also influenced by supply and demand. In some areas, several suppliers compete for their share of the residential heating oil market. This competition can often result in higher prices as well. A final factor that affects the price of heating oil is operating costs. In more remote areas, the transporting of the fuel to inhabitants can be much more costly, resulting in higher prices for those consumers. These operating costs are affected by employee wages, equipment costs, lease or rent for the dealer, etc. All of these factors are present when the monthly bill reaches the homeowner.

There exist many ways to lower heating bills in the depths of winter. The easiest can be achieved by the homeowner him or herself, simply by winterizing the home. Proper insulation within the walls of the house combined with energy efficient windows and adequate caulking and weather stripping around them can result in a much more cozy abode that requires less heat to be comfortable for its inhabitants. Budget plans also exist with most dealers to help spread the cost of heating during the winter months across the entire year of bills. Though consumers cannot do anything to influence the price of oil directly, by taking proper precautions at home to conserve their energy, they can be less affected by inevitable price changes.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Natural Gas-A Viable Answer

At a time when conflicts are raging all around the Middle East, the birthplace of civilization as well as the center of the richest oil fields in the world, the United States should take the time to look within. There is a fossil fuel that North America contains in abundance, a clean burning fuel that could answer all the problems faced by a nation dependent upon foreign oil. That plentiful fuel is natural gas.

There exist three different estimates by reputable sources concerning the amount of natural gas that still lies untapped in North America. The first estimate, compiled by the Energy Information Administration, a source of official energy statistics from the U.S. government itself, maintains that there exists 1190.62 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the United States alone. The second estimate by the National Petroleum Council is even higher, stating that 1779 trillion cubic feet of natural gas remains to be recovered and used in the United States. The lowest estimate was given by the Potential Gas Committee, but still maintains that there are over 1090 trillion cubic feet of natural gas remaining to be found.

Concerning the world, the U.S. maintains only 3% of known (proved) natural gas reserves. Proved reserves are reserves that have been located and are currently producing natural gas for consumption by the populace. Natural gas companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corp continue to search the land for more of this ultra-clean harvestable energy. Nationwide there are currently 1801 rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States. This number is up from the official count of a year ago at 1693. Of these rigs, 1459 are actively exploring for natural gas. It seems that the nation is catching on. In order to compete in the world market as the United States is accustomed to, the nation must continue this exploration within its borders. There is so much more natural gas to be located than is being tapped for use currently. Research has shown the potential; companies must use all the technology, equipment, and resources they have to explore and develop this wealth lying dormant beneath the surface in order that the future of the country can be more secure, more self sufficient, always progressing and moving forward. This movement and progression can be traced back to the idea of “manifest destiny” that still holds its place at the very roots of American history. Perhaps the time has come to take up this optimistic endeavor once again.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Oil Production Helping the Environment

In beautiful areas around the world, natural gas and oil seepages naturally occur in the ocean, just off shore, much to the chagrin of environmentalists, citizens, and tourists alike. Animal life and fragile ecosystems can be adversely affected by these seepages as well, often times resulting in oil slicks floating on or just beneath the water’s surface and oil washed up on tranquil beaches. Natural seepage of hydrocarbons from the ocean floor in the Santa Barbara Channel represent some of the largest seepages by volume in North America and even the world. This haven for vacationers, bird watchers, and beach-goers has long been a mainstay in west coast oil and natural gas production, one just need look from the beach to catch glimpses of the offshore platforms on the horizon. While these platforms might seem like eyesores to some, most people would be surprised that studies show that the offshore drilling has actually proven beneficial to Santa Barbara’s air quality and water quality as well as harvesting the much needed petroleum products for use by its increasing population.

Researchers in Santa Barbara have found evidence that the natural seepage from the ocean floor releases mostly methane into the air and that the amount released is equal to twice the emission rate from all of the automobile traffic in Santa Barbara County. Researchers have also noticed the air getting progressively better since the main offshore platform, Platform Holly, began pumping the oil from the seepage in 1968. The more oil that has been pumped from the channel has decreased the pressure within the reservoir beneath the silt and rock on the ocean floor, thus decreasing the emissions by 50 percent or greater.

This reduction in seepage has had more visible effects as well. The air is cleaner, meaning less hazy sunsets, less trouble for allergy sufferers plagued by poor air quality, and less methane released means less effect to the ever depleting ozone caused by increased Californian population and their much loved automobiles. The beaches have shown promise from this reduction as well. Less natural seepage has helped remove nearly 30 barrels of oil per day from the surface of the sea, resulting in a 15 percent reduction in the amount of tar found on beaches within Santa Barbara County. Oil and natural gas companies like NorthernStar Natural Gas in Santa Barbara and Triple Diamond Energy Corp in Texas are doing their part to make the environment better while providing the fossil fuels American consumers desperately need.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Crude Oil’s History

Some of the first instances of civilizations’ use of crude oil were for medicinal benefits. Ancient Persians, along with 10th century Sumatrans and pre-Columbian Indians, all shared a belief in the healing powers of the liquid that seeped generously from the earth. The famous explorer and diplomat, Marco Polo wrote of its use in the Caspian Sea region to treat camels experiencing symptoms of mange. Oil was actually exported from Venezuela in 1539 to be used as a treatment for gout for Holy Roman emperor Charles V.

In Mesopotamia, a form of oil, called bitumen, a naturally occurring petroleum substance similar to asphalt, was used by many warriors as a means of attaching handles and blades to their weapons. Even in one of history’s most honored pieces of literature, the Bible, the character of Noah, famous for his large vessel which shuttled two of every species to safety during the “great flood”, assembled his ship much in the same way other ship builders were at the time. He used bitumen, also called pitch, as a sort of glue to hold the boards together in a watertight manner to give his large transport ship added buoyancy and security in the ever-rising waters. Another Biblical story tells of a tower (the tower of Babel) built to the sky, challenging their god, assembled with bitumen used as mortar between the stones and brick that made up the skyscraping tower. Ancient Egyptians used this unrefined form of crude oil as the mortar for their pyramids, as well as using the liquid in their famed embalming process for their dead. Even far away, in North America, the Senecas and Iroquois are known to have used crude oil for body paint and ceremonial fires.

Crude oil, the form petroleum has straight from the ground has had so many uses over the years, and, though it is usually thought of as “black gold’, naturally occurs in many varieties of color, specific to the particular region it resides in. In Southwestern Illinois, the oil exhibits this stereotypically pitch color, but it also has a hint of a purple hue deep within. In Northeastern Utah, the oil appears orange, a reddish-yellowish color similar to marmalade. In the Panhandle Region of Texas, oil takes on one of the most attractive colors yet; it seeps from the ground assuming the color of the richest yellow, appearing as a creamy gold liquid similar to butter simmering in a saucepan. While oil appears in many different colors and thicknesses naturally, companies such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp refine it to purer forms, and its color changes to the clear color most familiar to motorists today.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

“Sour” Natural Gas

Natural gas exploration does not always yield the exact proper mixture of gas that is most readily appropriate for processing and use. Sometimes the gas mixture that presents itself contains a significant amount of hydrogen sulfide, and is considered “sour” if there are more than 5.7 milligrams of hydrogen sulfide per cubic meter of natural gas, or approximately 4 parts per million by volume. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, toxic, and flammable gaseous compound that smells sour and is responsible for the foul smells inherent to rotten eggs and flatulence. It is not the smell that prevents this sour gas from use, but however makes it dangerous in its handling. Many metals that are used in pipeline construction are vulnerable to sulfide stress cracking caused by this higher presence of hydrogen sulfide. Sour gas also burns with less fervor and also produces sulfur dioxide when burning, definitely not advantageous to the burgeoning chef or delightful smells wafting from his or her kitchen.

Much worse, of course than sour smells in the kitchen is the threat of an accidental release of sour natural gas from a well or pipeline network. The vapor cloud that would be created would be toxic to any persons near the release as well as extremely flammable. Persons inhaling this air infected with high amounts of hydrogen sulfide could be fatally injured if the concentration or their exposure time exceeds the threshold of lethality. Natural gas companies such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp strive to implement the newest advances in pipeline technology in order to keep the populace safe as well as sufficiently supplying its need for natural gas. An excellent way companies are preventing accidental exposure to sour gas is through treatment at processing plants before gas is transported through the pipeline network.

Sour gas must be treated before its public use. The impurities must be lessened to acceptable levels by an amine gas treating process. This process utilizes an absorber unit that absorbs the excess sulfides and carbon dioxides and a regenerator unit that is used to produce a regenerated amine that can be recycled and reused in the absorber unit. The removed hydrogen sulfide is then most often converted to sulfur in another process, the Claus process, so that the sulfur can be utilized in such products as fungicide and gunpowder. These processes are commonly called “sweetening” processes because they remove the foul smelling components from the gas.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Natural Gas in Your Car

As gasoline prices reach almost four dollars a gallon in the United States, new ways of getting from point A to point B less expensively become more and more attractive. While many are getting on the hybrid electric automobile bandwagon, one inexpensive and relatively pollutant-free mode of transportation is being overlooked: Natural Gas.

Since the 1990s, most major automakers have offered natural gas powered cars for government and corporate fleets. Natural gas automobiles produce forty percent less hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide than gasoline powered automobiles. Natural gas powered cars are cheaper to produce than the gasoline-electric hybrid automobiles because they do not require the high tech battery packs or expensive dual gas and electric power plants. Because natural gas powered cars are cheaper to produce, they can be offered at lower prices to consumers while maintaining attractive profit margins for the automakers themselves.

While gasoline prices hover around three and a half dollars a gallon, a gallon of natural gas at service stations in California (the highest prices in the nation) is selling for a modest $2.55 a gallon this week. Consumers could get their natural gas for even less by purchasing a home unit made by a manufacturer called FuelMaker that allows the driver to fill their automobile overnight from their home’s own natural gas supply at the cost of $1.25 a gallon. The home unit is called “Phill” and mounts on the garage wall of the hoe and costs about $4000. The purchase price is however offset by being eligible for a $1000 federal tax credit, and in California, another $2000 in local incentives.

While only 56% of the petroleum used in the production of gasoline in the United States comes from North American wells, 98% of the natural gas consumed in the US is produced in North America. Natural gas companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corp produce the clean burning fossil fuel in abundance. Natural gas powered automobiles could help lessen the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

Natural gas powered cars are currently sold in Europe, Asia, South America, and in other areas around the world. General Motors is even working on new models to be sold in other areas of the world in hopes of widening their consumer base.

Why not in America? Well, only about 1500 fueling stations exist in the United States and while there are 150,000 natural gas powered vehicles in the nation currently, US automakers are not making plans to start new production. US automakers insist the natural gas powered cars just don’t sell, but they must be forgetting the nearly 5 million natural gas powered cars worldwide.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Natural Gas for Heat - Advantages Over Propane

When making the choice of how to heat the home, house of worship, or office, the options can be overwhelming. Many people are finding that more than ever, it makes perfect sense to switch from their old, ugly propane tanks to clean burning natural gas to fulfill their heating needs. Natural gas is up to 50% cheaper than all other fuels. All fuel you pay for is the fuel you use. It is a different case entirely with propane. A little more than 5% of the propane paid for just cannot be forced out of the tank, so it can’t be used. Think how much that unused propane can add up over the years. Often times, home or office owners call the propane service before the weekend, no matter how much is left in the tank, just in the off chance they could run out. Who wants to live that way, always fearful of being left in the cold when weekends or holidays come around?

Natural gas is a constant, reliable source of fuel. There is no “running out” or refilling, and there is only a charge for the amount that is used. If a workplace or home is currently using appliances fueled by propane, usually a simple service call from the local gas utility or furnace repair shop can convert the appliances over to natural gas, most often with little trouble and only a small cost to the consumer. Natural gas is lighter than air, so it poses significantly less of a threat than the heavier gas, propane. If the propane tank leaks, a pool of the gas would form and ultimately be absorbed into the ground the tank is mounted on. That is, of course, if it is not accidentally ignited by heat or flame. Remember also, that propane is stored within the tank under extreme pressure, so a puncture or spark of any size could cause an explosion that could result in the loss of life or property.

Propane’s advantage, of course can be seen in its portability, and its ease of accessibility in areas where natural gas is not available. But let’s not forget, the refilling, the buying of new tanks, what a hassle! Natural gas companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corp are increasing their range in the hopes of creating new natural gas customers. Most urban areas in the United States have access to natural gas today, and often times it takes only a phone call to the local provider to find out what it entails to bring the cleanest burning fossil fuel into the home and begin heating it the “natural” way.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Motor Oil: Making the Grade

Motor oil is used to lubricate all sorts of internal combustion engines. Lawn mowers, automobiles, airplanes, and industrial engines alike all share the needs that motor oils fulfill, namely, lubrication, cleaning, corrosion prevention, and cooling. The metal parts that exist in all types of engines must possess a coating of oil in order to decrease the amount of friction created when all the parts are moving together. A lack of lubrication could cause metal on metal contact, resulting in irreversible harm to the engine. Oil companies such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp provide the necessary petroleum that goes into the production of the motor oil necessary in all of today’s engines.

The Society of Automotive Engineers, abbreviated as SAE, established a coding system for grading motor oils according to their kinematic viscosity. Kinematic viscosity can be observed as the thickness a fluid maintains under movement. The oils are watched at a constant temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and graded according to how its viscosity holds up and assigned an SAE number of 0 through 70. These oils are commonly referred to as single-grade motor oils and their viscosity changes over varied temperature ranges. These oils are also tested at winter temperatures and are expected to behave somewhat similarly in frigid temperatures as they do in hot ones. The winter test assigns the letter “W” to the oil. A 20 grade motor oil at a higher temperature should behave correspondingly to a 20W oil. The single grade motor oils are mostly used in engines that do not have a breadth of temperature changes. Single grade motor oil is sufficient for use in lawn mower engines, for instance.

Most vehicles expose their motor oil to a large temperature range, from cooler temperatures at start-up in winter season to hot temperatures in a fully warmed up engine at the height of summer. For this reason, most automobiles need motor oil that will exhibit the same viscosity over a large range of temperatures. Special polymer additives called viscosity index improvers are added to oil so this sameness of viscosity is achieved. These motor oils are commonly called multi-grade because of this singular ability. They are able to have two levels of viscosity denoted by two numbers in their grade. The first number is associated with a “W” or winter temperature viscosity. The second number (without the W) is assigned to show the oil’s viscosity index during hotter temperatures. For most newer automobile engines, a 20 weight oil (the second number) is most desirable because its thinness allows it to freely flow and protect the engine during the crucial start up and warm up periods where a car’s engine is most vulnerable.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Transporting Natural Gas

Ever since natural gas has been discovered and extracted from the earth for consumer use, there has existed the opportunity to transport the gas from areas of production to the areas where it is needed for use. Large increases in volume of natural gas discovered in the southwestern United States in the 1920s motivated the need for advancements in transportation of this gas to the far away urban markets on the eastern seaboard. Fortunately, new advancements in welding techniques, namely electric arc welding advancements, were used to weld thin-walled, large diameter pipes together to make long distance compressed gas transport possible. Long distance pipelines were being installed across the United States throughout the 1920s.

This installation of new pipelines did not come too soon. The discovery of the abundant southwestern natural gas fields came at an opportune time as natural gas production in the Appalachians, the mainstay for supply in the northeastern United States, was diminishing. The mid 1920s and the mid 1930s were times of abundant flow of natural gas from the southwestern fields to points all over the country thanks to the improved pipeline technology and the increased demand for natural gas nationwide. Lines erected during this era of surplus included the Natural Gas Pipeline Company, the Northern Natural Gas Company, and the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company.

Three types of pipelines make up the majority of the transportation of natural gas in the United States. These include the gathering system, the interstate pipeline, and the distribution system. The gathering system is a network of smaller diameter pipes that carry the raw natural gas from the wells to processing plants. At processing plants, like those owned by companies such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp, scientists and technicians sweeten any sort of sour (overly sulfuric) gas, treating and processing it before it is transported to the consumer.

Transportation to consumers is achieved through two different kinds of pipelines. As in trucking, the intrastate pipelines take care of distribution within a particular state, while interstate pipelines shuttle the gas across state lines and across far greater distances. As stated earlier, many of the pipeline construction in the United States took place in the 1920s and 1930s, however, gas companies are constantly monitoring the supply and demand in the nation. Whenever certain areas can be observed to be in heavy need and overwhelmingly underserved, natural gas companies are ready and willing to build new pipelines so that every area can have the natural gas its population requires.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Natural Gas Origins

Natural gas is one of the world’s most important fossil fuels. The denotation of “fossil fuel” comes from the belief that most scientists share, that natural gas and other “fossil fuels” were formed from the remains of tiny sea animals and plants that perished 200-400 million years ago. Scientists believe that when these tiny organisms died, they sank to the bottom of the ocean, where over many years, the pressure created by the ever-thickening layers of ocean floor combined with the earth’s heat to change the molecular structure of the organic remains into deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Natural gas only occurs in the areas of the earth where this built up pressure and volcanic heat combine to produce the necessary chemical reaction for production. Geologists are able to locate natural gas deposits by studying the types of rock and formations that usually occur where gas is present. Raw natural gas is a mixture of gases whose main ingredient, methane, is a natural occurring compound formed when plant and animal matter decays. It is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corp add a chemical with a sulfuric smell like rotten eggs so that leaks can be detected quickly, otherwise the volatile fuel leaking could rapidly lead to dangerous situations within the home or industrial environments.

Ancient peoples of the world from China to Greece were curious of the fires that were created when lightning struck natural gas seepages and were ignited. Often times, temples or shrines were built around these seepages so that the mystically occurring fires could be worshipped. The earliest recorded instances of drilling for natural gas comes from ancient China. The Chinese, in their search for salt wells, pioneered a technology of driving bamboo poles into the earth to depths of up to a kilometer. Often this drilling for brine pierced deeply buried natural gas reservoirs and was captured and stored in barrels to be burned as fuel. This fuel was burned to evaporate the water from the brine leaving only the salt intact. In America, natural gas was first used to light the streets of Baltimore in 1816. It was shortly after this, that a man named William Hart dug the first natural gas well in Fredonia, New York, in 1821. The nation’s first natural gas company, the Fredonia Gas Light Company opened for business in 1858, marking only the beginning of the soon to spread usage throughout America that has resulted in natural gas accounting for about a quarter of the energy used in America every year.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.

Friday, November 2, 2007

East Texas’ Oil Beginnings

The history of Texas oil exploration began as far back as 1859, when a determined young entrepreneur, Lyne Taliaferro Barret leased 279 acres near an area in East Texas aptly named Oil Springs for its oil and gas seepage that had been observed by Native Americans and early Texas settlers for many years. His preliminary exploratory pursuits were unfortunately interrupted by the Civil War and were postponed until after fighting had ceased. In 1865, Barrte secured another drilling contract with the heirs of the previous owner of the site and formed the burgeoning “Melrose Petroleum Oil Company.”

The Melrose Petroleum Oil Company began drilling in earnest the summer of 1866 and was rewarded on September 12, 1866 when the “No. 1 Isaac C. Skillern” oil well was struck. It yielded ten barrels a day, quite modest in today’s terms of course, but had achieved undeniable historical notability as the first commercially producing oil well in Texas.

At that time, the price of oil was at $20 a barrel, but swings in price (in 1867 it dropped to $2.40 a barrel) left many investors impatient to see profits and that year Barret’s biggest investors withdrew their financial support, and many others demanded to sell their interests as well. In 1868, a dejected Barret was forced to close up shop on his “oil man” dreams and return to his previous humble occupation of general store owner in Melrose, Texas.

Though Barret’s na├»ve foray in the oil business could be considered a failure when looking at the financial risks versus the small rewards, his findings, called the “Nacogdoches field” continued to produce oil into the 1950’s for several different outfits. Barret secured his place in Texas oil history, and helped pave the way for the companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corp that call Texas their home today. In 1966, the Texas State Historical Survey Committee placed a historical marker on the site of the “No.1 Isaac C. Skillern”, forever cementing his key addition to Texas’ oil heritage. Texas continues producing the highest amounts of the precious commodity in all of the United States.

Visitors to Nacogdoches, Texas, are afforded the wonderful opportunity of experiencing and discovering the vast history of oil production for themselves. Barret’s 1848 homestead, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, has been restored and is now a fantastic bed and breakfast destination, and currently a 700 acre working tree farm as well.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit http://www.triplediamondenergycorp.blogspot.com.