Climate Alarmists May Inherit the Wind 0

They likened a courtroom ‘tutorial’ to the Scopes Monkey Trial. But their side got schooled.

San Francisco

Five American oil companies find themselves in a San Francisco courtroom. California v. Chevron is a civil action brought by the city attorneys of San Francisco and Oakland, who accuse the defendants of creating a “public nuisance” by contributing to climate change and of conspiring to cover it up so they could continue to profit.

No trial date has been set, but on March 21 the litigants gathered for a “climate change tutorial” ordered by Judge William Alsup —a prospect that thrilled climate-change alarmists. Excited spectators gathered outside the courtroom at 6 a.m., urged on by advocates such as the website Grist, which declared “Buckle up, polluters! You’re in for it now,” and likened the proceeding to the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial.

In the event, the hearing did not go well for the plaintiffs—and not for lack of legal talent. Steve W. Berman, who represented the cities, is a star trial lawyer who has made a career and a fortune suing corporations for large settlements, including the $200 billion-plus tobacco settlement in 1998.

“Until now, fossil fuel companies have been able to talk about climate science in political and media arenas where there is far less accountability to the truth,” Michael Burger of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University told Grist. The hearing did mark a shift toward accountability—but perhaps not in the way activists would have liked.

Judge Alsup started quietly. He flattered the plaintiffs’ first witness, Oxford physicist Myles Allen, by calling him a “genius,” but he also reprimanded Mr. Allen for using a misleading illustration to represent carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a graph ostensibly about temperature rise that did not actually show rising temperatures.

Then the pointed questions began. Gary Griggs, an oceanographer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, struggled with the judge’s simple query: “What do you think caused the last Ice Age?”

The professor talked at length about a wobble in the earth’s orbit and went on to describe a period “before there were humans on the planet,” which “we call hothouse Earth.” That was when “all the ice melted. We had fossils of palm trees and alligators in the Arctic,” Mr. Griggs told the court. He added that at one time the sea level was 20 to 30 feet higher than today.

Mr. Griggs then recounted “a period called ‘snow ballers,’ ” when scientists “think the entire Earth was frozen due to changes in things like methane released from the ocean.”

Bear in mind these accounts of two apocalyptic climate events that occurred naturally came from a witness for plaintiffs looking to prove American oil companies are responsible for small changes in present-day climate.

The defendants’ lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. , emphasized the little-discussed but huge uncertainties in reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the failure of worst-case climate models to pan out in reality. Or as Judge Alsup put it: “Instead of doom and gloom, it’s just gloom.”

Mr. Boutrous also noted that the city of San Francisco—in court claiming that rising sea levels imperil its future—recently issued a 20-year bond, whose prospectus asserted the city was “unable to predict whether sea level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur.”

Judge Alsup was particularly scathing about the conspiracy claim. The plaintiffs alleged that the oil companies were in possession of “smoking gun” documents that would prove their liability; Mr. Boutrous said this was simply an internal summary of the publicly available 1995 IPCC report.

The judge said he read the lawsuit’s allegations to mean “that there was a conspiratorial document within the defendants about how they knew good and well that global warming was right around the corner. And I said: ‘OK, that’s going to be a big thing. I want to see it.’ Well, it turned out it wasn’t quite that. What it was, was a slide show that somebody had gone to the IPCC and was reporting on what the IPCC had reported, and that was it. Nothing more. So they were on notice of what in IPCC said from that document, but it’s hard to say that they were secretly aware. By that point they knew. Everybody knew everything in the IPCC,” he stated.

Judge Alsup then turned to Mr. Berman: “If you want to respond, I’ll let you respond. . . . Anything you want to say?”

“No,” said the counsel to the plaintiffs. Whereupon Judge Alsup adjourned the proceedings.

Until now, environmentalists and friendly academics have found a receptive audience in journalists and politicians who don’t understand science and are happy to defer to experts. Perhaps this is why the plaintiffs seemed so ill-prepared for their first court outings with tough questions from an informed and inquisitive judge.

Activists have long claimed they want their day in court so that the truth can be revealed. Given last week’s poor performance, they may be the ones who inherit the wind.

Mr. McAleer is a journalist, playwright and filmmaker. He is currently writing a play about Chevron Corp.’s legal fight over alleged pollution in Ecuador.

Re-Published from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

https://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-alarmists-may-inherit-the-wind-1522605526

 

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Nouryon introduces more sustainable demulsifiers for the oilfield market 0

10 Oct 2019 – Press Release

Nouryon has introduced a range of demulsifiers that provide oil producers with a more sustainable option to separate crude oil from natural gas and water. The Witbreak NEO range is inherently biodegradable in seawater and has a better cost-to-performance ratio compared to conventional demulsifiers currently available on the market.

“High performing demulsifiers that also fulfill the strict environmental regulations outlined by the Convention for the Protection of Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) are still scarce,” said Mohammad Siddiqui, Global Technical Marketing Manager at Nouryon. “The Witbreak NEO range is an outcome of a collaborative innovation project with key customers and addresses the need for versatile demulsifiers that have a better ecological and performance profile, and they are OSPAR compliant as well.”

Nouryon supplies a full range of specialty chemicals to the upstream oil and gas production process. AB Ghosh, Managing Director Surface Chemistry at Nouryon, added: “We take great pride in the value of our product portfolio and we are committed to satisfy evolving demands in the oil and gas market. We look forward to rolling out the Witbreak NEO range and helping our customers set the standard for performance, both in application and environmental impact.”

Nouryon recently announced a €12-million investment that would double capacity at its surfactants plant in Stenungsund, Sweden to support the growth of several existing products as well as new more sustainable products for key markets including oil and gas, lubricants and fuels and asphalt.

https://www.nouryon.com/

BP Oman Achieves Significant Reduction in CO2 Emissions for the Khazzan Project 0

BP Oman Achieves Significant Reduction in CO2 Emissions for the Khazzan Project

Fit-for-basin well cleanup solution enables zero-flaring delivery of new wells to central production facility

GHG emissions reduction goal

As part of BP’s commitment to advancing a low carbon future, BP operations around the world are striving to make a meaningful contribution to reduce GHG emissions. For BP Oman, a major GHG-emitting activity is associated with flaring in cleanup operations for new wells. For this scenario, BP Oman is taking the lead to identify and implement proactive ways of reducing GHG emissions in Khazzan Field for new well cleanups.

Introducing green completions

Supergiant Khazzan Field is characterized by tight reservoirs that require hydraulic fracturing to release the gas. After fracturing, wells are tested and cleaned up by the conventional method of flaring and burning the well fluids, which are gas and produced condensate. This results in the release of GHG to the atmosphere. To eliminate these emissions, BP Oman introduced green completions to Khazzan Field. The green completions technique redefines well testing from a GHG-producing activity to one that prevents GHG emissions by routing the hydrocarbons to the production facility.

BP’s ambition is to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero. Schlumberger shares BP’s commitment to low carbon and is committed to set a science-based target by 2021 and update the CO2 emissions footprint ambition accordingly.

Collaborative design for challenging conditions

BP Oman engaged with Schlumberger to develop a fit-for-basin solution to clean up and produce gas from Khazzan Field after fracturing. All modifications and designs were performed through the Schlumberger RapidResponse customer-driven product development process to enable solids-free produced hydrocarbons at optimal conditions for combination with the processing facility pipeline.

Photograph of fit-for-basin zero-flaring solution for the Khazzan Field.
Schlumberger and BP Oman collaborated to deliver a fit-for-basin zero-flaring solution for the Khazzan Field

Project success contributes to low carbon goals

The residual solids from stimulation operations that are often present in the fluid flowstream pose a risk to system integrity and can compromise process lines and production facility equipment. To address this risk, Schlumberger designed and installed an integrated separation, filtration, and acoustic monitoring system for the well testing solution.

One challenge was the relatively high separating process pressure needed, which demanded a specific well test design that didn’t exceed the process facility gathering system design pressure. A solution was developed by combining large-bore temporary pipelines and manifolds with a digitally enabled, high-capacity four-phase horizontal separator equipped with autonomous meters providing real-time measurements and monitoring efficient separation of the well effluent phases to deliver hydrocarbons at export specifications.

The design also enhanced process safety by incorporating 6-in safety valves in the electronic emergency shutdown system to address the high volume of hydrocarbons in the pipelines.

Project success contributes to low carbon goals

Schlumberger well testing solutions continue to operate at Khazzan Field and have set a new bar for operational efficiency and service delivery by improving customer performance. In 2019, the green completions well cleanup technique has been applied to 10 wells for flowback to clean up for production and reservoir testing. The result is more than 80,000 t of CO2 emission reduction. This is equivalent to taking nearly 18,000 cars off the road for a year.

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