Uber is planning to take their ride-sharing app to the sky with the help of NASA. “‘We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality,’ Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CBS News.” Uber is preparing to launch UberAir services in three cities: Los Angeles, Dallas, and a third undecided city outside of the U.S. Uber’s focus will be around the software and managing of trips. The actual flying vehicles will be designed by outside companies.
Total SA, a French oil company, has made a significant discovery of gas condensate approximately 175 kilometers (109 miles) off of the southern coast of South Africa. Total had been drilling in the area in 2014 but had to cease operations “…because of mechanical problems on the rig, caused by the challenging environment in the Agulhas, with its chaotic combination of currents, waves and winds, which contrasts sharply with the mild metocean conditions of the West African deepwater.” The company restarted operations in December of 2018 and produced an improved result.
As 2019 begins, U.S. liquefied natural gas is anticipating the most significant year of exports ever. “The U.S. is poised to triple export capacity to around 10 Bcf/d by the end of next year, and we could be on our way to be the world's largest exporter before 2025.” Mexico and South Korea are currently the largest imports of U.S. natural gas accounting for nearly 40% of U.S. exports, but the demand is impacting the entire globe. China, while currently imposing a 10% tariff on the product, also shows high demand. As U.S. production booms, the rest of the world is watching its supply capabilities.
After 15 months on December 20th, Shell has received the permits needed for its Falcon Ethane Pipeline to feed the new petrochemical plant in Beaver County from the Pennsylvania DEP. “With the state Department of Environmental Protection permits granted Thursday, construction on the line is expected to start next year. The pipeline will feed as much as 107,000 barrels of ethane per day to Shell’s $6 billion cracker plant in Potter Township.” Ethane is a natural gas liquid that is produced from Appalachia’s shale wells. The Shell plant is expected to manufacture plastics with power generated from fracking activities in Appalachia.
We live and work in an area where jobs have been created and sustained through the rapid increase of shale production. “Pennsylvania’s abundant energy resources have spurred economic investment and brought jobs to the state. Studies have tallied nearly 322,600 jobs in Pennsylvania that provide nearly $23 billion in wages to Pennsylvanians.” The numbers of created jobs are exciting for growth in Pennsylvania, but the state’s average poverty level still sits around 12.9%. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Washington and Greene counties have poverty levels of 10% and 15.3% respectively. In two of the counties thriving from shale exploration, the poverty levels are still hovering around the state average.