“Arctic air freezes Permian shale fields”… Fake news?

Guest “how to spot fake news” by David Middleton

Reporting from Ice Station Dallas

Fake news isn’t necessarily false or untrue.

U.S. oil output plunges as Arctic air freezes Permian shale fields

(Bloomberg) –U.S. oil production has plunged by more than 2 million barrels a day as the coldest weather in 30 years brings havoc to key producing states that rarely have to deal with frigid Arctic blasts.

Oil traders and company executives, who asked not to be identified, lifted their forecasts for supply losses from an earlier estimate on Monday of 1.5 million to 1.7 million barrels. They said the losses were particularly large in the Permian Basin, the most prolific U.S. oil region, which straddles West Texas and southeast New Mexico. Output cuts were also significant in the Eagle Ford, in southern Texas, and the Anadarko basin in Oklahoma.

Two million barrels would be the equivalent of about 18% of overall U.S. crude production, based on the most recent government data.


The Permian oil outage helped to push West Texas Intermediate, the crude benchmark in the U.S., above $60 a barrel on Monday for the first time in more than a year. Since then, oil prices have fallen slightly because U.S. refineries have also closed due to the cold, reducing the amount of crude needed right now. Energy Aspects Ltd., a consultant, estimated that 3.1 million barrels a day of refining capacity was down as of Monday.


World Oil

Blas asserts that U.S. crude oil production is down by 18%. While I have little doubt that Permian Basin oil & gas production has been impacted by the deep freeze, I haven’t been able to find any hard data yet… But my Google searches keep linking back to variations of the Javier Blas article quoted above and other Bloomberg sources, which cite nothing that is verifiable. In another example Jonathan Garber of Fox Business cited Bloomberg’s Javier Blas and little else in an article asserting a 27% drop in U.S. production.

OIL Published 21 hours ago
Texas storms cause epic drop in U.S. oil production
‘It really is a perfect storm’

By Jonathan Garber FOX Business

Frigid temperatures knocked out electricity across Texas and resulted in one of the largest U.S. oil production disruptions ever.

Shut-ins related to the winter storm have removed about 3 million barrels of daily oil production, or 27% of U.S. output, much of which comes from the oil-rich Permian Basin located in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.


Occidental Petroleum Corp., the No. 2 oil producer in the Permian Basin, on Tuesday gave customers a force majeure notice, according to Bloomberg, alerting them deliveries would not be made due to production snafus caused by the frigid temperatures.  A company spokesperson did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

Other companies that shut in facilities include oil majors Chevron Corp. and ExxonMobil Corp.

Chevron was forced to suspend production in the Permian Basin while ExxonMobil closed refineries in the Houston area. A number of other wells and refineries across the region were forced to temporarily shut-in.

Fox Business

So… Bloomberg says that Oxy delivered a force majeure notice to customers (Winter Storm Younger Dryas is definitely a force majeure)… But Oxy was too busy to confirm what Bloomberg told Fox Business. The link is to an article that explains what force majeure is. Chevron hasn’t announced anything about Permian Basin production and Exxon shutting in refineries in the Houston area is totally irrelevant to Permian Basin or U.S. crude production. A lot of refineries have been forced to shut down by Winter Storm Younger Dryas.

This is what Oxy had to say:

Monday, February 15, 2021

Occidental Reschedules Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Results Due to Impacts of Severe Winter Storm

Monday, February 15, 2021 8:30 PM EST

HOUSTON – February 15, 2021 – Occidental (NYSE:OXY) announced today it has rescheduled its upcoming earnings release and conference call due to impacts of the severe winter storm. The company will announce its fourth quarter and full-year 2020 financial results after close of market on Monday, February 22, 2021, and will hold a conference call to discuss results on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, at 1 p.m. Eastern/ noon Central.

The conference call may be accessed by calling 1-866-871-6512 (international callers dial 1-412-317-5417) or via webcast at oxy.com/investors. Participants may pre-register for the conference call at https://dpregister.com/sreg/10150650/df971440ac.

Fourth quarter and full-year 2020 financial results will be available through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website. A recording of the webcast will be posted on the website after the call is completed.


What’s the point in reporting guesses from “oil traders and company executives, who asked not to be identified” and second-hand unconfirmed hearsay? While some companies will probably soon announce impacts to their production, basin-wide and national production data won’t be available for a while.

This bit from the Javier Blas article is also “odd”…

The Permian oil outage helped to push West Texas Intermediate, the crude benchmark in the U.S., above $60 a barrel on Monday for the first time in more than a year. Since then, oil prices have fallen slightly because U.S. refineries have also closed due to the cold, reducing the amount of crude needed right now.

OK… So, the production outage pushed WTI up, then the realization that refineries were offline pushed it back down. Well, then, this calamitous collapse in crude oil and refined product production should have driven gasoline futures through the roof… Right?

March 2021 Gasoline Futures, CME Group

March gasoline futures did shoot up by about $0.10/gal in heavy trading on 16 February, but the volume has dropped to almost nothing. The same pattern occurred with April futures.

April 2021 Gasoline Futures, CME Group

Despite the alleged collapse in US oil production, gasoline prices are still on the same trajectory they’ve been on since the November coup d’état (I don’t give a rat’s @$$ if you disagree with my use of this phrase).

This bit from the Fox Business article is hilarious:

Typically, with a hurricane, producers and refiners are given a week’s notice and have plenty of time to shut in their operations. But this arctic storm took the area by surprise, resulting in a “disorganized shut-in of these facilities,” Schork said.

Fox Business

The record-shattering cold temperatures and winter storm were accurately forecasted well-ahead of time. No one should have been surprised by the weather. The only real surprise was that almost all of the wind turbines froze, depriving the grid of about 25% of its usual electricity generation.

While I have no doubt that Winter Storm Younger Dryas has temporarily impacted crude oil and natural gas production. Assertions that it’s down 18% or 27% are meaningless. We won’t know how much it’s down or for how long for days, if not weeks. The disruptions will be well behind us by the time they can actually be quantified. The storm and record cold weather has clearly shut down refineries and made it nearly impossible for tanker trucks to deliver gasoline in many places.

This clearly rates a fake news rating:

“U.S. oil output plunges as Arctic air freezes Permian shale fields”

I don’t even know what a “Permian shale field” is… Would it be like a field of Burgess Shale (a Cambrian shale field)?

We won’t know if, or how much, U.S. oil production has been affected by Winter Storm Younger Dryas for several days, or weeks. The easiest way to spot fake news is to look for dramatic headlines based on anonymous sources. Of course most mainstream media articles written about the oil & gas industry are fake news.

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February 18, 2021 10:12 am

Yes, but aren’t the main issues conventional power failures due to extreme weather and record demand? Exactly as they were in California…

On the demand side, for example, Texas on Valentine’s Day shattered its previous winter peak record by almost 5%. The peak was 11,000 MW above what ERCOT, Texas’s electric grid operator, was projecting and planning for as of November — some 15–20 good-sized power plants’ worth. And on the supply side, power lines taken out by the weather are a piece of it, as you’d expect.

Data from Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the grid operator for much of the Great Plains, show that 70% of its “outaged” megawatts (MW) were natural gas plants.
ERCOT, which is powered primarily by natural gas and wind, was warning that “Extreme weather conditions caused many generating units — across fuel types — to trip offline and become unavailable.” It clarified elsewhere, though, that the majority of the capacity it had lost overnight was “thermal generators, like generation fueled by gas, coal, or nuclear.” In all, Texas was out more than a third of its total capacity.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 11:46 am

SHATTERED by 5%. That’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are!
Let’s try out that thunderous 5% on some real things:
1) If a gallon of milk cost $2.99, then a 5% increase would be a SHATTERING 15 cents! Oh the humanity! Milk at $2.99, I live to see another day; milk at $3.15 I DIE A HORRIBLE, SHATTERING DEATH!
2) Griff makes a cogent point 5% more often than before… oh, I forgot… zero times anything is still zero. Sorry.

Reply to  Matthew Schilling
February 19, 2021 7:10 am

15 extra power stations or more seems pretty shattering… anyway the imagery is lifted from my source, not original to me.

Reply to  Matthew Schilling
February 19, 2021 2:31 pm

What Kevin Kilty said but there’s more Griff from one of your environmental engineers-
Fact Check: Is Green Energy to Blame for Texas’ Power Outages? (msn.com)

“Wind energy provides only about 25 percent of Texas’ total power throughout the year, according to ERCOT data—natural gas sources account for 35 percent—although the turbines tend to generate less power in the winter.
The Texas Tribune reported that only 7 percent of ERCOT’s forecasted winter capacity was expected to come from wind power sources in the state. Meanwhile, around 80 percent of ERCOT’s total winter capacity is generated by natural gas, coal and nuclear power.”

Oh so in winter in Texas wind is only expected to pick up 7% of the tab while gas picks up 80%. But what’s the picture over the full year? Well a number of articles show that ERCOT pie like this one for 2020 and ‘How Texas Generates its Electricity’-
Texas GOP Officials Keep Peddling Debunked Claim Green Energy Caused Crisis (newsweek.com)

So wind dumps 23% on the communal grid while gas fills in with 46% over the year but come winter according to our red herring expert et al, wind is only expected to supply 7% while gas does the heavy lifting with 80%. Meanwhile some of us are thinking screw that if wind is that fickle and gas supplies can’t keep up. Lets go nukes and run the lot on BIG base load electricity with reverse cycle airconditioning and that will keep everybody happy and acclimatized including the plant food paranoiacs. What about it Griff? Let’s nuke the problem once and for all.

Reply to  observa
February 19, 2021 2:43 pm

Correction: Make the 80% gas 64% when wind is at 7% and solar is nowhere to be seen as there is still that coal and nuclear.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 12:00 pm

It is difficult to argue that failures arise from things stipulated in regulations — the problem is more one of not thinking through unintended consequences of regulations. For example, if natural gas is curtailed in an extreme event and prioritized for residential customers, as regulated, then it is simply barking at the moon to blame electrical generation shortfalls on conventional power. It is better said that the interaction between generating and heating fuels was the cause — or lack of foresight of such event. If people had maintained more coal-fired thermal generation in the mix of fuels, and just slightly better planned for extreme weather, there would have been no such interaction as almost no one heats with coal any longer.

No one cares what wind generation did on Valentines Day, this misses the point entirely. What matters is what occurred on the days following Valentine’s day. The wind generation resource potential power (WRGPP) is based on a probability of being exceeded 80% of the time. It would be an unusual circumstance if wind did not exceed expectations. It is a low bar. However, “exceeding expectations” is utterly misleading. The WGRPP early morning yesterday within the Ercot region was close to 1% of capacity. Such a statistic must scream at you from all sides that wind generation is an unreliable resource in this instance. That is, if you plan in the future to depend on wind, then you have to have many, many more times more installed wind capacity; or, you can put in more reliable base load that doesn’t compete with heating demands. While expected generation from wind was flirting with 1% of capacity (400MW was the actual figure yesterday), the power demanded in the grid was near 47GW — how much more wind do you need?

There are going to be many surprising deficiencies in planning identified, and hopefully removed, but I will bet most of the deficiency is explained as “too much reliance on wind which requires quick response backup, leading to over reliance on natural gas.” And too much focus on planning August A/C in a “warming world.” You, sir, seem primed to see what you wish.

David Yaussy
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 18, 2021 5:21 pm

That was the sort of thoughtful, elegantly written response that makes this website a joy to visit. thank you.

John Dueker
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 18, 2021 7:30 pm

You wrote it better than I did is my reply, thanks. But don’t let the confusion reporters cause by mixing kWh produced versus kW capacity.

Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 19, 2021 7:12 am

I’m at a loss to understand your reply, which doesn’t seem to address my points: that extreme demand in extreme weather and failure of natural gas plant (due to failure to address known issues) cause power outages, not frozen wind turbines.

Reply to  griff
February 19, 2021 11:07 am

Griff, your lack of reading comprehension cannot be over-estimated. The ng plants did not fail.

Abolition Man
Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 12:50 pm

Please stop lying! I know it’s hard for a Griffter like you, but it is severely damaging to you and your mental health long term!
Texas thought they could take advantage of the push for Unreliable Energy by utilizing the abundant wind they experience. Unfortunately, they took some coal plants off line and didn’t build any new nuclear; relying on natural gas to provide backup for their growing portfolio of Unreliables. That might be be workable for summer heatwaves but it becomes a major problem when you experience a major winter storm and your equipment is not winterized!
From the US E.I.A.: from 12:00AM, Feb. 6, 2021 to 12:00AM, Feb. 16, 2021
Natural gas: +450%
Nuclear: -26%
Coal: +47%
Wind: -93%
It doesn’t look like conventional or, as I like to call it, reliable energy sources were the main cause of the problems! Yes, there were problems throughout the infrastructure, but most of them can be directly linked to the emphasis on UNRELIABLE wind and solar while not building the additional nuclear and coal plants that should be the core of a resilient, modern energy infrastructure! Natural gas plants are great right now because of the frac’ing revolution that brought prices so low and helped make America an energy exporter. Wind mills are best left to off grid sites and special situations; otherwise they are a blight on the landscape and death to endangered bird and bat species!

Reply to  Abolition Man
February 18, 2021 7:10 pm

And don’t forget all that Solar, too.

I was surfing around looking at all the coal plants that have closed in Texas in the past couple of years, roughly a dozen. I came across an article by some idiot gleefully talking about how most of the remaining coal plants, just over 17GW was to close in the next 10 years, and how that could all be replaced by roughly 40 GW of Solar. All that was needed was the installation of 4GW per year times ten years, and there you go.

Zero power when it snows instead of 17GW. More frozen wind turbines would help, too.

Larry in Texas
Reply to  BobM
February 18, 2021 10:22 pm

If you have the source about the closing of the coal plants, I would like to have it, because I haven’t done enough catching up on the subject of Texas’s electrical generation mix yet. But yes, the closing of those existing coal plants was not such a good idea after all, was it?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  BobM
February 19, 2021 2:41 am

Let’s keep in mind that planning for the last war is how wars are lost.
Next time the problem could be a heat wave over a wide area with no wind.
Or extreme cold weather with no ice but also, no wind.
I cannot help thinking of the wind drought that GB experienced a while back…it went on for far longer than any models had predicted possible.
But anyone with a good memory who has studied weather patterns over time knew that wind often slackens off to near nothing over wide areas, and this can coincide with periods of extreme heat or cold.

The particulars of this situation may occur again, but if planning is only for certain situations that have been considered, there will always be a strong probability of some event which was not well anticipated.

Unreliable means something cannot be relied upon.
Intermittent means that something is unavailable at certain times.
No amount of planning can undo these factors.
More installed wind capacity will not make it reliable, or eliminate the intermittency of the wind.
The same goes for solar.

Inconvenient events tend to occur at the worst possible time.
Otherwise they would not be all that inconvenient.
This exact confluence of conditions may have been hard for some to anticipate, but what should be easy for anyone who is responsible for something so important to foresee, is that unanticipated events can and do occur with regularity.

There are many things that happen only rarely.
But they will always reoccur.
There has been talk of how the problem was that Texas wind turbine are not equipped with the same anti-icing packages that such equipment in the Arctic has.
The reason is simple. It is not because no one knew that Texas can get cold, or can have ice storms, or that usually they are not that bad.
It is because they are expensive, and will seldom be needed.
Are we to take away from this that cost ought to be no object?
That we ought to spend whatever it takes to make wind energy more reliable in cold weather?

A better question that asking why Texas wind turbines do not have anti-icing packages, is why are people who think CO2 emissions are going to destroy our ability to survive, so adamantly opposed to one of the two ways to make the baseload (reliable and abundant) power we need that is also emission free?

For decades we had an energy infrastructure that was very resilient, but even then we occasionally had complete breakdowns in that infrastructure.
If we replace a resilient infrastructure with one that is less resilient, and is less resilient for several separate reasons, we can anticipate that such breakdowns of the infrastructure will occur far more frequently.

And that is the source of the problems we have experienced here with this event.
It was not the cold, or the ice, or the duration, or how often or rare such conditions will arise…it is that we replaced large parts of a more resilient infrastructure with one which is known to be far less resilient.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nicholas McGinley
John Dueker
Reply to  Abolition Man
February 18, 2021 7:36 pm

You’re forgetting that the feds would never allow a gas generation station big enough to back up wind much less a coal or nuclear.

Plus wind contracts have a kw capacity payment built into it. I would now argue that since they went from 30,000 kW installed to 500 kW when it was really needed they shouldn’t have one.

Reply to  Abolition Man
February 18, 2021 10:07 pm

Yeah, that fracking revolution? financial scam. US a net exporter of energy? Not so long ago, one of your Great Leaders let slip, that was mostly thanks to the oil you’re stealing in Syria. Low prices? OPEC+ did that, at US behest, mostly, as far as I can see, to destroy the Venezuela economy.
So how many frackers are actually making money? Last we checked, four operators managed to (briefly) break even when the price spiked. Considering that the fracking revolution is a megabillion financial scam, one can safely assume the rest of that “energy sector” economy is rigged from here to next week, like the stock market scam demands.
Fake news, brother, fake news, all of it. If Texas go down on the knee, apologize for using dirty words like “secession” and start respecting their Trump-hating politicians again, chances are, your electrix will miraculously recover. Oh, and stop stealing California’s taxpayers!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  paranoid goy
February 19, 2021 3:01 am


Reply to  Abolition Man
February 19, 2021 2:17 am

If you have production data, have a look at the capacity factors for coal and gas over the last few years. I expect you’ll note that they’re low, and in finer detail they’ll have had their production runs sliced and diced by renewables. All of which raises production costs and cuts financial returns. So what’s the surprise if they’re no longer reliable?

Before very much longer I expect the thermal generation companies will decide ‘stuff this for a game of soldiers’.

Reply to  Abolition Man
February 19, 2021 7:12 am

Yes: the natural gas plant failed. Not the wind turbines

Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 1:00 pm

griff, STOP. It’s dead obvious that Texas spent too much on unreliable renewables and too little on reliable, dispatchable energy sources with large fuel storage capacity. When you add the fact that weather predictions are influenced by so-called experts who don’t understand that global warming has been TINY compared to historical temperature variability and therefore bitter cold spells still can and do happen, you end up with a disaster caused by decision makers listening to nuts like you.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Meab
February 19, 2021 3:04 am

It seems to me that for many years now, plenty of these so-called “climate scientists” have been explaining that global warming/climate change will actually lead to more cold weather, worse storms, more severe winter weather, more frequent and extreme outbreaks of cold air, etc.
IOW, they have assured us time and again that their models are very clear that CO2 causes climate change and not global warming, and that climate change means that every thing that is bad will happen, and happen a lot, more than ever, and we can expect this.
So how can they also use as an excuse that no one thought it would get cold anymore?

Reply to  Meab
February 19, 2021 7:14 am

It could have – should have – fixed the issues revealed in 2011 and it could have – should have linked its grid. The fail would have occurred even with 100% fossil fuel

Reply to  griff
February 19, 2021 11:20 am

Without numbnuts like you, there would be dozens of additional coal plants online, and no problems keeping the lights on. This whole fiasco traces back to the failed theory that CO2 is bad.

Also, linking grids provides no relief when no one on the grid has surplus power, which was the case.

Lastly, with 100% RENEWABLES, we would be looking at a vast humanitarian crises with tens of thousands of deaths.

Your active pursuit of unreliable, green energy has now caused many lives. Happy?

Reply to  jtom
February 19, 2021 11:22 am

caused many lives TO BE LOST.

Russ R.
Reply to  griff
February 19, 2021 11:11 pm

Since Obiden declared his war on coal and subsidies for wind, the market has been distorted toward wind and away from coal. Added into this mix is the lower cost for NG due to fracking.
The end result is a system lacking EXCESS CAPACITY!
Wind has no excess capacity.
Solar has no excess capacity.
Nuclear has very little excess capacity, because it is normally run above 90% of capacity.
Natural Gas has excess capacity, BUT when much is needed for furnace heating, electricity generation can not be expanded to meet the additional demand for both heat and electricity.
Coal has been cut back due to both expansion of wind, and of NG.
Coal has excess capacity, but at it’s lower level of total production the excess it will produce is must less than what is needed.
The system is over-allocated on NG and Wind to produce electricity. The best short term solution is more Coal with stockpiles available to pick up the demand when wind falters and NG is at max throughput.
EIA: Texas Electricity Production by Source:

Source  Year     MW/hrs      %Change  MWH Change


Coal    2008    147,131,841

Coal    2019     91,816,735    -37%    -55,315,106

Wind    2008     16,225,022     

Wind    2019      83,620,371   +418%   +67,395,349

NG      2008      193,247,078

NG      2019      255,630,021    +32%   +62,382,943 

All      2008      404,787,781

All      2019      483,201,031    +19%   +78,413,250

The increases in NG and Wind is 129,778,292 minus Coal = 74,463,186. Which is 95% of the total increase in all sources.

Removed Coal and replaced it with Wind and NG.
Removed a source with EXCESS CAPCITY and replaced with a source with none, and a backup source that is “over-allocated” in cold weather.

Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 1:24 pm

And wind and solar were producing VERY LITTLE of the required supply.

But you knew that before your tiresome ill-informed post, didn’t you, griff-liar.

Your LIES are getting more and more DESPERATE. !

Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 1:40 pm

The only reason why the loss from thermal power sources looks larger is because power from thermal power sources is huge compared to your renewable sources. On a percentage basis, the loss from renewables was much, much greater.
Indeed, had the entire state been powered by renewables as you and the rest of the warmunists want, the state would have lost close to 80% of it’s power generation and the numbers of dead would have been in the thousands.
But then again, you warmunists are in favor of thinning the herd.

John Dueker
Reply to  MarkW
February 18, 2021 7:39 pm

Agree by my observation wind dropped 98% versus all else 20%.

Serge Wright
Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 1:50 pm

Griff, if we cut to the chase of what you are secretly asserting. How would a 100% RE grid have fared during this storm ?. Will you dare answer your own assertion ? Many people here can answer this question if you need help.

Reply to  Serge Wright
February 19, 2021 7:22 am

an interesting question…

The first thing is a renewable grid would be linked to other US grids… (that this one isn’t may be a political issue not resolvable?) enabling some continuity of supply from outside

Secondly grid scale battery power would have eased the peak demand and eased the issues when power sources went offline/power lines failed. Grid scale power would NOT supply for any length of time, but could supply for a couple of hours where needed.

Demand management would help with the above.

And then? We aren’t near to a 100% full time renewable grid this decade (and nobody intends to shift to one overnight). Likely solutions if there is a low wind power event include renewable hydrogen in the existing gas grid and some use of gas power stations with CO2 storage. Yes, I’ll admit there is more to do here.

(I don’t know enough about wind conditions in Texas including offshore to gauge what a minimum wind level is or when it might occur or how frequently)

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  griff
February 19, 2021 12:50 pm

There is no such thing as grid scale battery power and likely there never will be.

Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 2:02 pm

Wind turbines at times this month have generated more than half of the Texas power generation, though this is only about a quarter of the system’s power capacity. Last week wind generation plunged as demand surged. Fossil-fuel generation increased and covered the supply gap. Thus between the mornings of Feb. 7 and Feb. 11, wind as a share of the state’s electricity fell to 8% from 42%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Gas generation fell by about one-third between late Sunday night and Tuesday, but even then was running two to three times higher than usual before the Arctic blast. Gas power nearly made up for the shortfall in wind, though it wasn’t enough to cover surging demand.

Notice on graphic how the nuclear and coal power — the baseload that can stay on and ramp up — has been flat. Notice also how wind and solar output crapped out forcing a ramp up in natural gas.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Eisenhower
February 19, 2021 3:28 am

It may not be obvious to everyone, but percentage graphs are only a part of the energy mix picture.
Without knowing that the amounts of power demanded and produced were also changing over time, percentage maps can actually be somewhat misleading.
At the very least, they are only part of the story.

Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 2:18 pm

Didn’t you say earlier in other threads, wind is forecastable on the minute exact ?
Where have been the forecasts for Texas about cold winds and snow ?

Reply to  Krishna Gans
February 19, 2021 7:23 am

It is in the UK. I have no information as to Texas.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 4:59 pm

Based on ERCOT’s numbers, the demand during this storm was less than a hot day in the summer. Of course, the unreliables dropped off completely. Wind was absent when needed. So we could pay more to have coal-fired plants to back up the wind, or pay less to just use coal instead of wind. We don’t have the full story yet from ERCOT, but what we do know is that the wind turbines failed to provide any power.

John Dueker
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
February 18, 2021 7:42 pm

Yes and reporting will often switch and confuse kW capacity and kWh energy. I’d say they were trying to confuse readers but likely they don’t get it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  John Dueker
February 19, 2021 3:59 am

This is because a person needs a large amount of information to discern and understand that distinction.
Someone who is knowledgably might not realize that this is the case however.
But anyone who has had to bridge the gap between technical knowledge and customer (IOW, the general public) understanding of such issues, understands very well that the average person knows almost nothing about the details of even something as basic to modern life as electricity and electric power.
Hell, even some people who are highly placed in relevant industries have glaring misunderstandings and faulty knowledge of even basic issues relating to electricity and electric power.

John Dueker
Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 7:27 pm

Fossil and nuclear didn’t do well but I was watching ERCOT and wind was the knife in the back.

Wind capacity fell from its installed 30,000 kW to as low as 500. All other fell from a running and not down for long term overhaul of 55,000 to 60,000 kW to 45,000. So wind failing 98% versus all others of falling 20-25% makes them an immediate cause. If wind had produced a third of its capacity there would have been much less of a problem.

Those reporters need to be careful using cumulative kWh versus instantaneous kW capacity/load. It causes them to make misleading comparisons. Instead they should remember what caused the NY blackouts was not dealing with instantaneous kW exceeding capacity and the relaying that failed to trip which knocked out nearly every generator in NY. Imagine how long it would take to black start the state.

Abolition Man
Reply to  John Dueker
February 18, 2021 9:42 pm

Don’t forget that a lot of those reporters were too stupid, stoned or lazy to get through a STEM program, or business or law school! We have ignorant idiots blithely regurgitating what they are told by their lords and masters; the plebs need to sit down, shut up and obey for their own good!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Abolition Man
February 19, 2021 4:01 am

See my comment just above regarding general knowledge of members of the public regarding anything technical.

Larry in Texas
Reply to  griff
February 18, 2021 10:12 pm

ERCOT is NOT “powered primarily by natural gas and wind.” The Texas grid is powered mostly (up to 91%) by natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants. Look up EIA’s daily generation mix for Texas to see what I mean. Secondly, ERCOT is what is called a “balancing authority.” They are the agency that deals with electrical interchanges to and from other parts of the U.S. grid (specifically, usually only the Southwest Power Pool).

ERCOT’s projected electrical demand “as of November” is about as reliable as the weather predictions made in November for two or three months from then. Don’t put any stock in them for your analysis. ERCOT has botched enough operational stuff in this situation to make itself fall down and fart. So have most Texas politicians, who only virtue-signal about wind power because the wind industry propagandizes enough, and don’t fight for regulatory incentives to encourage the building of more gas and nuclear power plants.

Last edited 1 year ago by Larry in Texas
Reply to  Larry in Texas
February 19, 2021 11:31 am

Weather predictions in November? NOAA issued a February forecast predicting a 70% probability of higher than average temperatures for Texas, on JAN 20 of this year!

Their models are contaminated with a warming bias (and aren’t that good to begin with).

Those models could be replaced by darts and a dartboard, and result in better accuracy.

Reply to  griff
February 19, 2021 12:56 pm

Let me see if I can “mansplain” this for you Griff. ERCOT peak forecast a 10% surplus for peak forecast demand. Unfortunately that included the totality of generating capacity for the grid. Then we lost 26% generating capacity (25% wind, 1% solar) thereby making capacity well UNDER peak forecast. Add to that infrastructure failure, then traditional generating capacity was way overloaded leading to cascade failures throughout the grid. With the loss of “green” capacity, fossil/nuclear did not stand a chance. Try running a 5 ton AC unit on a 3 kW generator and see what happens.

Michael E McHenry
February 18, 2021 10:21 am

Oil is mostly about transportation fuel. When weather gets this bad driving plummets and fuel demand with it

Tim Spence
February 18, 2021 10:34 am

Is there a link between Bloomberg News floating stories and the other Bloomberg that is highly involved with stocks and shares, I ask naively but sincerely.

Reply to  Tim Spence
February 18, 2021 11:14 am

Probably not. Bloomberg News and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (New Energy Fantasy) are at the forefront of the campaign to convince America that unreliable energy is the future.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tim Spence
February 19, 2021 4:04 am

It is the same Michael Bloomberg that owns both, unless one of them was recently sold to someone else.

February 18, 2021 10:34 am

Another “don’t let a catastrophe go to waste” news item designed to scare the populace.

February 18, 2021 10:36 am

What’s happening to Texas is kind of normal weather for Alberta or Alaska and doesn’t affect their oil production.

The North American oil industry is used to working in very cold conditions. (I leave the rest of that thought to you as an exercise.)

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  commieBob
February 18, 2021 10:58 am

It is a matter of you build and plan for. Critical pipes freezing during winter in North Dakota is rarity because everyone knows to protect their pipes and bury them deeply and insulate those exposed and put heater tapes on them. Pumps and equipment go in heated enclosures. In North Dakota, and businesses building are built so no water carrying plumbing is in an outside wall, because if it is you learn a very hard lesson. Many people in North Dakota have block heaters on their cars and trucks and plug them in so they’ll start the next morning.
In most of Texas none of that is built in as it is rarely needed and more expensive.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Richard Brimage
Reply to  commieBob
February 18, 2021 11:19 am

Having worked in oil fields in British Columbia and the South Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico I can assure you that we are NOT used to or prepared for this kind of weather down here much less Canadian style weather.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  David Middleton
February 18, 2021 10:07 pm

Gulf of Mexico operators also aren’t used to or prepared to operate in deserts either… “

Why not? Given the fact that man-made carbon [dioxide] emissions can produce any physical outcome whatsoever, those operators are negligent in not being ready for a desert environment!

I am outraged!

Robert W Turner
Reply to  commieBob
February 18, 2021 5:21 pm

Ask someone from Texas if they have snow tires, chains, or have seen a snow plow with salt or sand spreaders.

Inspector kemp
February 18, 2021 10:40 am

Here is what I think.

This cold front is a huge embarrassment to climate change enthusiasts. Therefore they are eager to show that somehow oil and gas are not up to the job. That somehow cold weather has a greater negative effect on oil and gas than wind and solar. It’s preposterous, but there it is.

E.J. mohr
February 18, 2021 10:45 am

It seems unlikely that everything “froze up” but that’s the narrative. I know some Canadian lads who work as drillers in the Permian. They appreciate the usually warmer weather but it sounds like other than that the drilling operations are the same as here in the frozen north.

Somebody linked to a 2012 article that presciently warned of potential grid problems in Texas with the large subsidies that were introduced. You can read it here: https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-problems/texas-windpower-negative-pricing-neeley/

Ric Haldane
Reply to  E.J. mohr
February 18, 2021 10:59 am

David, Why does Rigzone print anything put out by Bloomberg or Reuters?

Ron Long
February 18, 2021 10:48 am

David, Wolf Blitzer mentioned you on the CNN Situation Room. OK, not by name, but Wolf said (I paraphrase here, but I’m close): Right wing interests try to blame the Texas power outage on a failure of the green energy systems, but we have heard that the operating windmills are producing so much energy they offset the windmills with freezing problems. Now (this morning) I heard a CNN reporter tear into both Cuomo and Newsome. There is no doubt that CNN has gone bi-polar. Wherever this ends for CNN it won’t be pretty. I like it.

Jim Clarke
Reply to  Ron Long
February 18, 2021 11:27 am

“…but we have heard that the operating windmills are producing so much energy they offset the windmills with freezing problems.” So half of them go down, but the other half produce twice as much as ever before. Gosh…those damn windmills have been holding out on us all this time! It’s a bloody CNN miracle! (Is Wolf Blitzer that stupid? No, but I bet he thinks his viewers are!)

Reply to  Jim Clarke
February 18, 2021 12:09 pm

Did you see his Jeopardy performance? He *is* that stupid.

Ron Long
Reply to  Jim Clarke
February 18, 2021 1:03 pm

Remember Wolf crying “GAS” while reporting live in the first Gulf War? The other people around him looked at him like he was crazy. So, stupid or crazy, take your pick.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ron Long
February 19, 2021 4:10 am

I do not recall that, but I would not mind seeing a clip.
I could use a good laugh to start the day.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ron Long
February 19, 2021 4:14 am

You may be thinking of this guy, Chris Jayco:

“Gulf War 1 – A Reporter Thinks He is Under a Nerve Gas Attack”

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 19, 2021 4:15 am

About 3:30 mark.
One guy puts on a helmet, another a gas mask.
Between them they got just about everything covered.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 19, 2021 4:16 am

Looks like a scene from SNL.

Reply to  Jim Clarke
February 18, 2021 1:28 pm

“so much energy they offset the windmills with freezing problems.””


But it doesn’t show up in the data

Wind performed BADLY, solar.. not at all

What the does show is that GAS saved the day, punching well above anything else.

comment image

Last edited 1 year ago by fred250
Reply to  fred250
February 18, 2021 1:45 pm

Here’s how the scam works. First reporter, citing unnamed sources and industry insiders makes an outlandish claims.
Other reporters, using the first reporter as their sole source echo the outlandish claim.
Then TV reporters citing the overwhelming number of reports (without mentioning that they are all based on the same source) make the claim that it has been overwhelmingly proven.
2 or 3 days later when accurate data that totally refutes the earlier alarmist claims comes out, nobody in the media is interested. After all, the story is now old news.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
February 18, 2021 7:37 pm

A perfect description of the propaganda mechanism used by our leftwing reporters.

David A
Reply to  fred250
February 18, 2021 1:55 pm

Plus 1000, should be the main post. (Griff respond!) He can’t.

Notice how gas load followed pathetic wind. That chart looks very similar to the 14 other states affected. Wind and solar are a burden of conventional, very expensive, and greatly increasing the cost of all.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jim Clarke
February 18, 2021 7:35 pm

Well, all the windmills were producing about 43 percent of Texas electricity before the cold front came in, and after most of the windmills were frozen, the remaining working windmills were producing 8 percent of Texas electricity.

The remaining operating windmills were producing 8 percent. How does that offset the non-working windmills, which, when working, were producing 43 percent? Answer: It doesn’t. It doesn’t even come close.

Ric Haldane
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 19, 2021 9:17 am

Tom, Wind and solar combined can produce 23% of Texas power on a good day, not 43%. I believe that the 43% comes from wind output vs capacity.

Reply to  Ron Long
February 18, 2021 1:15 pm

In a sense the frozen windmills are a red herring.

Even if most of the windmills had been working fine, the problems were still probably caused by the effects of incorporating the windmills into the overall system.

The money spent on the windmills has diverted funds from hardening the grid. The time spent thinking about how to incorporate the windmills into the grid has diverted management’s attention from the proper design and administration of the grid.

With the push to incorporate ever more renewable energy into the grid, the problems are becoming wicked. As such, there is little hope that management’s attention can ever again focus on simple mundane necessities.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  commieBob
February 18, 2021 1:55 pm

Even if most of the windmills had been working fine, the problems were still probably caused by the effects of incorporating the windmills into the overall system.

Got it in one. Of course that’s the problem. The elephant in the room isn’t that hard to spot if you’re looking. Power producers have been politically coerced into adding politically correct systems that are unstable and inadequate to the purpose. It’s insanity and something we will see with increasing frequency wherever this technology is used. The cost will be in human life.

John Dueker
Reply to  commieBob
February 18, 2021 7:50 pm

Yes but to most the grid is the transmission system versus the integrated generation and transmission system. The transmission system was fine there was insufficient generation to feed it.

Reply to  commieBob
February 18, 2021 10:47 pm

Your comment would have made perfect sense a few decades ago, when engineering companies were run by engineers. Now General Electric is a finance institution, and all CFOs know that maintenance is non-core business. Bet you all the materials needed for keeping the grid going, was sold off as scrap metal just the other day, “useless stock that costs us money we could be investing”.
Free market capitalism sure is saving the world! And, no, I am not promoting communism, just proper education. You can teach an engineer about costing, it seems impossible to teach a bean counter basic machine husbandry.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Ron Long
February 18, 2021 5:25 pm

I’m pretty sure they were just waiting for the right time to use the Cuomo mass homicide as a major distraction. And it’s sick that they are mad that he simply hid numbers from the press, instead of the actual homicidal actions itself.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Long
February 18, 2021 7:31 pm

I’ve seen several articles that are focused on defending the windmills in Texas and several authors have mentioned the picture David posted of the helicopter spaying de-icer on a frozen windmill. They try to debunk the picture! They think it is propaganda. As if that had any importance to the matter at hand.

John Dueker
Reply to  Ron Long
February 18, 2021 7:46 pm

And they don’t have a clue about the difference between kWh energy and kW capacity/load.

Joel O'Bryan
February 18, 2021 10:50 am

CNN and MSNBC did that “unnamed sources” and “sources not wanting to be identified” journalist-fail schtick throughout the Trump-Russia collusion hoax run by House Democrats. The House Dems were namely Schiff and Swalwell who were Nancy’s perps colluding with the those media outlets to sustain a false narrative about Trump after the Steele dossier was shown to be a Hillary campaign fabrication.

In today’s media environment, lying and deception to sustain a narrative is considered “taking one for the team”, that is, lying for The Cause is a badge of honor among Democrats, as it shows a willingness to put the team above personal integrity. Obama rewards that kind of personal debasement with promotions, and still does to this day in the Biden-Harris-Obama 3rd term.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 18, 2021 11:52 am

” it shows a willingness to put the team above personal integrity”


When their personal integrity is well below ZERO to start with, lying becomes second nature.

The TRUTH becomes very difficult for them to even process, let alone speak..

Reply to  fred250
February 18, 2021 1:46 pm

Remember prominent congressional Democrats referring to Bill Clinton as “an exceptionally good liar”? And they were complementing him for this skill.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
February 18, 2021 7:53 pm

Clinton was an exceptionally good liar. I think it was a Nebraska senator who said that. I’ll remember his name in a little while.

One of my favorite examples of how duplicitous Clinton is, was demonstrated by Rush Limbaugh on his television show.

Rush showed a video of Clinton leaving the funeral for one of his cabinet members, Ron Brown, and the video shows Clinton and another person leaving the funeral and Clinton and this guy he’s with are yukking it up and joking around and grinning and all of a sudden Clinton spots the camera on him, and quicker than a dropped hat could hit the ground, his whole demeanor changed and he went from laughing to mourning in the blink of an eye, solely for the benefit of the camera, mind you.

The funniest part to me was the other guy he was walking with. Clinton had been joking and laughing with him as they walked and then Clinton’s demeanor completely changed and the guy walking with him was very confused by the transition, you could tell.

Yeah, Clinton can lie at the drop of a hat. His wife, too. But I think Obama may be a better liar than both of them.

That video of Clinton is on Youtube somewhere if you want a good laugh.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 18, 2021 10:51 pm

You remind me of the doctor at Sandy Hook!

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 19, 2021 12:04 am

It is said that when necessary, Bill Clinton could cry out of just one eye.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  fred250
February 18, 2021 2:02 pm

There was a great line from Lawrence of Arabia, where Bentley (reporter) criticizes the diplomat, Dryden for lying to Lawrence … his response:

A man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth. But a man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it.”

We’ve been getting half-lies for so long that most people can’t tell the difference.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 18, 2021 1:02 pm

Not just lying; they see getting away with actual criminal behavior as being a plus on the resume’. I would think that if the DemoKKKrats are able to complete the steal in 2022 and make the US a one party, socialist state you will start seeing the crooks behind their crimes feted and celebrated openly! Just think of Gov. Stacy Abrams being rewarded for her voter fraud program, or governors like Killer Cuomo and Queen Gretchen Bitchmore being acknowledged for making the dempanic so effective! Lil’ Tony Fauxi will probably achieve sainthood for ChiCom-19!

H. D. Hoese
February 18, 2021 11:04 am

Just back on line, still early in knowing what happened, but we got first hand information that the turbines N of Corpus Christi that I watched for years being unloaded there and at nearby Port Aransas stopped early in the blizzard. No surprise there, we knew that from the prior (circa 70s) much smaller installation episode that produced their “fossils.” It was also reported that both nuclear and gas plants did not prepare adequately, but available information seemed the worst I have experienced, even available NOAA weather radio spent too much time “preaching.” Rockport, of hurricane Harvey fame, did not do too badly, but forgot the freezes of the 80s, so drivers have to watch out for plumbing trucks in a hurry. After the hurricane we filled up with RV trailer parks and too many structures have been built with inadequate preparation. Fortunately we had lots of clouds or it might have reached near 10 degrees F as in the bay ice fish killing 80s freezes, but this one had a long series of prior days in the 30s above freezing. How soon we forget, but the oil industry is full of real problem solvers.

Len Werner
February 18, 2021 11:10 am

I heard our fake news on the subject about an hour ago; Texas production was ‘down by 1 million barrels/day’.

If YOU don’t know what the numbers are–everyone just made them up. Next is to determine the purpose of making them up; who’s behind it and why?

Another part of our Canadian report was that this is a reason why gasoline prices are going to go up–because Texas production is down. What the bleep?–didn’t the Keystone pipeline project just get interrupted (yet again, talk about a busted record that thing is) so Canada can’t get its oil down to the US? So we can’t sell our oil outside the country, and yet our gas prices go up because Texas production is down? Yeah right.

Everyone is just making it up. Anyone who believes it is a fool.


David Yaussy
February 18, 2021 11:20 am

David, in the end the market prices oil and gas correctly. As you have observed before, and as common sense tells us, there are often short term anomalies, but the long term the value of fossil fuels was demonstrated this week.

Walt D.
February 18, 2021 11:22 am

I seem to recall that the Prudhoe Bay reservoir is a Permo-Triassic sandstone called Sadlerochit. The whole area is permafrost. This presented a problem for seismic processing since it blocked the detection of “bright spots” that would indicate that gas was present. In 1982 Sohio drilled a dry hole – Mukluk. Although the structure was identified correctly, the gas had leaked out. The company lost well over $1 billion in exploration and drilling costs.

Walt D.
Reply to  David Middleton
February 19, 2021 5:43 am

If you are interested, all the well logs are filed with the State of Alaska. Beware, they only have the raw logs.

February 18, 2021 11:28 am

Why were you using Google as your search engine. We know how biased it is. Try Duckduckgo or startpage next time!

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  James
February 18, 2021 11:52 am

Google MUST be stripped of its search engine. It must be made a generic utility of the WWW. Leftist Fascists ruin everything they touch. Everything. Even things they built. The Fascist Left must be confronted, resisted and defeated before they fully turn America into a huge concentration camp.

Reply to  Matthew Schilling
February 18, 2021 11:03 pm

Are we advocating nationalisation now, or just theft? Careful what you wish for. My own favourite search engine is a Notepad page called “interesting links”, where I save the URL of pages worth revisiting, usually found via pages like this, or recommendations by fellow readers. How I laugh when people cry about TwatFaceGram blocking their news feeds!

John Dueker
Reply to  James
February 18, 2021 7:53 pm

I have better luck and fewer ads using yippy.com

February 18, 2021 11:41 am

with apology to David: Landing on Mars live commentary here: https://youtu.be/6A_j8X2Wgoo

Reply to  David Middleton
February 18, 2021 11:46 am

Pronunciation for ‘Jezero (=lake)’ crater: ‘J’ is pronounced as ‘Y’ as in Yesterday, and both ‘e’ also as in ‘yesterday’.

Last edited 1 year ago by vuk
Reply to  Vuk
February 18, 2021 1:17 pm

… or type in google translate ‘Jezero’ select detect language and click on the loudspeaker to hear a reasonable original pronunciation

Reply to  Vuk
February 18, 2021 11:06 pm

“…both ‘e’ also as in ‘yesterday’.” All e‘s are equal, then? Never knew.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
February 18, 2021 12:40 pm

-56ºC at the landing site in Jezero Crater. 203.265 million km from Earth at light speed that’s a 11min 17 sec time delay.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 18, 2021 1:21 pm

click on the right hand SS icon at the bottom middle for inner Solar System real time view

Last edited 1 year ago by vuk
February 18, 2021 11:43 am

Abbot banned the export of natural gas from Texas.

Tsk Tsk
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
February 18, 2021 11:52 am

Because it’s all needed and then some to make up for the wind failure.

Reply to  Tsk Tsk
February 18, 2021 3:18 pm

They’re having difficulty transporting it within their state never mind exporting it! The biggest part of the energy shortfall is the freezing up of gas pipelines. Doing everything on the cheap to maximize profits is the cause of the problem.

Reply to  Phil.
February 18, 2021 11:09 pm

So, just because I know nothin’ about petroleum gas: What exactly is the freezing temperature of carbohydrate gas, as used for fuel? I smell a leak, methane? No, it’s good ole’ bull poop!

dodgy geezer
February 18, 2021 11:44 am

The only real surprise was that almost all of the wind turbines froze, depriving the grid of about 25% of its usual electricity generation….

Looking at the common graph going the rounds about Texas energy supplies, the wind shortage looks to me to be less than 5%. Coal and Oil failures push it up to about 15%…

Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 18, 2021 2:08 pm

DG – Please note the large drop off of around 20,000MW to around 8000MW on 8 February and the ramp up of gas and coal. Wind production dropped off falling to app 2000-6000MW on 15 February. That’s where your low wind number comes from. Wind is normally providing about a quarter of the power. Do you think, we should have a higher percentage of wind on the grid:

Last edited 1 year ago by Chuck no longer in Houston
Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  Chuck no longer in Houston
February 18, 2021 3:18 pm

The huge drop in gas and coal at 2 a.m. on the 15th does suggest that ERCOT fumbled the football with cascading trips. They were not quick enough to drop demand in response to falling grid frequency, and so ended up cutting more because of the trips. There is very little likelihood that there was a simultaneous loss of nat gas availability on pipelines of that magnitude that caused the trips – though once power was lost, pipeline pressures will have fallen in a self reinforcing cycle.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Itdoesn't add up...
February 18, 2021 8:07 pm

Several articles today said Texas came within seconds to minutes of losing the entire grid. And they said if that happened, it might take a month to get things back up and running.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Chuck no longer in Houston
February 18, 2021 8:05 pm

“Do you think, we should have a higher percentage of wind on the grid:”

I heard the Lieutenant Governor of Texas say tonight that he didn’t want to put up any more windmills in Texas.

Reply to  Chuck no longer in Houston
February 18, 2021 11:25 pm

“…we should have a higher percentage of wind on the grid…”
Why don’t ya’ll just point your bloviating politicians at those windmills? Ask them something simple, like, I don’t know, ‘do you think there are more than sixteen genders?’, and watch those fans spin!
Or, or, we just pray for more wind?
Yeah, I know, you meant ‘more windmills’, but you built a straw man, I am bored, I have matches…

Pillage Idiot
February 18, 2021 11:46 am

I operate a small production company in the Midcontinent.

On Monday we had a water transfer pump freeze up. It transfers water from the tank battery to the saltwater disposal well. The radars on the water tanks operated normally. When the water level in the tanks hit our “high tank level” alert level, the pump controller sent a signal to shut down the electrical submersible pump.

I observed this activity from the data feed in my office. I contacted the pumper and he confirmed the water transfer pump would not kick on by hand. I then told him to shut down the well until further notice.

On Tuesday, the rolling blackouts managed by the local electricity provider shut down two more wells. One of the wells came back into production 1 hour later after testing all of the safety protocols and cycling through the automated re-start procedure. The other well sensed a system fault and did not complete the re-start procedure.

On Wednesday, the utility was still requesting that customers reduce energy demand due to the strain on the system. We then shut in all of our wells that operate using electrical power to save the juice for freezing people.

We will try to re-start wells on Friday. Some will come back up under the expected conditions. Others will probably not be able to be re-started until next Monday.

Every operator in the path of the bitter cold has a similar story. The actual production losses will be a tiny blip on the annual production. The costs to further winterize our facilities would never payout.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
February 18, 2021 11:57 am

The costs to further winterize our facilities would never payout.

Being in a negative phase for the next few decades might change that equation.

Abolition Man
February 18, 2021 12:10 pm

I thought the best way to determine if some news item is fake is to look at the chyron! If you see ABC, NBC, MSNBC, PBS or CNN it is probably false! Even Fox is slipping down into the abyss of propaganda outlets!
By the way, if it wasn’t a coup d’etat then why are there still 7,000 armed National Guard troops, stationed inside a Green Zone, protected by fences topped with razor wire where our national Capitol used to be? I had heard that fences and walls don’t work; I guess that’s only on our southern border!

Last edited 1 year ago by abolition man
Nick Schroeder
February 18, 2021 12:29 pm

Fake news?!
What else kind is there?

February 18, 2021 1:31 pm

and apparently alot of oil and gas operations in Texas use windpower to power operations … so that could also account for reduced output …

Itdoesn't add up...
Reply to  lackawaxen123
February 18, 2021 2:14 pm

That cannot be reliable enough. Sure, many are in areas where there are also a lot of wind farms – but they will rely on grid power if they don’t make their own from their own resources.

February 18, 2021 2:07 pm

We just produced this image. Please feel free to use it in any form! Enjoy!

February 18, 2021 3:26 pm

It appears that the wind turbine blades iced up, a known problem, though I don’t know how predictable icing was in this case. (Can you advise, Anthony?)

They have to be feathered and probably stopped to avoid imbalance from uneven icing or uneven loss of ice buildup.

This article show ice on blades, with a helicopter spraying something from what looks like a makeshift barrel spray rig. Observe the section near the spray that is almost free of ice. Note the ice looks thick.

(Aircraft are de-iced on the ground with a hot water-[glycol] mix, then undiluted [glycol] is applied just before takeoff, it and any snow fallen on top of it slough off at takeoff airspeed.
In flight, some small aircraft use inflatable cuffs that break ice. Some designs have used a weeping system. Big airplanes use hot air from their engines, that blows onto the back side of leading edges.

Propylene glycol is made from propane or naptha, which are made from fossil fuels.

(At least some wind turbines also have to be feathered in very high winds.)

‘Feathered’ means changing blade angle to where little force is generated. Standard on propeller airplanes of much size.

John Dueker
Reply to  Keith Sketchley
February 18, 2021 8:09 pm

I think icing can be predicted by the humidity and temperature. Nothing will ice in extremely low humidity. There was a lot of moisture around as the temperature dropped from 60s to teens.

Itdoesn't add up...
February 18, 2021 3:27 pm

Argus are in the business of being specialist reporters on oil and gas. They report considerable uncertainties in the loss of crude production, but they include a list of pipelines that were shut by the loss of power or otherwise in this article:


An explanation of freeze-offs from a vendor of solutions:


February 18, 2021 4:57 pm

Why do you not know what a “Permian Shale field” is? Can you explain that comment, I’m just curious and my small mind is not getting it.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Bernie
February 18, 2021 9:17 pm

Of course shale cannot freeze
It’s underground
But pumps and compressors powered by electricity stop when there is no electricity

I guess it just sounds better to say it froze?

John Dueker
February 18, 2021 7:11 pm

David Middleton please be careful about stating power loss numbers. Too many reporters don’t understand the difference between cumulative kWh and instantaneous kW capacity/load. Most laymen don’t get it.

Your capacity number is about right but I was watching the ERCOT site. During the worst of the disaster I saw wind capacity drop to 500 kW of their installed 30,000 kW. So the time critical performance was a 98% drop. I haven’t dug into ERCOT’s dispatch files to see what winds capacity not down for maintenance was but wind’s performance was the redwood tree that fell on the camel’s back.

But if energy in kWh is reported wind looks better. People have forgotten what running short of capacity can do e.g. the NY blackouts. Fortunately ERCOT has good load shedding protocol and maintained control.

Tom Abbott
February 18, 2021 8:16 pm

I see where the Ford Motor company has asked their dealers in Texas to temporarily donate all their 2021 F-150 pickups to people without power.

The new F-150 pickups have a 2.0 kilowatt or a 2.4 kilowatt generator incorporated into the truck, and people can use them to power their house.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 18, 2021 9:29 pm


Pat from kerbob
February 18, 2021 9:27 pm

Perched here in canada, it seems to me that all grid incentives are toward adding wind and solar, there is no “free” money in making sure the necessary part of the system is solid.

I spent all day here arguing with people who say renewables have nothing to do with it, while I argue that wind collapsed almost completely while gas coal nuclear pulled back a bit but didn’t collapse.

But I finally figured out that their point was actually that wind is unreliable and so it is NOT expected to be there in an emergency.
So it’s not responsible.

So the renewable fanatics argument is really and truly that wind has no responsibility BECAUSE it is unreliable.

It took me a while to get it. Still having trouble with it.

So I changed my question as to why does everything incentivize wind instead of reliable power?
Isn’t that now seen as a huge mistake?

I think there will be lots of finger pointing but in the end the consensus will be no more money on wind and solar until the real power is resilient.

John Dueker
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
February 18, 2021 10:22 pm

Yes, my number say wind dropped 98% all others 15%

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
February 18, 2021 11:24 pm

If I was a betting man, I would take you up on that. My guess is they will find a way to blame fosil fuels and the consumption habits of the deplorables. And subsidise more nonsense…
The only way out of this trap, is to stop all subsidies. I find it strange how “free market capitalism” is so dependent upon subsidies. If you stop the subsidies, all those fund managers will have to crawl back to the engineers to reanimate the dead art of proper, cost-efficient design and maintenance.
But mostly, I suspect this whole shebang has more to do with the disrespect Texas has been showing their selected officials. Secession, second amendment sanctuary, deportation of undocumented voters… what next, banning people from female sporting events just because they used to have a totty?

Pat from kerbob
February 18, 2021 9:39 pm

And again
If everyone is told endlessly how it’s getting relentlessly hotter why would anyone waste money preparing for cold?

I know that this cold is now caused by heat, because of course it is.

But I see lots of people asking why Texas didn’t prepare for this?
Because all we hear is “hot”.

February 19, 2021 2:34 am

Prepare now for the Summer – will TX get hit by a “Record Heat Wave”and be “unprepared”? Exactly like CA last Summer.
MSM, i.e., Wall Street, will tolerate no discussion of the ENRON aftershock of deregulation, and will invent such weather narratives, anonymously of course.
Problem is that lethal grid-magic is being exported to the EU.

After all the deregulation argument – “you get a choice of supplier”, does in fact leave 2 choices : freeze now and boil in Summer.

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