Page 8 article text (OCR)
SAMUEL S. WYER, Federal Director Gas Conservation SAMUEL S. WYER, Newly appointed Federal Director of the National Bureau of Gas Conservation, talked to the representatives of municipalities and gas managers in the Mid-Continent field in Minneapolis,' Minn., Tuesday, September 24, on invitation of Judge Wilbur ¥. Booth, of the Federal Court, who has control of the Kansas Natural Gas Company, through a receiver. It was Mr. Wyer's first public falk since his appointment as director of gas conservation. The Wichita Natural Gas Company, in line with its policy to keep the gas consumers informed concerning all matters pertaining to gas, believes it a duty to have Director Wyer's remarks given as widespread publicity as possible, especially because conservation of natural gas is of such vital importance at this time, and his remarks apply to all of us. Director Wyer's appeal for cooperation met with immediate response and hearty assurances of help from all the representatives of gas companies present. Following his talk an organization was inaugurated to take'immediate practical steps to reduce gas leakage in the Mid-Continent territory on pipeline and distributing company lines, under direct supervision of the Government.* Mr Wyer said it* will be necessary for gas companies to be licensed by the Government and those companies which do not cooperate in the reduction of leakage, will, of necessity, lose their licenses. The Informal Talk of Mr. Wyer Follows: My Idea of (he gas situation in your section 1 sumo boat. The distributing Interests, as a group, u words, Ihere is a community of interest in this who in Oklahoma to the most remote consumer in the The only way that you will ever get out is to. arrangements are made whereby this needless waste that the waste in this Western field here Is perhap the time Is not far distant when at least the smalle an empty or gasless distributing plant. « My firm conviction is that the large losses ca down those losses you will materially lengthen the and in that way render a public service. s that all of the distributing companies are in the re also in the same boat with the receiver. Ir. other le natural gas proposition from the natural gas fields farthest city. , terminate this litigation and pull together. Unless (and I believe from what I know of the situation s larger than in any other), unless this Is stopped, r distributing plants will be left with nothing but n. to a general extent, be cut down. By cutting life of your property and in so doing conserve gas, The Bureau of Natural Gas Conservation wilinot, and cannot, and will endeavor in every way possible not to be drawn Into the rate phase of this controversy. However, as a practical proposition, that goes to the very root of the whole conservation question. I made this statement this morning and this afternoon and will repeat it now that you can never have conservation of natural gas until you have an adequate price. Whether or not that Is desirable from the public viewpoint, I am not responsible for that sttuatlojj. II is simply a cold-blooded engineering and economic fact, and no amount of juggling will ever change it. Whenever the gas is made worth saving, for purely selfish or self-preserving reasons, there will he some encouragement to stop the waste and you will thereby materially lengthen the life of Uio fields. For that reason, the bureau, as a bureau, will not be interested In the rate question. I am Just as strongly convinced that one o fthe first requisites from your viewpoint in getting conservation is to get an adequate price for your gas. That, of course, will be a matter which you will have to handle yourselves. We shall not even give you any assistance on that, other than the general assistance that will come from the leaching of tho public, as to the real value of natural gas. Public Should Know Natural Gas Worth We fejl confident that the public will respond and take the necessary means, when they are shown how they can do It, to cut down some of the waste, not only in their own premise^, but in every way 'possible. We feel confident that a large percon tago of the waste in the field can be clminuted. To give you a practical illustration: in round numbers eighty million feet of gas is burned every day in West Virginia in making carbon black. As u part of the licensing system of gas companies, ar- .• rangements have been made for cutting down the carbon black plants that are so located BO :thst the gas of their wells catf be delivered to I ho public utilities. Under that one-, arrangement we will be able to get fifty million teet of gas a day. That is the actual output of the wells, not the open flow. May Lengthen Natural TJas "Life Ten Years There are many places in West Virginia wher be controlled. There are many such places in Okla tion program into full swing within the next six m of these distributing plants at least ten years. That a great deal of the gas in Oklahoma that is now go ducer eliminate the waste is to make the gas be is waste of gas, you have got to make the gas worth inevitable effect of increasing the cost all along th at the very beginning that while we as a bureamvill sonally convinced you will have to readjust your rat possible. Tho two go together. With that as a gen conserve gas. ' My Idea Is this: Get all the distributing interests together on some sort of common working basis and arrange for the necessary technical servlcj and supervision, to make a careful inspection immediately of all the distributing plants, localizing all tho leaks that can bo localized by that method and arrange for the checking of tho different measuring devices. I mean do this all inside of four weeks or possibly three, and begin the operation for the lowering of excessive waste. e waste as large as the one I have meiitioucd can horaa. My own Idea is, if we can get this conaerva- onths, and 1 think we can, we can lengthen the life refers to natural gas. We will be ablo to control ing to waste. The only way you can mako the pro- wasting worth saving. In the case of tho oil well moro than the oil. That, of course, will havo the e line. For.that reason I made the,statement right try to keep out of tho rate making phase, I am per- e situation in order to live and make conservation eral statement, 1 come to the problem as to how to We believe, as a matter of public education, that It Is our duty to teach the public what natural gas is worth, and that it is our duty to teach the public as to what they will have to pay for substitutes for it when It IB gone. When we speak about natural gas being gone, we are not talking about anything that is vague or visionary, or sometning far remote. We have a very practical case in Richmond, I nd., where they are now paying thirty-five cents for natural gas. They will have to go on manufactured gas about October 1. For that they will have to pay $1.35, for half of the heating value of their thirty-five cent natural.ga6. In other words, it is equivalent In that place, so far as tho public is concerned, of jumping the price to tho public from 1T& cents to J1.35. ' • It Is a fact that the public must recognize, that what they are wasting is a priceless resourse, a resource that has never been duplicated and I don't belive it will ever be by any man-made product. We expect, through publicity, to show tho public how the ordinary domestic consumer can eliminate a large waste on his own premises. For instance, wo have riiado a series of tests that Indicate so far as we have gone that, as a general proposition, one-sixth of all the natural gas that passes through domestic consumers' meter Is never burned, but is simply wasted through leaky fixtures, leaking cocks, leaking nipples, leaking collars, elbows, pipes and pinholes. If each domestic consumer In Ohio would save one thousand feet of gas every month by care In use, and proper adjustment of appliances and fixtures, it would release enough coal to send out one fifteen-thousand-ton troop ship every day. It would make enough ammunition shells to keep one-half of the firing line active. Conservation Problem Closely Related to Military Situation. So the whole conservation problem has a very close relationship to the present military situation. There is not enough coal to go around. There is not enough coal for the ammunition plants, and every foot of gas that can be saved should be diverted to ammunition manufacturers. To digress, some idea of tho coal situation ma operation of their rolling stock, use one-third of the eluding small steam users, laundries, bakeries, and th resent leas than fifteen per cent of the total. You c the fuel shortage of this coming year and the ubso with natural gaB wherever it is possible, and divert larger gas fluids for the reason that tho oonservulio cut application than it would have under ordinary or y he gained by considering that the railroads, in the. total coal products. The domestic consumers, in- e small fifteen or twenty-horsepower boilers, rep- an seo from these relationships the seriousurB.s of lute neoessity of conserving coal and substituting lug to the large ammunition manufacturers In the n movement at the present lime has a very differ- in normal times, Conserve Gas or Lose License It seems to me that If/It is posslblo we should all get together. We are all mutally interested and. as a matter of cold-blooded self-preservation you ought to get together on that sort of a basis. I am" not saying this as a/threat, and I would rather not make the statement, but 1 can Beo that you are going to be placed In the position if you do not do this now that there wjll be a lot of trouble ahead for you, bocause under the licensing system you will be practically compelled to do it^pr go without gas. That la not a threat, but it is J be situation that you might just as well face. " This, then, is the summary of the'wnole situation. Wo have mot here this, afternoon and exchanged views. The distributing companies are wil ling to cooperate in the. matter of hunting leaks. It seems to us the most practical way to bring this about is to-have one central organisation direct all of the work. Therefore, the Kansas Natural will immediately arrange for tho creation of such an .organization. That organization aB it is made available will immediately begin the work of locating leaks going from town to town until every town on the entire system has been inspected. The cost of the actual inspection in each town will be allocated to that particular town. _ . Government Leakage Inspection at Once, Simultaneously with the inspection of all the distributing plants we will make an equally comprehensive and careful consideration of all the main, lateral and gathering lines and the compression stations. The cost of that would, of coure, be borne by the owners of that property. With the inspection data available, we would expect that the companies, whether they be distributing companies or wholesale companies, would immediately begin making such improvements of repairs as would be necessary to remedy the defects found. If, in the development of tha't work, it should be found necessary or desirable to secure priorities on shipments, I am very sure we can arrange for such priorities, either on material for repairing leaks, or on material for apparatus for measuring. Simultaneously with the matter of looking for leakB, the federal government, as rapidly as possible, will check and determine the accuraoy of every measuring device usod (or measuring gas at the gates of the town; and also every measuring device used in allocating leakage to particular parts of the pipe line properly, so as to get a definite base for making a comparison, as far as the distributing companies are concerned, as well as all pipe lines going back to the wells, There^eejni to be a general agreement for ac tire cooperation in that program, ' '