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Energy Today - January 27, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted January 27, 2011

Tax Policy Blog: We Won't Win the Future By Attacking Oil Companies: In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama called for reform of the corporate income tax for all businesses, but also singled out the oil industry for tax code punishment. In a November 2010 study on subsidies and taxes in the oil industry, Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge found that annual subsides (as defined by the International Energy Agency) for renewables were more than four times larger than those for fossil fuels. Also left out of State of the Union rhetoric is any mention of the amount of taxes paid by oil companies - over $1 trillion in sales and excise taxes between 1981 and 2008 (the timespan recently studied by the IEA).

Pittsburgh-Post Gazette: Beware 'frackophobia': Pennsylvania could play a key role in the largest gas field ever: Pennsylvania has a unique opportunity to become the administrative center for all drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale, potentially the biggest gas play ever. At the same time, this growing industry can support tens of thousands of well-paid jobs for Pennsylvanians while generating millions of new tax revenue for the state and its local governments.

Oil & Gas Journal: Woodmac: Strong upstream M&A activity forecast in 2011: Keen interest in shale plays is expected to propel strong upstream merger and acquisition activity this year, said Wood Mackenzie Ltd. analysts. Restructuring among international oil companies and aggressive spending by Asian national oil companies (NOCs) also is expected to drive active M&A levels. WoodMac's report "2010 in Review and the Outlook for 2011" showed $183 billion was spent on upstream M&A deals last year. US shale gas transactions reached $39 billion, or 21% of global activity, said the independent research firm of Edinburgh. "The M&A market returned to peak levels in 2010, and the healthy deal activity at the end of the year bodes well for 2011," said Luke Parker, manager of WoodMac's M&A research. Unconventional oil and gas asset deals primarily drove 2010 M&A activity, Parker said.

The Toronto Globe and Mail: Keystone link to Gulf finds enough producers: TransCanada Corp. has signed up enough customers to proceed with its 150,000 barrel-per-day pipeline from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast, a project that will help end a bottleneck weighing on benchmark North American crude prices. The $70-million (U.S.) Cushing-Marketlink spur is part of TransCanada's controversial Keystone XL pipeline project that would connect Alberta oil sands producers with the massive Gulf Coast refining hub. The company said Wednesday it has come to terms with enough U.S. producers to justify the new line, which would take two years to build and deliver crude from Cushing, Okla., to Port Arthur, near the Louisiana border.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.