The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - March 3, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted March 3, 2011

The Houston Chronicle: Government to decide soon on offshore permits: The Obama administration will comply with a federal judge's order and decide later this month whether to approve a batch of deep-water drilling permits that have been stalled for months, even though the government may appeal the ruling, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday. At issue is U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman's Feb. 17 decision giving the government 30 days to decide whether to grant permits for five proposed drilling projects, in response to a challenge by Ensco, a drilling contractor whose rigs would be used for the work. On Tuesday, Feldman said the mid-February ruling also applied to two drilling applications submitted by Houston-based ATP Oil & Gas Corp. "The judge in this particular case, in my view, is wrong, and we will argue the case," Salazar told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "I don't believe the court has the jurisdiction to basically tell the Department of Interior what my administrative responsibilities are." The Wall Street Journal: Time to Get Serious About American Oil: The revolution that began in Tunisia, spread to Egypt, and is now dramatically unfolding in Libya is far from over. The events in North Africa and the Middle East threaten to push the price of oil well above $100 a barrel--and make the importance of oil to America's security clearer than ever. Over the past several decades, we have allowed ourselves to become dependent on oil from unstable regions that are hostile to our nation. The United States relies on an open Suez Canal, the security of which has been funded by our tax dollars for decades. With gasoline prices surging, and manufacturing and transportation costs rising, the rising cost of goods will soon impact every American, putting our economic recovery at risk. The U.S. imports more than 63% of its oil. The time is now for our federal government to re-examine its current policy--which severely hampers domestic oil exploration and development--and to learn from our recent history.

The Financial Times: US oil production revives despite offshore disruption: US oil production last year rose to its highest level in almost a decade, thanks to an increase in the use of "unconventional" extraction techniques. As a result, analysts believe the US was the largest contributor to the increase in global oil supplies last year over 2009, and is on track to increase domestic production by 25 per cent by the second half of the decade. The rise would still not be enough to end America's dependence on imported oil, which accounted for roughly half of US demand in 2010. But it would reduce the country's vulnerability to supply shocks and its trade deficit. According to the US government's Energy Information Administration, domestic production of crude oil and related liquids rose 3 per cent last year to an average of 7.51m barrels a day - its highest level since 2002.

The Toronto Sun: Obama administration open to Canadian pipeline: The Obama administration gave some tepid support to the idea of a pipeline running from northern Alberta to the US Gulf Coast, but stopped short of full support. "I am generally supportive of receiving more oil from Canada," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Clinton was under questioning from Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, who wanted to know her stance on Canadian oil. "I've been told that the second largest-known deposit of oil is the oil sands in Canada and that it is equal to, or greater than, Saudi Arabia and Iran," Senator Graham said. Graham noted that he has heard of problems building the pipeline. "What's your view of the pipeline? Should America be trying to receive this oil from Canada?" Graham asked. Clinton at first said that since her department was responsible, she couldn't answer. Pushed by Graham she said she is "generally supportive" of Canadian oil but also "supportive of us doing more in energy efficiency and renewables."

Additional Resources:

The New Orleans Times-Picayune: Interior Department says it will comply with Judge Feldman's latest permitting ruling

The Montreal Gazette: Hillary Clinton 'supportive' of Alberta oil imports, wavers on Keystone XL pipeline

Carpe Diem: U.S. Is Inundated With Natural Gas, Record Output in 2010, Residential Prices Fall to 7 Year Low

Hot Air: Forbes: Get ready for Carter 2.0 on energy and the Mideast

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.