The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - March 24, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted March 24, 2011

Anchorage Daily News: The responsible development of US oil and gas is our true security: It's become nearly impossible to turn on the news or pick up a newspaper without seeing a story about rising oil prices. The combination of international events and our restrictive domestic energy policies has now pushed oil prices past $104 per barrel. At a time when we import more than 60 percent of our oil supply, the costs and consequences of such high prices pose genuine threats to our economy and security. Regrettably, this emerging crisis is at least partially of our own making. Despite tremendous oil reserves -- offshore, in Alaska and in the Rocky Mountain West -- many of our lands have been locked up, putting our most promising opportunities out of reach. This is a clear failure of government. The American people expect their representatives to take an honest look at where increased production is possible; how it can protect against higher prices and supply disruptions; and what it will do to increase our security, restore our trade balance, generate government revenues and create jobs. When we import oil, we export those benefits. AP: SD works to boost exploration for oil and gas: South Dakota is encouraging more exploration for oil and gas in the state in an attempt to join the boom in North Dakota and other nearby states, a state official said Wednesday. State Geologist Derric Iles said that while North Dakota is undergoing a big expansion in production, South Dakota likely has untapped oil and gas resources that could be developed to boost its economy as well. Many areas in South Dakota have not been thoroughly explored for oil and gas, Iles said at the state Department of Environment's annual conference on the environment and groundwater. The department is working to develop records and maps of rock formations and previous drilling to help companies decide where to explore, he said.

Chamber Post: More Self-Reliance in our Energy Future: The White House is sending the wrong message about our energy future. This weekend, President Obama signaled support for drilling in Brazil, telling a CEO Summit in Brasilia that the U.S. wants "to be one of your best customers" when Brazil's deepwater resources are developed. He added that "the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy." However, here at home, the administration has made domestic exploration and production of our oil and natural gas resources more difficult than ever, leaving jobs, growth, and energy security to hang in the balance. Take these two examples.

The Wall Street Journal: Texas Cites EPA Error in Testing of Wells: In an ongoing bout between Texas and the Environmental Protection Agency over the safety of gas drilling, the Lone Star State claimed a victory Tuesday and took the opportunity to criticize the federal agency. Texas regulators said that extensive testing showed that flammable water wells west of Fort Worth were not contaminated by nearby gas drilling, as the EPA maintained. Instead, they said, evidence shows that the gas in a shallow water aquifer was migrating up from a rock formation directly underneath it. The gas had a different "geochemical fingerprint" from gas found and extracted a mile lower in the Barnett shale rock formation, Texas officials said. "This is an example of overreaching at its worst," said Michael Williams, one of three elected commissioners who oversee oil and gas drilling. The EPA "has a built-in bias against the fossil fuel energy industry."

RedState: Obama/Salazar Moratorium Has Crippled Domestic Oil Production: In 2011, Gulf of Mexico oil production will under-perform the government's pre-Macondo forecasts by 355,000 barrels per day -- almost 130 million barrels for the year. In 2012, the shortfall rises to 550,000 barrels per day -- 200 million barrels. That's fully one-third of the Gulf's oil producing capability, and over 10% of total domestic oil production. These are staggering numbers. Alaska, our #1 oil producing state, will supply roughly 200 million barrels in 2012. Two hundred million barrels is about what the U.S. imports from Iraq every year. Or roughly half of our Saudi Arabian import volume. Two hundred million barrels would supply all of Ohio's yearly petroleum use, with quite a bit left over.

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.