Posted June 25, 2014
A year ago President Obama clarified his position on the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that for him to approve the project it would need to meet two tests – that KXL would be in the national interest and would not “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
The second point first. The environmental test has been passed – five times, in fact. The U.S. State Department’s fifth environmental assessment – which examined the Keystone XL’s construction, operation and the impact of increased oil sands development as a result of the pipeline – concluded that the project would have no effect on oil sands production and no significant effect on the environment.
Posted June 24, 2014
Posted June 19, 2014
Bloomberg: North Dakota, which yesterday became just the fourth state to record oil production above 1 million barrels a day, could see even stronger growth over the summer as improved weather makes life easier for drilling crews.
Output increased to 1,001,149 barrels a day in April, the state’s Department of Mineral Resources reported yesterday. Texas, California and Alaska have crossed the million-barrel mark. Only Texas remains above the state, at almost 3 million barrels a day.
April oilfield work was hampered by heavy rain that shut roads and strong winds that closed down operations. Crews completed 200 wells during the month, and another 600 are already drilled and just waiting on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Better weather in the summer months should allow more new wells to start gushing oil.
Posted June 17, 2014
Bloomberg: North America’s dominance of global exports of refined fuels will expand to unprecedented levels by 2019 as the shale revolution makes U.S. refineries more competitive, the International Energy Agency said.
The continent will become a “titan of unprecedented proportions” and its oil refineries will export about 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of the decade, the Paris-based adviser to 29 oil-consuming nations said in a report today. North America’s imports of crude will be 2.6 million.
“Less than ten years ago, the United States was the world’s largest importer of refined products,” the IEA said in its Medium-Term Oil Market Report, which forecasts energy-market trends. “Today it has become the world’s largest liquids producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia, as well as its largest product exporter.”
Posted June 16, 2014
This week the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote on bipartisan legislation that would advance the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline – a $5.3 billion, privately financed infrastructure project that the U.S. State Department says would generate more than 42,000 jobs during its construction phase while contributing more than $3 billion to our economy.
Congress is acting because the administration has not – not in more than five years of review by the administration, during which the project has cleared five environmental reviews by the State Department. Congressional leadership on Keystone XL is about the administration’s lack of clear leadership on the Keystone XL.
As the vote approaches, API President and CEO Jack Gerard and Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, talked about the pipeline during a conference call. Both pointed to developments in Iraq and the ongoing standoff between Ukraine and Russia as reminders of how important it is for the United States to secure its energy future – and the significance of the Keystone XL in that equation.
Posted June 16, 2014
FT.com – Despite jitters over Iraq, the price of oil is at its most stable since the early 1970s, as a huge increase in US oil production offsets massive disruptions to supply from places such as Libya, according to BP.
Christof Rühl, group chief economist, said the world had seen a cumulative 3m barrels a day of supply disruption since the start of the 2011 Arab uprising but that had been “cancelled out” by a similar extra amount of US production.
“There has been an almost perfect match between outages in north Africa and elsewhere and US production growth,” he said. The equilibrium had created an “eerie quiet” in global oil markets.
Posted June 13, 2014
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu says her panel will have a vote next week on the Keystone XL pipeline – now in its sixth year of federal review. The announcement prompted this statement from the office of Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado:
“If the Keystone XL pipeline were being routed through our state, Coloradans would want to know the decision was being made on the merits — and not congressional meddling. … That’s why Sen. Udall intends to again reject the notion that lawmakers know better than the engineers, scientists and experts whose responsibility it is to evaluate the pipeline application on its merits.”
Which is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Posted May 2, 2014
The number of direct jobs in oil and natural gas extraction has grown 7.2 percent since April last year, more than four times the growth rate in all U.S. jobs, according to BLS. The word for that kind of growth – in the midst of an economy still trying to heat up – is wow!
Now, keep in mind that the BLS data line for “oil and gas extraction” covers only part of industry’s upstream (pre-refining) segment. Scroll down a few lines in this BLS table to find direct jobs supporting oil and natural gas operations – such as building and dismantling field rigs, core drilling services, hydraulic fracturing services and much more – and you see dynamic growth there as well, 6.3 percent from April last year through March, the most recent data month available. Wow again.
Posted April 30, 2014
Albany Business Review: Some New York farmers, particularly those living in the state's Southern Tier, are in favor of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Steuben County dairy farmer Terry Waters, 60, said it would "pull us out of the hole."
As farmers like Waters continue to face financial hardship due to rising costs, they are seeing their counterparts in Pennsylvania benefiting from the natural gas resources located underneath their properties.
Posted April 28, 2014