Posted October 9, 2014
Getting a handle on the size of America’s petroleum reserves and their energy potential can be a brain-bender because of the different ways resources are defined and the different ways resource estimates are used.
Example: A Bloomberg piece this week suggests there’s something afoot when producers talk about a resource estimate that’s different from the one they’re required to report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as part of the agency’s oversight of the investing sector. Not at all. Two different concepts, two separate uses
Posted October 8, 2014
New York Times: HOUSTON — The Singapore-flagged tanker BW Zambesi set sail with little fanfare from the port of Galveston, Tex., on July 30, loaded with crude oil destined for South Korea. But though it left inauspiciously, the ship’s launch was another critical turning point in what has been a half-decade of tectonic change for the American oil industry.
The 400,000 barrels the tanker carried represented the first unrestricted export of American oil to a country outside of North America in nearly four decades. The Obama administration insisted there was no change in energy trade policy, perhaps concerned about the reaction from environmentalists and liberal members of Congress with midterm elections coming. But many energy experts viewed the launch as the curtain raiser for the United States’ inevitable emergence as a major world oil exporter, an improbable return to a status that helped make the country a great power in the first half of the 20th century.
“The export shipment symbolizes a new era in U.S. energy and U.S. energy relations with the rest of the world,” said Daniel Yergin, the energy historian. “Economically, it means that money that was flowing out of the United States into sovereign wealth funds and treasuries around the world will now stay in the U.S. and be invested in the U.S., creating jobs. It doesn’t change everything, but it certainly provides a new dimension to U.S. influence in the world.”
Posted September 30, 2014
Some talk – some take to the streets – pushing for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The oil and natural gas industry is actually doing it. New EPA data supports:
- Methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems decreased 12 percent since 2011.
- The largest reductions come from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells – down 73 percent since 2011.
- Industry’s overall greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 equivalent) decreased 1 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.
Posted September 26, 2014
There’s more evidence that the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is driving economic growth – not just in the industry itself, but also in the vast supply chain that sustains energy development – adding to overall GDP, wages and revenues to government.
A new IHS study, commissioned by the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) estimates that employment growth in the supply chain that supports unconventional oil and natural gas development – that is, energy from shale and other tight-rock formations with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – will outpace, by a more than a 2-to-1 margin, the U.S. average from 2012 to 2025.
Posted September 25, 2014
Supply matters. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) chief Adam Sieminski, crude oil could cost at least $150 a barrel today because of supply disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa – if not for rising U.S. crude production.
Sieminski told the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting that crude from the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford shale plays and others around the country has spiked in the past decade to more than 4 million barrels per day – enough to make up for outages in crude production elsewhere. Sieminski:
“If we did not have the growth in North Dakota, in the Eagle Ford and the Permian, oil could be $150 (per barrel). There is a long list of countries with petroleum outages that add up to about 3 million barrels per day.”
So, let’s rephrase things a bit: Clearly, U.S. production, adding to global supply, matters. A lot.
Posted September 23, 2014
Environmental groups want more regulation targeting methane emissions from oil and natural gas production. While this is what environmental groups often do, the new methane alarm is especially curious given the fact situation.
This is reflected in the dramatic decline in emissions of methane (CH4) from 2006 to 2012, according to EPA’s Inventory of Greenhouse Gases – 39.4 percent to be exact. This occurred while natural gas production was growing 37 percent during the same time period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Posted September 17, 2014
Check out a new video from Colorado by Anadarko that follows the life cycle of a well using advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – through the lens of the workers at each stage of development. Starting with discovery, the video captures the engineering, planning, site development, drilling, fracking and completions that result in safe extraction of oil and natural gas.
Posted September 16, 2014
Steve LeVine (Quartz): Oil prices continue to plunge today despite the beheading of another western hostage by the Islamic State, tensions between Russia and the West, and mayhem in Libya. As Quartz has reported, one of the main reasons is surging US oil production, which has made up for supply disruption almost barrel for barrel—and is also a bad sign for the leaders of petrostates.
Now we have an estimate of where oil prices might have been absent the American oil boom—a sobering $150 a barrel, former BP CEO Tony Hayward told the Financial Times (paywall).
That’s 55% higher than the current benchmark price of $96.27 that was trading in Asia this morning. If Hayward’s number is right, it means that the US boom is saving the global economy about $4.9 billion a day in oil spending.
Posted September 15, 2014
(Wall Street Journal): Skeptics of the U.S. energy boom say it can't last much longer because it requires drilling an ever-increasing number of wells.
But the boom already has lasted longer than anyone would have imagined just a decade ago and has more room to run. That's because oil and natural-gas wells have become more productive—an unrecognized but potent trend that should keep the fuels flowing.
Posted September 9, 2014
One way to measure the positive impact of America’s oil and natural gas industry is the 9.8 million jobs it supports nationally, accounting for 5.6 percent of total U.S. employment. Another way to look at our industry’s economic breadth is the size and diversity of supporting businesses, reaching into every state in the union and the District of Columbia.
That’s what you see in a new vendor supply survey unveiled this week, listing 30,000 operators, contractors, service companies, suppliers and other vendors that support oil and natural gas operations. Even if there isn’t an oil or natural gas well site near where you live, chances are good a business that supports the oil and natural gas industry is.