Posted November 24, 2014
After decades of declining domestic oil production, the country is in the middle of an unexpected boom. Driven by new technology that reaches previously inaccessible reserves, production has soared by millions of barrels a day. This surge has been a key factor driving oil prices down.
So, should U.S. oil companies be allowed to sell that oil overseas?
Because of a restriction dating back to the oil scares of the 1970s, producers for the most part can’t export their oil. The export ban was part of a series of laws passed to ease supply concerns and prevent U.S. producers from skirting price controls by selling crude into the world market at higher prices.
Posted November 21, 2014
USA Today (Manhattan Institute’s Mark Mills): When the newly elected Congress convenes in January, energy will be a priority. In fact energy is the "foundation" action item according to the just-released roadmap from Speaker of the House John Boehner. So this is a particularly good time to map out just how different the energy world is today, and will be in the future.
Four decades ago, when America's extant energy policy paradigm was forged, the U.S. was the world's fastest growing major energy user in an environment of resource dependency and depletion. The facts have since flipped: America is now the fastest growing energy producer, while nearly all net new demand takes place elsewhere.
In this context, consider the implications for America, and the world, of five key numbers.
Posted November 19, 2014
WYTV (ABC, Ohio): The Utica Shale Academy, located inside Southern Local Schools, held a special demonstration Tuesday for students and board members.
Austin Sadler, 17, is the only senior in the academy. He hasn’t wasted any time obtaining three certifications needed to get a job in the oil and gas industry after graduation.
Sadler said he has learned how to case a well, install pipe and tubing and understands how gas and oil is extracted from the ground. The first certification he received was for safety, called the Rig Pass.
“It allows me to be safely on any rig. I can be on a rig and know what I am doing and what not to do,” Sadler said.
Posted November 17, 2014
The Economist: To find out how much energy security has mattered in the Pacific’s recent history, ask the Japanese. At the museum of the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honours the country’s war dead (sometimes controversially), an exhibit suggests, with a jarring note of self-justification, that an American naval blockade against Japanese oil imports in 1941 triggered the Pacific war.
Seventy years later a tsunami that swooshed in from the Pacific and knocked out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station led to the closure of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors. Parts of the country, which is a greedy consumer of electricity, were left practically powerless. Huge tankers full of natural gas, heading for terminals dotted along Japan’s Pacific coastline, eventually got the country up and running again. In 2012 Japan consumed 37% of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Posted November 13, 2014
Bipartisanship was the unifying theme from lawmakers and panelists during an event on the intersection of energy and policy earlier today, hosted by The Hill. With the midterm elections over, it’s clear “energy ultimately prevailed,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard said, starting the discussion of what the future holds for energy in the next Congress. Gerard:
“Energy should not be a partisan issue, and while the election played out in a Republican/Democrat-type dynamic, ultimately we believe energy prevailed. Energy was a key issue in a lot of races across the country and it’s clear the American public is growing in their support of energy, especially oil and natural gas.”
Indeed, the U.S. – and the 114th Congress -- has a unique energy opportunity. When looking back even just five or six years ago, no one predicted America’s energy revolution after decades of energy scarcity. Fast-forward to today: We live in an era of rich abundance and ample oil and natural gas resources. America is now in a position to become the world’s energy superpower thanks to industry technology and innovation.
Posted November 11, 2014
President Barack Obama has also joined the chorus, claiming in a recent speech at Northwestern University that America is a world energy leader because “right off the bat” his administration “upped our investments in American energy.”
In reality, we’ve become the world’s leading natural gas producer and soon-to-be leading oil producer despite, not because of, White House policies.
Posted November 10, 2014
Forbes: The return of the U.S. as an energy superpower will not be a short-term event with the economic benefits likely to last “at least two generations”, according to the latest research from Citi.
That is one of the key findings in a report from the commodities team at the New York-based bank.
Titled “Energy 2020 Out of America” the 96-page document paints a picture of significant change flowing from increased oil and gas production in the U.S. including a dramatic reduction in the country’s current account deficit and a sharp increase in the value of the dollar.
Posted November 4, 2014
Forbes (Alex Epstein): Six years ago, a sure path for a politician to get praise—and votes—was to call for massive restrictions on fossil fuel use.
In 2008, Barack Obama campaigned on a platform of ending “the tyranny of oil” and bankrupting coal companies, whose energy production would be replaced by promising green companies likeSolyndra—a “true engine of economic growth” that was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” An imminent “Peak Oil” disaster was viewed as a certainty.
Democrats ran successfully on a platform of cap and trade, bolstered by the apocalyptic and unchallenged predictions of movies and media like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
Things have certainly changed. Today, Democrats in contentious races are not only lessening their opposition to fossil fuels, they are competing to take positions that are more pro-fossil fuels than Republicans.
Posted October 30, 2014
A new study details the essential tie between America’s ongoing energy revolution and advanced technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Specifically, virtually every barrel of domestic oil production growth over the past five years can be attributed to fracking and horizontal drilling – which has positively impacted global crude markets and saved consumers billions of dollars.
Kyle Isakower, API vice president for regulatory and economic policy, discussed the ICF International study during a conference call. The study calculates the impact of safe fracking and horizontal drilling on crude markets and prices at the pump. Isakower:
“Economists are still debating where the markets might go from here. But for the average consumer, there’s no question that America’s energy revolution has provided a welcome source of savings. … By comparing historical price and production data against a scenario without advanced drilling, it paints a clear picture of where we would be without the technology-driven energy revolution.”
Posted October 29, 2014
The Wall Street Journal: A planned Trans- Canada Corp. oil pipeline designed to ship crude from Western Canada to Eastern Canadian refineries could also be used to access the Gulf Coast, creating an end-run around U.S. permitting delays for the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the company’s chief executive.
TransCanada’s proposed 1.1 million-barrel-a-day Energy East pipeline has been positioned in Canada as a nation-building project to connect Alberta’s landlocked oil sands with refineries in Quebec and coastal New Brunswick. But Chief Executive Russ Girling said it would also open up a new route to ship heavy crude by tanker to refineries on the Gulf Coast without requiring U.S. approval, unlike the more direct Keystone XL route from Alberta to Texas.
“We can actually go all the way to the Gulf Coast without a presidential permit,” he said in an interview. “Once we’re on the water, we’ll show up just like any other crude oil in the world in the Houston ship channel.”