Posted August 21, 2014
There’s much good to report from this week’s federal offshore drilling lease auction for the western Gulf of Mexico. But we can do better.
The good: nearly $110 million in apparent high bids over 81 blocks covering more than 430,000 acres, according to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The bid total represents a moderate increase over last year’s western Gulf sale that generated slightly more than $102 million in bids. BOEM estimates the sale eventually could yield 116 million to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 billion cubic feet (bcf) to 938 bcf of natural gas.
Broadly speaking, the fact that the federal government conducted an offshore lease sale is in itself encouraging. Development of vast offshore oil and natural gas reserves starts with leasing areas for exploration. That’s where we can do better. More sales are needed to begin the process of finding and developing offshore energy on the outer continental shelf, 87 percent of which is off limits by policy.
Posted August 8, 2014
The U.S. Commerce Department’s newest trade report released this week shows increased exports of crude oil and petroleum products were a major factor in shrinking the trade deficit in June to $41.5 billion, down from $44.7 billion in May.
That’s great news. Energy exports are helping build America’s economic strength globally while creating jobs and opportunity here at home. America is more secure as a result of our energy revolution that is bringing opportunities to engage world energy markets and harness U.S. energy for good. Allowing more U.S. oil and natural gas exports is the logical course to support and expand America’s global presence.
Posted August 6, 2014
America’s oil and natural gas industry sends an average of $85 million a day to the federal government in the form of taxes, rents, royalties and bonus payments. Averaged over 2007-2012, the industry’s effective tax rate – income taxes paid to governments, divided by pretax income – was 44.6 percent. That’s well above the averages for other industries over the same time period.
We say all that to say this: Attacks that claim the oil and natural gas industry isn’t paying its fair share and/or that it gets special treatment are ridiculous. Industry is paying its fair share and then some – even as it supports 9.8 million jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.
Posted August 5, 2014
A couple of snapshots of America’s shale energy boom, with a h/t to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
First, Marcellus Shale natural gas production topped 15 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) through July, a first. EIA reports that the Marcellus accounts for 40 percent of U.S. shale gas production. Output has grown to its current level from 2 bcf/d in 2010.
Posted July 23, 2014
There are three connected points in a new poll of registered U.S. voters on domestic oil and natural gas development that should resonate in Washington: Strong majorities of registered voters support more domestic drilling and production, they don’t think the federal government does enough to encourage development of domestic resources and they’re inclined to vote for political candidates who support oil and natural gas development here at home.
AP Upstream Group Director Erik Milito talked about the survey of 1,012 registered voters and issues related to increasing access to domestic oil and natural gas reserves during a conference call with reporters:
“Voters from across the political spectrum want to find and tap the vast oil and natural gas resources waiting to be discovered off our shores. Our industry stands ready to do the job safely and responsibly, and the benefits to our economy and our national security are impossible to deny. All the federal government needs to do is say, ‘Yes.’”
Posted July 22, 2014
Interesting question: Might climate change laws and regulations negatively impact the value of oil reserves held by energy companies, to the point of “stranding” them, ultimately affecting shareholders? Two companies, ExxonMobil and Shell, essentially have told their shareholders, no – because projected increases in global energy demand will continue to require all viable energy sources, including oil and natural gas, into the foreseeable future. From ExxonMobil’s report to shareholders:
For several years, our Outlook for Energy has explicitly accounted for the prospect of policies regulating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This factor, among many others, has informed investments decisions that have led ExxonMobil to become the leading producer of cleaner-burning natural gas in the United States, for example. Based on this analysis, we are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become “stranded.” We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting growing energy demand worldwide, and in preventing consumers – especially those in the least developed and most vulnerable economies – from themselves becoming stranded in the global pursuit of higher living standards and greater economic opportunity.
Posted July 3, 2014
It looks like a pretty solid national jobs report for June, with the 288,000 positions that were added exceeding the hiring rate over the year’s first five months and unemployment dipping to 6.1 percent. That’s a good story. There’s an even better one deeper in the Labor Department data: The oil and natural gas industry and its supporting activities are setting the pace in job creation.
Consider: Comparing numbers in this report with those from a year ago, the oil and natural gas extraction and supporting sectors outperformed the private sector as a whole in terms of job growth and a number of other relevant measurements, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Posted June 19, 2014
Check out a new photo essay from Weld County, Colo., that just went up on the Energy From Shale website, showing some of the scenes and workers involved in oil and natural gas development in that state. Click on the link and scroll down until you find the photo gallery.
The collection illustrates some of the significant energy development going on in Colorado, a state with a long history of oil and natural gas production. The first well in the Denver-Julesburg basin was drilled in 1881.
Weld County is where a good deal of today’s production is going on – and along with it job creation, economic growth and opportunity for people who live there and beyond.
Posted June 16, 2014
With the Interior Department turning its attention to the next five-year offshore leasing plan, here’s a figure to keep in mind: 87 percent. That’s how much of our federal offshore acreage is off limits for energy development – and it’s costing us energy, jobs and economic growth.
Andy Radford, API senior policy advisor, set out some of the arguments for increasing access to energy reserves in the next five-year leasing plan during a conference call with reporters.
Posted May 23, 2014
Fracking has a history – and now it has an official definition, one of the new entries in the 2014 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. It’s nice to be thus recognized, though we suspect the term has been around in industry circles longer than 1953, as the dictionary states, since the commercial process dates to 1949.
One of the states where hydraulic fracturing has been used for decades is Ohio. In the video below, Ohioans talk about how fracking got its start there in the 1950s. Nowadays, the combination of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is being used in new wells and to revitalize old ones, they say.