Posted January 9, 2014
The Global Impact of U.S. Shale
Project Syndicate (Daniel Yergin): WASHINGTON, DC – The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as “tight oil.” Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the United States, but also because of its profound global impact – as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate.
America’s shale gas and tight oil are already changing global energy markets and reducing both Europe’s competitiveness vis-à-vis the US and China’s overall manufacturing competitiveness. They are also bringing shifts in global politics. Indeed, how shale energy may change America’s role in the Middle East is becoming a hot topic in Washington, DC, and in the Middle East itself.
This “unconventional revolution” in oil and gas did not come quickly. Hydraulic fracturing – known as “fracking” – has been around since 1947, and initial efforts to adapt it to dense shale began in Texas in the early 1980’s. But it was not until the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that the specific type of fracturing for shale, combined with horizontal drilling, was perfected. And it was not until 2008 that its impact on the US energy supply became notable.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1bW6bHW
Posted January 2, 2014
Shale-Oil Boom Puts Spotlight on Crude Export Ban
Wall Street Journal: The U.S. government virtually banned the export of crude oil in the wake of the mid-1970s energy crisis. But as America pumps more crude, 2014 could be the year those constraints are lifted.
For decades, even discussing the possibility of exporting domestic oil was a political nonstarter in Washington. Now, surging U.S. production has led to the beginning of a glut along the Gulf Coast, home to the largest refinery complex in the world. Too much crude is driving down prices there, making producers eager to export some of their oil to places like Europe where prices are higher.
Read more (subscription publication): http://on.wsj.com/1d2nGfN
Posted December 30, 2013
Vaclav Smil’s Graph of the Year: The Natural Gas Boom
Washington Post: "[There are] too many choices possible, but here is one epoch-making trend: as the post-2008 rise of hydraulic fracturing drove U.S. natural gas prices down and increased the supply (in 2013 the U.S. will be again the world’s largest natural gas producer) oil and gas prices, traditionally moving in tandem, have diverged significantly. History is being made."
Posted December 24, 2013
Christmas in the Bakken: North Dakota City Sees Growth from Fracking
Fox News: It’s Christmas in Boomtown.
Williston, N.D., is ground zero in America's energy renaissance, with six-figure salaries the norm and stunning prosperity that extends from the oil and gas derricks to the construction, sales and service industries. But for much of the burgeoning population that has converged on Williston and other towns on the Bakken Formation, Christmas will be spent where the jobs, not the loved ones, are.
Not so for Sherri Knapp and Elijah Moyo, who are reunited this year as Moyo settles in to his lucrative new life as a crane operator. Knapp has traveled north from Florida to join her husband as they make their new home in prosperous Williston.
“It’s wonderful. Things are a lot better,” Knapp told FoxNews.com. “Last year he came home two weeks before the holiday, but this year we will be together on Christmas.”
Read more: http://fxn.ws/1ifVvfl
Posted December 23, 2013
State Already Taxes Oil in many Ways
San Francisco Chronicle (Catherine Reheis-Boyd): Tom Steyer, the San Francisco billionaire environmentalist, has launched a campaign to increase taxes on energy production in California. He thinks oil companies are allowed to "siphon California resources without providing any meaningful return to Californians."
Beginning an education campaign on inaccurate claims doesn't bode well for the quality of the educational experience.
To claim Californians receive no meaningful return for the oil we produce is puzzling. Oil companies in California generate $6 billion in tax revenues for state and local governments, according to an analysis by Purvin & Gertz in 2011. While it's true California does not have an oil severance tax per se, California taxes oil companies and oil production in a variety of other ways.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1kzQ4aP
Posted December 20, 2013
Merry Christmas, Texas, From Your Oil and Gas Industry
Forbes: “Texas has recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost during the recession and added 597,000 beyond the previous peak in August 2008.” – Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs
On Thursday, December 12, the Texas Comptroller’s Office released a report detailing the current state of the state’s budget. The report was titled “Tracking the Texas Economy – Key Texas Economic Indicators”. But given the content of the report, a better title might have been:
“Merry Christmas, Texas, From Your Oil and Natural Gas Industry”
According to the Comptroller, the state ended its 2012-2013 biennium with a surplus of more than $2.6 billion, almost three times the previously projected amount of $964 million. The reason why? Because the Texas oil and natural gas industry’s tax payments were more than $2 billion more than anticipated.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1i8lWU5
Posted December 19, 2013
Mexico’s Energy Reform Will Benefit U.S.
USA Today (Peter Schechter and Jason Marczak): Last Thursday, Mexico's Congress passed the final hurdle to approve amendments to its constitution that herald a deep, positive change for the country. With all the bad news coming out of most everywhere else in the world, it is a relief to see a part of the western world where politics remain constructive.
The energy reform proposal will bring dramatic advances to Mexico's energy market, allowing private investment in the country's oil and gas sector for the first time since former President Lázaro Cárdenas nationalized oil in 1938. The reform will have profound economic implications for Mexico and the international energy supply equation.
It is also a coup for President Enrique Peña Nieto,47, who successfully built a coalition with his main political rivals to pass the reform. In a move reminiscent of Nixon's trip to China, this youthful president of the same party that 75 years ago nationalized Mexico's natural resources accomplished a reform previously considered the third rail of Mexican politics. Indeed, the Peña Nieto administration is able to provide the United States and Europe with a Harvard Case Study on leadership, partnership and putting citizenship before partisanship.
Read more: http://usat.ly/19VwttE
Posted December 17, 2013
U.S. Energy Outlook: More Oil, More Natural Gas, Less Carbon. Yay America!
Forbes: The federal government’s Energy Information Administration is out today with an early version of its Annual Energy Outlook for 2014. Their headline finding: that the United States will continue to grow less dependent on foreign oil as the miracle of our tight oil boom adds to supply and more efficient vehicles reduce demand. Yay America!
By their reckoning, domestic crude oil production will continue its surge, adding another 800,000 barrels per day in 2014 and about the same in 2015. By 2016 we should reach 9.5 million barrels per day, approaching the historical high of 9.6 million bpd back in 1970.
The boom won’t last forever, and will level off around 2020. But when domestic oil supplies do start slipping, we won’t feel it too much at first, because our vehicles will be using a lot less fuel.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1gEiWP8
Posted December 16, 2013
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) offered a preview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook that will come out next spring, and the second slide in Administrator Adam Sieminski’s presentation is an attention grabber, charting how expanding domestic oil production will reach historic levels in 2016 – 9.6 million barrels per day, a mark set in 1970.
Posted December 16, 2013
U.S. Says Golden Age of Natural Gas is Here to Stay
Forbes: A golden age of natural gas has begun in the United States and it will last for decades, according to an early release of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2014 Annual Energy Outlook.
The report forecasts a fracking-induced surge sustained in energy production through 2040, which will keep carbon emissions below 2005 levels for decades.
Natural gas production will rise a staggering 56% from 2012 to 2040, when production is forecast to reach 37.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).
Similarly, crude oil production is projected to rise annually for almost a decade. In 2020, oil production will plateau slightly below production levels in 1970 and will gradually decline over the decade that follows.