Posted December 13, 2013
Bloomberg Poll: 56 Percent Say Keystone XL Would Help U.S. Energy Security
Bloomberg Businessweek: More Americans view the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a benefit to U.S. energy security than as an environmental risk, even as they say Canada should do more to reduce greenhouse gases in exchange for approval of the project.
A Bloomberg National Poll shows support for the $5.4 billion link between Alberta’s oil sands and U.S. Gulf Coast refineries remains strong, with 56 percent of respondents viewing it as a chance to reduce dependence on oil imports from less reliable trading partners. That compares with the 35 percent who say they see it more as a potential source of damaging oil spills and harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more: http://buswk.co/1gwdBJq
Posted December 11, 2013
Remember the Energy Crisis? Fracking Fixed It
Newsday (Paul Greenberg): Energy Crises used to come as regularly as flu seasons, some years or whole eras worse than others. Let's see, there was the Energy Crisis of 1973 and of 1979 and of the years in between and after ... till the whole era, aka the Carter Years, might as well have been one long Energy Crisis.
Why? Largely because each successive wave of shortages was only aggravated by government-supplied remedies that were going to cure them -- from price controls to tighter regulations on the oil industry and on a once free market.
Daniel Yergin is one of the more prescient students of the oil industry, and of the American economy in general. He's one expert whose analyses have proven so reliable over the years that they almost restore the once assuring connotations of the word Expertise, which has acquired a suspect sound over the years. And no wonder. One after another, the experts' "solutions" for the Energy Crisis did nothing but make it worse.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1bEvJNC
Posted December 9, 2013
Why Obama Should Thank the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
National Journal (Amy Harder): The oil and natural-gas industry probably won't ever get a thank-you card from President Obama, but he has a few big reasons to be grateful for the fossil-fuel boom.
America's vast resources of oil and natural gas have enabled Obama to move forward on aggressive policies, including tougher environmental rules and Iranian oil sanctions, which he would not have been able to do nearly as effectively without them.
The International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil-producer in 2015; and, by the end of this year, the Energy Information Administration says we'll surpass Russia as the biggest natural-gas producer.
"I've joked before that for the last 30 years, our national energy policy has been implicitly predicated on a low-cost, trustable supply of natural gas," said Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, who advised Obama in his transition to the presidency in 2008. "It is incredibly fortunate that it showed up in time."
Read more: http://bit.ly/1aP7BDD
Posted December 6, 2013
New York City’s Energy Infrastructure Transformed Last Month and Nobody Noticed
The Atlantic: A really important thing happened last month to New York City and the rest of the mid-Atlantic. This event will change the daily lives of millions of people, especially during the coldest months of winter. And, despite some protesters, it all went down with less fanfare than Jay Z and Beyonce going vegan for a month.
An $856-million pipeline expansion began ramping up service, allowing more natural gas to get to New York City consumers. The New York-New Jersey expansion project moves more gas the last few miles from Jersey, which is the terminus for much of the Marcellus Shale gas flowing out of Pennsylvania, into Manhattan. The Energy Information Administration called it "one of the biggest... expansions in the Northeast during the past two decades." It will bring an additional 800 billion British thermal units (BTU) of gas to the area per day.
For scale: BTU is about the energy expended when you light a match. A homeowner might use a few tens of millions of BTU to heat a house over an entire winter. In rough terms, the gas flowing through the pipeline could heat 2 million homes.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1hyLUQx
Posted December 4, 2013
A Pivotal Moment in U.S. Energy History
Global Energy Initiative (Jason Bordoff): We are at a transformational moment in energy history. Just a few years ago, all energy projections forecast increased imports, increased scarcity, and increased natural gas prices. Today, we’ve shifted from scarcity to abundance. U.S. oil production has increased by 2.5 million barrels per day (B/D) since 2010. This year, the United States overtook Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of liquid fuels (including crude oil, natural gas, and biofuels) in the world. U.S. oil imports are at their lowest level in 25 years and are projected to continue declining. The natural gas outlook is even more striking. New geological surveys and production data continue to surprise to the upside. And multi-billion-dollar terminals proposed not long ago to import natural gas are being flipped to export instead.
This transformation is not only a U.S. story. New technologies mean that what were once challenging sources of oil and gas can now be tapped economically from the oil sands in Canada (and potentially Venezuela), the ultra-deepwater “presalt” off the coast of Brazil, and many other parts of the world. Iraq, parts of Africa, and elsewhere are poised for sharp increases in production.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1gk7ms9
Posted November 25, 2013
The Telegraph: The once-sleepy town of Williston sits on the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers in the US state of North Dakota.
Five years ago, Williston had a population of 12,000 and was slowly dying on its feet – an agricultural hub marked out from the plains only by the grain silos that stand silhouetted against the big North Dakota skies.
The fall-out from a brief oil boom in the mid-1980s had left the town with sky-high debts and a main street filled with empty shops and peeling facades. Young people looking for jobs skipped town at the first opportunity.
Today, Williston is booming once again. Its streets are filled with bustling commerce and trucks, its bars, restaurants and supermarkets groaning with customers.
Sudden advancements in the oil drilling techniques known as fracking have reinvigorated the small northern town, its population swelling to an estimated 30,000 as people pour in from across the United States in search of work in hard times.
Read more: http://bit.ly/17NWHRs
Posted November 22, 2013
Fracktacular: Oil and Natural Gas Offer a Glimpse of America’s Powers of Regeneration
The Economist: THE FIRST GUSHERS sprayed oil into the skies of Texas, Ohio and California more than a century ago. America has relentlessly drained its reservoirs of oil and gas ever since. In 1986, seeing the flow begin to slow, Robin West founded PFC Energy to advise oil people how to take capital out of the American industry and invest it in newer prospects abroad. As he leaves the company 27 years later, he is amazed to see the money flowing back in record amounts.
In 2006 America’s production of oil and natural gas fell to the equivalent of about 15m barrels of oil a day (b/d). An analysis by the Wall Street Journal recently estimated output today at over 22m b/d—close to surpassing the world’s largest producer, Russia, if it has not already done so. The extra oil comes from shale and sandstone. Estimates of the amount of oil they contain vary hugely, but Navigant, a consultancy, reckons that North America could produce anything from 26.9-53.5 trillion cubic metres of shale gas alone, enough to satisfy the world’s total current demand for gas for up to 15 years, though at today’s prices not all of it would yet be worth extracting.
It is a very American success. Geologists have long known that these reserves existed, but they could not get at them. A combination of innovation (hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”), finance and enterprise have now opened them up, often to small oil and gas firms with low costs.
Read more: http://econ.st/1aMP4uL
Posted November 19, 2013
America Needs its Shale Energy and Hydraulic Fracturing Provides It
The Hill: In just a few short years, the United States has become the world’s number one oil and natural gas producer, and is well on its way to no longer relying on energy from countries that are historically hostile to U.S. interests.
For the average family last year, this energy transformation meant $1,200 in the form of lower energy bills, at a time when hard working American families desperately need a break. The benefits of the shale energy revolution have already been tremendous. On top of lowering costs for fueling our cars, heating our homes and running our factories, it may have saved America from slipping into a depression. After all, natural gas producing shale is the single most dramatically expanding part of the U.S. economy supporting the highest number of new jobs.
Energy is not an end unto itself; it is a key economic input to a more prosperous future for all Americans. If not for the shale revolution, we would not be reaping the benefits of the rebirth of the manufacturing sector that both of our parties see as key to rebuilding our economy. One recent study concluded that U.S. has added over 500,000 manufacturing jobs since the shale revolution began.
This shale revolution is completely dependent on two consistently improving American technologies: hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Without these two key technologies, all of the benefits we all experience every day would stop, our domestic energy resources would remain off limits from U.S. citizens, and the manufacturing jobs rebirth will end.
Read more: http://bit.ly/If4fCM
Posted November 11, 2013
There Would Be No Iranian Nuclear Talks if not for Fracking
Bloomberg Businessweek: Lost in some of the forecasting over what an agreement may eventually entail is the simple fact that none of this would be possible without the U.S. oil boom. Over the last two years, the U.S. has increased its crude production by about 2 million barrels a day. That’s like swallowing Norway, the fourteenth largest oil producer in the world. This new U.S. crude supply has allowed the West to put the squeeze on Iran without disrupting the global market or jacking up the price.
According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (pdf), Iran’s oil exports have been cut in half since 2011, from 2.5 million barrels per day to a bit more than 1 million today. As a result, Iran has had to halt an equal amount of production.
The fact that this has all happened without the slightest disruption felt in the oil market is extraordinary.
“I think it’s pretty clear that without the U.S. shale revolution, it never would have been possible to put this kind of embargo on Iran,” says Julius Walker, a global energy market strategist with UBS Securities (UBS). “Without U.S. production gains, I think we’d be looking at $150 a barrel,” says Walker. Instead, international prices have hovered around $110, and are less than $100 in the U.S.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1hAoafL
Posted November 8, 2013
Fred Siegel: Fracking, Poverty and the New Liberal Gentry
Wall Street Journal: The transformation of American liberalism over the past half-century is nowhere more apparent than in the disputes now roiling a relatively obscure section of upstate New York. In 1965, as part of his "war on poverty," President Lyndon Johnson created the Appalachian Regional Commission. Among the areas to be served by the commission were the Southern Tier counties of New York state, including Broome, Tioga and Chemung. The commission's central aim was to "Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation."
Like so many Great Society antipoverty programs, the effort largely failed. The Southern Tier counties remain much as they appeared in the 1960s, pocked by deserted farms and abandoned businesses, largely untouched by the prosperity that blessed much of America over the past five decades.
Beginning about a dozen years ago, remarkable improvements in natural-gas drilling by means of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, seemed to promise a way out of poverty. The massive Marcellus Shale Formation under New York and Pennsylvania has proved to be "the most lucrative natural gas play in the U.S.," Business Week recently noted, because the shale produces high-quality gas and is easily shipped to New York and Philadelphia.
In Pennsylvania, a state long familiar with carbon production through oil drilling and coal mining, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell backed fracking during his tenure from 2003-11, and the state has experienced a boom in jobs and income. Between 2007 and 2011, in Pennsylvania counties with more than 200 fracking wells, per capita income rose 19%, compared with an 8% increase in counties with no wells, as petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski wrote for U.S. News & World Report in August.
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/1hrdrUJ