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
Posted November 7, 2013
Read more: http://on.wkyc.com/1b6PXyW
Posted November 4, 2013
The Outsiders Who Saw Our Economic Future
Wall Street Journal: The experts keep getting it wrong. And the oddballs keep getting it right.
Over the past five years of business history, two events have shocked and transformed the nation. In 2007 and 2008, the housing market crumbled and the financial system collapsed, causing trillions of dollars of losses. Around the same time, a few little-known wildcatters began pumping meaningful amounts of oil and gas from U.S. shale formations. A country that once was running out of energy now is on track to become the world's leading producer.
What's most surprising about both events is how few experts saw them coming—and that a group of unlikely outsiders somehow did. Federal Reserve chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke failed to foresee the financial meltdown. Top banking executives were stunned, and leading investors such as Bill Gross, Jim Chanos and George Soros didn't fully anticipate the downturn.
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/172n4PZ
Posted October 29, 2013
Op-ed: Exports Bring Myriad Benefits
Houston Chronicle (James Clad): After the Arab oil embargo of 1973, America's energy dependence became the most obvious flaw in our superpower status.
Now, thanks largely to the shale revolution, domestic U.S. oil production is pushing imports to a 25-year low, holding down global prices despite Asian demand and Middle East/North Africa supply disruptions.
While the U.S. seems set to displace Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer by 2020, our natural gas production has lifted our geopolitical gravitas. Now the world's largest natural gas producer, the U.S. is poised to take a growing profile as a gas exporter.Read more: http://bit.ly/18zur0R
Posted October 28, 2013
With colder weather creeping across the country, we think of the energy the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is providing for Americans’ lives, including heating homes and businesses. So when the Energy Department blog highlighted ways to “energize your neighborhood” with a series of energy-themed pumpkin stencils in time for Halloween – but didn’t include any for the sources of 62 percent of the energy Americans use – we thought maybe it was some kind of holiday trick.
Never fear, we've got the treats: Energy Tomorrow’s own pumpkin-carving stencils to fill in the gaps. "Energyween" anyone?
Posted October 24, 2013
U.S. Carbon Emissions Hit Lowest Level Since 1994
USA Today: In a bit of encouraging climate news, the U.S. government reported Monday that U.S. emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels were lower last year than at any time since 1994.
Driven by efficiency gains, an unusually warm winter and a switch from coal to natural gas, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions actually declined 3.8% in 2012 even though the U.S. economy grew 2.8% that year, according to new data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy.
This emissions decline was the largest in any year that had positive growth in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) — its economic output — and the only drop when GDP rose at least 2%.Read more: http://ti.me/1eNNHNA
Posted October 22, 2013
Domestic oil and natural gas development is a key driver of America’s economy and global energy security, API’s director of upstream and industry operations Erik Milito told reporters yesterday. Access to offshore resources currently off-limits in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico could supply even more of the energy and jobs Americans need. Milito:
“Americans are eager to put more of our offshore energy resources to work. If exploration and development is allowed to safely expand to new areas, domestic oil and natural gas could provide more energy, jobs and government revenue than ever before.”
Posted October 22, 2013
Working in Washington D.C. big numbers (trillions and trillions) are thrown around casually, which can sometimes distort what these numbers actually mean in the real world. An example from yesterday’s Washington Post:
The shale-gas boom will provide a modest boost to the U.S. economy. On average, the models in the Stanford study predicted that the natural-gas boom would raise GDP by about $70 billion per year over the next several decades (in current dollars).
$70 billion a year! While, as the article notes, it is not an overwhelming percentage of GDP, ours is a big economy and $70 billion a year is nothing to be modest about. There is a great breadth of industries contributing to our great economy so for comparison let’s pick one, and since I’m a big movie fan, let’s look at motion pictures.
Posted October 21, 2013
EIA to Release New Drilling Productivity Report
Recent U.S. production growth has centered largely in a few key regions and has been driven by advances in the application of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies. Given the importance of drilling productivity trends as a driver for future domestic production, EIA has been developing new approaches to assess the productivity of drilling operations.
Read more: http://1.usa.gov/17EV6d4