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 5, 2013
America’s vast offshore energy reserves present an opportunity to improve our economy, increase our energy security and create tens of thousands of jobs. According to a new study, opening the U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and natural gas development could turn that opportunity into reality. API’s Director of Upstream Erik Milito and the National Ocean Industries Association’s Randall Luthi outlined the study for reporters today. Milito:
“Oil and natural gas production off our Atlantic coast is a potential gold mine. Developing oil and natural gas in the Atlantic could put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work, make us more energy secure, and bring in needed revenue for the government. But none of these benefits will appear unless the federal government follows pro-development energy policies.”
According to the study, oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS between 2017 and 2035 could:
- Create nearly 280,000 new jobs along the East Coast and across the country.
- Result in an additional $195 billion in new private investment.
- Contribute up to $23.5 billion per year to the U.S. economy.
- Add 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to domestic energy production, which is about 70 percent of current output from the Gulf of Mexico.
- Generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government.
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 December 2, 2013
The Remarkable Shale Oil Bonanza in ‘Saudi Texas’
AEI Carpe Diem Blog: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new state crude oil production data this week for the month of September, and one of the highlights of that monthly report is that oil output in America’s No. 1 oil-producing state – Texas – continues its phenomenal, meteoric rise. Here are some details of oil output in “Saudi Texas” for the month of September:
Oil drillers in Texas pumped out an average of 2.726 million barrels of crude oil every day (bpd) during the month of September, which is the highest daily oil output in the Lone Star State in any single month since at least January 1981, when the EIA started reporting each state’s monthly oil production.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1bdF6iQ
Posted November 26, 2013
Marcellus Goliath Transforms Region
Bloomberg: Beneath the rolling pastures and woodland of western Pennsylvania, a corner of Appalachia dotted with Victorian main streets and white church steeples, a radical shift is under way.
In Punxsutawney, home to a groundhog named Phil who prognosticates the weather each February, a $2.8 million hotel is under construction. A few miles away in DuBois, metal fabricator Staar Distributing LLC is expanding to neighboring Brookville. All this development is coming to an economically depressed region that lies atop the Marcellus shale, a rock formation that produces more natural gas than Saudi Arabia.
Output from shale deposits including the Marcellus has surged 10-fold since 2005 to account for a third of the country’s gas production, government data show. The boom has eliminated a regional price premium, redirected pipeline flows and left the nation poised to export the fuel overseas after cutting imports by 44 percent since 2007. It’s also helped make the U.S. 86 percent energy independent, the most since 1986.
“The Marcellus is a Goliath,” David Schlosser, senior vice president for engineering and strategic planning at EQT (EQT) Corp., one of the four largest gas producers in the Marcellus, said in an Oct. 31 interview at the company’s headquarters in Pittsburgh. “In some ways, we’re just at the tip of the iceberg.”
Read more: http://bloom.bg/1icRd9o
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 25, 2013
Interesting developments along the winter energy front from API Chief Economist John Felmy in a recent briefing for reporters.
First, though gasoline prices recently have been pushed higher by increases in world crude oil prices and higher U.S. demand, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that gasoline and diesel prices will hold steady through at least the first half of 2014, Felmy said.
Second, while annual heating costs for natural gas users in 2014 are estimated by EIA to be $665, which is slightly higher than last year, they’re still likely to be 19 percent lower than they were in the winter of 2008-2009. EIA also estimates that annual costs for families who use heating oil in their homes will be 4 percent lower this year than last.
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