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
Posted November 21, 2013
The Strange Debate over LNG Exports
UPI Analysis: WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 -- The debate over exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas is exceedingly strange. In Washington one sometimes hears calls to limit imports of given goods or services but limits on exports?
When U.S. President Barack Obama talked of doubling U.S. exports in five years in his 2010 State of the Union Address, some said this was an unrealistic objective but nobody said it wasn't a worthy goal, particularly to support the United States' economic recovery.
Since Adam Smith, of course, economists have understood that restrictions on imports or exports reduce overall national welfare. But the politics of imports and exports are different.
The costs of allowing imports are generally borne by identifiable firms and their workers but the benefits of imports are typically widely dispersed and thus effectively invisible.
Exports have an opposite dynamic. Increased export sales directly benefit identifiable firms and their workers. Any costs are typically spread thinly and invisibly over the whole economy.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1h5umeF
Posted November 20, 2013
Future of U.S. Energy Production is Bright
KAAL ABC Rochester 6: The U.S. is entering a new era of energy production said former national security advisor General James Jones who made a stop in Rochester Tuesday. He says the future of U.S. energy is bright.
Most people have noticed a change when they go to fill up.
"Gas being $3.20 instead of $3.80," said Scott Heck.
Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce member Scott Heck knows a lot more is happening with the U.S. energy industry than what we can see at the gas pump.
"Certainly being from North Dakota I know people that have been dramatically affected by the abundance of energy up there," said Heck.
North Dakota is just one of the areas that has seen the effects of the U.S. oil boom.
"The U.S. is now the largest producer of oil and gas," said General Jones.
General Jones is a former national security advisor to President Obama. He say with recent innovations and technologies the United States is now in a position where it may soon no longer have to rely on foreign oil.
"This is a whole different ball game, we need to develop our resources widely, this energy leverage gives us a role of influence in the world that we haven't enjoyed for a long time," said General Jones.
Read more: http://bit.ly/18QwkqR
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