Posted October 29, 2014
The Wall Street Journal: A planned Trans- Canada Corp. oil pipeline designed to ship crude from Western Canada to Eastern Canadian refineries could also be used to access the Gulf Coast, creating an end-run around U.S. permitting delays for the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the company’s chief executive.
TransCanada’s proposed 1.1 million-barrel-a-day Energy East pipeline has been positioned in Canada as a nation-building project to connect Alberta’s landlocked oil sands with refineries in Quebec and coastal New Brunswick. But Chief Executive Russ Girling said it would also open up a new route to ship heavy crude by tanker to refineries on the Gulf Coast without requiring U.S. approval, unlike the more direct Keystone XL route from Alberta to Texas.
“We can actually go all the way to the Gulf Coast without a presidential permit,” he said in an interview. “Once we’re on the water, we’ll show up just like any other crude oil in the world in the Houston ship channel.”
Posted October 29, 2014
October marks a birthday for our friends at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Forty years ago, October 1974, EIA issued its first Monthly Energy Review (MER) – a report loaded with energy-related data and charts that’s a must-read for folks who follow energy issues. EIA Chief Adam Sieminski:
That first MER was under 50 pages and featured 3 years of data focused on fossil fuels. Today, the MER is four times as large, features data extending back 65 years, and contains information on renewable energy, emissions, energy consumption by sector, and a host of other critical subjects. In a vastly more complex energy environment, the MER continues to integrate many kinds of energy data from a wide variety of sources into one product that provides policymakers, journalists, analysts, and other concerned citizens with a comprehensive look at integrated energy data in the United States.
Certainly, much has changed over four decades. America’s energy outlook has pivoted almost 180 degrees. Check out this snippet from that October 1974 inaugural issue of MER:
Posted October 24, 2014
Friends of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blog: American free enterprise can achieve almost anything. But, only if we allow it to work properly (this requires a nimble regulatory environment and a streamlined permitting process). One stark example of this gone wrong is the increasingly evergreen example of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that is projected to create 42,000 new jobs and generate 4 billion in economic activity. So far, we've waited 6 years for a response on the permit request.
Studies have been conducted. Talking heads and scientists have hashed out all the pros and cons. And despite broad affirmation and support, the American people are stuck waiting for Washington to act. Six years is a disgrace; bigger things can be done in far less time.
Posted October 23, 2014
Bloomberg: U.S. companies will export more energy than they import by 2025 as shale oil and gas production keeps climbing and the transportation sector becomes more efficient, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said in a note today.
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in hydrocarbon-rich layers of shale rock have boosted U.S. oil and gas production by 42 percent in the past seven years. The U.S. vehicle fleet will become 40 percent more energy-efficient by 2030, said James Brick, a senior analyst at the Edinburgh-based research firm.
“A country can achieve energy independence through two channels,” Brick said in the note. “It can either produce more or consume less, and the U.S. is doing both.”
Posted October 21, 2014
Forbes (Robert Bradley Jr.): The environmentalist campaign to block the Keystone XL pipeline has run out of gas.
Canada’s largest energy firm, TransCanada, has announced plans to create an alternative to KXL that lies entirely within Canada’s borders – a pipeline that would transport crude from Alberta’s oil sands to our northern neighbor’s east coast.
Known as Energy East, the new project presents clear proof that, even without a U.S. pipeline, the Canadian oil sands will continue to be developed. By blocking KXL, the fourth and final leg of a 2,151-mile transnational project, green activists are simply denying Americans the project’s wide-ranging benefits. The U.S. State Department counts42,000 new jobs, plus the opening of a new way to get oil from Montana and North Dakota to Gulf Coast refineries.
If the Obama Administration doesn’t approve the 800,000 barrels/day, Alberta–U.S. Gulf Coast pipeline soon, an historic opportunity to improve the American economy and strengthen our country’s energy infrastructure will be squandered.
Posted October 20, 2014
Shale Boom Helping American Consumers as Never Before
Bloomberg: Oil traders might see the 27 percent slide in global prices as a bear market. For U.S. consumers, it’s more like an early holiday gift.
Posted October 13, 2014
Detroit Free Press: Ground zero for America's "shale revolution" in gas and oil production, North Dakota is also the reigning title-holder for lowest unemployment among the 50 states.
There were more unfilled jobs in September than job applications within the state, where oil field workers can make six-figure salaries and even the fast-food restaurants dangle hiring bonuses of $300 or more. The state has been recruiting specifically from Michigan for workers of all stripes and skill levels — hoping to entice entire families to relocate and grow roots.
North Dakota's official 2.8% jobless rate in August is essentially full employment, allowing just about anyone who wants a job to get one. At the same time, Michigan's rate of 7.4% was stuck above the 6.1% national average. (The national rate was 5.9% in September.)
North Dakota's roaring economy has been the envy of state governors and, for proponents of fracking, a shining success story for how an energy boom can produce a job boom, even for workers in professions that aren't directly related to extracting natural gas and oil.
Posted October 9, 2014
Columbus Dispatch: Consumers are starting to catch a serious break for a change on energy costs.
Gasoline prices in central Ohio are at their lowest level in nearly four years, while the outlook for home-heating costs this winter is better than a year ago.
“There’s definitely more money in my pocket,” said Kathy Bury, 58, of Blacklick, in eastern Franklin County.
She tends to buy gasoline $20 at a time. At current prices, that’s three-fourths of a tank, which is much more than a month ago, a contrast that “makes me happy,” she said.
Posted September 29, 2014
Washington Post (Robert J. Samuelson): One of the economy’s good-news stories is the oil boom, a derivative of the natural gas boom. When the drilling techniques used to tap vast new reservoirs of natural gas were applied to oil, they yielded similarly astounding results. Since 2008, U.S. oil production has increased from 5 million barrels a day (mbd) to 8.3 mbd in 2014. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says it could go to 9.6 mbd by 2019.
By all logic, we should be working to sustain the boom. We aren’t, and therein lies a classic example of how good policy is held hostage to bad politics and public relations. What would promote continued exploration is a lifting of the current U.S. ban on exporting crude oil. Let producers sell into the world market. But that seems (wrongly) an unjustified giveaway to industry. The public perceptions are atrocious.
Posted September 22, 2014
Washington Examiner op-ed (Karen Harbert): America's economic recovery is being fueled by energy. Increased natural gas production is at the center of our energy revolution, creating new opportunities at home and abroad.
Not long ago, conventional wisdom was that America’s natural gas production would decline over time. Terminals were planned and built in anticipation of the need to import natural gas from overseas. Now, these facilities are either being converted to export terminals or are idle.
Obviously, things have changed — and for the better. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made accessing unconventional oil and gas much easier, safer, and cost effective. More and more formations were discovered, and now, natural gas extracted from shale makes up over one-third of total U.S. natural gas production. Over time, this trend will continue to increase to about half of our natural gas production by 2030.