Posted February 7, 2014
The Shale Factor in U.S. National Security
Reuters (Dobriansky, Richardson and Warner): The boom in domestic shale oil and gas production has increased U.S. prosperity and economic competitiveness. But the potential for this to enhance our national security remains largely unrealized.
The shale surge has boosted production by 50 percent for oil and 20 percent for gas over the last five years. Yet our political leaders are only just beginning to explore how it can help further national strategic interests.
We led a major study at the Center for a New American Security in the last year, bringing together a nonpartisan panel to examine national security implications of the unconventional energy boom. We decided that outdated idealization of “energy independence” is preventing the administration and Congress from focusing on current energy vulnerabilities and figuring out how Washington should secure our economic and security interests.
Though the United States now imports less oil than it has for more than a dozen years, we should not distance ourselves from international oil markets by pursuing full energy self-sufficiency. The best way to advance energy security is to remain engaged internationally with major energy players.
Read more: http://reut.rs/1iyeOys
Posted December 19, 2013
Mexico’s Energy Reform Will Benefit U.S.
USA Today (Peter Schechter and Jason Marczak): Last Thursday, Mexico's Congress passed the final hurdle to approve amendments to its constitution that herald a deep, positive change for the country. With all the bad news coming out of most everywhere else in the world, it is a relief to see a part of the western world where politics remain constructive.
The energy reform proposal will bring dramatic advances to Mexico's energy market, allowing private investment in the country's oil and gas sector for the first time since former President Lázaro Cárdenas nationalized oil in 1938. The reform will have profound economic implications for Mexico and the international energy supply equation.
It is also a coup for President Enrique Peña Nieto,47, who successfully built a coalition with his main political rivals to pass the reform. In a move reminiscent of Nixon's trip to China, this youthful president of the same party that 75 years ago nationalized Mexico's natural resources accomplished a reform previously considered the third rail of Mexican politics. Indeed, the Peña Nieto administration is able to provide the United States and Europe with a Harvard Case Study on leadership, partnership and putting citizenship before partisanship.
Read more: http://usat.ly/19VwttE
Posted December 18, 2013
The U.S.’s Crude Oil Policy
Washington Post: The United States again is one of the world’s great energy powers. On Monday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected that American crude oil output will peak at nearly 10 million barrels per day by mid-decade, up from 6.5 million last year. Last month, the International Energy Agency figured that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia as the top oil producer, at least for a time. Yet some politicians remain unwilling to let the country reap the full benefits of this boon.
For decades, the government has imposed restrictions on exporting domestically produced crude oil but not on refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel. This arrangement seemed sensible; the country’s crude business wasn’t booming, but its refining industry was an economic powerhouse deeply embedded in world energy markets.
Now, however, new drilling techniques have resulted in a revitalization of U.S. crude production. But oil firms export only a tiny fraction of the roughly 8 million barrels they extract daily, even though the oil often isn’t the sort U.S. refineries are set up to process. Understandably, they’d like a wider market in which to sell.
Read more: http://wapo.st/18RWgmz
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 October 14, 2013
Central Europe is a Ready market for U.S. Natural Gas
Washington Post: The global economy is still struggling to overcome the effects of the recession sparked by the 2008 financial crisis. But energy — in particular, shale gas exploration — has become one of the strongest engines for the U.S. economy.
U.S. natural gas production has increased by one-fourth in the past five years, according to the Energy Information Administration; it has created 600,000 jobs since 2009 and helped drive down gas prices for millions of Americans. Moreover, the United States is now in a position to export gas. This surplus creates opportunities for the United States to again be a geopolitical player in Europe.
While U.S. officials ponder their approach to Syria, the larger Middle East and Central Asia, they need look no farther than Central Europe and the “Visegrád Four” (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) to find some of the United States’ most passionate allies.Read more: http://wapo.st/17039Xv
Posted October 7, 2013
Is NY Fracking a Good Idea? Look at Pennsylvania
CNBC: First was Texas. Next came Pennsylvania and North Dakota. Could New York become the next U.S. shale hotspot?
It's a tantalizing prospect for some, given that the Empire State sits atop not one but two prolific shale formations, the Marcellus and the Utica. According to the most recent data from the United States Geological Survey, both have more than a combined 100 trillion cubic feet of estimated natural gas reserves.
Should New York overcome its deep reluctance to drill for natural gas, some experts say the state has the potential to ride a wave of domestic production—one credited with creating thousands of natural gas-related jobs nationwide. But so far at least, New York has given an ear to environmental interests that point to dangers around accessing the reserves, especially the hydraulic process known as "fracking."
Read more: http://cnb.cx/15Wtrnh
Posted October 3, 2013
U.S. Overtaking Russia as Largest Oil and Natural Gas Producer
Wall Street Journal: The U.S. is overtaking Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, a startling shift that is reshaping markets and eroding the clout of traditional energy-rich nations.
U.S. energy output has been surging in recent years, a comeback fueled by shale-rock formations of oil and natural gas that was unimaginable a decade ago. A Wall Street Journal analysis of global data shows that the U.S. is on track to pass Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and gas combined this year—if it hasn't already.
The U.S. ascendance comes as Russia has struggled to maintain its energy output and has yet to embrace technologies such as hydraulic fracturing that have boosted American reserves.
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/1g4yqJZ
Posted May 17, 2013
Increasing U.S. domestic production of oil matters. Energy Information Administration (EIA) chief Adam Sieminski had this analysis at an energy conference earlier this week (h/t Breaking Energy):
“There’s a fairly significant, long-standing relationship between spare production capacity in OPEC and what the pricing environment is for oil. So the 2 million barrel per day increase in U.S. oil production that surprisingly took place over the last five years has resulted in higher OPEC spare capacity, and undoubtedly, has been a factor in why Brent oil prices are $103-$104/bbl rather than $125-$130/bbl.”
Posted March 28, 2012
Posted March 28, 2012