The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Tomorrow Blog

analysis  infrastructure  oil-and-natural-gas-development  pipelines  permitting  regulation  energy-department  eia34  investment 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 19, 2015

The issue was energy infrastructure – where the United States is and where things are headed. At the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual conference this week, one discussion honed in on the challenges to infrastructure approval and construction – as well as government’s best role in developing projects that are key to U.S. energy transport and overall energy security. The latter produced some friction between speakers not often seen at conferences like EIA’s. More below.

The U.S. Energy Department’s Melanie Kenderdine talked about some of the details in the department’s recently issued Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which focused on ways to modernize the nation’s infrastructure.

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news  efficiency  innovation  technology  shale-energy  pipelines  ethanol  energy-exports 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 8, 2015

Platts (The Barrel Blog)When OPEC left production unchanged in November last year many understood it to be US or Canadian tight oil producers who would suffer, but thanks to technological advances — to paraphrase Mark Twain — the reports of the death of the tight boom have been greatly exaggerated.

After OPEC’s announcement of stable production, crude prices fell under $50/b, and the obituaries began to be written.

But lower prices forced companies to become hyper-vigilant on costs, and the result was the opposite of what may have been intended. US and Canadian production continued to grow, and E&P companies became leaner and more efficient — leading to a more competitive industry.

The savings from technological advances and more efficient internal processes, unlike the drop in rig dayrates that could rise again when the market turns, will be a more permanent feature of the North American oil market.

The numbers tell the story. The North American oil rig count dropped from its peak in early October at 1,609 to 646 for the week-ending May 29, yet productions is headed in the opposite direction — US oil output hit 9.586 million b/d, its highest daily rate since the EIA began weekly production reports in 1983. The EIA recently forecast another million b/d of oil production growth until it peaks in 2020 at 10.603 million b/d.

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news  pipelines  infrastructure  oil-and-natural-gas-development  epa34  regulation  lng-exports  cellulosic-ethanol 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 21, 2015

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Weinstein): Thanks to what’s sometimes called the “shale revolution,” America has re-emerged as an energy superpower.

Even with prices 40 percent lower than a year ago, we remain the world’s No. 1 producer of crude oil and other liquid hydrocarbons. Imports of oil have dropped from 60 percent of consumption to about 35 percent just in the past five years. We’re also the world’s largest producer of natural gas.

Both our oil and natural gas output would be even higher if not for regulatory and infrastructure constraints.

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news  energy-exports  crude-oil  conocophillips  efficiency  oil-and-natural-gas-industry  innovation  pipelines  shale-energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 11, 2015

Breaking Energy Opinion (Thorning): The Department of Energy recently approved an application from Alaska LNG to export natural gas. But there’s a catch: these exports can only go to nations where the United States has a free-trade agreement in place.

Never mind the fact that the top markets for LNG are India, China, and Japan, where we don’t have free-trade agreements set up.So essentially, the company is stuck alongside the 20-plus U.S. natural gas companies that are awaiting approval to sell abroad.  Some have been waiting for nearly three years.

Despite the rapid expansion of the American energy sector, the American regulatory apparatus hasn’t kept pace with the industry’s growth. New exploration techniques like fracking have opened up giant swaths of underground energy reserves in places like North Dakota and Pennsylvania. And the operations established to dig up the embedded oil and natural gas have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and driven billions in new economic activity.

But now, unnecessary regulations are stifling firms with outdated rules. Most notably, the federal approval process energy producers have to navigate in order to sell in foreign markets is extremely restrictive. It’s needlessly difficult for firms to ship surplus oil and gas to eager customers abroad.

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analysis  american-energy  infrastructure  pipelines  regulation  arctic  ethanol  renewable-fuel-standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 7, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal: North American businesses and governments must work together toward the collective goal of advancing the continent’s energy aspirations. That was the message delivered by producers and government officials during a May 5 panel discussion at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

The US and Canada represent two of the world’s top five oil producers, and Mexico hopes to ramp up its production in the coming years once its energy reforms are fully realized.

Gustavo Hernandez Garcia, general director of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), said a primary challenge faced by his country is rising technical commercial complexity including deepwater, heavy oil, unconventional, and LNG. To attract the players capable of developing these resources, Mexico must offer attractive contractual and fiscal terms; transparent and clear roles for regulators and operators; an agile and competitive national oil company; and minimal political intervention, he said.

Pemex benefits from its geographic proximity to major producers and their unique skillsets in the US. Paula Gant, deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, said there’s “a tremendous need” to build on public data, statistics, and mapping in North America; for modern and resilient infrastructure; and for best practices for unconventional oil and gas.

Gant emphasized the necessity of constant and clear communication among government agencies in the three countries, and boasted that the US is “the envy of the world” with its existing natural gas pipeline system. Building out infrastructure and sustaining output growth in the US also relies on public confidence, she noted, adding that the office of oil and gas at DOE “provides scientific base from which politicians can make decisions.”

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news  energy-exports  crude-oil  liquefied-natural-gas  pipelines  hydraulic-fracturing  fracking  ozone-standards  canadian-oil-sands 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 27, 2015

Wall Street Journal op-ed (John Hess): While one can debate the reasons for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision in November to continue flooding the oil markets, the fact is that this is squeezing many U.S. shale oil producers out of business. Oil prices have dropped by 50% in the past six months, and crude oil inventories in the U.S. have grown from 350 million barrels last year to more than 480 million barrels today.

Part of the reason inventory has ballooned is that crude produced in the U.S. is literally trapped here, because American firms are not allowed to sell it overseas. An antiquated rule bans crude oil exports from the lower 48 American states, even though producers could earn $5-$14 more per barrel by selling on the world market. At this moment the U.S. government is considering lifting sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports. Why not lift the self-imposed “sanctions” on U.S. crude exports that have been in place for the past four decades?

The export ban is a relic of a previous era, put in place around the time of the 1973 Arab oil embargo against the U.S., when Washington thought very differently about ensuring America’s energy needs. Other measures related to the 1973 embargo, such as price controls and rationing, were eliminated decades ago, as policy makers realized that they impeded, rather than aided, American energy security. But the ban on crude oil exports persists.

There is no defensible justification for the continued ban on the export of U.S. crude oil.

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news  energy-exports  lng34  crude-oil  pipelines  regulation  shale-energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 24, 2015

The Hill Op-ed (U.S. Reps. Calvert and Israel): These days there doesn’t seem to be many things Democrats and Republicans can agree on, but after a recent bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip to Ukraine, we came back in agreement on one thing. Visiting Kiev, and speaking with Ukraine’s leaders it is clear that while their economy is faltering, there are steps that we can take, in addition to sanctions, that will hamper Russia’s economy and future border advances. …

… It has become clear to us, and many others, that the U.S. is sitting on a unique opportunity to advance our economic and national security goals.  By increasing our ability to export natural gas – in the form of liquefied natural gas or LNG – to Europe, the U.S. can weaken Russia’s strategic stronghold while boosting our domestic economy by increasing energy exports.

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energy-exports  oil-and-natural-gas-development  economic-growth  ozone  regulation  pipelines  innovation  technology 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 14, 2015

The National Interest (James Jay Carafano): Increasing American production and export of energy is a win-win-win proposition. It would enhance our national security, make international energy markets more free, and address environmental issues realistically. The next president should lead the campaign for an American energy export agenda. In the meantime, the present Congress can do much to prepare for the march.

The acme of presidential leadership is crafting policies that make the nation safe, free, and prosperous. Satisfying all three priorities is often the Oval Office's greatest challenge. It is like single-handedly trying to get squabbling triplets into their car seats. Yet, the confluence of geopolitics, America's energy abundance, and economic and environmental realities offers an almost unprecedented opportunity to do this successfully.

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american-energy  engineers  education  refiners  fracking  pipelines  gasoline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted April 2, 2015

Indy Star: Kalese Hoggard is spending part of her spring break back in the classroom, but she's not learning from books. She's working with a team of students to build rockets and robots at Walker Career Center. It's fun, she said, but there's a more important reason: "Women engineers — we need more of them. And I'm going to be one. Or a neurologist," she said. Kalese is among 20 eighth-grade girls from Stonybrook, Raymond Park and Creston middle schools in Warren Township who are participating in Gateway Academy STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Camp.

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american-energy  fracking  economy  energy-security  innovation  efficiency  pipelines 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted April 1, 2015

Wall Street Journal (Holman W. Jenkins Jr.): If not for fracking, oil would probably be $200 a barrel and gasoline $6.50 in the U.S. Western economies would likely be in free fall. The grudging U.S. recovery would be in retreat. The modest and possibly illusory green shoots seen in Europe, largely a function of cheap oil and a strong dollar, would wither. Japan would be even more of a write-off than it already is.

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