The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Tomorrow Blog

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  liquefied-natural-gas  lng34  fracking  economic-growth  e1534  ethanol  seismic-survey 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 28, 2015

EIA: In its recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015), EIA expects the United States to be a net natural gas exporter by 2017. After 2017, natural gas trade is driven largely by the availability of natural gas resources and by world energy prices. Increased availability of domestic gas or higher world energy prices each increase the gap between the cost of U.S. natural gas and world prices that encourages exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and, to a lesser extent, greater exports by pipeline to Mexico.

The AEO2015 examines alternate cases with higher and lower world oil price assumptions, which serve as a proxy for broader world energy prices given oil-indexed contracts, as well as with higher assumed U.S. oil and natural gas resources. These assumptions significantly affect projected growth in annual net LNG exports after 2017. Net LNG exports make up most of the natural gas exports in most cases. By 2040, LNG exports range from 0.2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in the Low Oil Price case to 10.3 Tcf in the High Oil and Gas Resource case. For comparison, 2040 natural gas net exports by pipeline range from 1.1 Tcf in the High Oil Price case to 2.9 Tcf in the High Oil and Gas Resource case.

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crude-oil-production  offshore-leasing-plan  atlantic-ocs  keystone-xl-pipeline  ethanol  fracking  shale-plays 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 17, 2015

BloombergBusiness: The U.S. pumped crude last month at the fastest pace since February 1973, sending March inventories to the highest level in 85 years.

Crude output climbed 13 percent from a year earlier to 9.32 million barrels a day in March, the American Petroleum Institute said in a monthly report Thursday. Production of natural gas liquids, a byproduct of gas drilling, climbed 9.1 percent to 3.05 million, a record for March. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies from shale formations in the central U.S.

“Production of both crude oil and natural gas liquids last month remained at the highest levels in decades even as rig counts reached a five-year low,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said in an e-mailed statement.

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safety-standards  safe-operations  offshore-energy-development  oil-and-natural-gas  shale-energy  crude-oil  liquefied-natural-gas  exports  ethanol  renewable-fuel-standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 8, 2015

NOLA.com: Five years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil and gas industry can respond and contain well blowouts offshore faster than ever before, said Don Armijo, CEO of the Marine Well Containment Co. But he said work remains to make sure containment equipment keeps pace with industry's push to drill in deeper waters.

Armijo, who spoke Tuesday (April 7) at a business lunch at The Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans, said Marine Well Containment Co. has the equipment to respond to oil gushers in up to 10,000 feet of water. The industry will outgrow that equipment, he said.

"We know there has been drilling proposed in areas much deeper than 10,000 feet of water," Armijo said. "That's the big thing. How do we actually get the technology put together so we can be deeper? These are the kind of things that are on our minds all the time."

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energy-exports  crude-oil  trade  shale-energy  economic-benefits  fracking  renewable-fuel-standard  ethanol 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 20, 2015

Bloomberg: Two former Obama administration officials said a four-decade-old ban on oil exports limits U.S. geopolitical influence and makes it harder to get other nations to embrace free trade.

The issue of the ban “arose constantly” in negotiations with other countries, including when the U.S. sought support for sanctions on Iran’s oil production to halt its nuclear ambitions, said Carlos Pascual, a former top energy envoy at the U.S. State Department.

“It’s those kinds of restrictions that in the end affect American credibility, and in the moment when we have to put through an important policy, makes it much more difficult to negotiate,” Pascual said at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing Thursday called to build support for ending the ban in place since the 1970s Arab oil embargo.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  ethanol  regulation  ozone  taxes  keystone-xl-pipeline  alaska 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 12, 2015

Oil and natural gas industry groups joined by environmentalists and anti-hunger groups have joined forces to outline concerns with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to ask Congress to repeal or significantly reform the program with its ethanol mandates. 

Additional coverage includes biofuels producers wanting accountability and reform on the RFS' ethanol requirements, and the push for eliminating the RFS once and for all.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  ethanol  biofuels  cellulosic-biofuels  american-petroleum-institute  blend-wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 11, 2015

To the chorus of voices sounding the alarm on the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – AAA, automakers, outdoor power equipment manufacturers, marine manufacturers, turkey and chicken producers, restaurant companies, grocery manufacturers, environmental non-profits and anti-hunger groups – add another: the advanced biofuels industry.

Given the fact the RFS was designed to encourage development of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, the Advanced Biofuels Association’s call for significant RFS reform is a game-changer in the ongoing public policy debate. ABFA President Michael McAdams at this week’s Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference:

“… the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) – the very tool that was created to foster our industry – has become one of the greatest obstacles to continued development of the advanced and cellulosic biofuel industry due to inconsistent and poor implementation.”

The issue is the way the RFS, through annual ethanol mandates, has resulted in ever-increasing production of ethanol made from corn – versus ethanol and other biofuels made from non-food feedstocks.

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american-energy  exports  fracking  pennsylvania  taxes  ethanol  rfs34 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 11, 2015

The Hill (Congress Blog): The ongoing shale oil renaissance and the United States’ abundant natural resources has transformed our energy landscape, allowing American consumers access to affordable fuel supplies and spurring significant investment and job growth across our economy. But in order for this renaissance to continue, it is critical that lawmakers ensure that U.S. policy keeps pace so that our energy resources are being leveraged to provide the maximum benefit to the nation’s economy and international geopolitical interests.

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ethanol  exports  energy-policy  rfs34  jobs  fracking  keystone-xl-pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 10, 2015

The New York Times op-ed (Robert Bryce): With the collapse in global oil prices, members of Congress are once again pushing to raise the federal gasoline tax, with the proceeds going to new roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects. While some in Congress might be averse to a tax increase of any kind, they might find it more palatable if it came packaged with a tax cut. Fortunately, there is a perfect option, a hidden levy that has benefited a small group of farmers and manufacturers in a handful of states: the corn ethanol tax.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  environmental-impact  ethanol  greenhouse-gas-emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 7, 2015

The politics of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use are on display this weekend in Iowa, a key presidential primary state. Nothing against Iowa – or ethanol, for that matter – but the RFS illustrates that when you mix energy policy and politics bad public policy can result.

Certainly, the RFS shows the difficulty of trying to apply central planning to the marketplace, of trying to mandate consumer behavior. The RFS is a relic of the era of energy scarcity in the U.S. whose best intentions have been superseded by surging domestic oil and natural gas production.

Still, the RFS remains and along with it potential risks to the economy, vehicle engines and more. It also risks unintended consequences, including a moral/ethical dilemma over whether food should be turned into fuels, as well as concern for the environmental impact of corn ethanol production.

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