Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted October 21, 2021
API President and CEO Mike Sommers joined other energy industry CEOs on a panel hosted by the American Association of Blacks in Energy this week that focused on the energy transition, inclusion in the workforce of the future and equity in access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.
It was a good conversation that underscored the need to develop a broad range of energy sources, including natural gas, oil and renewables, to secure America’s future energy security.
Posted October 15, 2021
API’s new Monthly Statistical Report (MSR), based on U.S. petroleum primary market data through September, reinforced a combination of developments that has been recurrent so far in 2021 – that is, demand outpaced supply, inventories fell and, consequently, imports and prices rose.
Historically, this combination of factors has also led to further market tightening, which could put additional upward pressure on costs and prices.
The underlying drivers come back to the basics of demand, which reached a record high for the month of September at 20.6 million barrels per day (mb/d), and supply that has remained muted due to the industry’s continued financial, work force and supply chain constraints, coupled with a lack of policy support as we discussed here.
Posted October 8, 2021
Connecting some of the dots in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s new International Energy Outlook released this week, we see projections for continued global energy demand growth and increasing use of renewable energy, supported by natural gas and oil out to the year 2050.
EIA’s projections underscore a point we’ve been making for some time – that natural gas and oil are the world’s leading energy sources today and will be tomorrow.
Posted October 7, 2021
The fundamentals of natural gas demand outpacing supply have driven prices to their highest for the season since 2008, and some analysts expect a natural gas supply crunch with potentially wide impacts this winter – including potential market tightening that could significantly affect household budgets and perhaps could risk physical hardship for some.
In such a context, many Americans may have a hard time figuring out what’s happening and how it affects them: If natural gas prices have soared, why hasn’t production risen more quickly to meet post-pandemic energy demand and moderate the conditions driving up costs? And another one: Why is the U.S. still exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG)?
Posted October 1, 2021
Natural gas prices have entered rarified territory due to demand outpacing production and supply, creating headwinds for the Biden administration’s emissions reduction goals and potentially impacting the energy cost savings consumers have enjoyed since the U.S. energy revolution launched more than a decade ago.
Prices in Asia Pacific (Japan-Korea) settled at $29.20 per million Btu (mmBtu) on Sept. 27 – their highest on record since 2012. Meanwhile, U.S. natural gas prices of nearly $5.50 per mmBtu at Henry Hub were relatively inexpensive compared with international ones but rose to their highest for the month since 2008. Natural gas prices like these are unusual for the fall, before there’s reason to believe the approaching winter could be particularly cold.
Posted September 29, 2021
Europe’s ongoing energy crisis (noted recently here) should give pause to U.S. policymakers who’re leading a head-long rush to a near future in which Americans’ daily lives and the U.S. economy will be virtually dependent on intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar.
We’ve made the case that dropping natural gas and oil from the U.S. energy portfolio, heavily relying on come-and-go energies, is unwise, bordering on foolishness. It’s disconnected from reality, a reality that’s playing out right now in Europe.
Posted September 27, 2021
Initiatives in more than two dozen U.S. cities to phase out or straight-up ban natural gas service in new homes and buildings could set up Americans for one heck of a stomach punch. And we’re not just talking figuratively.
The Wall Street Journal reports that several dozen U.S. municipalities, including New York and Denver, have either passed or proposed measures that restrict or ban natural gas in new buildings or those that have had substantial renovation. The gut punch for Americans comes in what that reality would look and feel like – heat pumps and electric appliances in place of natural gas-fueled furnaces, water heaters, ovens and stoves.
Posted September 23, 2021
This week I addressed the Economic Club of Pittsburgh – in the heart of Pennsylvania’s natural gas and oil region – and I talked about the state’s critical importance to the larger U.S. energy picture and the key role our industry plays in meeting the challenge of supplying the energy that powers our nation and also in reducing emissions, toward a lower-carbon future.
Energy has transformed Pennsylvania and continues to do so. Pennsylvania’s natural gas and oil industry directly and indirectly supported nearly a half million jobs across the commonwealth’s economy in 2019. Our industry’s total economic contribution to Pennsylvania ranked among the highest in the nation, with more than $78 billion directed to the state’s GDP – including nearly $41 billion in labor income.
Posted September 15, 2021
We’ve long made the point that natural gas is the essential partner for the growth of wind and solar energy (see here, here and here). You simply must have a partnering energy source, in sufficient quantity, to fuel power generation and maintain reliability when the wind doesn’t blow and/or the sun doesn’t shine.
Just ask Europe and California. Both are experiencing conditions that make this case.
The two also underscore the flaw in policy proposals that exclude natural gas from the future energy mix – as does the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) now being debated in Congress.
Posted August 10, 2021
We’ve previously noted some of the non-fuel uses of natural gas and oil, many of which were highlighted in a 50-state series from a few years ago. More recently, we posted on the ground-breaking role natural gas and oil play in developing carbon nanotubes, microscopic structures that can be used in any of a number of applications, from electronics to construction.
So, while people commonly think of natural gas and oil as fuels for transportation, generating electricity and heating homes, they are significant in crafting synthetic fabrics, detergents, asphalt, lubricants, some skin care products, and a host of other products. Without oil and gas, you’d find it more difficult to travel on a smooth road (asphalt), launder your dirty clothes, maintain your cars or even keep your skin clear.
Here’s another emerging technology – using a new natural gas technology to make plastics in a process that is more efficient than current processes and could help reduce greenhouse gases.