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Energy Tomorrow Blog

API MSR: U.S. Petroleum Demand and Imports Higher, Supply Languished

monthly-stats-report  oil and natural gas production  consumers  imports 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
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.

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Energy Costs, Consumers and Increasing U.S. Production to Help Demand-Supply Mismatch

eia  white house  domestic oil production  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 15, 2021

News item #1: Because energy demand has continued to significantly outpace supply, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. households will spend more money on heating costs this winter compared to last winter – for electricity, natural gas, propane and heating oil.

News item #2: Again, largely due to the demand-supply mismatch that’s further tightened energy markets and put upward pressure on prices, White House officials continue to wrestle with the impacts of higher consumer energy costs, including gasoline.

News item #3: Coal use has climbed, complicating U.S. efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Bloomberg reports U.S. power plants are projected to burn 23% more coal this year, the first increase since 2013, driven by higher natural gas prices. …

Taking all of this in, let’s make this point: There’s affordable, reliable energy available in the U.S., right now – American natural gas and oil.

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Natural Gas and Oil – Today and Tomorrow

oil and natural gas  global demand  electric-grid  renewable energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Making Sense of Demand vs. Supply, Key Factors Affecting Production

oil and natural gas production  supply  demand  investments  economic recovery 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
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)? 

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Divergent Times for U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Demand, Supply

monthly-stats-report  supply  oil demand  imports 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted September 22, 2021

Economics and energy market data for the third quarter of 2021 were marked by divergences. That’s the main thrust of API’s quarterly Industry Outlook for Q3 2021 and Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) with primary data for August. 

Demand for oil and natural gas has risen strongly along with the economic recovery, as we discussed here. At the same time, global oil and natural gas investments have fallen to record lows so far in 2021, (see here). Consequently, supplies have failed to keep pace with demand and generally resulted in lower inventories, higher U.S. imports and the strongest prices for crude oil, gasoline and natural gas since 2014.

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Low Investment and Implications for Global Supply

investments  global energy  oil supply 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted September 17, 2021

Global oil and natural gas investments have fallen to record lows so far in 2021, as we recently discussed here. Yet, demand for both has risen alongside the economic recovery. Consequently, supplies haven’t kept pace with demand, and the mismatch between the two propelled gasoline and natural gas prices this summer to their highest levels since 2014.

 

In fact, global natural gas prices set a record-high for summer months as demand outdistanced supply.  Oil prices eased in August following a 16% run-up over the previous three months for Brent crude oil, but were back above $70 per barrel in mid-September.

 

Although economic and pandemic-related uncertainties and expected OPEC+ output increases have also likely impacted prices, the lack of investment for oil and natural gas production is an ominous sign, given that major conventional global oil and natural gas projects can take years to start producing. We could be in for global oil market tightening in 2022 and further upward pressure on prices, with prices already at their highest level since 2014.

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Digging Into the Administration's Lease Sale Announcement

federal leases  white house  offshore oil production  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 27, 2021

The Biden administration’s plan to hold its first ever oil and natural gas lease sales this year is a positive sign after it paused new leasing on federal lands and waters for nearly seven months. The question is whether this is a significant policy shift for the administration, which will be determined by what actually happens and how swiftly it occurs.

It must be remembered that it has been more than two months since the administration was ordered to lift its leasing pause by a federal judge, and the administration is continuing its appeal of the court’s ruling. Again, it’s fair to ask whether this week’s announcement is a policy change – or something else while the legal case continues?

The answers to that question and others are critically important to future oil and gas development in federally controlled reserves, much of which requires sizeable investment and lengthy planning. 

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Afghanistan, Uncertainty and Ensuring U.S. Energy Security

global markets  us energy security  domestic oil production 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 24, 2021

The continuing story in Afghanistan is a reminder of how suddenly geopolitical events turn. Stability in the world is fleeting, and we know that global turbulence impacts energy, historically triggering oil price volatility. While the U.S. shale revolution helped keep global oil markets and costs stable, shielding American consumers from many of the impacts caused by destabilizing events in recent years, maintaining and increasing U.S. energy security should never cease to be a top national priority.

American energy security is strengthened by safe and responsible oil and natural gas production here at home. The two supplied nearly 70% of the energy Americans used in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). And natural gas was the leading fuel for generating electricity, EIA says, with a share nearly four times as large as wind and solar combined.

Now, Afghanistan is raising concerns that could roil global trade, including oil markets. 

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Sorry, America: OPEC+ Oil Rebuff Keeps Focus on Flawed White House Energy Policies

white house  domestic oil production  us energy security  federal leases 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 19, 2021

We’ve entered a different era in America, one in which this nation, rich in oil and natural gas reserves, publicly begs OPEC+ to increase its crude oil production to offset a U.S. supply-demand imbalance and the highest gasoline prices in years.

Let that sink in: Practically on bended knee, the American president and his administration – leading the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas – have pleaded with an oil cartel to solve their problem by producing more oil – as they bypass U.S. producers and pursue anti-oil policies here at home. …

Insult to injury: OPEC+ said, sorry, America, we see no reason to meet your request.

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The White House, OPEC and the Need for Domestic Oil Production

president  opec  federal leases  domestic oil production 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted August 16, 2021

Some observations follow on the Biden administration’s continued call for OPEC to increase its crude oil production – even as it curbs or discourages U.S. production – plus the president’s recent announcement  that he wants the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate summer gasoline prices.

We’ll take the FTC first. Chair Lina Khan has been asked to look into any potential illegal conduct or anti-competitive practices that may have occurred during the summer driving season.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the national average for gasoline reached $3.172 per gallon Aug. 9, the highest point since October 2014. “[T]here have been divergences between oil prices and the cost of gasoline at the pump,” wrote National Economic Council Director Brian Deese. “While many factors can affect gas prices, the president wants to ensure that consumers are not paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or other illegal practices.”

Numerous federal and state agencies have investigated the causes of price spikes for decades and consistently have found that the markets and other factors are responsible for price fluctuations. If the White House truly believes “anti-competitive or other illegal practices” have elevated gasoline prices, it’s strange that it would look to a cartel of oil-exporting countries to help solve the problem. In fact, the administration is floating a false premise on what’s happened this summer with gasoline prices.

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