Energy Tomorrow Blog
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 5, 2021
API took an important step to extending its safety and environmental protection programs to the continent of Africa, signing a new collaborative agreement with the business group African Energy Chamber (AEC), to expand use of API world-class standards, certifications and training programs.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AEC – API’s first agreement with an African partner – is the latest in a series of similar agreements in the past year between API and organizations in nearly every region of the world. Such agreements arise from the global recognition API standards have earned for enhancing safety, efficiency and environmental protection across the natural gas and oil industry.
Posted March 17, 2021
One of the great benefits of increased U.S. oil production over the past decade and a half is strengthened U.S. energy security – decreased reliance on foreign oil suppliers and insulation for American consumers against sudden price increases due to geopolitical events, such as the recent attacks on Persian Gulf oil facilities.
Years ago, an episode like that could’ve caused serious alarm in the United States and globally. Yet, the apparent lack of significant or enduring oil price movement following last weekend’s attack shows the tremendous influence U.S. oil production has had on global markets. The same was true after missile attacks on Saudi facilities in 2019 (see here), which substantially reduced Saudi Arabia’s oil exports for a short period. Both events and their aftermath indicate that U.S. domestic production has largely mitigated the price volatility historically associated with serious geopolitical events.
Still, some cautions are in order. First, U.S. energy security can’t be assumed. It takes long-range planning and investments, safe access to domestic resources, the ability to expand pipeline and export facility infrastructure, and a policy-level approach that anticipates unforeseen events that could affect global energy supply and have dire impacts on U.S. security, economic growth, and consumers.
Posted February 24, 2021
It’s possible we could be headed for a shortfall in global oil supply as soon as next year – pretty remarkable considering where oil demand was last spring, with economies slowing under the weight of the pandemic.
Based on projected rising demand, the natural production decline from existing wells and decreases in drilling activity and industry investment – especially in the U.S. – the world’s oil needs could outpace production in 2022. An undersupply potentially could put upward pressure on costs, impacting consumers, manufacturers and, generally, any process that utilizes oil.
Posted February 10, 2021
Natural gas and oil will remain central to meeting our nation’s energy needs well into the future. So says the nonpartisan U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2021 Annual Energy Outlook.
The analysis is critically important given the Biden administration’s apparent shift away from the previous administration’s focus on building American energy dominance through homegrown natural gas and oil – seen in the president’s executive order halting new federal leasing.
EIA’s forecast and the administration’s energy position are incompatible with each other, raising a simple question: If we aren’t allowed access to key federal natural gas and oil reserves, onshore and offshore, where will our energy supply come from?
Posted February 3, 2021
This past year saw Oklahoma officials pursue a unique experiment – reducing how much natural gas production would be permitted from a well, called “natural gas production prorationing.”
This may be about to change. The intervention has been costly for the state and suggests that governments should exercise more caution when considering actions that could affect markets.
Regulations to prevent wasting resources have been on the books for decades, and Texas has something similar. However, through its Corporation Commission, Oklahoma was the only state that imposed more stringent natural gas production limits last year. The state also increased its efforts to enforce those rules in response to market conditions associated with the COVID-19 recession – that is, strong supply, weak demand and low prices for natural gas.
It’s looking like a mistake.
Posted January 11, 2021
Making energy more affordable for Americans is one of the biggest benefits of the U.S. natural gas and oil revolution. Over the past decade or so, abundant domestic reserves, unlocked by modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, lowered consumer energy costs – even as household expenses for health care, education and food increased.
The challenge for everyone is not to take affordable, reliable energy for granted. Not too long ago the country was beset with rising annual costs for gasoline, ever-growing oil imports and dwindling domestic natural gas supplies. The natural gas situation was so alarming, lots of smart people believed the U.S. would need to build natural gas import facilities to help meet domestic demand.
Again, the shale energy revolution changed that storyline. We have plentiful supplies of natural gas here at home and increased energy security. The U.S. has become a leading natural gas exporter and was on track in 2020 to be a net exporter of petroleum and total energy on an annual basis for the first time in 60 years. That’s what energy security looks like.
This leads back to consumer benefits – reflected in a new U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showing that last year natural gas prices were at their lowest levels in decades.
Posted September 9, 2020
Four questions for proponents of policies that would effectively end new natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters:
Where will the oil come from that won’t be produced here at home because of such a policy?
Where will nearly 1 million Americans find new work after this policy costs them their jobs?
What will Americans do without because of higher energy costs resulting from the policy?
How will the U.S. continue making environmental progress if increased coal use caused by the policy raises carbon dioxide emissions?
These and other questions are prompted by a new analysis projecting the effects of halting new natural gas and oil on federal lands and waters -- prepared for API by OnLocation with the U.S. Energy Information Administration's National Energy Modeling System, which EIA uses to produce its Annual Energy Outlook.
Posted August 28, 2020
Americans’ safety and security are critically linked to energy.
Whether it’s energy to power a growing economy or energy that keeps America free and strong in the world – and even reliable energy in the wake of a Category 4 hurricane – abundant domestic natural gas and oil are essential for our security. ...
Abundant and reliable natural gas and oil from America make the country safer and more secure in a number of ways.
Posted August 19, 2020
If Democratic policymakers want to ‘build back better’ while also keeping the lights on, they’ll want to support the continued development of America’s vast natural gas and oil resources, which provides reliable, affordable, and cleaner energy.
Democratic leaders like former President Barack Obama – who received a 97% favorability rating in 2018 among self-identified Democrats – and several other keynote speakers at this year’s Democratic National Convention have advocated for U.S. natural gas and oil, with some encouraging its growth to help lower household energy bills, reduce emissions, and create new American jobs.
Posted July 21, 2020
Through the recent COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shocks to energy markets around the world, U.S. natural gas has remained a relatively bright spot.
Record low prices have benefitted consumers, and at the same time many producers dedicated to natural gas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Louisiana and East Texas have remained viable as cutbacks in oil and associated natural gas from other regions have taken effect. And now about 90% of U.S. drilling for natural gas is concentrated in these regions, that is Appalachia and the Haynesville areas.
The drilling activity has reflected two fundamental observations. The first is that, according to BTU Analytics, the recent breakeven price – that is, the Henry Hub wholesale market price needed to at least break even in drilling a new well – on average has remained near market prices despite COVID-19, a relatively warm winter and broad financial market concerns. The second observation is that natural gas well productivity, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, were resilient after some unexplained variation at the beginning of the year.