Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted December 11, 2020
Despite the 2020 COVID-19 recession, the U.S. has reached milestones for energy security and trade, including its lowest imports of crude oil and reliance on OPEC in nearly three decades.
Achieving the milestones this year has enabled the U.S. to be on track to become a net exporter of petroleum and total energy on an annual basis for the first time in more than 60 years. At the same time, U.S. refiners have increasingly leveraged domestically-produced energy, ultimately benefiting households through lower spending on energy.
In short, record productivity has enabled abundant domestic oil and natural gas supplies, amped-up U.S. energy exports and displaced foreign energy imports to the benefit of American consumers. This is the backdrop for the imminent change of U.S. administration, as well as a heightened focus on U.S. energy security – see here and here – even though petroleum products and natural gas have remained abundant and at historically low prices.
Posted July 8, 2020
As President Trump welcomes Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the White House for their first face-to-face meeting, they will tout the landmark United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The updated North American trade pact, signed in January after months of deliberation, modernizes the longstanding trilateral agreement that was a central issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The political importance of the agreement aside, the USMCA is a win-win for American workers, businesses and energy consumers, paving the way for sustained U.S. energy leadership and expanded economic growth. Cross-border trade with Mexico and Canada is key to strengthening the domestic energy industry, which has made the United State the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. Today, the U.S. counts Mexico as its number one export market for natural gas and refined products, with Canada as its top destination for crude oil.
By solidifying these critical energy partnerships, the International Trade Commission projects the USMCA could support the creation of between 176,000 and 589,000 American jobs, in addition to the 12 million US jobs and nearly $1.3 trillion in trade already sustained by our partnership with Mexico and Canada. With this record of economic development and job creation among these trading partners, it is clear why Presidents Trump and López Obrador would take a victory lap this week.
Posted April 23, 2020
While the natural gas and oil industry focuses on challenges from the historic drop in oil demand due to the impacts of COVID-19, keep an eye on proposals that offer the best support for this industry and, in turn, the U.S. economy and American consumers.
One idea among many – including addressing storage issues and ensuring access to capital – is to look to China as a potential buyer of U.S. energy. Makes sense: In an oversupplied global market, China appears to be a buyer. What’s more, in the “Phase 1” trade deal announced in January, China agreed to buy U.S. crude and liquefied natural gas (LNG), among other energy products.
Today, API sent a letter to the U.S. Commerce and Energy departments and the U.S. Trade Representative to suggest that some good might come from following up with China to buy U.S. energy. The letter notes that U.S. energy exports to targeted markets are essential to help with oversupply and storage issues here at home.
Posted March 25, 2020
There seems to be no shortage of flawed ideas in response to ongoing crude oil market instability.
Last week, a U.S. senator asked the Commerce Department to impose tariffs on imported crude oil, and a Texas state energy regulator called for statewide oil production quotas – isolating measures that don’t serve the interests of American consumers and don’t help our industry do its job of supplying the country with needed energy.
Posted March 23, 2020
As the world grapples with the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, the decision by Russia and the OPEC nations to increase energy supplies while demand is dropping has contributed to ongoing market instability and delivered a shock to America’s evolving energy picture.
Since the late 2000s, the U.S. has emerged as the world’s leading producer of natural gas and oil—last month producing at estimated record levels of 13 million barrels of oil and 96.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas to meet consumer demand. Innovative technologies like hydraulic fracturing have enabled producers to reach abundant U.S. shale reserves, and thus changed America’s trajectory from energy scarcity to abundance and from importing energy to exporting it.
It is not surprising, then, that some global energy players are threatened by American energy leadership and have actively tried to prevent its progress. Russia and other nations’ push to increase global energy supply despite lower demand in the short term is a reaction to America’s new paradigm as a global energy superpower. This is a challenging situation, compounded by the impact of the coronavirus, but interventions like protectionist trade measures are not the answer.
Posted January 23, 2020
The phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China is a step in the right direction for U.S. energy, increasing market stability and setting the stage for future negotiations. However, much more still needs to be done to restore U.S. energy export growth to China and repair damage brought on by the lengthy dispute – points made by API’s Aaron Padilla, senior advisor for international policy, in a Wall Street Journal interview earlier this week.
Posted December 19, 2019
In this year-end edition of API’s Industry Outlook and Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) for December 2019, we make a toast to the natural gas and oil industry’s year of achievement and look forward to what appears to matter the most to U.S. energy consumers, producers and markets.
Record U.S. natural gas and oil production, demand and exports – coupled with low prices – and regional economic growth have been supported by new resource and infrastructure developments. Real domestic West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices in 2019 have remained at about half of what they were 2011-2014, but with more than double the amount of home-grown oil production in 2019 compared with 2011. This has been an unabashed win for consumers, and it also has rejuvenated investments in resource development, processing, transportation, manufacturing and petrochemicals, as we discussed here.
Posted December 19, 2019
Last week, House Democrats and the Trump administration announced a bipartisan deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), concluding the year-long debate and setting the stage for congressional approval. Today, it heads to the House floor, bringing the agreement one step closer to reality.
From an energy perspective, the case for finalizing USMCA is strong, and as we’ve said, its approval is essential to economic progress and energy security. Because North America’s energy markets are interdependent and multi-directional, integration will result in more affordable energy for consumers in all three countries.
Posted December 12, 2019
In case you missed it, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently confirmed (see here and here) what API indicated in its Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) for September: For the first time since the 1950s, the United States is now a net exporter of energy in total.
Achieving this milestone is important for America. It embodies a slew of economic benefits, including lower energy prices – also those due to supply growth – rejuvenated investment in resource development, processing and transportation. It also has helped U.S. refining, petrochemicals and manufacturing, which have weathered the storm of U.S. trade restrictions and a strong U.S. dollar that made exporting U.S. goods more challenging.
Posted October 23, 2019
Given bipartisan consensus on the importance of trade to America and our allies, finalization and approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in Congress is long overdue. Because North American markets are highly interdependent, maintaining the tariff-free, intracontinental flow of natural gas, oil and refined products will help ensure that American families have continued access to affordable and reliable energy, and to our export markets in Canada and Mexico.
When it comes to the U.S. economy, the advantages of the USMCA are clear. Trade with Canada and Mexico supports 12 million American jobs across every state, according to the Business Roundtable, and totaled nearly $1.3 trillion in 2017. A U.S. International Trade Commission report estimates that approving USMCA could raise real GDP by $68.2 billion and create 176,000 jobs, relative to a baseline, six years after the trade deal enters into force.