Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 22, 2019
A big win this week for U.S. liquid natural gas exports: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Calcasieu Pass liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana – marking an end to a two-year logjam on LNG export approvals while boosting American global energy leadership and signaling opportunity to European allies who’ve been beholden to Russia for natural gas.
The $4.5 billion Calcasieu Pass project near Cameron Parish will be able to export 10 million metric tons per annum of LNG per year. Venture Global first applied for FERC approval for the facility in 2015. About a dozen other proposed facilities await FERC approval. Now, perhaps, the end’s in sight.
Posted February 21, 2019
Update: Middleborough, Massachusetts, has joined parts of New York’s Westchester County on a list of places in the Northeast U.S. where they’ve announced moratoriums on new natural gas service.
As is true in Westchester, there’s not enough pipeline infrastructure to deliver natural gas to everyone in Middleborough who wants it. No question, the situation in Middleborough is unfortunate – as it is in sections of Westchester County affected by the natural gas moratorium there.
Blame short-sighted, agenda-driven opposition to constructing new natural gas pipelines or expand existing ones. Natural gas is near enough – in the Marcellus shale play in Pennsylvania that also extends into New York state.
Posted February 20, 2019
Over API’s 100-year history – we complete our first century next month – we’ve created more than 700 standards to enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of natural gas and oil operations. The newest of these updates Recommended Practice 54 (RP 54), which sets procedures to advance and maintain a safe and healthy work environment in drilling and well servicing operations.
Specifically, the new edition of RP 54 (first developed in 1981) includes a section on flowback operations, which is important for safe well testing. It also includes revised requirements for process hazard assessment for facilities and sites and introduces formal risk assessments and expanded provisions for offshore operations.
Posted February 20, 2019
Earlier this month we talked about the unforced error of the administration’s tariff and quota policies that hamstring the economy, detailing the findings of recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Now, new modeling has reviewed those suspicions in the context of the energy trade, and the indications are clear: The escalating trade wars could significantly limit the U.S. energy revolution and the benefits to Americans that it would otherwise bring.
The recent report, part of BP’s annual “Outlook,” a macro-look at the global energy system over the next 30 years, models a number of different scenarios including one in which global trade disputes persist and worsen. The results of this “less globalization” scenario indicate that the continuation of these policies would slow global GDP growth by 6 percent and energy demand growth by 4 percent in 2040. To make matters worse, the effect could be intensified in countries and regions most exposed to foreign trade – like the U.S.
Posted February 19, 2019
A profound shift has taken place in North American oil markets over the past few months that’s now affecting trade between the United States and its biggest crude oil supplier, Canada.
It involves supplies of heavier crude oil – important for the manufacture of a multitude of everyday products consumers use, from local road surfaces to the roofing for their houses. While the U.S. is producing domestic crude at record levels, there’s still a need for heavier crudes.
With heavy oil from Venezuela declining for years, the importance of close ties with Canada and especially the oil-producing province Alberta has increased. Unfortunately, Alberta’s decision to limit oil production appears to be advancing uneconomic outcomes, where some U.S. refiners signaled they’ll shift away from Canadian heavy crude oil and seek supply elsewhere.
Posted February 14, 2019
A lot has been done since we first announced plans to move API’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and thanks to the work of highly skilled craft tradesmen and women those plans have officially become a reality. In step with the innovation and advanced technologies that have led the U.S. natural gas and oil industry to meet record world energy demand while driving record CO2 emissions reductions, the industry’s leading national trade association has a new, self-sustaining LEED Platinum-certified building to call home.
Posted February 14, 2019
API’s Monthly Statistical Report (MSR), based on January data, is a good news/challenging news proposition.
First the good. January data tell us the U.S. has never produced more oil (11.9 million barrels per day, mb/d) and natural gas liquids (4.9 mb/d).
At the same time, U.S. refineries ran at their highest rates (93 percent capacity utilization) and produced the most they ever have for the month of January (17.3 mb/d). Moreover, domestic gasoline demand also was the greatest on record for the month of January (8.9 mb/d). These are terrific milestones. ... But some interesting challenges also emerged.
Posted February 13, 2019
The Green New Deal is getting quite a bit of attention in Washington right now, and naturally, people want to know what the natural gas and oil industry thinks about the proposal to revolutionize America’s economy and way of life – since it appears the plan aims to eliminate natural gas and oil, the nation’s leading fuels, right when there’s record energy demand by consumers.
My reaction is that any proposal that would fundamentally reorder American energy – and the way of life in this country – should first be measured by its impacts on American consumers, the economy and the country’s opportunity for future prosperity.
Especially this one. There’s little question that GND would significantly alter America as we know it.
Posted February 12, 2019
Recent tweet from the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry includes a chart that vividly illustrates one of the biggest benefits of the U.S. energy revolution. First, it plots soaring U.S. net petroleum imports, which peaked at 60.3 percent in 2005, and then logs the plunge to just 12.1 percent last year. The thing that caught my eye in Perry’s tweet is that the time frame for his graph, 1957-2018, is pretty much the span of this blogger’s life.
Most importantly, in one generation, the United States has gone from steadily growing energy dependency to a nation that’s largely in control of its energy destiny. It’s a turnabout many of Americans never thought possible. Remarkable. Breathtaking. Or, as Perry tweets, amazing.
Posted February 8, 2019
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s new report, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029,” says what we’ve been saying for some time now – the administration’s tariff policies are a drag on the broader economy.
CBO projects that “the recent changes in trade policy in the United States and its trading-partner countries will reduce the level of U.S. real GDP by about 0.1 percent by 2022
Now, 0.1 percent might not sound like a lot over that time period, but potentially we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars subtracted from the economy. Dean Foreman, API chief economist, says it’s particularly concerning in the context of an economy that’s decelerating.