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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Texas Flaring Coalition Enhances Industry’s Commitment to Reduce Emissions

methane emissions  natural gas production  the-environmental-partnership  texas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 3, 2020

The natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions is being advanced on a number of fronts. The Environmental Partnership, whose 75 members include 33 of the top 40 U.S. producers of natural gas, is in its third year of sharing of knowledge and technologies to further reduce emissions. This week, the Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition, whose members represent nearly 80% of oil production in the state, was launched to work on flaring. 

The coalition’s key initiatives include: developing best practices and opportunities to minimize methane emissions and flaring, improving accuracy and consistency in the reporting of vented and flared volumes and increasing public understanding of the safety and environmental reasons for flaring.

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The Misleading ‘Rollback’ Narrative on COVID-19 Compliance

regulation  safe operations  public health 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted April 2, 2020

The health and safety of workers, communities and the environment is always a priority for the natural gas and oil industry, and never more so during a global pandemic. That’s why API requested temporary relief for non-essential compliance requirements from the White House and several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Sadly, reasonable efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) among the energy workforce have been misconstrued by some as “regulatory rollbacks.” This blatantly political narrative is misleading, not to mention inconsistent with public health recommendations. As businesses and regulators adapt to changing circumstances – and implement physical distancing and stay-at-home policies – there may be limited personnel to manage the full scope of some non-essential requirements, but the commitment to safety and sustainability remains unchanged.

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Keystone XL's Construction is Good for U.S., U.S. Energy

keystone xl pipeline  jobs  us energy security  canadian oil sands  economic growth 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 2, 2020

TC Energy’s announcement that it will proceed with building the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is a big deal in terms of vital energy for America, jobs, economic growth and North American security. The 1,210-mile pipeline – able to safely deliver 830,000 barrels per day from Canada’s oil sands region in Alberta to the U.S. heartland – figures to be a significant, long-awaited progress toward helping secure this country’s future energy needs.

I say “long-awaited” because my first API writing assignment was about the KXL – nearly nine years ago!

Over that time the pipeline became a political football – a debate in which the basic facts were mostly incontestable: thousands of good jobs during KXL’s construction, tens of millions of dollars in property and income tax revenues to different levels of government and no significant effect on the climate or environment, according to the U.S. State Department, which conducted six comprehensive scientific reviews.

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Innovative Technologies Give Energy Operators Staying Power

us energy security  technology  innovation  crude markets 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted March 31, 2020

Despite challenging public health, geopolitical and economic circumstances, the U.S. energy industry remains positioned at the leading edge of technology and innovation. Historically, America’s natural gas and oil companies have overcome unexpected and uncertain events with safe, reliable and resilient operations – and gone on to play an important role in rebuilding the domestic economy and strengthening national security.

And there’s evidence this will happen again. That’s why we’ve said, don’t bet against this industry.

Mark Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, wrote recently that today’s industrial digital technologies could help us weather this market downturn and eventually access more of our abundant energy resources. 

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API Releases New Sustainability Reporting Guidance with International Community to Promote Environmental Progress

Environment  climate  standards 

Aaron Padilla

Aaron Padilla
Posted March 30, 2020

Industry-led efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are a key contribution to global climate solutions, and when companies transparently report their performance, it reflects their commitment to ongoing advances in sustainability. The natural gas and oil industry pioneered industry-wide guidance for sustainability reporting 15 years ago, and for decades now, has delivered detailed performance information for stakeholders, including regulators, investors and the general public.

Today, three leading global natural gas and oil industry associations – API, IPIECA and IOGP – released the fourth edition of the “Sustainability Reporting Guidance for the Oil and Gas industry,” which provides a consensus framework for company reporting on sustainability topics in governance and business ethics; climate change; environment; safety, health and security; and social impacts.

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Temporary Relief – To Prioritize Safety and Meet U.S. Energy Needs

regulation  safe operations  public health 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 27, 2020

America’s natural gas and oil industry is asking a number of federal agencies to allow a temporary pause in certain non-essential federal compliance requirements, because it’s likely there will be limited numbers of industry workers to manage them amid federal and state-directed efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The health and safety of our workers and their communities is this industry’s No. 1 priority. These non-essential requirements reflect that and primarily include recordkeeping, training, flexibility in the timing of routine inspections where there might be manpower issues due to the pandemic and other non-safety provisions.

Industry is not soliciting a regulatory rollback or trying to excuse itself from compliance obligations.

Rather, it asks federal officials to consider that industry, along with every other segment of our society, is focused on slowing the virus’ spread.

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Fuel Supply Networks are Responding Properly

fuel supply  gasoline  distillate demand  jet fuel 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted March 26, 2020

Supply networks for refined products – including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel – appear to be responding properly and flexibly to sudden and sharp declines for transportation fuel stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and global efforts to slow its spread.

Market conditions can shift, yet API’s view at this point is that most refined products markets have continued to function well in keeping about a month’s worth of storage.

We gauge this in part by comparing recent inventory levels for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel with their ranges over the past five years. Although some products appear to have more available storage capacity than others, if needed, it also is apparent that the pace at which refiners produce fuels can provide additional adjustments which will affect demand for storage.


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API Opposes Government Intervention in Response to Market Downturn

crude markets  us energy security  opec  trade 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
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.

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For Good Reasons, Industry Doesn’t Want Tariffs or Quotas

oil and natural gas  trade  us energy security 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
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.

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Energy Industry Preparedness & Response to COVID-19

safe operations  fuel supply  workforce 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted March 20, 2020

As the world copes with a mounting health and economic crisis, America’s natural gas and oil industry remains focused on preserving the health and safety of its workers and delivering critical energy supplies to communities across the country. As an industry, we are committed to operating safely and reliably despite the unpredictable circumstances, implementing contingency plans that ensure the continuity of fuels to market.

These were points of emphasis by emergency preparedness experts at leading energy trade associations during a joint press conference this week that detailed industry readiness and response during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (listen here).

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